Welcome back to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! It appears it is going to be a busy week in the NHL as the rumours off the ice are starting to peak. Though we still do not know who the buyers and sellers are, teams are positioning themselves to make moves at the deadline. Especially if there is a player and team cannot reach an agreement on a contract extension. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the New York Rangers, Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames.
New York Rangers
Analysis: The Rangers are in need of depth down the middle with the loss of Sammy Blais. Right now, the Rangers have Filip Chytil as their third-line centre, however, the Rangers are looking at other options if Chytil does not pan out. One of the options the Rangers are looking at is Chris Tierney of the Senators. Tierney would be the perfect fit for the Rangers at that position. If Tierney comes in, they could move Chytil to the wing or put Barclay Goodrow with Tierney and Alexis Lafreniere.
Tierney is an unrestricted free agent, so the Rangers could sign him for the cheap in the off-season. But the ask for Tierney may not be as high as people think it will be at the deadline. As a rental, the Rangers could see Tierney in action and if he is an option long-term. If it does not work out, they only gave up a draft pick for him. However, if the move works out, the team can then explore moving Chytil to the wing or trading him all together. But middle-six depth is something the Rangers will be exploring at the deadline.
Rumour: Adam Vingan of The Athletic writes in his latest mailbag it would be wise for the Nashville Predators not to go all-in at the trade deadline.
Analysis: It is crazy to think the Predators have gone from sellers to buyers in a year. Many people were writing the Predators off coming into this season. However, they have proven the doubters wrong. The Predators are sitting near the top of the Central Division. And while normally that would be a sign to go all-in for the playoffs, the Predators have other concerns. And while the Predators have the cap space to do so, it would be smarter to work on unrestricted free-agent Filip Forsberg.
With the way the Predators and Juuse Saros are playing, there is no doubt the team will be in playoff contention come the March 21st trade deadline. Therefore, the Predators should take the approach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from a few years ago and go with an “own” rental especially if they can’t get Forsberg signed to an extension. Because if the Predators are in playoff contention, there is no way they are trading him. It just would not make any sense. He has been a crucial piece to their success this season. It feels like this situation will get resolved with a contract extension.
Rumour: writes the Calgary Flames should explore the option of bringing in of Calgary Hockey NowEvander Kane.
Analysis: As we have reported in our other NHL Rumours pieces, Evander Kane will have options as a free agent. That is not to say, teams won’t pass on him. However, contending teams will look into adding a player that can drive the offence. Especially a team like the Flames. However, as Macfarlane writes, he is not saying the Flames should sign him, but they need to explore signing him. Does it make sense financially to sign Kane? But also how does bringing in a player like that affect the internal locker chemistry of the team?
Those are some questions the Flames need to look into. But if there is one coach who can get Kane back on the right track it is Darryl Sutter. Sutter has been vocal about the Flames needing more skill. Kane provides that skill. Sutter is a hard-nosed coach that is no-nonsense. Sutter would keep Kane in line. Again it is an option the Flames have to explore, but again the price has to be right and the team has to agree to it.
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