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TLN Rumour Recap: Lafferty, Blue Jackets, Canucks, and more

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
8 months ago
Welcome to the Rumour Report, our weekly column that’s going to dive into all the very latest when it comes to the buzz around the NHL. This column will be fun, light-hearted, entertaining and will scratch your itch on trade rumours, potential signings, which coach is being canned, we will cover it all throughout the entire 2023-24 season, not only for the Toronto Maple Leafs of course, but for all 32 teams.
The NHL season is upon us and considering it’s not even a week old yet, there’s been lots of chatter from around the league.
  1. Lafferty an Oiler? – According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, before the Maple Leafs shipped Sam Lafferty to the Vancouver Canucks, they offered him to the Edmonton Oilers. The two sides couldn’t work out a deal for a variety of reasons, mostly because the Oilers had their own waiver issues to worry about. Word is Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving was interested in Oilers rugged defenseman Vincent Desharnais, who is 6-foot-6 and plays with a serious edge.  From the looks of things, it won’t be too long before the Leafs add some more jam to the defence.
  2. Blue Jackets Open for Business: According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the Columbus Blue Jackets are trying to move a defenceman. The team is looking to add up front and have a trio of d-men who could be in play including Jake Bean, Andrew Peeke, and Adam Boqvist.
  3. Garland Making Calls – Another Friedge note is how the Vancouver Canucks have given forward Conor Garland permission to talk to other teams about a trade. It’s a rare case a player gets permission, however the Canucks apparently can’t seem to gain any of their own traction on the market. Garland scored in the season opener on Wednesday and got himself off to a great start. The 27-year-old winger has three seasons left on his contract, at $4.95 million per season, and is coming off a 46-point season. Teams like the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres, and Los Angeles Kings could have interest as they search for more offense.
  4. Canucks Goalie Someone to Watch: Another NHL season means there’s a ton of predictions out there from experts around the league and the growing sense was that Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko was going to have a bounce-back season in 23-24. He’s been picked by multiple insiders to win the Vezina trophy and if you’re in a fantasy league, he may be someone to consider adding or acquiring. Demko started the season 1-0-0 with a 21 save victory against the Edmonton Oilers.
  5. Boston Will Be Buzzin the Waters: Two teams to look out for this season on the trade market include the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are still in full rebuild mode and have a couple of veteran forwards in Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl who are likely getting dealt this season. GM Mike Grier admitted before the season started that if they wanted out, the team would move them. If a deal transpires this season, there could be a match in Boston as they are very thin down the middle thanks to Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retiring.
  6. Jets Could Move a Blueliner: The Winnipeg Jets have taken care of getting Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele locked up and now could be turning their attention to a trade. The Jets are carrying eight defensemen and could try to flip one of them. The team has former first-round pick Logan Stanley who could be considered a candidate for a deal as the towering defenseman reportedly requested a move before last season’s trade deadline.
  7. Lightning Likely Looking: Tampa Bay is has started the season with Jonas Johansson and Matt Tomkins as as their goaltending duo, as starter Andrei Vasilevskiy is on the shelf for roughly two months due to a back injury. There was some chatter about a potential waiver claim on Martin Jones of the Leafs, however a timely $100,000 signing bonus may have threw a wrench into a few teams plans as Toronto was very sneaky knowing the scenario of waiving Jones would come up to end the preseason. While Tampa Bay won their first game against the expected bottom-feeding Nashville Predators, if things go off the rails over the next two weeks in their crease, look for GM Julien BriseBois to pull a trigger on the deal.
  8. Kane Coming Back Soon: Future hall-of-famer Patrick Kane has been training hard and appears set to return to the NHL sometime in November, or December at the latest. After being a noticeable step behind with the New York Rangers to end last season, Kane looks to get back to 100% healthy before signing on with a new team. The Buffalo Sabres appear to be the heavy favourites, with the likes of the Detroit Red Wings, and Columbus Blue Jackets considered to be long shots. The problem is money. Kane will want a decent one-year ticket and the majority of  Stanley Cup contenders don’t have any cap space.
  9. Show Me the Money: Some other notable free-agents left without deals at the moment include Josh Bailey, who was just released from his PTO with the Ottawa Senators, veteran tough guy Zack Kassian, Nick Ritchie, Phil Kessel, defenseman Ethan Bear and veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
  10. Laughton Plans to Use Pride Tape: After the NHL made a very controversial decision to ban the use of rainbow ‘Pride’ tape on sticks during games, there’s been quite the backlash on the league taking a giant step back when it comes to hockey being inclusive for all. Scott Laughton of the Philadelphia Flyers has confirmed he’s going against the league’s direction on this one – “You’ll probably see me with the Pride tape on (Pride night). I don’t know, I didn’t read really what it said, if it’s a ban or something, but I’ll probably have (the tape) on (my stick). We’ll see what they say, but it’s not going to affect the way I go about it. If they want to say something, they can. I’ll use the tape – if I have to buy it myself, I will. Go about it that way.”
There’s no better feeling than having the NHL back into full swing. Thanks for stopping by for the first Rumour Roundup of the 2023-24 season and we’ll see you next Thursday.

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