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NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets

Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours! This weekends marks the Stadium Series, which will be a fantastic event in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. Connor Bedard has made his return to game action, whereas Jake Guentzel is now out for the next four weeks. The trade deadline is going to be something to watch for and seeing where teams go. Today’s Rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets.

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Pierre Lebrun on Insider Trading discusses the future of Marc-Andre Fleury.

Analysis: One team to keep watch for is the Toronto Maple Leafs. They currently are holding a wild card slot and are going back and forth with the Lightning for third place in the division. The team is likely playoff bound and is currently browsing the market for reinforcements. It is no secret they are interested in a defenceman and multiple names have surfaced in that position. However, one position they could look to shore up is the goaltending position.

Joseph Woll has been a great surprise this season, as he built off the success he showed in the postseason last year. However, he has been out with an injury and the fort has been held down by Martin Jones and Ilya Samsonov. Jones has been superb this season, posting a .908 save percentage and 6.1 goals saved above expected. Samsonov has had tougher luck this season, with the third worst goals saved above expected (-10.7) and a stint with the Toronto Marlies. One name that Lebrun links to the Maple Leafs is Marc-Andre Fleury.

Why The Potential Move

Minnesota still remains in the thick of things but if they begin to fade, he is a player that could be on the move. Lebrun has been told that Fleury could look towards three teams if a trade surfaces. One of those is the Maple Leafs. Fleury has not been bad between the pipes, posting a .902 save percentage and -2.1 goals saved above expected. His veteran presence and leadership would be a good add on the back end. Furthermore, the cost wouldn’t be nearly as high as some of the other goalies on the market.

The other teams Lebrun mentions are the Avalanche and Hurricanes, who both need goalie help. It could come down to a bidding war but one to keep an eye out for.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Rumour: Darren Dreger on Insider Trading talks about the front office of the Blue Jackets.

Analysis: The next set of NHL Rumours takes us to the Metropolitan Division. Fireworks got set off for the Columbus Blue Jackets as they made a change regarding the General Manager position. Columbus dumped Jarmo Kekalainen as its long-time general manager on Thursday. This leads to the speculation over who could take that spot and a name has surfaced. The name in mind is Jeff Gorton.

Gorton currently is with the Montreal Canadiens and has helped build a great future for that organization. In addition, he has GM experience with a recent stint with the New York Rangers. Why would Columbus be a fit? Well, he is familiar with John Davidson during their time with the Rangers together. Gorton helped lay the foundation in New York. He traded for Mika Zibanejad. Got a great return for Rick Nash, which included standout defenceman Ryan Lindgren, and lured in Adam Fox in a big trade. In addition, he signed star winger Artemi Panarin.

His experience goes beyond New York, as he was the man who laid the ground work for the Boston Bruins core that ended up capturing the Stanley Cup in 2011. Gorton would be a great add for a Blue Jackets team that has the players to compete and just needs to be guided properly.

Main Photo: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports


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