Welcome back to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! Teams continue to like to make changes on the weekend, which is a benefit to the Last Word on Hockey. Things are continuing to heat off the ice as teams in contention are gaining players back from injury. This means salary cap gymnastics will come into play. While other teams are hoping the changes they make allow them to go on a run. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Dallas Stars.
Rumour: According to Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News, the Vancouver Canucks are interested in Marc Bergevin as their next general manager.
I’m hearing the Vancouver Canucks are very interested in Marc Bergevin for the now-open GM job
— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) December 6, 2021
Analysis: This should come as no surprise — Bergevin’s name is coming up for the open general manager job because of what he did in Montreal. Plus, Francesco Aquilini wants an established name to be the next general manager as he wants the structure for his hockey department. This would be a quick turnaround for Bergevin, as he was just fired last week from the same position with the Montreal Canadiens. Bergevin will be praised for bringing in some notable free agents. While his draft history is not the greatest, the Canadiens were able to make the third round twice and a Stanley Cup Final, albeit in a short season.
The issue with Bergevin is it is just another recycled name. And it is not fair to Stan Smyl, the current interim general manager of the Canucks. Smyl hasn’t even made a move yet and they are looking for someone to fill the role. The Canucks will no doubt try to increase the role of Henrik and Daniel Sedin within the organization. If that is in a management position, then that’s what they will do. Besides the Sedins, you have to wonder if former player Trevor Linden finds his way back to the organization. But for now, Bergevin is getting some interest from another Canadian team. With so many names out you have to wonder if the Canucks need to do their due diligence before settling on the first big name that is out there.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff has Justin Holl of the Toronto Maple Leafs at number four on his trade bait board.
TRADE TARGETS 🎯 It’s December. Multiple trade requests are pending. The #NHL trade market is heating up.
Here are 15 names in play:https://t.co/S98PlMGq01
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 2, 2021
Analysis: Justin Holl seems to be the odd man out when it comes to the Maple Leafs defence. Earlier in the season, there was talk of Travis Dermott being shipped out by Toronto, and there still is, but Holl is starting to gain interest from teams. As Seravalli notes, the Maple Leafs are going to be getting Petr Mrazek off injured reserve soon. The team will need to figure out a way to get him in under the salary cap. With Holl making $2 million a season and a year left on his contract, Holl is the easy target for Maple Leafs management. Holl and Dermott have not been able to regularly be in the lineup with Timothy Liljegren earning an everyday role on the roster.
There are other players that could be moved like Kyle Clifford, but there was a reason they traded for him. As we see, the Maple Leafs are playing with more physicality and Clifford, along with Wayne Simmonds are bringing that. Therefore, they will likely stay going forward, especially Simmonds. Defensively, a team can never have too much depth, especially when there is an injury. And with the injury to Rasmus Sandin, moving Holl might be the ideal move right now as he will be needed in the lineup. But there are teams out there that need depth defencemen, hence why he is so high on the trade bait board.
Rumour: According to Jeff Marek during Hockey Night in Canada’s 32 Thoughts segment, the Dallas Stars are looking to move goalie Anton Khudobin.
32 Thoughts TV version: Marner/Montreal GM candidate/Taxi Squads?/Dre Barone/DeBrusk/Khudobin — https://t.co/3XvZjhklAH
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 5, 2021
Analysis: The Dallas Stars have won six games in a row, but it has been the play of Jake Oettinger that’s why the Stars are climbing up the standings. Braden Holtby continues his stellar play, which means Khudobin is on the outside looking in on the position. It was strange to see the Stars sign Holtby in the off-season, especially with the way Oettinger and Khudobin played last season. However, the Stars must have seen something in Khudobin’s game to go get Holtby. Now, the hero of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff bubble is on the trade block.
Khudobin will garner interest from around the league. He is a capable backup goalie but has the ability to take on the starter’s role with the right team. Marek notes the Buffalo Sabres could give Dallas a call for Khudobin as they need help at the position. Even though the Sabres traded for Malcolm Subban, they need a goalie who can stop the puck and Khudobin can do that. It is still early in the process, you never know a contending team could come a-calling for his services as he is in the final year of his deal. And the cap won’t be as bad as it could be if they traded for him at the beginning of the season.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours, stay tuned for another edition this week.
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