NHL Rumors: Canucks, Maple Leafs, Rangers, Senators, Jets

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there’s some chatter surrounding the Vancouver Canucks, specifically when it comes to J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser. The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers have inquired about Miller, but is a deal likely? The Ottawa Senators have teams calling about a veteran defenseman and could the Winnipeg Jets actually be considering a Mark Scheifele trade?

Canucks Testing Market On Almost Everyone

As per Rick Dhaliwal, when John Shannon was on CHEK TV, he spoke about the likeliest trade options coming out of Vancouver and Shannon noted, “Boeser is at the top of the list followed by Halak and yes I believe he would waive his no-trade.”

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Freaky Wednesday, Mrazek, Sandin & Woll

Boeser is on Frank Seravalli’s Daily Faceoff trade targets list and is listed at No. 5. Dhaliwal also quotes Elliotte Friedman who noted that the Canucks have thrown everyone’s name out there excluding Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and Thatcher Demko just to see what offers exist in the marketplace. They want to know how their players are viewed around the league and what teams are willing to pay.

Leafs Kick Tires on Miller, Boeser and Garland Trades More Likely

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Toronto Maple Leafs’ assistant GM Laurence Gilman scouted two Canucks games against the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils and had his eye on forward J.T. Miller. LeBrun said that’s not surprising as the Leafs have been linked to Miller before. The NHL insider doesn’t believe there’s anything too serious going on between the Leafs and Canucks at this point except for the Leafs doing their due diligence.

J.T. Miller Vancouver Canucks
J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Chris Johnston adds that the cost to acquire Brock Boeser and Conor Garland would be lower than Miller and one or both could be moved at the deadline. The Canucks aren’t officially out of the playoff race yet so there could be some interesting decisions made. Johnston notes, “As we look to what those potential trades might look like, I believe that they are looking for some players, as opposed to just future assets like draft picks.”

Rangers Linked to Miller, Have Other Targets Too

Darren Dreger said that only a handful of teams called the Canucks about Miller and the New York Rangers were one of them. He notes the Rangers would like to acquire him but if Vancouver elects not to move him, New York could shift their focus to Anaheim Ducks’ forward Rickard Rakell or defenseman Ben Chiarot of the Montreal Canadiens.

Senators’ Del Zotto Drawing Interest

Things haven’t exactly worked out in Ottawa for defenseman Michael Del Zotto. That doesn’t mean the veteran isn’t a player of interest ahead of this year’s trade deadline. According to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia, Del Zotto is attracting some attention and could be moved.

Michael Del Zotto Columbus Blue Jackets
Michael Del Zotto, Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Garrioch writes:

Del Zotto could be a nice fit for a contender even if it’s playing the role of being a seventh defenceman. The parameters of a trade may involve the Senators either keeping some money on the books or taking a contract back but we’ll see where this goes in the next couple of weeks.

There’s no question Del Zotto can help someone down the stretch because he has plenty of NHL experience so we’ll see where this goes in the next couple of weeks.

This is a player that has moved around a lot. He’s played with eight NHL teams in the previous nine seasons.

Could Jets Trade Mark Scheifele?

Murat Ates of The Athletic responded to recent rumors that Mark Scheifele could be traded by the Winnipeg Jets. A team that has wildly underperformed, there’s some chatter that this version of the roster has taken the team as far as it will go and that a shakeup might be required. Seravalli had speculated this season could be Scheifele’s last with the Jets.

Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets
Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Ates believes the Jets are putting together a plan that will address their future. As such, names will pop up in trade talks and Scheifele’s has because of his contract status. Atest writes:

The star centre turns 29 next month has two seasons left on his contract after this one. This means that a major decision about Scheifele’s future must take place relatively soon — if not at this trade deadline or during the offseason then by the end of next year. Scheifele has clear defensive deficiencies but he’s also a star scorer who regularly outperforms his $6.125 million AAV contract. To lose him for nothing in July 2024 would be a worst-case scenario only rivalled by giving him massive money on a long-term deal that goes well into his 30s at that same time.

source – ‘Could Mark Scheifele be traded? Kevin Cheveldayoff’s to-do list? How can Jets retool? Mailbag’ – Murat Ates – The Athletic – 02/28/2022

Ates believes if Scheifele is moved that getting a center back is the priority. He notes, “If Winnipeg does trade Scheifele this summer or next, it could be even more franchise-defining than Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic for Dubois and a third-round pick.”

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