Insider Trading: Muzzin extension 'getting closer'; Canucks eyeing Simmonds?
The National Hockey League's Trade Deadline is on Monday, Feb. 24, and teams will be making decisions on whether to buy or sell and decide which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Check out the latest trade rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.
Leading the Chase?
Michael Russo of The Athletic reports the Toronto Maple Leafs "appear to be the most interested party" in Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba, though he wonders if the team can put together a package strong enough to entice general manager Bill Guerin to move the 25-year-old.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported earlier this week that Guerin is willing to listen to offers on Dumba or fellow defenceman Jonas Brodin, but is looking to acquire a top-line centre, a No. 2 and more for either player. Russo believes the Leafs could offer Alex Kerfoot up, but would have to package more pieces as well to complete a deal.
Dumba, who's signed through 2022-23 at a $6 million cap hit, has four goals and 20 points in 57 games this season. He posted a career-high 14 goals and 50 points with the Wild during the 2017-18 season.
According to Russo, the Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets, Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens have all reached out to the Wild regarding either Dumba or Brodin.
Russo believes the Canadiens 'would likely' part with centre Max Domi in a deal for Brodin, since the Canadiens have a surplus at the position and a need on the blueline.
Brodin, signed through next season at a $4.17 million cap hit, has two goals and 24 points in 57 games this season.
Domi, set to become a restricted free agent, carries a $3.15 million cap hit this season. In 59 games, he has 13 goals and 36 points after posting 28 goals and 72 points in 82 games a year ago.
Fight for Martinez?
Sitting at No. 2 on the TSN Trade Bait board, it appears that Los Angeles Kings defenceman Alec Martinez is drawing no shortage of interest ahead of the deadline.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, there are multiple teams with interest in Martinez, who's signed through next season at $4 million cap hit, including the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets.
"I think action continues to heat up on Los Angeles Kings defenceman Alec Martinez," McKenzie said on Insider Trading Thursday. "Left-shot guy, not a rental. He’s got a year left on his contract after this. The going price seems to be a second-round pick to the L.A. Kings, plus a prospect of some type. It is my understanding that amongst the many teams interested: The Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes [are] all to varying degrees [interested in Martinez], depending on the day you ask."
Martinez, 32. has one goal and eight points in 40 games this season while averaging 21:33 of ice time.
The Jets have been searching for a top-four defenceman throughout the past several weeks and appear set to be free to use the $7.6 million that was previously earmarked for Dustin Byfuglien.
The Flames had been previously reported to be in search of a right-shot forward, but that focus could have shifted following injuries to blueliners Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic.
Calgary currently sits in the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the Jets who are currently outside the playoff picture.
No Takers Yet?
The Ottawa Senators have a total of 10 pending unrestricted free agents on their roster and have four players featured on the Trade Bait board.
However, as the deadline inches closer, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports the Senators' phone lines haven't been lighting up yet.
"When you look at their crop of pending unrestricted free agents, and some of the other pieces the Ottawa Senators [have] that are of interest or could be of interest to teams around the National Hockey League, believe it or not, specific to UFAs, I’m told that there hasn’t been that much interest as we might think," Dreger said on Insider Trading.
"But Pierre Dorion does have work to do to engage in negotiations with a couple of those pending UFAs including veteran defenceman Mark Borowiecki. The expectation is talks will pick up there this week."
Centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau is the highest ranked Senator on the Trade Bait board at No. 3, with fellow pending UFAs Dylan DeMelo and Ron Hainsey checking in at Nos. 14 and 27, respectively. Forward Chris Tierney, who's scheduled for restricted free agency in July, is listed at No. 17.
Borowiecki, who's not listed on the Trade Bait board, has a career-high seven goals and 18 points in 53 games this season. Head coach D.J. Smith announced following Thursday's win over the Arizona Coyotes, though, that he will be "out some time" with a lower-body injury.