Welcome to the Sunday edition of NHL Rumours! COVID is starting to wreak havoc on the league. There are more postponements and teams having their season put on pause. However, even though the action on the ice is cooling off some, the action off the ice is picking up even more. Teams in contention are looking to add pieces to remain in contention and show their hot starts are not flukes. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, and Anaheim Ducks.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Nick Kypreos on Sportsnet 590 stated the Toronto Maple Leafs have interest in Arizona Coyotes defenceman Jakob Chychrun.
Would you like to see the Toronto Maple Leafs pull off a blockbuster deal for Jakob Chychrun?@RealKyper & @jtbourne discuss the interest around the league in Chychrun and what it would cost a team to acquire him!
🍎 https://t.co/YWfNUkAjlY pic.twitter.com/wbRLNPqzna
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) December 17, 2021
Analysis: It is no secret that Jakob Chychrun is a coveted defenceman from the Arizona Coyotes. However, as noted by Kypreos, the asking price will be extremely high. He will most likely get a return of four pieces, similar to what Vegas had to give up to get Jack Eichel from Buffalo. The big thing for a team acquiring him will be the salary of $4.6 million. He has three more seasons at this number after this one. This is not a bad contract for a player who is establishing himself as a really good defenceman in the NHL. He averages 25 minutes a game and over the last two seasons scored 30 goals. This after a career season recording 41 points. Who would not want a guy who is underpaid in this salary cap environment?
Well, one team that is heavily interested in the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs are always looking to improve their defence. Having a player like that to go along with Morgan Rielly would be great. Not to mention they already have T.J. Brodie and Jake Muzzin. Having Chychrun a part of this group would be tremendous. However, the Maple Leafs, like so many teams, are up against the salary cap. And also do they have the assets to go send back to Arizona. They definitely have the players to send back, but will Dubas and company want to part with draft picks. If it means they have a chance at four runs at the Stanley Cup with him no doubt management would give that up.
Rumour: Hailey Salvian of The Athletic writes in her latest mailbag, the salary cap situation facing the Calgary Flames will make it hard for them to make any big moves at the trade deadline.
Analysis: While the Calgary Flames are having a major resurgence this season and playing well under Darryl Suter, you have to wonder could they just be a little better with more scoring touch. Of course, what team would not be, but for the Flames, the salary cap is an issue for them and that is a good thing. Teams fighting for playoff spots are up against the cap and general managers have to play cap gymnastics. The potential list of players the Flames want to add include Tomas Hertl, Jake DeBrusk, J.T. Miller and Evander Kane. Unfortunately, all those have contracts that will be tough to add under the current salary cap.
All will help to add that natural goal-scoring the Flames would like, but with having players like Andrew Mangiapane, Johnny Gaudreau, and Matthew Tkachuk that need new contracts, it will be tough for the Flames to add any player that makes a contract over $5 million a season. The next best thing for the Flames to do will be to add depth pieces, like a Blake Coleman, going forward. Until they figure out the pending UFA’s in-house, they can’t add a position of need.
Rumour: Eric Stephens of The Athletic writes in his latest mailbag that the Anaheim Ducks could be reconsidering trading Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell, and Hampus Lindholm.
Analysis: Over the last couple of seasons, the Ducks were one of those teams were looking at that could sellers come to the trade deadline. However, that has all changed this season when it comes to the Ducks. Now it is still early, but the Ducks sit in first place in the Pacific Division. And while Manson, Rakell, and Lindholm could all bring back valuable assets to a young team, the Ducks are in a position to contend for the playoffs this season. And having those players on the team now, especially, with the way all three players are playing now will be good as “own” rentals.
As Stephens notes, if the Ducks were to sell players like Mason, Lindholm, and Rakell were to be traded, this could send the wrong message. Especially for a team that is coming into its own as an up-and-coming team in the league, who has done the rebuild right. However, if Jeff Solomon, who has started contract negotiations, hits a wall in negotiations, he could sell off these pending UFAs. But for the now, the Ducks look to stand pat and maybe add at the deadline.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours, stay tuned for another edition this Sunday.
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