In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are some who look closely at the Calgary Flames organization and wonder if it’s time to consider trading one of their best forwards. In Toronto, there is still buzz surrounding Tyson Barrie but some are contending this is not the time to make a move. Finally, are the Edmonton Oilers ready to make a few subtle swaps throughout their lineup to get better results?
Time to Trade Gaudreau?
Darren Haynes was gusty enough to pose the question in a recent article for The Athletic, ‘Is it time for the Flames to consider trading Johnny Gaudreau?’ His answer was definitely a maybe.
While Haynes points out some significant differences, he compares eras of the Flames organization — that of Jarome Iginla and now Gaudreau — where the Flames need to avoid getting nothing significant back for one of their most valuable pieces. Haynes writes:
It feels like something of significance has to happen with this club soon to change the core… shake up an underperforming group and also salvage this season. Perhaps the place to start is the guy who is struggling the most, yet would also command a significant return. Yes, perhaps it’s time for general manager Brad Treliving to explore trade possibilities for Gaudreau — one of his most lucrative assets — and not necessarily for futures either. Think: an old-fashioned hockey trade. Two teams changing their mix.source – ‘Is it time for the Flames to consider trading Johnny Gaudreau?’ – Darren Haynes – The Athletic – 11/18/2019
The scribe goes so far as to suggest the Flames should make a move now versus later in the season which would give the team acquiring him a cap-friendly player for nearly three seasons. With how bad things have gone in Calgary lately, he also suggests the fans wouldn’t riot over trading their best player.
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Update on Tyson Barrie
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet doesn’t believe this is the time for the Toronto Maple Leafs to trade Tyson Barrie. While teams might be inquiring about the offensive defenseman who is struggling to get going in Toronto, there are multiple reasons not to move him.
First, a pending free agent who’s value is at an all-time low, the Maple Leafs won’t get what they want in return. So too, with him only taking up $2.75 million in cap space, the Maple Leafs can’t really make much of a dent with that kind of money, at least not enough to turn their troubles around.
For now, the belief is that it’s best to find in-house ways to get Barrie out of his funk.
Oilers Interested in Pageau?
Edmonton Oilers reporter Jim Matheson tweeted on Sunday that the Oilers are still looking for a third-line center. Riley Sheahan is ideal for a fourth-line role (he’s yet to score for the Oilers) and it doesn’t appear the team has plans to split Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins down the middle as they want to keep Draisaitl on McDavid’s line.
For now, the search for No. 3 offensive C is still ongoing for Ken Holland too. And yes, like everybody else in the league, they’re wondering about Ottawa’s speedy UFA J.G. Pageau and what it would take to get him.
Sticking with the Oilers, Jonathan Willis of The Athletic writes that Alex Chiasson might get some additional looks on the power play over James Neal. He writes that with Chiasson:
” James Neal won a top power play gig early in the year when Alex Chiasson was out, but we’ve seen Chiasson get more regular looks lately. There’s a reason for that: over the last 10 games, the Oilers have had five power play goals in his 17 minutes of ice time, and just four in Neal’s 29.”source – ’15 thoughts on Oilers: Leon Draisaitl’s supercharged year, Connor McDavid’s power play and the goalie dilemma’ – Jonathan Willis – The Athletic – 11/19/2019
Neal has still been fantastic for the Oilers, but his goal-scoring pace has dropped and he’s on track to score 23 over the season. Ironically, it’s not that Chiasson is scoring that’s earning him these opportunities. Belief is that his presence alone on the man-advantage has improved the Oilers power play.