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NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs and Arizona Coyotes

NHL Rumours

Love is in the air and so are more NHL rumours following this Valentine’s Day. General managers are hoping for more than a box of chocolates or a card as we close in on the March 8 trade deadline. Teams are trying to shore up their respective rosters for the Stanley Cup Playoff push. However, some franchises have a few other things to worry about. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Arizona Coyotes.

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

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period discusses if Nicholas Robertson is in play for a possible deadline trade.

Analysis: Robertson has battled his fair share of injuries earlier in the career. The Southern California native has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in 33 games this season. Leafs general manager Brad Treliving is weighing all of his options according to Pagnotta.

Toronto is really looking for defensive help and has been linked to a number of blueliners. However, their main prize seems to be Chris Tanev. The Calgary Flames defender is on the radar of plenty of teams. However, the Leafs may not have the pieces to land the defenceman.

This is where Robertson may come into play. Pagnotta stated that Toronto is reluctant to move their first-round pick and highly-regarded prospects Easton Cowan and Fraser Minten. These three things seem to be untouchable as of now for Treliving. This could mean that Robertson is off that untouchable list and in play for a possible deal.

Toronto needs to shore up its blueline and having to package Robertson as part of a trade might be a necessary evil. Treliving wants to likely keep some young talent. However, landing someone like a Sean Walker, Ilya Lyubushkin, or Joel Edmundson might require a sacrifice.

Arizona Coyotes

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek talked about the future location of the franchise in the latest 32 Thoughts podcast.

Analysis: Both insiders had heard speculation about an announcement during Super Bowl weekend last weekend. They’d heard information from the Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli and Coyotes insider Craig Morgan. However, nothing has come from the league or the team at this time.

Friedman and Marek then heard from another expert that this weekend would yield an announcement. However, this weekend is the two Stadium Series games with the New Jersey Devils playing the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers battling the New York Islanders at Met Life Stadium. The NHL likely doesn’t want anything overshadowing the games. That likely means any news or formal announcement would get pushed back to at least next week.

The league does need to figure something out in a hurry. Playing in a 5,000-seat college hockey arena is unsustainable and likely annoying the league and its players. Hockey related revenue is taking a hit with Arizona playing in front of a small live crowd. There are other cities itching to have an NHL team like Salt Lake City and Quebec City among others.

Salt Lake is already slated to host the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights in the pre-season. However, that could be an appetizer to the main course of a full-time NHL team. Just a few weeks ago, Smith Entertainment Group requested that the NHL initiate an expansion process. The group also stated that the city can host a team immediately out of Delta Center. The plan for a new arena is being “designed for professional and Olympic hockey.”

Officials from the NHL and the players association would love to get a resolution to this lingering issue about the Coyotes. Things may finally come to a head sooner rather than later.

Main photo by: Per Haljestam – USA TODAY Sports


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