Welcome back to NHL Rumours! We’re rapidly approaching the deadline, and teams are starting to fall into place in the standings. As we approach April 12th, teams will be shipping players left and right. Make sure to keep your eyes on Last Word on Hockey to get all the news and updates.
Rumour: In his recent appearance on SN650, Elliotte Friedman went against one of the most popular NHL rumours in the current sphere by saying that he doesn’t expect the Nashville Predators to move Mattias Ekholm.
Analysis: This is… surprising. Ekholm’s name has been the embodiment of NHL rumours for months now. He’s currently sat on top of TSN’s Trade Bait list and fanbases around the league have envisioned what it would take to bring him in. This includes plenty of Montreal Canadiens fans who are desperate for an added boost on defence. Ekholm’s removal from trade rumours could be a step back for the Canadiens. He just makes too much sense on that team.
But, at the same time, Ekholm is a great player. And on top of that, he has another full-season on an incredibly cheap deal. Ekholm’s current cap hit is only $3.75 million. That’s an amazing price for the impact that Ekholm brings. He currently has 15 points through 30 games, wearing the “A” for the Predators organization. Ekholm is a great player in a leadership role, at a cheap price. Any team would’ve been lucky to reel the defenceman in.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Luke Fox recently broke down the trade options available for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who he says will likely be in the market for a goalie after Frederik Andersen’s injury.
There's a chance injuries in net force the Maple Leafs to go goalie shopping ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 30, 2021
Analysis: It’s no surprise that the Leafs are more-and-more engaged in goalie-talks. Frederik Andersen is hurt, Jack Campbell is injury-prone, and Michael Hutchinson is Leafs-infamous. On top of it all, Andersen hasn’t really been that good. His statistics leave a lot to be desired. He’s looked a bit out-of-place, far from the star-studded goalie that Leafs fans once knew.
That is far from desirable. While Jack Campbell has taken the reigns over in stride, he’s not entirely ready to carry the full-weight of the best team in the NHL. Acquiring a goalie could be the key to putting Toronto above every other team in the league. Among the names Fox mentions were Linus Ullmark, Jonathan Bernier, and Leafs-legend James Reimer.
Rumour: Insider Trading broke down many different topics in their latest addition, including the struggling Philadelphia Flyers goaltending and how the team might search out a new name to fill the void.
INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
– Flyers pondering goaltending help
– Hall’s status, Eichel injury update
– FLA looks to fill void left by Ekblad
– Why Seattle’s getting calls before deadline
– Latest on Canucks, Demko, Pearson
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) March 30, 2021
Analysis: The Flyers goaltending has been really, really bad. The team’s defence hasn’t bred much success but, even then, Carter Hart has disappointed tremendously. With the ever-iffy Brian Elliott in the backup role, it’s hard for the Flyers to feel truly comfortable right now.
With that in mind… a goaltending deal makes a lot of sense. The Flyers have had their fair share of struggles this year but their team is still largely reminiscent of the group that found plenty of success last season. A new goaltender in net could rekindle the spark for the Flyers. It could also create an environment of competition for the struggling Hart; bringing him back to life. With names like Bernier, Reimer, and Ullmark potentially being available, there might not be any excuse for the Flyers to dodge a goalie deal.