NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Flyers, Canucks, Avalanche

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there were rumors that both Jeff Petry and Ben Chiarot were traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Were the rumors anywhere near close to being true? Meanwhile, Jake Muzzin is working his way back for the Maple Leafs, which throws a wrench into the idea of Toronto adding an expensive defenseman. Did the Philadelphia Flyers make a contract offer to Rasmus Ristolainen and are the Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche working on a trade?

Petry and Chairot Not Traded to Toronto

A fake post on social media caught some attention on Monday that claimed Jeff Petry was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The post must have looked legitimate enough that play-by-play announcer Marc Moser mentioned the trade on air during the New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche game. They later corrected themselves when it was learned to be a fake account. The Tampa Bay television crew also got fooled by the tweet when they mentioned that Chiarot went to Toronto as well for a first-round pick and two prospects.  

Jeff Petry Montreal Canadiens
Jeff Petry, Montreal Canadiens (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

As for how accurate the trade could become, that’s another story. It’s next to impossible for Toronto to land both Petry and Chiarot in the same deal based on what will be required going back to Montreal and the cap space the Maple Leafs don’t have to add both players. Not only that, but Jake Muzzin was back and skating for the Maple Leafs at practice Tuesday. If he’s returning before the playoffs, GM Kyle Dubas doesn’t have his cap hit to use in trades.

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Head coach Sheldon Keefe says that Muzzin has been feeling good for some time and this is a natural progression to see him back on the ice. He did not offer a timeline for a return.

Did Ristolainen Turn Down Long-Term Offer From Flyers?

According to Elliotte Friedman, during his latest 32 Thoughts podcast, he essentially shut down a report that pending UFA defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen turned down a big offer from the Flyers to stay in Philadelphia. He notes, “There was a report out there that Ristolainen turned down $6×6.35 or something like that, I don’t think that’s correct in this particular case. I think the offer was somewhere between $4-4.75.”

Rasmus Ristolainen, Philadelphia Flyers
Rasmus Ristolainen, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He noted that the confusion might have been that this higher number might have been a counteroffer from the defenseman’s camp. The two sides are still negotiating and this could come down to the wire if a trade happens, it might happen in the final hours of the trade deadline.

Canucks Trying to Get a Defenseman

Friedman also noted that he’s not sure which forward is going to be moved by the Vancouver Canucks and while some think it will be Brock Boeser, Friedman believes it will be the player who fetches the Canucks the best return. Friedman thinks Jim Rutherford is looking for a good, young defenseman to play with Quinn Hughes.

Related: Dire Injury Situation Forces Oilers to Look at Trade Way Ahead of Deadline

He says Nils Lundqvist’s name and Bowen Byram’s name has come up. Friedman isn’t sure it’s either of those players but he noted a source said, “I will bet you, whoever gets trade from Vancouver, you’re going to look at the defenseman in the deal and say that’s the guy that Vancouver wanted all along.”

Marek Believes Avalanche Focused on J.T. Miller

Marek responded to Friedman’s comments on Boeser being traded and thinks it will be J.T. Miller who leaves the Canucks and goes to Colorado if the two teams make a deal because of the timing of the potential trade. Marek points out that Miller has one more year of term and wonders if Nazem Kadri is going to walk away next season in free agency. Miller slides into the second-line center spot next season, which also happens to be the final year Nathan McKinnon is on his very team-friendly deal.

Friedman said he likes Marek’s theory and that could be why he’s heard the Avalanche have also looked into Andrew Copp.