NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and New York Islanders

NHL Rumours
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Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours. Today, we’re exploring the Toronto Maple Leafs possibility of trading Travis Dermott or Justin Holl, the Winnipeg Jets’ decision on whether to trade Andrew Copp and the New York Islanders’ decision on whether to trade Zdeno Chara. Let’s dive in!

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: On 32 Thoughts the Podcast, Elliotte Freidman said, ” I think there’s still a possibility that Holl moves or Dermott moves.” 

NHL free agent frenzy

Analysis: The thought process that Travis Dermott or Justin Holl may move is based on that there may not be enough room for them with the addition of Ilya Lyubushkin. Holl is already on the outside looking in and Travis Dermott will be when Jake Muzzin comes back from his concussion. I don’t know where the Leafs can move Holl. He has not played well this season and has a year and a half left on his deal with a $2 million cap hit. The Arizona Coyotes would have been the best bet because they only have seven players signed past this season and can use more, but that didn’t happen in the trade over the weekend.

Dermott has been a part of trade rumours for two years, so this is nothing new. Freidman said that Toronto isn’t willing to part with a first-round pick or one of their top prospects to add anyone, so Dermott and a second or third-round pick is one of their best packages to acquire someone.

Both Freidman of Sportsnet and Darren Dreger of TSN mentioned Toronto would like to add a top-six winger. I think Toronto could get Rickard Rakell of the Anaheim Ducks or Bradon Hagel or Dominik Kubalik from the Chicago Blackhawks in a trade involving Dermott. Both those teams might be losing unrestricted free agent defencemen at the deadline and would need to fill spots on their blueline. The Leafs have also been linked to defencemen like Justin Braun of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: On the Jeff Marek Show, Freidman said, “the only thing I can really think of is there any particular way shape or form that Winnipeg is thinking, ‘you know what, we’re changing our core, we’re moving people out and Andrew Copp is a big part of our core’. If that’s the case, you try to re-sign him, if not, he’s a very big rental.”

Analysis: The Winnipeg Jets are currently seven points out of a playoff spot. If they don’t play well during the next two weeks it is probably over for them. That means they will have to decide what to do with pending unrestricted free agent Andrew Copp. I think Copp will make that decision for them. If doesn’t want to re-sign the Jets should trade him and if he does, they should keep him.

Andrew Copp is one of the most versatile forwards in the game. He has the size, speed and skill to score and also the size, hockey awareness and grittiness to shut down opponents. He’s unique, which is why I think it’s in Winnipeg’s best interest to keep him. But if they put him on the market, he’s a player all contenders will try to grab. It is realistic that he could fetch more than what he’s worth due to a bidding war. His low salary cap hit of $2.28 million also makes him valuable.

Whether Copp re-signs or gets traded, there should be more content about him in NHL Rumours over the coming weeks.

New York Islanders

Rumour: On TSN’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun said teams are calling the New York Islanders to see if Zdeno Chara is available. 

Analysis: LeBrun said that even though Chara doesn’t have a no-trade clause, the Islanders will consult with him. If Chara is open to leaving, teams will be interested in him. Big, physical and strong defencemen become more valuable in tight playoff hockey. Chara’s experience as a captain of a Stanley Cup-winning team will also make him valuable. Teams that could be interested in Chara include the Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs.

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