Last Word on Hockey is back with another day of NHL Trade Rumours. Today, we will be looking at rumours from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals. Stay tuned every day for more NHL Trade Rumours.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Reports are out there that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Auston Matthews have made progress on a contract extension. While speaking of the situation on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central at Noon, Nick Kypreos mentions that he thinks Auston Matthews should start by asking 20 percent of the team’s cap.
Analysis: 20 percent is the maximum percentage allowed to be paid to one player. While this is just the opinion of Kypreos, he goes on to make a valid point. Players are not taking hometown discounts anymore. They are looking out for themselves. The cap continues to rise.
So, if a player like Auston Matthews takes a long term deal and takes a home town discount, he could be selling himself short in the long run if the cap were to go up. Matthews, as well as upcoming restricted free agent Mitch Marner, are certainly going to be looking to get paid and set themselves up for the long-term.
At the end of the day, Kypreos point of 20% is that it’s a negotiation tactic. After all, why not ask the max to start? The number would very well come down from 20% even if he did ask for that.
Analysis: This really shouldn’t shock anyone. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford is active every single deadline trying to improve his club for a Stanley Cup run. The issue for the Penguins is that they are tight against the cap. Any deal they make would have to have salary going the other way. LeBrun wonders if maybe they will move Derrick Brassard as part of the package? LeBrun mentions Carolina would want a first round pick. Could they possibly get that from Pittsburgh and then flip Brassard for another pick to another playoff team? This is an interesting rumour to keep an eye on.
Among the forwards the Oilers are exploring via trade, told the Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello and the Senators’ Ryan Dzingel are among the ones they’ve already inquired about.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) January 22, 2019
Analysis: The Edmonton Oilers are definitely in the market for some scoring help and Zuccarello and Dzingel would certainly help in that department. Problem is the Oilers are tight against the cap so any deal the Oilers make they will have to send some cap the other way. Pagnotta mentions that goaltender Cam Talbot could be on the move to shred some of that cap but that wouldn’t be enough. Pagnotta did, however, report this rumour when Peter Chiarelli was still at the helm, but he was relieved of his duties late Tuesday night after the Oilers 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. The ultimate goal should still be to upgrade the forward group. However, Oilers fans have to be breathing a little easier now that Chiarelli won’t be the one making the deals.
Rumour: In a recent article written by Pierre LeBrun for The Athletic, LeBrun mentions that teams have started calling the Washington Capitals about forward Andre Burakovsky. LeBrun mentions Arizona, Vancouver, Colorado and Dallas as teams who he believes have made those calls.
— theScore (@theScore) January 22, 2019
Analysis: Burakovsky has been having an off-year only scoring six goals and six assists so far this season. He’s also found himself in the press box six times. Burakovsky seems to have fallen out of favour in Washington. However, the Capitals are not just gonna give him away. They will certainly want a top-nine player in return for the youngster as they will be looking to defend their Stanley Cup win from last season. With LeBrun mentioning Vancouver as a possible destination, could Jay Beagle potentially make a return to Washington?