Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The NHL 2022-23 regular season games have begun and players will be evaluated. Now, with free agency moves mostly done, rumors are still around.
Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. Some teams are having difficulty creating enough cap space to make moves. Others are experiencing severe injuries to star players. Trade rumors/signings are still prevalent. In this Sunday edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, and the Minnesota Wild.
Toronto Maple Leafs – Auston Matthews
Rumor: Per – Michael Meade – prosportsdaily.com. Highly doubtful trade destinations for Auston Matthews.
Meade prefaces this article by saying he doubts that Matthews will be moved… unless he requests it. And, it is under that condition that these mock trade scenarios exist. Let’s face it, the Leafs are one talented hockey club, but have not won it all in a VERY LONG TIME. Thus, when you possess an asset as valuable as Matthews, you must weigh the possibility of improving your team at any cost.
So, hold on to your hockey helmet, this one could jar you to the ice.
- Trade #1- Anaheim Ducks receive- Auston Matthews, Pierre Engvall Toronto Maple Leafs receive- Troy Terry, Max Comtois, Cam Fowler, Jamie Drysdale, and John Gibson
- Trade #2- Vancouver Canucks receive- Auston Matthews, Alexander Kerfoot Toronto Maple Leafs receive- Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, Tanner Pearson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Luke Schenn
- Trade #3- Los Angeles Kings receive- Auston Matthews, Timothy Liljegren Toronto Maple Leafs receive- Quinton Byfield, Alex Iafallo, Adrian Kempe, Brandt Clarke, and Drew Doughty
See, I told you. This would be a salary cap nightmare to determine if the three prospective deals would meet trade guidelines. It would be close, but factors like player’s contracts expiring, and restricted free agents getting an increase must all be factored into a workable solution.
Could it happen? Who knows? All three (or for that matter all other 31) teams would salivate at the prospect of adding a talent like Matthews. Will he get tired of not getting past the first round of the playoffs and request a trade? It’s uncharted territory, but so much fun for any hockey fan to imagine the possibilities.
Ottawa Senators – D.J. Smith
Rumor: Per – Josh Wegman – thescore.com. Moving on from D.J. Smith is Senators’ only hope of saving season.
Even with the approval of GM Pierre Dorion, it seems like time is running out for head coach D.J. Smith in Ottawa. His 88-116-25 record shows only a .439 points percentage and that isn’t great. It was hoped after the team was very aggressive in adding talented players like Alex DeBrincat, Claude Giroux, and Cam Talbot that they were on their way. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Their terrible 7-12-1 record places them just two points out of Connor Bedard territory… and they’re not tanking. At least not yet.
Smith has finished 6th once, 7th twice, and is currently in 8th in the Atlantic Division. The Sens are 16th in goals scored with a 3.15 average. They rank 23rd in goals against with a 3.45 average. They really need to improve their defense to turn things around. If Dorion feels it’s not Smith’s fault, then he may need to give in and acquire some blueline help. There are various choices here. He could finally give up (what choice does he have) and add Jakob Chychrun… or even add a former Senator like Erik Karlsson.
Something needs to happen and fast. This team is faltering quickly and action is needed. One can’t blame the production the Sens are getting from their three new players. Giroux has eight goals and 10 assists in 20 games. DeBrincat has five goals and 11 assists in 20 games. Talbot has not been terrible with a 2-5 record and a .918 save percentage. He carries a respectable 2.58 goals-against-average.
So, as it always seems to happen… the head coach gets the axe. Sorry D.J., it was bound to happen. You did your best.
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Minnesota Wild – Max Domi
Rumor: Per – Michael DeRosa – nhltraderumors.me. The lack of forward scoring has plagued the Wild, will Domi help?
Domi signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks and it’s very obvious he will be moved by the trade deadline in March. He holds a $3 million contract and the Wild have $3.748 million of cap space. Domi can score and has five goals and nine assists in 20 games in Chicago. He is one tough customer and could add some grit to the Wild lineup.
Domi has the potential to be a top-six forward and can play both wing and center. He has been around playing on five NHL teams in his eight-year career. The Wild have painted themselves into a corner with some poor cap decisions from years in the past. They owe both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter a total of $47.2 million through the 2027-28 season after buying out their contracts. That is the personification of poor cap management.
Adding Domi won’t cure everything, but it will fit into their cap budget if Domi doesn’t demand more money than he is currently earning. The team will gain some cap space next season with the elimination of UFA Matt Dumba‘s $6 million cap hit. Dumba has been tied to various NHL rumors for a while.
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to catch our next article, and as always thanks for reading!
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