NHL Trade Rumours: Latest on Leafs, Drouin, Staal, Hamhuis

The Canadiens brought their "A" game to Washington while Boston made a statement against Pittsburgh. In the west Colorado got it done in a shootout and the Ducks just kept winning.

Four days until the NHL’s trade deadline. One day for every first-overall draft pick the last-place Edmonton Oilers have had in the last six years.

Today’s roundup of trade rumours touches Jonathan Drouin, P.A. Parenteau, Andrew Ladd, Loui Eriksson, Eric Staal, and those woeful Leafs and Oilers. Let’s go.

Parenteau told he’s ’bout to go?

A TVA report stating that the Toronto Maple Leafs informed winger P.A. Parenteau that he’ll be traded was denied by the pending UFA’s agent, Allan Walsh. Certainly giving a soon-to-be-dealt player a heads-up is not exactly the Lou Lamoriello way.

Understandably, the persistent trade speculation is beginning to eat at Parenteau, who has not ruled out the idea of re-signing with Toronto on July 1. He’s been a good fit in the Mike Babcock system.

So… do you like Leafs gossip?

Sportsnet insider Nick Kypreos appeared on Dean Blundell & Co. on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Thursday morning and mentioned centre Tyler Bozak and defenceman Jake Gardiner as Leafs with term who “are easily in play,” though he expects those deals to be on the back burner.

Bozak is returning from what is believed to be a concussion and was enjoying a decent season. Can he showcase himself in a couple games?

As for Gardiner, Kypreos says there’s no hurry to move him, but… “I don’t think in the long term, Jake Gardiner is going to be Mike Babcock’s type of guy. Maybe that’s something that gets worked on at the draft or next season.”

LISTEN: Nick Kypreos talks Bozak, Gardiner, Drouin, Ladd

Hamhuis weighs family versus fortune

Unless you’re a big Kris Russell fan or believe the Rangers will change their mind and put Keith Yandle on the table, Vancouver’s Dan Hamhuis signifies the best defenceman who could be available for trade.

But the pending UFA holds a no-trade clause and an affection for his home province. Financially speaking, it’s unfortunate, he’s a family guy.

“If you look at it from a pure hockey aspect — if I was chasing the money — leaving would be the best option to have the most exposure, if I was traded to a top-end team,” Hamhuis, 33, told the Vancouver Province.

“But there’s more to it than that in my decision. I look at it that it’s a great situation in Vancouver for me and for my family. I certainly would consider what that would do to the family, too.”

There’s the idea — and I’m all for it — that GM Jim Benning loans Hamhuis to a contender, gets a high-round pick, and then re-signs the D-man in the summer.

“In some aspects, four months is a long time to be away [from family], but in the bigger picture, it could be a small amount of time. Either way, it would be a difficult situation, and that’s a major factor,” Hamhuis said.

“Certainly, if going is the direction, we would have to give [the Canucks] some time to make a deal happen.”

Islanders enter bidding for Top 6 winger

The New York Islanders, winners of six of their last eight and on track for a first-round death match versus the Rangers, are reportedly going hard to snatch up one of the Top 6 forwards as a rental.

Scorers Parenteau and Andrew Ladd have now been linked to Garth Snow’s wish list.

Kypreos figures the Ladd sweepstakes will come down to the two most recent Cup champions, Chicago and L.A. Because Kings forward Marian Gaborik is on long-term injured reserve, that frees cap space for Dean Lombardi to take a run at Ladd. Not unlike how Patrick Kane’s injury paved way for Chicago to rent Antoine Vermette a year ago at this time.

Eric Staal front-runners

As of Wednesday night, Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal had yet to be asked by management to waive his no-trade clause.

The News & Observer mentions the Rangers, Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators as rumoured landing spots.

“There’s been talk in certain areas. Ultimately, we’ll see what management wants to do and what they see is best for this organization and this team, and we’ll go from there,” Staal said.

“Obviously it depends on the situation and where it would be. But I think we’ve got a pretty good relationship where we can talk it out and figure it out. I’m not going to be trying to hold anything back, but it’s got to be the right situation for myself, as well.”

Staal did not participate in Thursday’s morning skate at the Air Canada Centre.

Eriksson decision likely to go to wire

Boston’s Jimmy Murphy, a columnist for Bruinsdaily.com, reports that the Bruins may take the wait-and-see approach with thier top-scoring winger, Loui Eriksson, in hopes that the pending UFA’s market value spikes on Feb. 29.

Talks are ongoing, but it’s believed the sides are still far apart.

Murphy notes that if Boston can land a first-round pick for Eriksson, that’ll give the Bruins an enviable three first-rounders in 2016. (Fun fact: GM Don Sweeney secured three in 2015 as well.) Boston could then flip a first-rounder or two to land the type of young blue-chip defenceman it needs.

Mr. Game 7 dodged a bullet

As an unrestricted free agent last summer, Justin Williams was tempted to sign with the Montreal Canadiens, but came up clutch by inking a deal with the Eastern Conference–leading Washington Capitals instead.

“I almost signed with Montreal,” Williams told the Jounral de Montreal (quotes translated by NBC Sports). “Yes, the Canadiens made me a good offer. It wasn’t a question of money, the offer was really good. I have no regrets today. I’m glad I decided to come to Washington.”

Uh, yeah.

Oilers who should go

Pretty much every insider worth his Rolodex believes Edmonton will trade one of Nail Yakupov, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle or Taylor Hall, but not now. Consensus says such a blockbuster will wait until the draft at the earliest.

Eberle and trade bait Justin Schultz responded Wednesday after GM Peter Chiarelli and coach Todd McLellan:

The Edmonton Journal‘s David Staples lists nine Oilers who “need to be traded or axed.” None of them are elite contributors.

High interest in Drouin indicates trade soon

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman reiterated that his preference is to trade stagnant forward Jonathan Drouin before 3 p.m. ET Monday.

“I’ve been told there’s around 12 teams, and some say there’s 15 teams, looking at the possibility of trading for Jonathan Drouin,” TVA’s Renaud Lavoie told Jeff Blair on Sportsnet The Fan 590 Thursday. “He’s going to be traded by Monday.

“The team that’s able to trade for Jonathan Drouin is not going to regret it.”

In brief

Fired Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo wants right back in. “I want to coach,” Yeo said, via The Associated Press. “That’s in my blood. That’s who I am and I really believe my best days as a coach are ahead of me.”

The Toronto Star‘s Kevin McGran lists five defencemen the Maple Leafs could target as free agent this summer. Two of them are former Leafs.

Stars beat reporter Mike Heika makes the case for why Dallas will hold on to pending RFA forward Valeri Nichushkin despite trade interest from rival clubs.

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