With just three weeks separating us from the NHL’s trade deadline, the picture is starting to get a little clearer when it comes to rumors. We are starting to see which pieces are for sure in play, and which pieces might not be available as we first thought.
Some of the names we are hearing aren’t a surprise, but some of them we did not expect. Let’s take a spin around the rumor world, shall we?
Rick Nash’s List:
As per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Rangers forward Rick Nash has had his no-trade list requested by the club ahead of the deadline. Per McKenzie, the list is 18 teams that Nash cannot be traded to, unless he were to waive. New York now, in the words of McKenzie, has the green light to trade him to any of the other 12 teams.
My Thoughts: As we discussed here last week, it seems like the Rangers are willing to move veteran pieces to try and build a winner in the future. They aren’t married to this group and certainly seem to be willing to rebuild on the fly. Nash has been a good piece for New York, and I think he’d fit in well on a contending team as a second or third line option. Two teams that stick out to me as great fits? San Jose and Calgary, both of whom need scoring help.
At this point, it looks like Nash is a player that will move between now and the final Monday of the month.
One-Way Ticket Out of Toronto:
According to Hockey Night In Canada, Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Josh Leivo has requested a trade from the club. The 24 year-old winger has played in just 12 games with the Leafs after appearing in only 13 a season ago. Obviously, Leivo is frustrated with his playing time and is looking for more of an opportunity. He has 1-2-3 in those 12 contests this year.
My Thoughts: Leivo is an interesting trade chip because he is still a pretty young player and has proven he can produce at the AHL level. At just 24, it’s not crazy to assume that he can earn a full-time NHL job in the next little while. A team like Edmonton or Buffalo, who both badly need cheap help on the wings, could look to give this player and extended look through the end of the season.
The Latest On Maroon:
Last week I mentioned that Patrick Maroon was unlikely to sign with the Edmonton Oilers before the NHL’s trade deadline, and that the club is likely to deal him. That is still what I’m hearing, but it isn’t because Maroon doesn’t like it in Northern Alberta. As the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports, Maroon seriously loves it in Edmonton.
Matheson also names Maroon’s hometown Blues, the Anaheim Ducks and the Boston Bruins as the teams most looking into the forward at this time. Matheson did mention that the Oilers may not trade Maroon if they aren’t confident they can add another 20 goal scorer between now and next season.
My Thoughts: Interesting takes by Matty here, but nothing too crazy. I still believe the Oilers will try Maroon on deadline day, I think the Blues and Bruins are the most likely two landing spots. Edmonton badly needs to add forwards to its prospect system, and could accomplish that with a Maroon trade. There has to be appeal in adding a potential NHL ready forward that can help you on the cheap.
As for adding a 20 goal, 40 point guy between now and next season? The Oilers should be able to do that. There are always wingers available via trade and in free agency come summer time. I still believe that Mike Hoffman could be a good fit there.
Interesting note from Sens scribe Bruce Garrioch, who mentioned yesterday that the Flames had two scouts watching the Sens take on the Montreal Canadiens. Garrioch finished his tweet by mentioning that the Flames have been around the Sens a lot in the last two weeks.
My Thoughts: Calgary is going to be in the market for forward help, and Ottawa has a few options to move on from. While I think Mike Hoffman would be a sensational fit for the Flames, I don’t know if they would want to add a guy with term at this point. I could see Zack Smith being a fit for the Flames too, as he is exactly the kind of player Brian Burke teams love.
Another name I’ll toss out there? Johnny Oduya. Do the Flames need to add a depth defender? No, they have better options in the AHL right now, but this again fits in with their management group. Could be a cheap addition for them.