NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders

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Welcome back to another Saturday’s worth of NHL Rumours from Last Word on Hockey. With the trade deadline under a month away now, teams are looking to make moves sooner rather than later in order to avoid quarantine restrictions. The rumour mill is churning faster than it ever has before in March. We’ve got you covered today with discussion surrounding ye olde Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, as well as the New York Islanders.

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Craig Button, on TSN’s That’s Hockey!, suggests New Jersey Devils winger Miles Wood as a potential trade deadline option for the Leafs.

NHL free agent frenzy

Analysis: As Toronto looks to supplement what is already some of the league’s best depth on the wing, new names are being thrown around almost daily. What makes Wood intriguing is clearly the physical aspect of his game. He’s a grittier winger, and Leafs fans are excited about what Wayne Simmonds has brought to the team so far.

But Wood is a legitimate third- and fourth-line option that comes with a bit of cost certainty as well, being signed through next season at $2.75 million. He’s put together three straight 10-goal seasons, including a 19-goal, 32-point campaign in 2017-18. As the 25-year-old, defensively responsible winger enters his prime, he could be a fit in Toronto playing with the likes of Zach Hyman, Alexander Kerfoot, and Ilya Mikheyev on the bottom-six.

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun mentions the Arizona Coyotes’ defenceman Alex Goligoski as a possible deadline add as Montreal looks to add an offensive threat.

Analysis: To say that Goligoski has fallen off a cliff this season would be an understatement. The seemingly dual-threat D-man has only two assists in 30 games this year. His defensive game is still strong, but, quite frankly, if this is the type of player Goligoski is now, an acquisition by Montreal makes no sense.

However, at this point in his career, Goligoski still has a 30-point-pace upside. One bad stretch in a pandemic-laced season does not a career or player make. But still, is what he’s shown this season enough to make the Habs interested in his services? He certainly wouldn’t be a power-play option for them, not with those numbers. He could easily make sense as a depth acquisition for a playoff run. But expecting Goligoski to play a major role with the Habs later this year is far from realistic.

New York Islanders

Rumour: On TSN’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun mentions Blue Jackets winger Nick Foligno has a potential name of interest for the Islanders after Anders Lee‘s injury.

Analysis: The Islanders have become bigger players at the deadline in recent years. After last year’s overtly successful Jean-Gabriel Pageau deal, they could make a similar trade this year. 2021’s potential acquisition comes more out of necessity, however. They need scoring, and they need it soon. Anders Lee’s absence leaves a gaping hole in the team’s top-six forward core.

Foligno wouldn’t be the flashiest acquisition, but he might be the best-suited one. His two-way, defensively sound style meshes extremely well with Barry Trotz’s game plan. Foligno still has 40-point upside and could play a valuable middle-six role. He could even rebound if given a shot playing with Mathew Barzal. He hasn’t been able to play with talent like that recently in Columbus. Now 33 years old, the former All-Star could theoretically boost the Islanders’ Cup chances. Whether the Blue Jackets end up selling is another question entirely, but it’s a path worth exploring for the Island faithful.

That’s it for NHL rumours this go around, be sure to look for more rumours going forward.

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