NHL Rumors: Will Predators trade Mattias Ekholm, Canucks ask for Jake Virtanen, and Wild could expose Matt Dumba to Kraken

Mar 3, 2020; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14) looks to shoot in the third period of a game with the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been a lot of discussion recently as to what the Nashville Predators will do this season. As they continue to struggle, being sellers at the deadline is the most likely course of action.

NHL Rumors: Teams hoping Mattias Ekholm will be available

Pierre LeBrun brought up the Predators tonight on the latest Insider Trading. He talked about the obvious names as rentals including Mikael Granlund whom the Maple Leafs have interest in. One name we haven’t heard yet is 30 year-old lefty defenseman, Mattias Ekholm.

“There’s a more intriguing name that when I talk to teams that they hope will be on the market,” LeBrun began. “That is top four defenseman, Mattias Ekholm.”

Ekholm has a deal with an AAV of $3.75M that will expire in the summer of 2022. LeBrun believes the Predators will listen to offers and if they don’t like what’s there they’ll keep him.

NHL Rumors: Canucks asking for a young forward in exchange for Jake Virtanen

Jake Virtanen and Adam Gaudette are available but according to The Province there’s no takers for either at the moment. There appears to be some interest in Virtanen per Darren Dreger.

Virtanen is 24 year-old has just one goal on only 25 shots in 14 games this season. Any team looking for potential would find him intriguing. However his value is so low that it would behoove the Canucks to keep him.

There’s always a market for former 1st round picks (6th overall) and Dreger says the Canucks are looking for a young forward back. They also have cap concerns, so I am assuming that player could be a prospect. That would allow them to remove Virtanen’s entire $2.55 million hit off the books.

NHL Rumors: Matt Dumba exposed to Seattle?

matt dumba rumors
Feb 27, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (24) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

So with the current state of the Wild defense, who will they protect and expose to the Seattle Kraken? An interesting possibility is trade candidate Matt Dumba. He was talked about often during the offseason, but no deal ever materialized.

Obviously, the Wild aren’t asking Spurgeon or Brodin to waive, so that leaves Suter. Would Guerin do that or would he ever consider just exposing Dumba and Soucy and basically saying to Seattle, “Take one.” If it’s Dumba, well, it’s $6 million of cap space that opens up. It would stink if they lose him for nothing, but remember, this is obviously if he can’t be traded and right now it doesn’t look like teams are dialing off the hook for him.

The Athletic

Michael Russo makes some great points, and in the flat cap era flexibility is key. An interesting offseason is already shaping up.