NHL Rumors: Rangers, Canucks, Maple Leafs, Bruins

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, one source says the play of certain forwards with the New York Rangers may change the team’s decision to get in the running for Patrick Kane ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

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Meanwhile, is Conor Garland in the dog house with the Vancouver Canucks? Would the Toronto Maple Leafs consider trading Nick Robertson for Jakob Chychrun? Finally, who else is in on the Chychrun trade talk?

Could Rangers Drop Out of Patrick Kane Race?

Larry Brooks of the NY Post has linked the Rangers to Patrick Kane for months, but for the first time, he’s second guessing the team’s potential desire to go after Kane, based solely on the paly of Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere. Brooks writes, “Wouldn’t it be grand if general manager Chris Drury could enter the deadline in a position of strength without being obligated to move either or both of his 2023 first-rounders or any of the young blue-chippers within the organization?”

Kaapo Kakko New York Rangers
Kaapo Kakko, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The trade deadline is five months away but if the Rangers drop out of the running for Kane, it dramatically changes the optics of what a trade deadline deal might look like. To a lot of insiders, the Rangers were the favorites to acquire him.

What’s Up With Conor Garland in Vancouver?

After being a healthy scratch, there are questions in Vancouver when it comes to Conor Garland. The Canucks are a team that has been connected to defenseman Ethan Bear out of Carolina and if Garland is on the outs with the Canucks, could there potentially be a deal there? There is a difference in salary, so that would need to be figured into the equation.

The Hurricanes are said to need scoring for the playoffs, while the Canucks need a defenseman. For now, Garland being scratched is just a message being sent by the coach, says Darren Dreger on the Sekeres and Price show. Dreger doesn’t see Garland fitting with Bruce Boudreau, so it will be intriguing to see how outlasts the other since Boudreau is already said to be on the hot seat as far as coaches go.

Already Suggestions of a Robertson Trade in Toronto

Leave it to members of the Toronto Maple Leafs to quickly put a damper on the buzz created by Nick Robertson. Michael Traikos of The Toronto Sun is already suggesting the Leafs look to trade Robertson for Jakob Chychrun out of Arizona. Suggesting the team doesn’t need another top-six forward, the Leafs should focus on bolstering their blueline and Chychrun would do that.

Nick Robertson Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Robertson, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Traikos highlights the fact Chychrun is only 24 and carries an affordable $4.6 million cap hit through 2024-25. The scribe suggested the Leafs offer up a package of Robertson and their 2023 first-round pick as part of a deal.

Related: Oilers and Canadiens Make Sense as Potential Trade Partners

Traikos adds:

If Muzzin is coming back at some point this season, then you cannot deal for Chychrun without also having to give back a similar salary. Muzzin has a no-trade clause, so that would mean having to part ways with Alex Kerfoot ($3.5-million) in addition to whatever picks or prospects that the Coyotes want. But if Muzzin is done for the year — and based on his concussion history and the ominous comments from his teammates regarding his future — putting him on long-term injury reserve could free up $5.625-million in cap space. 

source – ‘TRAIKOS: Why the time has never been better to trade Maple Leafs’ Nick Robertson’ – Michael Traikos – Toronto Sun – 10/21/2022

Bruins Also Interested in Chychrun

Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now writes that he called around to see if the Boston Bruins also had interest in Chychrun and he believes they do, if the price is right. One executive told him, “I think depending on their health in the coming weeks or months, [Matt] Grzelcyk or [Brandon] Carlo could be in play for a guy like Chychrun.”

Interestingly, one NHL scout said that he heard heading into the season that the Bruins were looking for right-handed defensemen. Clearly, Chychrun is not that. Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin also didn’t have Boston listed in his last of top five possible landing spots for the defenseman. Instead, he had the Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and the Canucks.

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