NHL Rumours: Draft, Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes

Conor Geekie; NHL Rumours

It’s time to start the work week with another bunch of NHL rumours. The trade deadline is approaching on March 21 and the draft happens after the season. Could the NHL Draft be on the move due to COVID restrictions in Montreal? We also have items on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

NHL Draft

Rumour: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league plans to still hold the draft at Bell Centre in Montreal. However, that could be up in the air if attendance restrictions are still in place in the Province of Quebec.

Analysis: The league would love to give Montreal a chance to host the big event as the Habs may have the first pick. Montreal fans may get the reward of hearing Shane Wright’s name getting called for their team. However, the big show could be moved if the current coronavirus concerns don’t ease up.

Most Canadian cities have attendance restrictions in place and July isn’t that far away. However, there’s hope that the numbers will go down and allow fans to attend the event. The last couple of drafts have been held via remote locations with the hub being the NHL Network studios in Secaucus, N.J.

It would also be the second time that COVID has forced the league to move the draft from Montreal. The 2020 NHL Draft was slated to be there, but the global pandemic took that away from the city.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: TSN and Toronto Star’s Chris Johnston looked into Jack Campbell‘s future with the Leafs.

Analysis: Johnston said that Campbell’s market value could be around $5 million with his performance this season. Campbell has put up Vezina Trophy quality numbers with a .925 save percentage and 2.30 goals-against-average. There would be plenty of suitors for the 30-year-old if he did hit the open market.

However, Campbell loves being on the Maple Leafs. He said he loves being a part of the team and there might be hope he’d give the club a hometown discount. That would be music to Leafs’ fans’ ears because their team faces a perpetual salary cap crunch. Taking a smaller deal would help General Manager Kyle Dubas out immensely.

The Leafs will face some hard choices as they always do and need to find ways to round out their lineup. Toronto’s salary cap is very top-heavy with big money going to players like John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Campbell taking one for the team would allow Dubas to spread the money around more.

Carolina Hurricanes

Rumour: The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun talked about what general manager Don Waddell might do at the trade deadline.

Analysis: Waddell has put out signals that the Canes might be quiet at the upcoming deadline. However, LeBrun has pointed out that Waddell has rolled the dice in other seasons. He did give up a first-rounder to get Brady Skjei on the team at the 2020 trade deadline.

The defence may also be addressed again at the upcoming deadline in March. Tony DeAngelo has regained his form and kept himself out of trouble, but Carolina may want to bolster their blueline group for a Stanley Cup Playoff run. Carolina would love to get their hands on a depth defender since the team is still trying to replace Dougie Hamilton.

The Hurricanes do have some pieces to dangle at teams that may be willing to offload a defender. Carolina does have the ninth-best prospect pool according to Scott Wheeler’s latest projections. That prospect depth may help them get a piece that would complete their lineup. However, Waddell said he’s not going to make deals that will be reactionary. He’s going to only make moves that will help and not be spurred on by other teams around them.

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