Welcome to the Monday edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors. The trade deadline is a little over three weeks away and the rumors off the ice continue to swirl around players being moved contending teams as they prepare for the push to the playoffs. Therefore we here at Full Press NHL will continue to deliver NHL Rumors four times a week. The February 28th edition of NHL Rumors looks at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nashville Predators, and New York Islanders.
Toronto Maple Leafs – Defence
Rumor: According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to add to their defence at the deadline with Jake Muzzin on LTIR.
It has been reported for some time the Maple Leafs have been in the market for a defenceman. General manager Kyle Dubas has been looking to add depth since the beginning of the season. The maple leafs just acquired Ilya Lyubushkin from the Coyotes. However, Dubas did not give up much to get him. In fact, Toronto made out on the deal. But the fact remains the Maple Leafs still need to add depth to their defence.
While Timothy Lilogren, Rasmus Sandin and Travis Dermott have played well these players are not shutdown defencemen necessary to win in the playoffs. They just can’t play hard minutes, especially in front of the net. And we have seen what this lineup has looked like without Jake Muzzin before. And with his $5.625 million on LTIR it gives the maple leafs some flexibility to add a player at the deadline that makes a little more. In order to do so, they may have to give up Justin Holl or Dermott. Which was discussed earlier in the year. The question remains who they go after. Ben Chiarot’s name continues to be thrown around along with John Klingberg. Both players would be good fits for this team.
Nashville Predators – Filip Forsberg
Rumor: According to Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest reports the Nashville Predators are shopping Filip Forsberg.
Hearing the #Preds are actively shopping superstar Filip Forsberg.— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) February 24, 2022
The Nashville Predators are in the thick of the playoff race in the Western Conference. Nashville holds the first wild card spot in the West. Though the Predators are still in contention for one of the top three spots in the Central Division. We know Filip Forsberg needs a new contract and it is interesting that this has not gotten done yet. And if general manager David Poile is actually shopping one of his best forwards then he believes that Forsberg is not re-signing. But if the Preds do shop him it is a sign they are giving up on the season.
The Predators have Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen are both signed $8 million AAV so Forsberg will want that and even more. Roman Rosi makes $9 million a season so Forsberg will look for that as well. But Poile will look to come under that. Forsberg would love to remain in Nashville for the rest of his career. Not only will be money be an issue but the term as well along with trade protection. Poile has time, but if progress is not being made, Poile could move Forsberg to a contender and get a great return for him. However, if the Predators are still in contention, Forsberg will be their own rental. If anything this trade will happen on March 21st.
New York Islanders – Zdeno Chara
Rumor: According to Stefen Rosner of NYI Hockey Now who writes the New York Islanders are open for business and one of those players that could be on the move is Zdeno Chara.
Things were supposed to be a lot different this year for the Islanders. They had hopes of challenging for a Stanley Cup. However, that is not going to happen as the Islanders were not able to find their groove this season. As the trade deadline approaches, the Islanders will be sellers. We talked about Cal Clutterbuck potentially moving last week. The next player that could be on the move is Zdeno Chara. Chara was brought in to add depth to the Islanders defence. However, Chara was put into a position that exposed his weaknesses as the Islanders have dealt with injuries to their defence corps this season.
Now that Chara has passed Chris Chelios for most games played as a defenceman, general manager Lou Lamoriello will go to Chara to see where he would like to get moved. Chara is chasing another Stanley Cup and thus he would fit perfectly on a contending team as a sixth or seventh defenceman. But the team acquiring would be getting him for more of his leadership and playoff experience than his game. Teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins could use him. What about the Maple Leafs. There has even been talk of a possible reunion in Boston. Wherever Chara goes, he will fit in and know what his role will be.
That does it for this edition NHL rumors stay tuned for another edition on Tuesday.
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