Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours! There is a great buzz growing around the trade market and what teams will be planning to do. The chaos can begin early and there are plenty of reasons to be excited. Today we focus on the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Rumour: David Pagnotta from The Fourth Period discusses the latest surrounding Canadiens defenceman
The trade market is beginning to heat up. Teams that are well out of the playoff race are planning their next moves. With certain teams being sellers, key names will be on the open market. One team to keep an eye on is the Montreal Canadiens. Centre Sean Monahan is going to be heavily coveted, as he is enjoying another good season with the Habs. However, one of the other player targets for opposing teams is Arbor Xhekaj.
Teams have made calls but there has also been an offer made. According to Pagnotta, the offer made was a young NHL forward and a former first round pick. The first round pick in question has second line potential. Montreal declined that offer, signaling that they value him much higher. Also, they may not be inclined to want to move him.
There are growing pains in Montreal now but the future is bright. Captain Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield are locked up for the foreseeable future. The prospect pool is deep and the next wave of Canadiens hockey is going to be special. Maybe the front office sees Xhekaj being a key part of that. He is not the flashiest player but he is a big physical shut down defenceman and is unafraid to stick up for his teammates. If he is to be on the move, the price is going to be hefty.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: David Pagnotta from The Fourth Period discusses the Maple Leafs deadline approach
Our next set of NHL Rumours keeps us in the Atlantic Division. The one team to really monitor is the Toronto Maple Leafs and rightfully so. They’ll always generate the proper buzz and many wonder what they’ll do this trade deadline. Joseph Woll could be returning soon but there are still other holes on the roster. One area the team has been gauging on the open market is defenceman. Brad Treliving is looking to a familiar face to help fill the void.
Chris Tanev is a player that Maple Leafs have been in on for quite some time. He would be an immediate upgrade in their top four unit and bring a great physical element to the back end. However, Pagnotta does state that the Maple Leafs will have to up their offers if they want to lure in a big fish. The team currently owns a first round pick and could use it on a big piece but there is a growing sense that they may hold off.
The Maple Leafs are a good team but not a great one. They currently sit in the first wild card slot and have lost nearly half the games they’ve played (including overtime losses). They have holes but there is a bigger picture in mind.
Teams have made calls about Fraser Minten and they’ve been denied but things can pick up as the deadline grows closer.
Main Photo: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
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