In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Montreal Canadiens are being told the price is too high on defenseman Ben Chiarot. Meanwhile, earlier rumors of Shea Weber’s contract being a fit for the Minnesota Wild have been shot down. The Toronto Maple Leafs want to make a move but their cap situation means only one kind of trade. Did Semyon Varlamov shoot down interest from the Edmonton Oilers? Finally, how many teams are going after Brandon Hagel of the Chicago Blackhawks and Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes?
Canadiens Being Told to Lower Ask on Chiarot
Elliotte Friedman discussed the status of a pending trade for Chiarot on The Jeff Marek Show and noted: “I definitely think for example in Chiarot’s case Montreal wanted to do this some time ago, but the buyers are just saying no, we have other options if your asking price doesn’t come down.” In other words, there are a number of teams interested, but most, if not all, think the ask is too high.
The shift is interesting because NHL insiders have been under the impression the blueliner has been coveted by almost every team with aspirations to win the Stanley Cup, and that the feeling was Chiarot would easily fetch a first-round pick in a trade.
Wild Not a Fit for Weber After All
Friedman also notes that after talking to some cap people, his earlier prediction that the Minnesota Wild would make sense as a team that might want to acquire Shea Weber’s contract was miscalculated. He now isn’t sure it would make sense for the Wild and wouldn’t expect them to do that deal. He notes, “You do not want to be in long-term injury, over the cap, for years and years,” one source said. “There’s nothing good about that.”
Friedman adds that the move doesn’t allow you to accrue cap space, and an acquiring team would have to activate and then put on the LTIR.
Maple Leafs Looking at Money Out To Bring Money In
TSN’s Chris Johnston notes that the Toronto Maple Leafs looked at Jake Muzzin being on the ice yesterday as a positive step from his second concussion. It also backs their suspicions that they won’t have access to his LTIR salary ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
Johnston notes that any deal the Maple Leafs do would likely see them send money out before bringing money in. He explains:
“And so, really right now the Leafs are looking at having about $500,000 that they could add in an annual cap hit that they could add at the deadline depending on what they do with some players before then. So it’s probably going to have to be players out to bring someone in. And as for Jake Muzzin, the hope is that he’ll be back as soon as possible so he can get ready for the playoffs rather than sitting out until the playoffs.”
8 Teams Interested in Chychrun
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that eight teams are seriously interested in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. The back and forth over the right trade could mean any deal comes down to the wire and that if a trade happens, it might take place right at the deadline on March 21st. It is believed the Coyotes will hold out for the best deal and if it isn’t there, simply keep the player.
Dreger mentions that the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks have the most serious interest. “But again, we’re inside two weeks from the trade deadline. It could come down to March 21,” Dreger said.
Varlamov Shoots Down the Oilers
According to a couple of reports, it appears the Edmonton Oilers reached out to the New York Islanders about Semyon Varlamov and the goaltender has said no to waiving his no-trade clause to facilitate a trade. Friedman writes in this 32 Thoughts column that there is increased chatter around Semyon Varlamov. Noting he has one more year with a $5 million cap hit and $4 million cash owed, his no-trade covers half the NHL. “Teams are petrified of admitting they’re talking to the Islanders. If it happens, I’m not convinced it will be Edmonton.”
James Nichols of The Fourth Period also tweeted, “I’m told Varlamov won’t waive his NTC for Edmonton.” When reached out to for clarification on whether the Oilers actually asked about a trade, he noted, “Yep it’s legit, reputable source, Oilers asked but it didn’t go far.”
Blackhawks Want First and More for Hagel
Dreger also notes that there are plenty of teams calling the Chicago Blackhawks about forward about Brandon Hagel. Speculation is that the player won’t be moved because his deal is too team-friendly and he’s viewed as an important part of the Blackhawks rebuild. Hagel has two years left at $1.5 million per season.
“So, shouldn’t he be part of the rebuild in Chicago? Well the interest is based on the rebuild so there’s no guarantee that he will get moved. If he gets moved it’s going to be for a first-round draft pick and something else. That’s how important he is.”
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”