We’re less than a week away from the trade deadline and the NHL rumours are multiplying. Teams have to decide what they will do at the deadline and in a hurry. There will likely be more buyers, but that hopefully won’t stop the deals. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks and Buffalo Sabres.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Pierre LeBrun looked at what Leafs general manger Kyle Dubas might do at the deadline.
The first-place Maple Leafs have done something for their GM: they've taken the pressure off having to absolutely make a trade before Monday's deadline. Still, Kyle Dubas will probably still act.
My chat with Leafs GM ahead of the deadline:https://t.co/dk0z0V9bug
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 6, 2021
Analysis: The main priority LeBrun gathered from the interview was a top-nine forward that can move up and down the lineup. A forward that brings post-season intangibles and has a little bit of edge to their game. An experienced player that can fit into the locker room would be a bonus.
The goalie position was looked at less of a priority, but the Leafs could be fine rolling with Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell and Michael Hutchinson as their trio. Media speculation and uncertainty about Andersen’s health may be fueling the calls for insurance in net.
However, Toronto may not make a major deal due to their lead in the North Division. The Leafs are up against the salary cap and could be hard-pressed to make a move without giving up a vital future piece.
Rumour: LeBrun was on TSN’s Insider Trading talking about the Ducks asking price for defenceman Josh Manson.
INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
– Hall trade talks picking up
– Blues open to selling pending UFAs
– Likely quiet deadline for Flames?
– Asking price for Manson
– Jets wait for sellers to surface
– Caps await Lundqvist decision
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) April 6, 2021
Analysis: The Ducks are really keen to keep Manson and have made his asking price huge. Anaheim general manager Bob Murray is at least asking for a first-rounder and a prospect for the defender.
It’s similar to what the Nashville Predators are asking for Mattias Ekholm. However, the Predators and general manager David Poile may wait on a deal because the team has played itself back into contention. Ekholm is the biggest name for left-handed shooting defencemen and would fetch a king’s ransom. Poile could restock a cupboard that he’s emptied in order to make a playoff run.
One wonders if Murray will lower the asking price for Manson to get some sort of asset. However, the team really wants to keep the coveted defenceman around as part of their plans.
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman speculated on what Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams will do at the deadline.
Wanted something light at the top of 31 Thoughts today. Enjoy!https://t.co/sUR4DtIOnE
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 6, 2021
Analysis: Adams is playing out all the scenarios big and small according to Friedman. The first-year GM is listening to offers on Jack Eichel to get a lay of the land. Buffalo has multiple scenarios on its future based on if Eichel is there or not.
Taylor Hall is out of the lineup for the foreseeable future until Buffalo finds a suitor. It’s similar to what the New Jersey Devils are doing with Palmieri in order to keep him healthy. Hall is the perfect rental since he was only on a one-year deal with the Sabres this season.
Adams knows there needs to be significant work done to the Sabres roster in order to jump-start another rebuild. However, trading someone like Eichel away would require a gargantuan package to part with the captain. Buffalo’s general manager realizes that this deadline is critical to get any positive momentum going.