Welcome to the Friday edition of NHL Rumours! The rumour mill continues to swirl even though the NHL Trade Deadline is still more than eight weeks away. Despite the salary cap being an issue for most teams, that has not stopped them from calling on players. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Analysis: You know the Maple Leafs are looking to make moves come the trade deadline. It is still early in the process, but general manager Kyle Dubas is starting to look at players who could help the Maple Leafs make a run in the playoffs. In order to add those players like John Klingberg or Calle Jarnkrok, the Maple Leafs will have to move some players off their roster. The two names that keep coming up are Nick Ritchie and Travis Dermott.
Dermott has been rumoured for some time now to be moved by the Maple Leafs. However, the Maple Leafs have been reluctant to pull the trigger as they need depth on defence with the injuries starting to pile up. Though with the emergence of Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Lilegren, Dermott could be expendable. If the Maple Leafs were to move Dermott that would clear $1.5 million in cap space. They could use that to add depth forward.
For Ritiche, he has cleared waivers, but the team would like to move his full salary of $2.5 million. Right now they have some relief with $1.125 million being buried on the taxi squad. The Maple Leafs may need to eat some cap space on Ritchie if they want to move him. As of right now, teams are not interested. But then again most teams are up against the cap, so maybe the Maple Leafs will get closer at the deadline.
Frank Seravalli says on SN650 that Kane, Toews, and Seth Jones are the only untouchables for CHI. If you want to take a run at trading for anyone else, they’ll listen.
— Editor in J (@Account4hockey) January 20, 2022
Analysis: We know the Chicago Blackhawks will be moving a player at the trade deadline this season. So far, players mentioned in trade talks have been Calvin de Haan and Marc-Andre Fleury. Now it has come out that the Blackhawks have only three untouchables in Kane, Toews, and Jones. This makes sense since these three make the most money on the team. The Blackhawks are in a rebuild and Kane and Toews are Blackhawks for life, though both would get a nice return. Though that is if Chicago decided to move on from them, which they are not.
However, one name not on the list is Alex DeBrincat. This is interesting considering DeBrincat has been a stud for the Blackhawks over the last couple of seasons. DeBrincat has a salary cap hit of $6.4 million this season and next. That contract has value and the player is still a restricted free agent. Are the Blackhawks afraid of making another mistake and tying themselves to another player making close to $10 million? Maybe, but that is the route this team decided to take. And it has hurt their chances to make the playoffs ever since.
A contending team would have two chances with him to make a deep run in the playoffs. Even teams who are just on the outside could use his services. DeBrincat has been in the top-three in scoring on the team since he has joined the Blackhawks. He is a player teams around the league should be calling on. It might take a lot to get him out of Chicago, but it is worth a shot.
Analysis: The Montreal Canadiens introduced their new general manager this week. His name is Kent Hughes. Hughes said during his initial press conference, there were going to be changes coming to this organization. Defenceman Ben Chiarot is the most coveted player the Canadiens have. However, other unrestricted free agents like Cedric Paquette, Brett Kulak, Chris Wideman and Mathieu Perrault could be in play as well. Not to mention restricted free agent Artturi Lehkonen could get the Canadiens a nice haul as well.
It will be interesting to see who gets moved besides Chiarot. While players like Pacquette, Kulak, Wideman, and Perrault may not fetch much, they will be good depth pieces for contending teams. And if Lehkonen is in play, then the Canadiens may get more of a return for him than the others on the list who are in play. The Canadiens have to find a direction under Jeff Gorton and Hughes.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours. Stay tuned for another edition this week.
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