NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Oilers, Canadiens, Flames

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Jake Muzzin is out indefinitely for the Toronto Maple Leafs and TJ Brodie is out with an injury. What now? Could they go after someone like Ryan O’Reilly with the money that is being freed up? Or, do they focus on another defenseman?

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Meanwhile, one analyst is linking the Edmonton Oilers to two potentially big-name wingers and the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames could be good trade partners.

Leafs Lose Muzzin and Brodie

According to the Maple Leafs PR Department, defenseman Jake Muzzin is out indefinitely due to a cervical spine injury. His status will be re-evaluated in late February. Defenseman TJ Brodie has been placed on injured reserve (oblique injury). With both down, the Leafs have recalled defensemen Mac Hollowell and Pontus Holmberg from the Toronto Marlies.

Mike Stephens of The Hockey News writes, “Entirely possible we’ve seen the last of Jake Muzzin in the NHL. Would be a massive shame. What a good dude and beloved player.” Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff writes, “With Muzzin on LTIR, Toronto will have an opportunity to add to their roster, if they’re expecting him to be out for the season.” Chris Johnston of TSN writes, “His $5.625M cap hit can be used to make roster additions if Muzzin won’t return before the end of the regular season.”

The Leafs will need blue-line help, but there are also rumors potentially linking them to Ryan O’Reilly out of St. Louis.

Vladimir Tarasenko or Patrick Kane to the Oilers?

TSN’s Mike Johnson discussed some of the high-end wingers that might be available in trade around the NHL and linked the Edmonton Oilers to a couple of them with the news that Evander Kane is out for three-to-four months. He wrote, “Well I’m going to go with what Pierre LeBrun just talked about. The Evander Kane injury opens up a massive hole for the Edmonton Oilers that they will need to fill.” He added, “And if you are willing to get creative, you can find a way to fit salary in there.”

Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Most people don’t think the Oilers will add anyone because they’ll need to keep the room open on the salary cap for when Kane returns. But, Johnston argues: “And even with Kane healthy, there was still a need for one more top-six forward in Edmonton. So whether it’s Patrick Kane or whether it’s Vladimir Tarasenko, I think they both could be very good fits on the Edmonton Oilers.”


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Johnston said to imagine what these two would look like finish the plays created by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. He said, “Especially, Tarasenko the way shoots it, and Patrick Kane can play with anybody. So I think both those guys would look pretty good in Edmonton.”

Authors Note: There’s no way either of these players is going to Edmonton unless 50% of the respective salaries is retained by the club and/or a third team gets involved to lower the cap hit even more. From there, the Oilers would have to be willing to give up significant assets to not only land the players as rentals but convince the teams to retain said salary.

Should the Canadiens Trade Josh Anderson?

Montreal Hockey Now’s Marc Dumont recently suggested the Canadiens would be smart to trade Josh Anderson. Arguing that Anderson may struggle to fit into the team’s new identity as a puck-focused and puck-control team, that deal should come sooner than later and while Anderson’s value is still high.

Related: Gretzky Made 3 Curious Observations About Current Oilers’ Roster

Marco D’Amico believes the Calgary Flames might be a good fit and cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman report on Saturday they are in the market for a scoring forward. TSN’s Salim Valji writes, “This is a player the Calgary Flames have, in the past, had very real, significant interest in, and I wonder if they re-visit Josh Anderson (salary retained by Montréal) as they search for more finishing up front.”

If Anderson is not a fit, perhaps a name like Mike Hoffman makes sense. His $4.5 million contract would be a little easier to fit into the Flames roster, even though that would still be a challenge.