In today’s NHL rumor rundown, one scribe looks at the best goaltender options on the market and there are comments from the GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins on the potential of trading one of their goaltenders. What are the best options on the table for the Toronto Maple Leafs to improve their blue line and are the Winnipeg Jets planning to offload a number of players?
Penguins to Trade a Goaltender?
According to a story on NHL.com Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has acknowledged that he might have to trade one of his goaltenders. Murray spoke with The Athletic’s Josh Yohe and talked about the team having over $68 million committed to next season’s roster.
“I’ll say this: If we are going to keep both of them, we’d have to move a few things around on our team. There is a way to do things and to make that work, yes. There are some very, very tough decisions ahead.”
Rutherford added that the team is operating as though the cap will change, and not in their favor. “We know that much,” Rutherford said. “It’s certainly not going up.”
That the Penguins didn’t get to see one of Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry perform on a stretch run towards the playoffs and in the postseason makes the decision more difficult than it already was.
Related: The TJ Oshie Trade Analyzed
Jets Might Offload Free Agents
Murat Ates at The Athletic took a look at the Winnipeg Jets free agent situation and among a ton of names likely to leave the team, he listed veteran defensemen Dmitry Kulikov, Nathan Beaulieu, and Luca Sbisa among those blueliners most likely to be playing somewhere else next season.
It may be that Winnipeg forgoes all of its own pending UFA left-handed defencemen and looks outside the organization. Alex Pietrangelo strikes me as a pipe dream but there will be questions about Manitobas Travis Hamonic and Joel Edmundson until their futures are known, while Brenden Dillon remains a player of interest. I don’t think this is where the solution comes from but it’s worth acknowledging.source – ‘A look at which Jets could stay and which could go this offseason’ – Murat Ates – The Athletic – 04/29/2020
Mostly Likely Goaltenders to Be Traded?
Jonathan Willis of The Athletic took a look at the goaltender crop this season for each team and then determined the need of every franchise. He labeled goalies who might fill those needs and found four names that could be potential trade candidates.
Willis noted that Antti Ranta, Matt Murray, Jake Allen and Alexandar Georgiev may be the players most teams with goalie needs come calling about. Willis labeled Murray and Georgiev as the two who could fetch the most.
Murray and Georgiev are the likeliest to command a lot in trade. Murray is a Cup-winning starter while Georgiev is young and likely to be very cheap. One has a lot of appeal to a team looking for a No. 1 it can have confidence in, while the other is extremely attractive to teams up against the cap.source – ‘2020 NHL offseason goalie market: Team needs, free agents and trade possibilities’ Jonathan Willis – The Athletic – 05/05/2020
The bottom line, as Willis suggests, is that NHL free agency isn’t quite the buyer’s market in net that we often see.
Maple Leafs Blue Line Options?
As the Toronto Maple Leafs look to change up their blue line, Jonas Siegel of The Athletic named 12 players the team might elect to consider. Among them: Chris Tanev, Justin Schultz, Alex Pietrangelo, Dustin Byfuglien, Radko Gudas, Tyson Barrie, Sami Vatanen, T.J. Brodie, Ron Hainsey, Roman Polak, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Travis Hamonic.
Pietrangelo was listed as the best fit, but trickiest deal to get done, possibly requiring the Maple Leafs to trade Mitch Marner. Brodie was listed as the second-best option. Siegel writes:
This might be the right time to buy on Brodie…. He’s not Pietrangelo, but given the acquisition cost, Brodie would be a nice alternative.source – ’12 UFA options the Maple Leafs might consider to boost their defence’ – Jonas Siegle – The Athletic – 05/05/2020
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”