As the NHL trade deadline draws nearer, expectation is growing over possible moves by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their mid-February trading of Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to the Nashville Predators is considered the first of several significant moves as the Leafs begin a long-overdue rebuild.
It's widely assumed the 29-year-old Winnik is the next to go. TSN's Darren Dreger believes there's a 100-percent chance he'll will be gone by the deadline, claiming the Leafs seek a second-round pick and either a third rounder or a prospect. The Winnipeg Jets are reportedly interested and there's talk their unsigned free agent Alex Burmistrov (currently playing in the KHL) is being floated as a trade chip.
Dreger also thinks there's a good chance Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul could be traded at the deadline or during the off-season. If the oft-injured Lupul can stay healthy, Dreger claims several clubs could try to acquire him on deadline day.
Sportsnet590's Andrew Walker reports sources saying the Leafs are shopping the 31-year-old Lupul. Based on the Montreal Canadiens' previous interest, Walker speculates they could be a suitor. However, the Canadiens recent acquisition of Devante Smith-Pelly suggests they'll be looking at other options. TSN's Pierre LeBrun doesn't believe Lupul is a fit with the Habs.
It's not just Lupul's injury history that could scare off interest, but also his contract. With three years remaining at $5.25-million per season, he's an expensive gamble for clubs seeking a top-six winger.
KREJCI INJURY UPS BRUINS NEED FOR TOP-SIX HELP
The Boston Bruins' playoff hopes suffered a significant blow when top-line center David Krejci was sidelined four-to-six weeks to a knee injury. This puts more pressure upon Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to swing a deal or two to save their season.
ESPN Boston's Joe McDonald notes Krejci's cap hit is $5.25 million, suggesting Chiarelli could get some cap relief for possible short-term acquisitions by placing the 28-year-old center on LTIR. He speculates the Bruins could pursue Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette.
If call-up center Ryan Spooner helps cover off Krejci's absence, McDonald also suggests Chiarelli could continue shopping for a right wing. He thinks Winnipeg Jets winger Michael Frolik might be available. That's unlikely, as the Jets are also struggling to secure a playoff spot and lack depth up front. A more likely option is Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart, who's been lined to the Bruins in the rumor mill for some time.
FLAMES’ GLENCROSS SUBMITS HIS LIST
Speculation persists Calgary Flames left wing Curtis Glencross could be on the move by deadline day. The 32-year-old is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Having accepted a hometown discount on his current contract, Glencross reportedly seeks a more expensive deal which is too rich for Flames management to absorb.
Glencross possesses a full no-trade clause and was recently asked to submit a list of preferred destination to management. The Calgary Sun's Wes Gilbertson cites Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's claim the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning are on that list.
It's rumored the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins have interest in Glencross, but no word if they're also on that list. Given the limited depth in available talent heading into this year's trade deadline, the Flames might land a second-round pick and a prospect as a return.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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