In today’s NHL rumors and news update, there is news out of Toronto when it comes to the future of Jake Muzzin, the Montreal Canadiens are talking with the Pittsburgh Penguins and scouting the San Jose Sharks, and what is going on with Taylor Hall in New Jersey? Are the Edmonton Oilers really a team to watch as his situation unfolds?
Muzzin and Maple Leafs Not Talking Extension
Pierre LeBrun of TSN noted during an appearance on TSN’s Insider Trading that there have been no contract extension discussions between the Toronto Maple Leafs and defenseman Jake Muzzin.
Coming into this season, everyone knew it was going to be difficult to keep everyone that was acquired in Toronto. With such high price tags for the group of forwards meant to make up a dynamic scoring core, the Maple Leafs have a trio of notable pending UFAs on the blue line.
Muzzin joins Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci as to-do items for GM Kyle Dubas and the salary cap situation in Toronto won’t allow Dubas to keep everyone. LeBrun believes the lack of extension talks are because the team is still evaluating how Muzzin performs over the next few months.
So too, it is expected Muzzin will ask for a significant bump from the $4 million salary he currently carries which is an even bigger problem for Toronto.
Canadiens Looking for a Defenseman
As part of his latest 31 Thoughts column, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes that the Montreal Canadiens are still seeking a left-shot defenseman and have reached out the Pittsburgh Penguins about blueliner Juuso Riikola.
The Penguins are looking to make a trade so there might be something here.
Kevin Kurz of The Athletic suggests the Canadiens might be after a different target. On Twitter he posted that Montreal has been closely scouting San Jose both Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brenden Dillon.
Dillon is a pending UFA and depending on how the Sharks play moving forward, could be on the table.
Latest on Taylor Hall
Friedman further explained his comments about Taylor Hall and having to convince him to stay on the Tim and Sid show. Friedman suggested that the early struggles for the Devils will not help entice Hall and that, “They realize if it doesn’t change they’re going to have to start having these [trade] conversations with other clubs.”
Friedman even named the Edmonton Oilers as a team to watch here because the organization has wanted to “correct” the previous trade for a long time.
For the Oilers, it will be interesting to see how much interest they actually have. The team is playing well which has to intrigue Hall a little bit and that there is already discussion in New Jersey about Hall isn’t a good sign for them being able to keep him around. But, would the Oilers want to add his salary?
Even more, would Hall be able to get over the past emotional anger he felt when he was traded by the team just as they were starting to get good? As Friedman said, “Times heals all wounds.”
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