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TLN Rumor Recap: Fleury eventually on the move, Stamkos stays, Monahan linked to 6 & more
By Shane Seney1 month ago
The NHL’s trade market is buzzin’ as the March 8 trade deadline is just seven weeks away. GMs around the league have been making calls to gather some intel on asking prices and to understand who off their team is going to draw interest ahead of the deadline.
It sounds like this will be one of the busiest seasons yet when it comes to transactions, whether or not we see blockbuster deals is another story. Here’s the very latest from around the league in this week’s TLN Rumour Recap:
Marc-Andre Fleury Prime Trade Candidate
While Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin still thinks his team stands a chance, because that’s what he’s supposed to say, it’s becoming quite clear it’s going to be a struggle for the Wild to sniff the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Minnesota is eight points back with four teams to leapfrog, so keep an eye on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
The future hall-of-famer, who just became the second-winningest goalie in NHL history, is a pending free agent and is very likely on the move to a contender before March 8. Guerin admitted recently to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic that it’s too early to think about approaching Fleury to waive his no-movement clause, but Guerin can’t deny the fact those talks are on the horizon. LeBrun linked the Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, and Colorado Avalanche as potential destinations for the Flower. With a .897 Sv.% in 22 appearances so far this season, the asking price won’t be significant.
Steven Stamkos Won’t Be Dealt
While the rumour mill wasn’t necessarily burning with Steven Stamkos trade ideas of late, Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois decided to come out and get ahead of the story. The Lightning exec confirmed while a contract extension may not be signed in-season, do NOT expect to see Stamkos moved before the trade deadline, even if the Lightning plummet down the standings. Stamkos was admittedly frustrated with the organization once he arrived at training camp without a new contract and there was a bit of steam gaining back in September that a potential deal could present itself should Tampa Bay struggle in 2023-24. That hasn’t been the case and BriseBois is already sick and tired with all the rumours buzzin’ around about maybe Boston or Colorado, so the Lightning GM felt a need to kybosh any bit of suspicion.
Sean Monahan Linked to 6 Teams
One of the best all-around forwards on the trade market, Montreal Canadiens centre Sean Monahan is expected to be dealt this season. The Brampton, ON native is a pending free agent making just $1.98 million and he does not hold any trade protection. So far this season, Monahan’s registered 11 goals and 27 points in 44 games. He’s won 57% of his faceoffs, plays on both sides of special teams, and is versatile enough to play the wing.
Monahan will be drawing significant interest ahead of March 8 and recently Matt Larkin of Daily Faceoff linked the Habs forward to six teams including the Maple Leafs, which we’ve mentioned at TLN, Bruins, Avalanche, Oilers, Canucks, and Jets. It’s likely a mid-round draft pick and B-level prospect get the job done with this trade, however, if the legitimate interest heats up over the course of the next seven weeks, Canadiens GM Kent Hughes can drive the asking price up to at least a second-round pick.
- The Winnipeg Jets are going to be aggressive ahead of the trade deadline, reports TSN’s Darren Dreger, and expect to see Kevin Cheveldayoff looking for depth down the middle of the ice and at least one depth defenseman. Former first-round pick Logan Stanley, who has only appeared in seven games this season, is likely someone the Jets GM dangles ahead of the deadline.
- Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Elvis Merzlikins went public with his recent trade request and admits he’s currently playing mad and has released the ‘monster’. Merzlikins isn’t likely getting traded ahead of the deadline thanks to his contract, which has three seasons left at $5.4 million AAV. Look for Merzlikins to be moved next summer.
- Ottawa Senators GM Steve Staios has been making calls around the league getting a sense of how some of his players are valued on the trade market. An interesting name to watch is Jakob Chychrun. The mobile blueline has a modified 10-team no-trade clause and one more season on his contract at $4.6 million. The Sens are trying to re-tool on the fly and have a couple of pending free agents in Vladimir Tarasenko and Dominik Kubalik who are all but done in Ottawa.
- Vancouver Canucks GM Patrik Allvin recently admitted to Sportsnet that he owes it to his players to be aggressive ahead of the trade deadline. The Canucks have been trying to add a top-six forward throughout this season and have a couple of forwards of their own they would like to flip. One name that keeps getting linked to Vancouver is Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel. The Canucks brass know Guentzel very well from their days together in Pittsburgh so naturally the link has been created for the pending unrestricted free agent.
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