Today’s edition of NHL Trade Rumours isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas, where we gather the latest gossip and reports on the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Marc-Andre Fleury, Curtis Lazar, Jannik Hansen, and Joe Sakic’s sell-mode Avalanche.
Let’s get greasy.
Flames revisiting a possible Fleury trade?
At that point in time, Eric Francis reported that Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford asked for the Flames’ sixth-overall pick in return.
Calgary said no go, and smartly selected Matthew Tkachuk.
Well, it may be a trade worth revisiting with the deadline just days away and Calgary in need of dependable goaltending to get into the playoffs.
“I still hear they’re kicking tires on Marc-Andre Fleury,” Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said on Hockey Central at Noon Thursday.
The Flames do not have a goaltender signed for 2017-18 and have been underwhelmed by the performance of UFA-to-be Brian Elliott, who has shown signs of a turnaround recently.
Fleury is now stuck in a backup role behind rookie Matt Murray in Pittsburgh and wants more ice time.
He is signed through 2018-19 at a cap hit of $5.75 million and has an 18-team no-trade list.
Rutherford is open to dealing Fleury but is also considering keeping him for support during the Penguins’ Cup defence.
Must-sell Sakic talks deadline plans
“There have been a lot of conversations about a lot of different things,” Sakic said.
“We’re certainly not going to be buyers at the deadline. We’re going to listen to offers for our [upcoming unrestricted free agents]. That’s where we’re at. We want to start our rebuilding process and get younger.
“I’m not looking to do something big. If something happens, I will listen to get exactly what we want to help the team in the future, and we’ll certainly listen and think about it. But if not, I’m continuing to go into the summer and see how we can improve in the summer. There’s no real deadline that way. But we’ll look at all options to get better.”
Jarome Iginla is the most familiar name on Sakic’s must-rent list. John Mitchell, Rene Bourque and Fedor Tyutin are available, too.
The go-for-it Montreal Canadiens are a good fit on paper. Habs GM Marc Bergevin said this week he’s not willing to deal a top prospect, like Mikhail Sergachev, for a rental. But what about a proven forward with term?
“I’m not the one talking about it,” Sakic said of Duchene and Landeskog. “I’m not the one starting it. I will say that where we are at, it’s going to be talked about. It makes sense for people to see where the Avalanche are and start talking different players. That’s probably a compliment to those guys. Because they’re really good players and you’re not going to talk about players who aren’t really good.”
Sakic also said that rookie coach Jared Bednar is safe from firing.
Senators GM to meet with Lazar’s agent
The nature of that meeting is unknown, leaving some to speculate that Lazar would like a trade.
The 22-year-old has been a frequent healthy scratch and has mustered just one assist (zero goals) in 29 games this season. Not what was expected of 2013’s first-round pick.
Two weeks ago, Lazar admitted to pouting and letting his emotions get to him during this tough stretch.
“Maturity-wise, you learn from your mistakes,” Lazar told reporters. “Sometimes I go to bed and I want to hit my pillow and stuff like that, but that doesn’t get me anywhere. I’m using that as a learning curve. I have to press the reset button and focus on small things.”
If Lazar does want a new environment, Dorion would be selling low on the young forward.
Lazar carries a modest cap hit of $894,167 and his contract expires on July 1, at which point he’ll become a restricted free agent.
Vancouver has pieces to move, but is Hansen one of them?
“If and if and if and if,” Jannik Hansen told the Vancouver Sun of his trade speculation.
“There are too many variables where I have little control over. If the team comes to me, I give them my [trade list of eight teams] and then it’s in their hands. I can’t veto a trade. If [GM Jim Benning] wants to trade me, he can trade me.”
Hansen, 30, has a modified no-trade clause and carries a reasonable $2.5 million cap hit.
“I have another year on my contract, so maybe a team that’s not in the playoffs would want me for next year. It’s tough for me to figure out what’s going to happen,” the winger said.
“If he comes to me, I’ll give him eight teams. But I’ve made it very clear I’d prefer to stay here.”
Maple Leafs to be a major player at trade deadline
ICYMI: Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston breaks down how the cash-rich Toronto Maple Leafs — the most cap-savvy franchise in the NHL — could be heavily involved in deadline moves, even if Toronto is not in the traditional buy/sell mode.