NHL Rumours: New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Rumours; Fantasy Hockey Analysis
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Welcome back to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! The NHL season continues to roll on. Even though some teams are dealing with COVID, which was to be expected, games are still happening. With each passing game teams are understanding what their needs will be so they can add a piece or two down the road. Or even now in some cases as certain teams deal with injuries. The crew at Last Word on Hockey has you covered with the best analysis. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours looks at the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

NHL Rumours

New Jersey Devils

Rumour: Elliotte Friedman reported during his 31 Thoughts Podcast that the New Jersey Devils will not allow the Pittsburgh Penguins to interview for their open general manager’s position.

NHL free agent frenzy

Analysis: The whole situation between the Devils and Fitzgerald is very interesting, to say the least. According to Friedman, he has a long-term deal with the Devils. The organization sees Fitzgerald as a big part of its future. However, he only has a one-year deal with the Devils to be their general manager. Which is a little concerning considering all the work he did at the trade deadline and in the off-season to improve the Devils. Many people around the league wondering why a guy like Fitzgerald is only on a one-year deal. Because if the Devils were to have given permission, Fitzgerald would be an instant candidate to get the Penguins job. There is no doubt about that. And it is not to say the Devils won’t give permission down the road. But if they did for some reason, somebody would scoop him up right away.

As for the Devils situation, it is a strange one indeed. Many thought Fitzgerald should be in line for at least a two or three-year contract as general manager. However, that is not the case and many are wondering why the team did not take care of him. Fitzgerald has rebuilt the prospect pool. The trades alone last season netted the team an additional first-round pick. He made a couple of smart trades in the offseason to get the team younger.

But this whole thing could revolve around the Devils ownership situation too. Neither Josh Harris nor David Blitzer is on the same page on the direction the team is taking. So that could play a factor. Another factor is are they grooming someone else for the job. Say like a guy like Martin Brodeur. And where does John Chayka fit into all of this? It is a very strange situation one to keep an eye on in the near future.

New York Rangers

Rumour: According to New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton and his agent Pat Brisson that Tony DeAngelo has played his final as a Ranger after being placed on waivers on Sunday and clearing on Monday. 

Analysis: The Rangers have a problem on their hands with DeAngelo. His antics off the ice got to a boiling point and his play on the ice declined after signing a new contract in the off-season. Therefore, the Rangers chose to cut bait. After clearing waivers on Monday, DeAngelo was assigned to the taxi squad. The organization told him not to be around the team. This has put the team in an awkward spot as they try to figure out what to do with the player. The only option on the table right now is to trade him. And the team is looking to trade DeAngelo to teams that have an interest in him. And teams are always looking for defenceman. Especially one who put up 53 points a year ago.

The question will be, does a team want to take on that type of baggage? His agent on the other hand, believes a deal could be on the horizon real soon. That is a lofty goal considering all the reports that are out there surrounding DeAngelo. As we have seen recently especially with the trade happening last weekend, teams will always find a way to get a deal done. And for teams that want to take on DeAngelo, they may want the Rangers to retain some of DeAngelo’s salary.

But if DeAngelo does get traded he will be going to his fourth team. So that says a lot about the player and who he is off the ice. The new team acquiring may take some time before they pull the trigger, though the Rangers are looking to move him ASAP. However long this takes one thing is for sure, Tony DeAngelo has played his last game as a New York Ranger.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: In his most recent mailbag, James Mirtle of The Athletic was asked about the Toronto Maple Leafs adding depth to their roster more specifically a top-six forward 

Analysis: With the Maple Leafs dealing with injuries to their forward group as Joe Thornton and Nicholas Robertson remain out of the lineup, the team will be looking to add depth. Right now, as Mirtle points out, the team is playing fine even without them in the lineup. And probably could survive until they get healthy. As he mentions, the idea of trading Travis Dermott for a forward is probably not the best idea. Considering he is a cheap asset and the Maple Leafs need to have as much help as possible at that position.

The question will remain for the Maple Leafs, what will their cap look like once the trade deadline rolls? Mirtle mentions players like Cedric Paquette, Derick Brassard, and Matt Nieto. He also mentions a guy like Bobby Ryan who is off to a hot start with the Detroit Red Wings. However, again these are all great options, but the border will play a factor. And if that 14-day quarantine rule is not changed, the Maple Leafs will be without that player in the lineup between five to six games. Then again, the Maple Leafs may just stick with the same lineup with Travis Boyd and Pierre Engvall, considering they are winning. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And that is the best route for the Maple Leafs at this point.

That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours. Stay tuned for another edition of NHL Rumours on Wednesday.

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