NHL Rumors: Rangers are not trading the first pick, Wild looking for a center, and Leafs fallout continues

Jeff Gorton is not trading the top pick (Getty Images)

The things you read on the internet! Today’s NHL rumors offering starts with the complete nonsensical idea that the Rangers may trade the number one pick in the draft.

NHL rumors New York Rangers

It wasn’t even 2 minutes after the lottery before the hockey world was flooded with conspiracy theories that the New York Rangers win was rigged. I kid you not.

It wasn’t even 5 minutes before trade rumors started coming out that the Rangers in need of centers would possibly attempt to acquire Jack Eichel or Auston Matthews with it. Then there was trading it to Ottawa for both their first round picks at 3 and 5.

NHL rumors rangers
No! Rangers are not trading Lafreniere (Vincent Ethier/CHL)

Let me make it clear, I spoke to several sources close to the Rangers and they are over the moon about winning the pick. And although they won’t commit to picking Alexis Lafreniere publicly, that is exactly who they are taking.

From a logical standpoint, with the cap flat at $81.5 million for the next few years, why would the Rangers move a cost controlled phenom for a $10 million center? It’s a rhetorical question because they wouldn’t.

NHL rumors Minnesota Wild looking for a top center in free agency

Minnesota Wild GM, Bill Guerin noted there needed to be changes after his team lost their qualifying matchup to the Vancouver Canucks. In particular, his need to find a top line pivot for the team.

“Teams don’t trade No. 1 centers. They just don’t,” he said. “Usually, it’s got to be done in the free-agent market or through the draft. It’s a position that I think this organization has needed for quite some time. We are going to try to address it.”

Twin Cities

A quick glance at available free agent centers shows the Predators, Mikael Granlund and the Sharks, Joe Thornton as potential UFA centers. Of course, Guerin can try and trade for the rights to Rangers center Ryan Strome who is an RFA.

New York, could be center shopping themselves this summer. During a Zoom call after the lottery, GM Jeff Gorton hinted as much.

NHL rumors Toronto Maple Leafs

The fallout continues with the Leafs latest playoff failures. Many believe that GM, Kyle Dubas will not be fired but he is officially being put on notice for next season.

As far as trading any of their top four forwards, and in particular William Nylander, many feel it won’t happen. The speculation is that the Leafs will try and improve their blue-line and goaltending via trades and free-agency.

Top candidates to be moved are Kasperi Kapanen, Adreas Johansson, and Alex Kerfoot.

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