NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs trade approach, Habs coaching change, and latest on Chychrun

The Toronto Maple Leafs are always one of those teams that no matter where they are in the standings are in the trade rumor mill.

GM Kyle Dubas is sitting on a powder keg that will explode if the Leafs lose in the first round again. However, he does have limited cap space to make deals. As one of the brightest minds in hockey, that’s unlikely to stop him.

NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs may not be looking for rentals

“I think if the Leafs, all things being equal, could control things, they’d rather acquire a player who has a little bit of term left on their contract rather than a straight rental,” Chris Johnston said on the most recent TSN Insider Trading.

Last season, despite having little cap room to play with, Dubas made a handful of deals that also included the surprise acquisition of Nick Foligno.

Based on this info from Johnston, you have to wonder if the Maple Leafs may try to acquire forwards with term like J.T. Miller or Tyler Toffoli for their playoff run. If so, the question remains how do they make the money work? Which players do they move out to make cap space? All reasonable questions.

“I think that they’re just looking to get as many good players as they can, but they like the idea of getting players with some term because they feel like it gives them [a] chance to get settled in,” Johnston concluded.

Will the Habs let coach Dominique Ducharme go?

dominique ducharme
Jun 7, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme gestures to the fans after the series win over the Winnipeg Jets during the overtime period in game four of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

When the Montreal Canadiens hired Jeff Gorton as new EVP of Hockey Operations, he said that he didn’t see a coaching change happening in-season.

Although, new GM Kent Hughes in his comments didn’t seem to dismiss the possibility.

“Dom’s the coach of this team, and again, arriving here today with … I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to think about everything,” said Hughes. “I certainly have beliefs about what a modern-day coach should be or have in terms of qualities, and I’m anxious to speak to Dom and learn more about him, and ultimately, we’ll see where things take us from there.” 

As the Habs continue to flounder, the question has come up again.

“I mean listen, I think all things being equal that Jeff Gorton would stick to what he said, that they would wait till the off-season to make a coaching change, that’s my sense of it,” Pierre LeBrun said. “But, consider this, the Habs are still paying Claude Julien $5 million US through June 30th, he’s not off the books until after the season; they’re still paying Marc Bergevin, former GM, until June 30th, he’s not off the books until after the year; and they just signed Ducharme to a three-year deal last summer.”

LeBrun wouldn’t rule it out, but financial concerns may factor into any decision on a coaching change.

Latest on Jakob Chychrun

jakob chychrun rumors
Nov 18, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) celebrates his goal scored against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, Chychrun is the star of his own reality TV show which could be aptly named: The World According to Jakob.

Almost every hour there’s some news surrounding him and at times it appears conflicting. For example, Darren Dreger mentioned that the Kings, Panthers, Bruins, Ducks, and Blues are in on acquiring the blue-liner. He even said the Maple Leafs “kicked tires” on him.

Meanwhile, Elliotte Friedman’s latest reporting states: “My sense is Los Angeles and the Rangers are out for now — weird stuff happens, you never know.”

He did note that the Panthers, Bruins, Ducks, Columbus, and Hurricanes have interest as well.

Chychrun, 23, has just 8 points in 30 games with the Yotes’ this season and was dealing with an injury. Last year was a breakout for him with 41 points in 56 games. The left-handed rearguard has three years left on a cap friendly deal of $4.6 million.