NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets

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Welcome back to another edition of NHL Rumours from Last Word on Hockey. We take a look at the latest NHL Rumours and provide analysis on each one. Today we have NHL Rumours from the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, and the Winnipeg Jets.

All NHL Rumours are taken from their original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: Marc Dumont of The Athletic was quoted in a recent article by Adam Vingan (subscription needed) stating scenarios where the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators could make a swap of big contracts by sending Karl Alzner to Nashville in exchange for Kyle Turris

Analysis: An Alzner for Turris swap could certainly work for both teams, however, seems unlikely at this point. As Dumont states, the Canadiens do not desperately need a centreman as much as they did in previous years. Especially not a depth one like Turris. However, Alzner is rotting away in the AHL at this point so why not pick up someone they can actually use?

Turris had a down year last season in Nashville but could bounce back and provide some offence for the Canadiens. Turris has five more years left on his contract with an AAV of $6 million which is a hefty price to pay when you could Alzner only has three years left on his deal. Alzner’s contract still might be too steep for the Predators to take on. However, if the Habs were to retain salary on the deal and the Predators threw in a sweetener, they just might be able to make it work.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Tyson Barrie is reportedly seeking $8 million per year on his next deal and Sportsnet’s Luke Fox believes the Leafs may be willing to pay it.

Analysis: Hard to believe that the Leafs would even be able to afford this given the cap issues they’re having at the moment. However, how do you let a player of Barrie’s caliber go after just acquiring him? It’s hard to believe Leafs GM Kyle Dubas is rental hunting in July and with the state of the Leafs defence going into next off-season, there is a very high chance the Leafs do, in fact, lock up Barrie.

The Leafs currently only have one defenceman under contract for next season and that is Morgan Rielly. It is possible Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren will be ready to step into the line up so the Leafs will need to decide who they want to keep between Jake Muzzin, Cody Ceci and Tyson Barrie. Barrie will obviously command the most, but with good reason.  Barrie finished seventh amongst defencemen in scoring this past season with 59 points in 78 games. 25 of which came on the power play. He also had eight points in 12 playoff games. With the need for right shot defencemen, Barrie makes the most sense to keep with the team moving forward.

New Jersey Devils

Rumour: In an article posted on TSN.ca, they took a look at the Taylor Hall situation in New Jersey and belief is it is going to be hard to convince him to stay.

Analysis: Ray Shero has been busy this off-season trying to better his club in hopes of turning his team into a Stanley Cup contender and Hall definitely appreciates the work. Hall sent a text of approval to his GM after he completed the trade for defenceman P.K. Subban. The Devils also won the draft lottery to earn the rights to select top prospect Jack Hughes, as well as sign Wayne Simmonds.

However, Hall has made it very clear that he wants to be a Stanley Cup Contender each and every season. He has been frustrated with the way things have gone over his career as he has only won one playoff game over his nine-year career. There comes a time when you have to take a step back and look at all options to decide what is best for yourself moving forward. Unless the Devils can take a huge step forward this season, it sounds like Hall is going to test the free agency waters next summer. This will present another obstacle for Shero, as he cannot afford to lose Hall while getting nothing in return. He will need to make the decision whether to trade him or not before next year’s trade deadline. This will be one of the more interesting stories to follow as the season goes on.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press states that the Winnipeg Jets should be targeting Julius Honka and Jesse Puljujarvi if both players are indeed on the trade market.


NHL Rumours: On Honka

The Jets have already lost three of their top six defencemen from last season and need to address the right side badly. Julius Honka would be completely worth taking a chance on. The former first-round pick has 87 games of NHL experience but has not been able to hold a steady top-six role with the Dallas Stars. He could be a buy-low candidate for the Jets who could slot into an everyday role for the Jets and get a fresh start to try to jumpstart his career. At only 23, Honka still has a ton of time to find his game so he would be the perfect trade target for the Jets.

NHL Rumours: On Puljujarvi

Puljujarvi, on the other hand, would most likely cost a bit more. New Oilers GM Ken Holland is not just going to trade Puljujarvi for the sake of trading him and he is still a young promising prospect. However, Puljujarvi has expressed his interest in wanting a trade out of Edmonton. The two teams may be able to make a swap of young players as Jack Roslovic has also stated he was unhappy with his role in Winnipeg. The two teams could make a trade involving both these young assets.

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