NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Oilers, Flyers, Kraken, Blue Jackets

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs have said they might add a defenseman, but who are they looking at? Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers are being plagued by injuries. A trade is almost a necessity at this point. The Seattle Kraken are working on a Mark Giordano trade, the Philadelphia Flyers are scouting Florida’s AHL team and a Patrik Laine trade appears to be off the table.

Defenseman Maple Leafs Might Be Looking At

The Maple Leafs have said this could be a quiet deadline relative to previous seasons but a move for a defenseman is still expected. GM Kyle Dubas has been linked to Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, Mark Giordano of the Seattle Kraken, Hampus Lindholm of the Anaheim Ducks, and Justin Braun of the Flyers.

Hampus Lindholm Anaheim Ducks
Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Lindholm might be an interesting name to watch as Elliotte Friedman reports the Ducks are working on re-signing the pending UFA but are concerned about term. If they can’t come to an agreement, Anaheim is likely to consider a trade.

Kraken Working on Giordano Trade

As per Emily Kaplan of ESPN, “Giordano technically has a 10-team no-trade list, but I heard he has not even bothered giving it to the Kraken, knowing the team that trades for him will be one that views itself as a contender.” She adds, that teams that have shown the most interest include the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, and Carolina Hurricanes. “However, it seems unlikely Francis would deal with the Hurricanes, his former team, to help them get better.”

Oilers Looking For Deal Thanks to Rash of Injuries

As per the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, reports are that the Oilers are seeking a dollar-in, dollar-out trade and seek a veteran, big right-shot rental defenseman. They’ve been linked to Justin Braun and the Oilers have been scouting the Flyers of late.

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland
Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

The big issue for Edmonton is the injury situation. They are now without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian, Tyson Barrie and they lost Evan Bouchard on Saturday night. Kris Russell is also out for what looks like that rest of the season so his salary could be used while on LTIR in a deadline trade.

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Josh Archibald has returned and is skating but a trade seems about as likely as him seeing any time with the club. Matheson writes:

It’s a very fluid situation with Archibald, who can walk for free this summer. The Oilers are in a dollar-in, dollar-out trade scenario and are looking for a veteran, big right-shot rental defenceman, presumably in the same fiscal range as Archibald. Perhaps Philadelphia’s Justin Braun at $1.8 million?

source – ‘Oilers Notebook: Archibald certainly in play with NHL trade deadline looming’ – Jim Matheson – Edmonton Sun – 03/03/2022

Laine Trade Not Happening

Don’t expect the Columbus Blue Jackets to move Laine, Kaplan writes. She explains:

Shut down the Patrik Laine trade rumors. It doesn’t seem like the Finnish sniper is going anywhere before March 21. He finally is looking like his most dangerous self again for Columbus, a team playing extremely hard, trying to sneak into the playoffs.

Patrik Laine Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine, Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

She adds that the Blue Jackets likely have not approached Laine with any meaningful contract talks yet, but there could soon. The summer is the most likely time to negotiate a new deal and the patience Columbus had seems to be paying off. There is no plan from either side to, all of a sudden, rush into a new deal.

Flyers and Panthers Close on Giroux/Tippett Trade?

Jeff Marek noted during the 32 Thoughts segment of Sportsnet’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast that the Flyers have heavily scouted the Panthers AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers and the belief is that Philadelphia is looking at Owen Tippett.

The Panthers have made it known that Tippett would be available in the right deal and the Panthers are one of the rumored teams in on Claude Giroux. It’s not entirely clear if Florida is one of Giroux’s preferred trade destinations but is believed he would accept a deal there.