Welcome back to today’s edition of Last Word On Hockey’s NHL Rumours. The NHL Trade Deadline is Monday and rumours are a dime a dozen. Today we’ll be giving a rundown about what could happen with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Analysis: It seems that the Leafs are tied to any defenseman’s name that is out there. Contradictory to LeBrun’s recent report that the Leafs were interested in him, Friedman denies it. It never made much sense for the Toronto Maple Leafs to be looking to acquire Ristolainen. At $5.4 million, Ristolainen is a bit out of the price range for the Leafs. The Leafs also do not have the assets to give up to Buffalo while not giving up a roster player.
While Ristolainen has term, which is something GM Kyle Dubas has made clear is something he is looking for, Ristolainen doesn’t seem like the type of player Dubas would be looking to acquire. He has not always been looked on favourably by advanced numbers, so the match just doesn’t seem to be right for either side in terms of want or assets available.
Rumour: Alexey Marchenko and Alexander Romanov could come to Montreal for the 2020-21 season.
There's a chance Alexander Romanov comes to Montreal with Alexei Marchenko next year. Would be great especially since Marchenko could help Romanov a lot knowing English and NHL systems #habs
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) February 20, 2020
Analysis: Alexei Marchenko hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2016-17 season with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. Since then, he has played exclusively with CSKA Moskow, along with Montreal Canadiens 2018 second-round pick Alexander Romanov. It seems that bringing over multiple players from Russia is always an incentive to get players to come over, like when the Leafs had Nikita Zaitsev to help influence Igor Ozhiganov.
If the Canadiens could get Marchenko he would help acclimatize Romanov to North America. Marchenko could also serve as a good sixth or seventh defenceman on the Canadiens. The Canadiens would also likely want Romanov over in their system rather than in Russia. For instance, if he were in their system they can oversee his development, ensure he gets playing time, and develop skills. Romanov had a great World Juniors, and the Canadiens being rebuilding would likely want to continue to make their team younger.
New York Islanders
Rumour: Ilya Sorokin met with Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello and is likely to come to the NHL next season. His deal will likely require full bonuses and a Euro clause.
Per @SFedotoF Ilya Sorokin's rights are gonna be traded to the Blackhawks soon. I'm hearing the opposite. Lou met Sorokin's agent. There're some requirements from Ilya's side, A and B bonuses and Euro clause. 99% chance Sorokin coming to the NHL next year #Isles #Blackhawks https://t.co/IZerE3JrLW
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) February 21, 2020
Analysis: Sorokin is currently playing in the KHL with CSKA Moskow. He is widely considered the best goalie outside of the NHL. The Islanders have a tandem of Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov, however, Greiss is set to expire come this off-season. This is likely an indicator that the Islanders are looking to move on from Greiss. The goalie is currently 34 years old.
Greiss is getting up there in age and had back-to-back good seasons in New York. He is likely looking for a raise from his current salary of $3,333,333 that the Islanders probably aren’t looking to pay. Sorokin can seemingly come in and already be a good backup for the Islanders, therefore, making losing Greiss acceptable.
That concludes today’s NHL rumours. Check back in tomorrow to keep up to date leading up to the deadline.
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