NHL Rumors Roundup: Conor Garland, Josh Manson, Coyotes, Maple Leafs, and Capitals

Conor Garland Trade Rumors
Dec 10, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Conor Garland (8) celebrates his goal against the Winnipeg Jets in the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks management staff is in place and they will be looking to reshape the roster for the future. President Jm Rutherford along with GM Patrik Allvin and AGM Émilie Castonguay are working in unison to seek out the best trades possible.

While there has been a ton of emphasis on J.T. Miller, a surprising new name just came to light.

NHL Rumors: Conor Garland

“A number of their forwards that they are discussing with teams around the league… including potentially Conor Garland.” Elliotte Friedman said on HNIC. “You’ve all heard some of the rumors, Rangers Boston, Calgary, but I think NJ is in there too.”

Garland, 25, was acquired by the Canucks in the big offseason trade that brought in Oliver Ekman-Larsson. They quickly signed their newly acquired forward to a five-year, $24.75 million contract on Tuesday. His AAV is $4.95M.

This season, the 25 year-old has 10 goals and 24 points in 39 games. He has no protection against a trade in his contract.

The young forward will likely fetch a high level prospect and draft pick as a return.

“I don’t have a full evaluation because of not having full lineups,” Rutherford recently told The Athletic. “But decisions will have to be made based on where we are today and where we want to be in a year or two.”

Josh Manson on the move?

nhl rumors
Nov 30, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson (42) in the second period against the LA Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks will be one of the more interesting teams as we approach the Trade Deadline. They are currently battling with the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division, but have a number of UFAs to make decisions on.

One in particular, defenseman Josh Manson would fetch quite a return in March.

“He’s an unrestricted free agent to be and their is interest,” Friedman noted. “Toronto is one of the teams believed to be looking at Manson.”

Manson, 30, has 7 points in 43 games. He’s a physical defenseman that isn’t a liability in the offensive zone. He’s in the final year of a contract with a $4.1 million cap hit and has a modified no-trade clause.

Phil Kessel on the cheap?

“Will teams get out in front for Phil (Kessel)? Told he can be had for a 2nd round pick,” reporter Andy Strickland said. “Would look pretty good on the second line for a number of teams.”

A second round pick? That’s all for Kessel! A guy who has scored 931 career points in the NHL has to be worth more than a second round pick.

Kessel, 34, is a pending UFA and considered a top rental. He is still productive with 28 points in 43 games for the Coyotes, and like Strickland says, would look good on a team’s second line. The Boston Bruins are said to be interested.

Bottom line, it is hard to believe that Kessel is still in Arizona if they all want a second round pick for his services.

Maple Leafs looking at trades for players with term

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.

“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 Montreal’s Tyler Toffoli for their playoff run. You could also add the aforementioned Canucks players J.T. Miller and Conor Garland to the mix.

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.

Capitals eyeing Marc-Andre Fleury

marc-andre fleury rumors
Dec 15, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) clears the puck with a diving poke check during the overtime period against the Washington Capitals at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple sources, the Caps are considering trading for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

“The first one is definitely a goalie. I think, as everyone kind of knows, the Capitals are in on Marc-Andre Fleury,” Samantha Pell, who covers the Capitals for the Washington Post said.

“The Capitals definitely need a goalie… You have two pretty solid records from each guy, but when you look deeper into the numbers they’ve given up a lot of goals in a lot of starts. The Capitals have had no consistency from that standpoint,” she continued. “I would say at the trade deadline, it would definitely be a goaltender.”

Fleury, 37, will be a pending UFA this summer, and a valuable trade chip for Chicago to bring in younger assets for the future. He is 14-14-3 this season with a 2.88 GAA, and a .909 SV%. Washington will likely need to have Chicago eat 50% of his $7M cap hit and maybe take Ilya Samsonov ($2M, pending RFA) back in return.