The NHL trade deadline is approaching, and as a result, NHL rumours are starting to swirl about. Rumours regarding which players are on the market. There are also rumours about what playoff teams are looking to acquire for a deep run. Today, we’ll be looking at rumours surrounding the St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Ottawa Senators.
St. Louis Blues
Rumour: According to Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, the St. Louis Blues will be looking for a defenceman at the deadline, and offered up possible acquisitions for the team.
Analysis: Rutherford listed Jakob Chychrun, Ben Chiarot, Mark Giordano, Hampus Lindholm, and Zdeno Chara as trade options. This is an interesting list of defencemen because they all play very different styles. They also are a range of very different skill levels. There are top-end guys like Chychrun and Lindholm, a middle-of-the-pack player like Giordano, and bottom pair guys like Chiarot and Chara.
If the Blues are looking to go for the cup, they should be targeting players like Lindholm and Chychrun. If they are going to be giving up lots of assets (like the ask for Chiarot is already), they might as well go for broke and get a big name player like Chychrun or Lindholm. There are advantages to getting either. Chychrun comes with lots of term, but would likely cost a lot more in a trade as a result. He’s a strong offensive defenceman that has struggled this season. Lindholm doesn’t have the term, but the Blues likely wouldn’t have to give up as much to acquire him from the Ducks. It depends on what the team is looking for, but they should be going for those top-end players if they’re willing to deal lots of assets.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: According to Frank Seravalli on the DFO Rundown Hockey Podcast, Ben Chiarot is not first, second, or even third on Toronto’s list for the deadline.
Analysis: This is new information, as Chris Johnston recently reported that the Leafs had called about the Montreal Canadiens defender. While this new information doesn’t refute what was reported by Chris, it gives us a clearer idea of the Leafs’ deadline plans. It seems that the Leafs have asked about Chiarot, but he is not their ideal target. It’s recently been reported that the Leafs are interested in Justin Braun, and there are of other plenty of defensemen available.
Chiarot is not a player that would fit the Leafs roster well. When the defence on the Leafs is healthy, he likely steps in as an 8th defenceman, behind Timothy Liljegren, Rasmus Sandin, Justin Holl, and Travis Dermott. If the Leafs are looking to acquire a defender, getting a player to be a regular should be the way to go, especially for the price that Chiarot is said to fetch. A player like Justin Braun would provide even more defensive stability to the team, and could help the Leafs on a nightly basis.
Rumour: According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, Pierre Dorion isn’t going to have a fire sale this deadline, and hopes that this is the last deadline the Senators are sellers.
Analysis: The Senators are in an interesting spot going into the deadline and the 2022 off-season. They are not the basement dweller team they used to be. The rebuild is going in the right direction, but they also are competing in one of the toughest divisions. For them to be buying next deadline, they have to be looking at kicking one of the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto or Boston Bruins from a top 4 spot of the division. While they have been doing mostly the right things in a rebuild, they are in the unfortunate position of being in an incredibly tough division.
The Senators are still, however, sellers at this year’s deadline. But they won’t sell the entire roster as they maybe have in the past. They don’t “aggressively need picks or prospects” as they have in years past. They could also even buy if the deal is right, assuming they’re a player with some term and aren’t necessarily “aging”. The Senators will be an interesting team to watch over the next 12 months.
This concludes today’s NHL Rumours!