NHL Rumours: Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers

nhl rumours

Welcome back to another edition of NHL Rumours from the crew at Last Word On Hockey. We’re now into the month of February and teams are already starting to look to at improving their rosters or start selling. With a compressed schedule, as well as the COVID-19 restrictions, teams will be looking to make moves even earlier as these early games could make or break a team’s season. In today’s NHL Rumours segment, we will look at rumours surround the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers.

All NHL rumours come from their original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Pittsburgh Penguins

Rumour: In his latest 31 Thoughts article, Elliotte Friedman states that the Penguins have inquired about Montreal Canadiens defenceman Victor Mete as well as Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Travis Dermott.

Analysis: Friedman goes on to say that basically, if you’re a defenceman, Pittsburgh has asked about you. Given the state of the Penguins’ defence, that should come as no surprise. The blueline has been hit with the injury bug as the club is currently without Marcus Pettersson, Mike Matheson and most recently Kris Letang. The Penguins recently brought in Yannick Weber on a one year, $700,000 deal to help fill the void, however, the team still needs more. With the recent injuries, there just isn’t enough depth in the Penguins organization to hold the fort. So to have them looking into two players who have been in and out of their respective club’s lineups is doing their due diligence.

However, the trades are complicated. Both teams value each player immensely. Despite them not being everyday players. So they are in no rush to move them. They also hold all the power as both of them are restricted free agents at the end of the season. There is literally no reason for either the Canadiens or Leafs to move the player just for the sake of moving them. They are both also effective players so they can plug them into the lineup any given night. Having depth on defence is never a bad thing. So if either of them is moved, you can expect a solid return for either player.

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New York Rangers

Rumour: Darren Dreger stated on the most recent edition of Insider Trading that there has been a lot of interest from teams looking to acquire Anthony DeAngelo.

Analysis: Unlike the first rumour, this one is rather surprising. Yes, DeAngelo is a solid hockey player. He torched the league last season putting up 15 goals and 53 points in 68 games, smashing his previous best of 30 points. However, DeAngelo has a ton of baggage. While we may never know the whole story about what happened between DeAngelo and Alexandar Georgiev, the fact is the team sent DeAngelo home and will never play for the Rangers again. That speaks for itself. Especially after the season he just had and the club just re-signing him to a two-year deal worth $9.6 million. To the Rangers, the skill level the player brings to the team on the ice clearly doesn’t outweigh his antics off the ice. Which should raise red-flags everywhere.

The issue for the Rangers when it comes to dealing with DeAngelo is they are not in a position of power. They’ve made it clear they want this player gone. So they are asking a team to take away their problem. This doesn’t bode well for their trade value. The return they would get for DeAngelo will most likely be peanuts. As well, they’re definitely going to have to eat some salary. Maybe even 50 percent of it for the next two seasons. However, with the message they’ve sent DeAngelo, it doesn’t seem like that bothers them too much. They just want him gone. This is why it’s so surprising to hear that so many teams are interested in his services.

Florida Panthers

Rumour: Another hit from 31 Thoughts. Friedman mentions that Brett Connolly is one name people should be watching on the trade market.

Analysis: Connolly has been a healthy scratch during the last two games. While the Panthers have been rolling as the team has yet to lose in regulation this season. As Friedman states, he wouldn’t be surprised to see a contender jump in here and take a shot at the 28-year old winger.

Connolly has proven to be an effective player over the course of his career. He may not have lived up to his sixth overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, however, he’s a solid depth player who can provide some offensive punch. Connolly played outstanding for the Washington Capitals during their 2018 Stanley Cup run. He’s capable of providing a team with double-digit goal totals and has even hit the 20 goal plateau in each of the last two seasons(19 last season, however, the season was cut short). Any team looking for a solid depth scoring option will certainly be calling for Connolly’s services.

One team to watch here would be the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs are certainly a team who would like to add some depth at forward. They are thought of by most as the Cup favourites this season. They are also sitting in a great position in terms of salary cap so they are a team who would certainly be able to easily facilitate a trade for the winger. Adding Connolly to an already strong Avalanche roster would certainly increase their chances of winning the Stanley Cup this season.

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