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NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angels Kings

NHL Rumours

It’s time for another edition of NHL rumours. We’re nearly onto round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, we focus on a couple of eliminated teams in this roundup. There are always questions if drastic changes need to be made after a first-round elimination. We have a pair of superstars that could change locations if things go a certain way in the off-season. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Los Angeles Kings.

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

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Joe Yerdon of Bleacher Report speculated on five locations that could be a landing spot for embattled forward Mitch Marner.

Analysis: Death, taxes and the Toronto Maple Leafs getting eliminated early is the trend. There is plenty of blame to go around. However, one name that has drawn a lot of fire is Marner. The core four of the Leafs struggled for most of the series with only William Nylander being strong at the end. Losing to the Boston Bruins once again means the cries have grown louder to break up this group.

Both Marner and team captain John Tavares have only one more year left on their respective contracts. Leafs management may want to free up some space to allow other needs to be addressed. It seems that Marner is now public enemy number one in the eyes of a number of Leafs fans.

The Five Spots

Yerdon’s list mostly includes teams that are out of contention like the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Utah. Chicago can absorb Marner’s cap hit of just over $10.9 million. However, Marner may not want to go to a struggling team at first. All three of the aforementioned teams are near the bottom of the league and Marner has a full no-trade clause. Playing with Connor Bedard and possibly Macklin Celebrini could ease the pain a bit in Chicago.

Columbus does have some exciting young players like Adam Fantilli, but does Marner want to go play for a rebuilding team? Utah owner Ryan Smith wants to make a big splash and getting Marner could be a part of that. However, the key to a potential deal is Marner accepting a trade. Working out an acceptable package would also need to happen before the deal gets off the ground.

Two other teams mentioned were the Pittsburgh Penguins and St Louis Blues. A move to Pittsburgh could see him reunite with old general manager Kyle Dubas. However, Marner can dictate the move and the Penguins might not have the pieces to acquire him. St Louis was mentioned and Pavel Buchnevich may be a starting point. However, other names will have to be involved for a trade to happen.

Changes are most likely going to happen in Toronto, but it’s hard to say what’s going to happen. Get ready for the drama.

Los Angeles Kings

Rumour: Rory Boylen of Sportsnet looked into the future of Pierre-Luc Dubois with the Kings.

Analysis: Another star player that may have an uncertain future is that of Dubois. It was a nightmare season for the player that was signed to an eight-year contract extension with an $8.5 million cap hit.

Los Angeles gave up Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari and a second-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets to make the deal happen. Winnipeg seemed to have gotten the better of the trade with Vilardi and Iafallo as key pieces for the Jets. Dubois only managed 16 goals and added 24 assists. He spent most of his time on the fourth line against the Edmonton Oilers in the first-round series.

There seems to be a race against time as there could be a 1/3 buyout if he can get bought out before he turns 26. However, if the Stanley Cup Final drags past June 23, the Kings are on the hook for a 2/3 buyout. This could be a headache for the club.

However, Los Angeles could try to seek a deal could see the team try to salvage something. General manager Rob Blake would likely have to retain salary because there aren’t a lot of eager buyers.

The Kings could also try to keep him and see if a new coach can motivate him. Dubois turns 26 on June 24 and has three 30-goal seasons on his resume. There could still be time to get something out of his lengthy deal in the City of Angels.

Main photo by: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


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