We’re closing in on the start of the month of April and the NHL rumours are heating up even more. Canada’s loosening of quarantine regulations may spur more trade activity for the April 12th deadline. Teams are loading up for a Stanley Cup playoffs or looking ahead to the off-season. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche.
All NHL rumours are take from the original source and subject to change.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said that Carolina Hurricanes expressed interest in Canucks defenceman Travis Hamonic.
Analysis: The St. Maio, Manitoba native prefers to stay in Western Canada and has played mostly for Western Canadians teams since 2017-18. He has a no-trade clause and won’t waive it according to Friedman. The 30-year-old is a right-handed shot and the Hurricanes are the market to add a player with his skillset. However, Hamonic is going to stay with Vancouver.
Carolina is making a push to win the Central Division and adding Hamonic would be a boost. However, they’ll have to worry about a very deep Tampa Bay Lightning team looking to repeat. The teams are slated to play two more times and the fate of the division may be at stake.
Carolina has a decent defence, but adding someone like a Hamonic makes them more complete. Having veteran goalies like Petr Mrazek and James Reimer gives them some extra chips to make a deal happen with the emergence of Alex Nedeljkovic.
Rumour: Canucks writers Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal of The Atheltic speculate that they could take advantage of the trade market before the Seattle Kraken expansion draft.
Expansion targets week with @ThomasDrance
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— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) March 27, 2021
Analysis: Teams can protect seven forwards, three defencemen and a goalie or any combination of eight skaters and a goalie. Vancouver is having problems with depth forwards and the claiming of almost anyone the Toronto Maple Leafs on waivers proves that.
However, the lack of depth may play into general manager Jim Benning‘s hands. The Canucks can trade for some forwards to take advantage of some teams glut of talented players. Vancouver really only has Bo Horvat, J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser as players it needs to protect. Young forward Nils Hoglander is also exempt from the draft.
Names such as St. Louis Blues forwards Zach Sanford and Sammy Blais were at the top of the list. The Blues will have some hard choices on who to protect and the duo could be on the odd ones out. Tampa Bay forward Mathieu Joseph is on the wish list as the team is wanting to keep their vaunted blueline group together.
Names like Zach Ashton-Reese, Warren Foegele, Jake Evans and Sonny Milano were also on the list of possible names. Vancouver may be in a position to get a couple of names if they can make some salary-cap space.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Peter Baugh looks into Colorado’s backup goalie situation.
The #Avs big tilt with Vegas is an hour away. So get caught up before puck drop. We examine the bottom six success, what Avs players have award cases and the backup goalie situation: https://t.co/eVgf4rewWi
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) March 27, 2021
Analysis: Colorado did pick up Jonas Johansson from the Buffalo Sabres, but he’s been less than impressive this season. Pavel Francouz was slated to be the backup behind a red-hot Philipp Grubauer but has been injured for most of the season. General manager Joe Sakic doesn’t know if or when Francouz will be back for the club. Colorado doesn’t know if they’ll stick with Johansson or if they’ll seek out a rental at the trade deadline.
The Avalanche can use Francouz’s salary cap hit if he’s ruled out for the rest of the season. Options like Jonathan Bernier and Devan Dubnyk are tantalizing trade candidates because they are on expiring contracts. Bernier carries a $3 million hit while Dubnyk makes $2.166 million and would fit in nicely under the number.
Getting a rental goalie is also beneficial as Cale Makar becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Brandon Saad, Gabriel Landeskog and Grubauer will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Colorado would do well to try to sign all three of those players who have been vital to its success.