Welcome to today’s NHL rumours. November is underway and the news doesn’t stop. Last Word on Hockey remains committed to bringing you the best analysis in the business. Today’s NHL rumours feature the Boston Bruins, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers and New York Islanders.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period recalls a discussion from last year between the Bruins and Los Angeles Kings regarding Tyler Toffoli.
Kings and Bruins discussed a Toffoli trade last season leading up to the trade deadline. Certainly possible they revisit those talks again this season https://t.co/h0AD274GnU
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) November 5, 2019
Analysis: Neither side should shy away from this scenario. While Boston has one of the most incredible top lines in the NHL for the moment, their bottom-nine has been anemic when it comes to scoring. Meanwhile, the Kings are terrible and would benefit from moving their fourth-leading scorer for draft picks and/or prospects.
If this trade happens, Boston would have to part with something of reasonable value because of their lack of cap space. Boston has a full roster only because of injured reserve and the use of players on entry-level deals. LA could potentially ask for a player such as Jake DeBrusk. He would fit nicely into their group of developing young players without costing too much money. Also, Boston needs to consider they are in the middle of their championship window; Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask are all in their 30s and would like to win now. The 27-year-old Toffoli would bolster Boston’s scoring depth without costing too much; he has a cap hit of $4.6 million and has three goals and seven points for the Kings in 14 games.
One final consideration when looking at Toffoli to Boston is how much money the Bruins will need to sign star defender Torey Krug to a new deal. The 28-year-old will be a free agent after this year and will want a raise. His current cap hit is $5.25 million for this year. Krug has two goals and 11 points through Boston’s first 14 games. This is a great start for a player seeking his fifth straight 40-point season.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman breaks down some of the turmoil surrounding the Jets and Dustin Byfuglien, who remains on leave for personal reasons. The situation is potentially heading to arbitration.
31 Thoughts: https://t.co/r7PB18fgnS
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 5, 2019
Analysis: There has never been a situation like Byfuglien’s in recent NHL history, if ever. The NHL is in uncharted territory as they are potentially going to argue the Jets defenceman was pronounced healthy at the end of the playoffs and is now disputing that declaration. The team and NHL are, at least, going to defend the evaluating process for determining player health.
All that aside, it’s unclear whether or not Winnipeg actually needs him should both sides want him on the team. The Jets are good but not great and are surviving largely on their star players while not giving up the fewest power play opportunities. Their defence has definitely struggled but has two effective options in Josh Morrissey and Neal Pionk. Those two each have nine points through Winnipeg’s first 15 games and Pionk has 30 hits on top of the scoring. The team has also determined that 2019 draft selection Ville Heinola is closer to NHL-ready assuming they want to burn the first year of his contract. The Jets would surely like to have their veteran blue line option but if the relationship is beyond repair, the team has options to move forward.
New York Islanders
Rumour: TSN briefly reviews where things currently stand between the Islanders and their unhappy forward, Joshua Ho-Sang.
— 𝕀𝕤𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣 𝕄𝕒𝕟𝕚𝕒 (@islandermania) November 5, 2019
Analysis: It is rather impressive that the Islanders have kept Ho-Sang in the organization this long. He clearly does not want to be with New York anymore after requesting a trade back in October. The team is taking its time organizing a trade while also seeing if their winning ways don’t sway the young forward to stick around. Winning solves everything up to a point.
Should New York find a partner, some will see it as a failure to develop its first pick from the 2014 draft. Ho-Sang was taken 28th overall but has appeared in just 53 NHL games. He has seven goals and 24 points in that span. Those aren’t bad numbers but Ho-Sang has not demonstrated whatever New York apparently wants from its prospect. Despite his lack of success, there are still teams that could use a young wing including the Edmonton Oilers. The team will continue to find an acceptable trade partner while Ho-Sang trains on his own in Toronto.
There is one part of this hold-out that hurts Ho-Sang tremendously. He is losing ice time at either the NHL or AHL level that could be used to demonstrate his skills. Potential trade partners must rely on his production from AHL Bridgeport to determine the 23-year-old’s value.
New York Rangers
Rumour: The final NHL Rumour of the day comes from The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello. The Rangers’ beat reporter looks at how near the end of Marc Staal‘s time in New York is in light of recent buy-outs and veteran departures.
— Rick Carpiniello (@RickCarpiniello) November 1, 2019
Analysis: Marc Staal certainly isn’t part of New York’s permanent future. The team has been very aggressive in acquiring young talent in recent years. That effort has turned into a nice core of young defenders. Jacob Trouba, Anthony DeAngelo, and Adam Fox are just a few of the options the Rangers have that could push Staal out. The 32-year-old has one more year on his contract after 2019-20 and has a cap hit of $5.7 million. That is money that could go towards a prime free agent like Taylor Hall.
However, New York could benefit from keeping Staal as its defence is not particularly good. The goaltending has been below average but New York has only two players with Corsi For percentages above 50%. Staal’s career mark in that area is 48.1%. However, his start to this year is the worst of his career. New York will move on from Staal eventually but will sacrifice some grit at the same time.
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – FEBRUARY 05: Tyler Toffoli #73 of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 05, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. The Kings defeated the Devils 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)