NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Henrik Lundqvist

NHL Rumours

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.

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: The Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan says that the Toronto Maple Leafs will be starting contract talks with Rodion Amirov soon.

Analysis: This news isn’t any sort of surprise. Amirov’s KHL postseason will be ending soon, so it’s about time he considers a move to Canada. But as some players have proven in the past, that move isn’t always the easiest thing to agree on. It can be kicked down the road. So to hear confidence about Amirov’s deal is certainly pleasing.

It’s also a relief. There has been a quiet pest around NHL rumours as of late, saying that the Leafs would be willing to deal a top prospect if it meant greater odds of success this year. That’s a great plan for most teams but it raised eyebrows of the fanbase because the Leafs are already so talented and so young. Dealing a top prospect for a short-term name might only serve to hurt the team in two-to-three years. But it seems at least Amirov is safe, at least per Koshan. The team will begin contract talks with him after the NHL Trade Deadline.

Buffalo Sabres

 Rumour: Chris Johnston has said that Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall would be willing to sign a contract extension with whoever he gets traded to.

Analysis: Well, if there was any more confusion around whether Hall would get moved, this seems to confirm it. He is open to signing an extension, which should only further increase his Trade Market value. It’s much easier to give up a large package for a player when you know you’re going to have him for longer than a few months.

But there’s still some surprise to this. Many expected Hall to use this Trade Deadline to sneak his way onto a Stanley Cup contender, like the Colorado Avalanche or Leafs, before fielding free agency again. He’s been persistent about his desire to play for a Cup-team and free agency would allow him the liberty of choosing who to go to. If he doesn’t get dealt to an ideal team, will he keep his word on the possibility of an extension?

Henrik Lundqvist

Rumour: Henrik Lundqvist‘s desire to return to playing was discussed on Insider Trading.

Analysis: Henrik Lundqvist underwent open-heart surgery in January. It was an Aortic Valve Replacement, a procedure that had been looming over Lundqvist’s career for years. January finally marked it’s peak, leaving many fans to think that his career may have been forced to an abrupt end. But, when Lundqvist posted a video only 47 days after his surgery of him on the ice taking shots, some began to speculate. Well, he has made sure to remove all speculation. Lundqvist fully plans to return to NHL hockey.

That’s… interesting. For sure. But it’s admirable at the least. Lundqvist will be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. There’s absolutely no arguing that. But he has made that case stronger-and-stronger every single day since his career started 16 years ago. His return to the NHL would be incredible. It would be an amazing feat and would only further etch Lundqvist into the history books.

If he does return, he will presumably do so with the Washington Capitals. The team signed Lundqvist to a one-year deal this off-season, before his surgery was announced. Some NHL rumours have gone as far as speculating whether Lundqvist could return this season, under his current contract with the Capitals.

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