In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are updates on the trade status of Philadelphia Flyers’ forward Claude Giroux, as well as news on Anaheim Ducks’ defenseman Hampus Lindholm. Both are being held out of their team’s respective games in preparation for a trade. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs are going after a veteran defenseman but may not be willing to pay the asking price. The Montreal Canadiens are getting offers for Artturi Lehkonen and the St. Louis Blues are shopping one of their goaltenders. Finally, can the Nashville Predators get Filip Forsberg signed?
Flyers Holding Out Giroux
As per a few insiders, including Frank Seravalli, Giroux is not traveling with Flyers to Ottawa to play in their upcoming games. He’s being held out of the lineup pending a trade that should be completed with one of Florida or Colorado in the coming days.
Seravalli writes, “While speculation swirls about Giroux accepting a trade to #FlaPanthers (which may well happen), sources within both organizations say tonight no deal is in place. No shortage of smoke, though.”
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Flyers’ scribe Anthony SanFilippo writes, “The Flyers were considering offers from four teams – Florida, Colorado, Boston, and the New York Rangers. It is believed that Giroux nixed offers to New York and Boston.”
Ducks Holding Out Lindholm
Lindholm is also sitting ahead of a potential deal and TSN’s Darren Dreger reports, “A few teams continue to digest a steep asking price for Hampus Lindholm.” He adds, “There’s always wiggle room, but the current ask is a 1st, a 3rd, and a top prospect. Likely some spin-off from the Chiarot trade to Florida.”
Pierre LeBrun adds, “No progress in contract talks as of yesterday. Boston and St. Louis would each make sense. But is the price too high?”
Giordano and Middleton Targets for Maple Leafs
Chris Johnston noted during the most recent TSN Insider Trading segment that Mark Giordano is among Maple Leafs’ trade targets. Leafs’ GM Kyle Dubas and Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis have been talking but word is that Seattle wants a first-rounder for Giordano and Dubas has told teams he will not pay that steep a price for a rental.
Johnston adds, “Similarly, Jacob Middleton in San Jose, as Pierre reported on Tuesday, (is) another person of interest for the Maple Leafs, but the Leafs don’t like the price for him just yet either.”
Watch for Artturi Lehkonen Trade
As per Darren Dreger, “Arturi Lehkonen is now the piece in play in Montreal. High interest in the 26-year-old forward.” The Canadiens were considering moving the forward but many believed they might hang onto him. Dreger adds, “Decision time for the Canadiens. He could help the Habs for the next 4-5 years. His value to the team is being measured against his trade return.”
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Lehkonen is a pending restricted free agent and carries a cap hit of $2.3 million. He has 13 goals and 28 points in 57 games this season.
Blues Pitching Binnington to Teams as Goalie Solution
Frank Seravalli writes as part of his Ice Breakers report that the St. Louis Blues have pitched goaltender Jordan Binnington as a potential solution to teams with goalie problems. Focused on removing his long-term hefty contract and making room to sign Ville Husso, the Blues seem to be willing to take a risk that not having both goalies during a playoff run is worth making other moves.
It doesn’t sound like there are a lot of takers and a trade is unlikely for a number of reasons, including his contract.
So the move would be multi-faceted for St. Louis: Armstrong could move on from Binnington’s contract and create salary cap flexibility to add elsewhere on his roster before Monday. And it would open the door for the Blues to re-sign Husso, the hot hand, in the offseason to perhaps a less expensive deal with less term.
Predators Re-Engage in Talks With Forsberg
Dreger notes that the Nashville Predators have re-engaged in contract negotiations with Filip Forsberg’s agent, J.P. Barry. In what appears to be a last-ditch effort to get the forward signed, the team would rather extend Forsberg than trade one of their best goal scorers. Dreger writes, “Sounds like marginal progress has been made to this point.”