NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Panthers, Predators, Stone, More

In today’s rumor rundown, we look at the injuries on defense for the Toronto Maple Leafs and ask if they should have done more at the trade deadline, are the Florida Panthers working on an extension with Riley Sheahan, will the Nashville Predators sign a couple of their own free agents or let them walk and there are a few updates on the Mark Stone situation in Vegas.

Did Maple Leafs Make Deadline Mistake?

Post Media writer Michael Traikos is reporting Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas may be regretting his lack of additions on the blue line now that he’s dealing with injuries to defensemen Travis Dermott and Jake Gardiner. Dubas said, had he known, he’d have done more to add a defenseman at the deadline.

Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas
Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Michael Augello wonders if that is true because Dubas knew he might be short-handed to close out the season. He said, “Gardiner, Rosen & Borgman were all hurt before 2/25, Holl had played 2 games, Ozhiganov had been idle for a month & Marincin is an unmitigated disaster on D.”. He adds that, seeing as how the Winnipeg Jets got Nathan Beaulieu and the St. Louis Blues got Michael Del Zotto for 6th round picks, the Maple Leafs could have added at little cost to the team.

Related: NHL Rumors: Zuccarello, Kronwall, Blackhawks, Canucks …

Panthers and Sheahan Working on Extension?

George Richards of The Athletic is reporting the Florida Panthers are interested in re-signing pending unrestricted free agent Riley Sheahan and that Sheahan is interested in coming back to the Panthers.

Richards writes:

“We would like to sign them or else we would have moved them,” Tallon said of the likes of Sheahan and Troy Brouwer. “I’m real happy with Riley, he has played real well for us. He’s a piece we would like to keep… He’s a guy who brings a lot to the table, plays hard and can play up and down the lineup. He brings physicality, size and skill and is an aggressive player. I think those are some things we missed in the first half of the season.”

source – ‘Once thought to be a trade-deadline casualty, Riley Sheahan would like to stay with Panthers’ – The Athletic – George Richards – 03/06/2019

When asked whether or not he’d like to come back to Florida next season, Sheahan said “It’s a good possibility” and “Everything is good here, and it’s a great spot to live. I think it’s a great fit.”

Sheahan admits that he thought he might have been moved at the deadline and he would have understood it but he likes the fit and knows Tallon wants him around.

Related: NHL Rumors: Oilers, Stars, Rangers, Blue Jackets, More

Predators and Internal Free Agents

What will the Nashville Predators do with pending free agents like Brian Boyle, Wayne Simmonds and Mikael Granlund?

Paul Skrbina of the Nashville Tennessean thinks the Predators will welcome back Boyle next season. His low cost and that he fits a need for the team makes for a good fit. The Predators will likely want to sign Granlund to an extension. He has one year left on his current deal.

That said, he believes Wayne Simmonds will likely cost too much money.

Related: NHL Rumors: Islanders, Wild, NHL GM Meetings, More

Brannstrom As Good as it Got For Senators

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet mentioned in his latest 31 Thoughts column that he thinks and has the backup of a few NHL executives that Erik Brannstrom was the best prospect the Ottawa Senators were going to get in any Mark Stone trade. One exec said, “Even if you think they should have gotten a first-rounder (from Vegas), they still weren’t getting a better young player than that. No one was going to beat it.”

Erik Brannstrom Chicago Wolves
Erik Brannstrom, Chicago Wolves, Dec. 2018 (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

it sounds like the Senators had asked the Calgary Flames for Juuso Valimaki and trying to get a first-rounder out of Vegas, but neither option came to be. The backup plan for Ottawa was Anthony Beauvillier and a first-round pick from the New York Islanders.

Where Is the Mark Stone Extension?

Speaking of Mark Stone there has been a little buzz out of Vegas concerning why the official Stone extension hasn’t been announced. It was eligible to be officially done on March 1, 2019, and while everyone knew there was a deal in principle prior to that, people were waiting on the announcement.

The good news is, the delay does not equate to a problem or cold feet by either side. Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports that the only reason the deal isn’t done was a personal issue that kept GM George McPhee out of town and McPhee wanted to be there in person when the deal was signed.