NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins

Maple Leafs Losing Streak; NHL Rumours

We’re just one week away from the trade deadline and the NHL Rumours are picking up more steam. Decision day is coming very soon and teams will have to decide their next course of action. The added element of the seven-day quarantine will also play a factor. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Pittsburgh Penguins.

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

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman told Sportsnet 590 that the Leafs will make a decision on pursuing a goalie sometime during the week.

Analysis: There’s still plenty of uncertainty regarding Frederik Andersen‘s status. Luckily Jack Campbell has won his first eight starts going into Sunday night’s game with the Calgary Flames. However, it’s a big ask of a younger netminder to shoulder the weight of the giant expectations surrounding the Stanley Cup starved Maple Leafs.

Toronto is right up against the cap per usual and really doesn’t want to shore up that position unless they absolutely have to make a deal. General manager Kyle Dubas knows what he can work with and he’ll try to maximize every dollar he can. The Leafs would like to add some more forwards or depth at the blueline before getting a goalie.

However, the nagging Andersen question may force Toronto’s hand. Campbell may be the goalie of the future, but the Leafs are consumed with the present. Andersen does provide post-season experience despite not having a lot of success with the team.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun went over the Jets options of adding defence at the deadline.

Analysis: Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is no stranger to making deals at the deadline to cover for injuries. He did this last season in trading for the now-injured Nathan Beaulieu. However, the Winnipeg GM said that resources and cap space are finite this season.

The oft-speculated name is Mattias Ekholm of the Nashville Predators, but the team’s recent run might alter plans. Sources did tell LeBrun that Nashville is willing to listen to offers up until the deadline. LeBrun also mentioned David Savard and Josh Manson as possible names.

Cheveldayoff also acknowledges the Seattle Kraken expansion draft will likely affect the team’s plans. A long-term solution like an Ekholm may force someone like Logan Stanley, Dylan DeMelo and possibly Tucker Poolman to be exposed in the draft. Poolman is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season but has been solid.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Rumour: Tom Guliti of NHL.com reports the Penguins are in the market for a centre after the injuries to Evgeni Malkin and Teddy Blueger.

Analysis: Brian Burke added that the team would also like to get tougher down the middle at the deadline. It’s not usually the Penguins style, but Burke and new general manager Ron Hextall want to add a little muscle. Burke’s old Anaheim Ducks clubs had a little bit of a nasty streak to them and it could be useful in a playoff series against the New York Islanders or the Washington Capitals.

Pittsburgh has gotten some help from Jared McCann and Frederick Gaudreau in recent games. However, the Pens did admit to looking around for added pivots. The Penguins’ second-round pick this year is off-limits after the Jason Zucker trade last year sent their first-rounder to the Minnesota Wild.

Pittsburgh does have a decent number of left-handed defenders, but Burke was hesitant to chip into his defensive depth for a forward. The Penguins are still in the mix for first in the East Division despite all of the injuries.

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