NHL Rumors: Mikael Granlund is Maple Leafs top target, Aleksander Barkov injury may prompt trade, and Ryan Getzlaf with Penguins?

Feb 8, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators center Mikael Granlund (64) skates into the offensive zone during the third period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs apparently have identified their top trade target heading to the deadline and it’s Mikael Granlund. Now all they have to do is get the Canadian government to ease quarantine restrictions and convince the Predators they should move him.

Easy.

NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs top target is Mikael Granlund

Granlund is 29 years old and on a one year deal with the Predators. He has 12 points in 29 games this season in Nashville and plays both center and wing. He’s been attached to the Maple Leafs since February. Frank Seravalli on the latest TSN Insider Trading provided this update.

“After scouring the league I believe the Leafs primary target at this point is Nashville Predator forward Mikael Granlund,” he said. Seravalli did note the two aforementioned difficulties as Toronto is spearheading an effort to get the 14 day quarantine reduced to 7 days prior to making a trade with U.S. teams.

There’s also some thought that Nashville is unwilling to make a deal because they are technically in the hunt for a playoff spot. However, David Poile probably knows that his team wouldn’t get past the Lightning if they did and has to think about the future.

NHL Rumors: Aleksander Barkov injury may increase need to make a trade

aleksander barkov
Aleksander Barkov not available (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Aleksander Barkov is out with a lower-body injury and it’s not considered serious. However, it does stress how important it is to have depth down the middle when heading into the playoffs. This only increases the speculation that the Panthers may be more committed to bringing in a center at the deadline.

One pivot they have already been linked to is Eric Staal. The 36 year-old would be a great depth acquisition for a very good Florida team.

NHL Rumors: Ryan Getzlaf with the Penguins?

Another injury to a center has Jimmy Murphy thinking about Brian Burke reuniting with Ryan Getzlaf. This is one of those trades I can see happening for a multitude of reasons. The Penguins have lost center Evgeni Malkin week-to-week due to a lower body injury. It would make sense to have some insurance in the lineup.

Obviously Burke has a relationship with Getzlaf from his Anaheim days and this could be a team he’d be willing to waive his no move clause for. Certainly an interesting thought and one to keep an eye on.

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