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TLN Rumour Recap: Dubas would have made huge trade, Canucks search for D and Oilers scout goalie options
By Shane Seney2 months ago
Welcome back to another edition of TLN Rumour Recap. With American Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, trade chatter across the league has picked up in a major way. Expect to see a flurry of transactions before the Christmas holiday roster freeze.
Without further ado, here’s the very latest from the rumour mill from across the NHL:
Dubas Would Have Traded Core Player
As the Maple Leafs and Penguins faced off last weekend, there was a ton of talk around Kyle Dubas reuniting with his old team. It was obvious once Brendan Shanahan decided to let Dubas go, the former Leafs GM didn’t have any contact with any of his players as he’s also kept things very professional with their very personal relationships. While Brad Treliving has been busy since taking over, reports have surfaced suggesting Dubas would have blown up the core of the team this past summer.
The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel reported on Dubas’ direction and had this to say about what could have been:
I think they would look totally different. We got the indication from Kyle Dubas at that crazy press conference before he was let go, where he indicated maybe looking at a trade of a core player, so I think that’s on the table. So, obviously, you can pretty quickly narrow it down to who that might be and what it might look like. So that’s one of those players potentially gone which is significant. Obviously, you would get considerable pieces back for that player, whoever it is, whether it was Marner or Nylander.
There seems to be quite the divide when it comes to Leafs fans and who’d they rather keep between Nylander and Marner. Seems like nobody realizes they can potentially keep both. Considering Nylander’s start to this season and Marner’s current struggles, if the fan base had all the power, there’s potential #16 would be moved out for a stud defenseman. That’s neither here nor there.
Siegel also believed Dubas would have tried to sign Tyler Bertuzzi, but would have passed on John Klingberg, Ryan Reaves and likely Max Domi. Regardless, Treliving is now in charge and the Maple Leafs GM is trying to do whatever he can to add a defenseman to his blue line.
Canucks Continue to Talk Trade
After moving forward Anthony Beauvillier to the Chicago Blackhawks this week in a pure salary dump trade, the Canucks continue to search for a defenseman. General manager Patrik Allvin has been quite transparent with his intentions of late, and had this to say to the media on the direction of his team:
Do I think we need another defenseman? I think we can get help on the back end, yes. There’s a lot of pieces out there. But again, I think we owe it to the players internally here to put them in that position to succeed. We all know that we have some injuries, you know, on the back end and Pius Suter up top. We’re looking at ways to see where we can strengthen our team.
The Canucks have $5.7 million in cap space to work with at the moment and can certainly make a significant splash. The likes of Conor Garland and Andrei Kuzmenko could be labelled as prime trade candidates up front, and there’s also been reports surfacing stating Vancouver doesn’t want to move a first-round pick.
There’s several potential trade targets Allvin and his team and they include Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov of the Calgary Flames along with Sean Walker of the Philadelphia Flyers. All four defensemen were recently named top trade candidates by hockey insider Chris Johnston.
Goalie Trade Coming From Oilers?
The Edmonton Oilers continue to search for goaltending help on the trade market and have been scouting the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens rather frequently.
The Oilers likely have interest in Canadiens netminder Samuel Montembeault and Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins. Both goalies are very different targets and wouldn’t cost the same when it came to acquisition cost.
Montembeault is a pending unrestricted free agent who is owed just $1 million against the cap this season. He doesn’t hold any trade protection and so far in 10 appearances this season, he’s posted a 5-3-1 record to go along with a 2.73 GAA and .910 Sv.%.
Merzlikins, on the other hand, is two years older at 29, is under contract at $5.4 million per season through the 2026-27 campaign. The Blue Jackets tender also has 10-team trade protection and could potentially veto a move to the Oilers. Given the cap hit associated here, it’s likely Jack Campbell would be included in this trade along with a couple of sweetens to get the Jackets to bite. Merzlikins isn’t lighting up any stat sheets either, however his .907 sv.% is much easier to look at compared to Campbell’s .873. Campbell is owed $5 million per season through ’26-27.
While the Oilers have turned their game around since Kris Knoblauch was brought on behind the bench, they are far from a finished product and GM Ken Holland is trying to do whatever he can to find his team some consistent goaltending.
There we have it folks, another TLN Rumour Recap is in the books. While it’s hard to say who pulls the trigger next on a big trade, one thing that can be confirmed is the fact trade chatter around the league has picked up in a major way and expect to see some more transactions before we meet again for another recap.
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