In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are reports as to why the Toronto Maple Leafs went out and traded for Jared McCann, plus how it affects their NHL Expansion Draft strategy. Meanwhile, new reports regarding Adam Larsson suggest he’s not likely to re-sign with the Edmonton Oilers. Speculation is that Nick Foligno is headed to the Minnesota Wild and there is more new surfacing about Carey Price, the Montreal Canadiens and the Seattle Kraken.
Maple Leafs Traded For McCann as Draft Play
According to Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, the Maple Leafs picked up Jared McCann in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins simply to force a choice by the Kraken that would leave Toronto with one of two strong depth center options. Essentially, the Leafs didn’t want to lose Alex Kerfoot and not have a backup. Now, they do.
Siegel explains that the Maple Leafs knew Seattle was interested in both Kerfoot and McCann. By putting both on the Leafs roster, the NHL’s newest team now has to choose one, which ensures either McCann or Kerfoot are part of the Leafs roster when this is all over. Siegel writes:
If Seattle takes Kerfoot, then the Leafs have insured themselves with McCann, who could be their third-line centre next season. If Francis opts for McCann, the Leafs still have Kerfoot (though I’d argue he belongs on the wing moving forward and at centre only in the case of injury).
source – ‘Why the Leafs exposed Alex Kerfoot and Jared McCann to Seattle in the expansion draft’ – Jonas Siegel – The Athletic – 07/18/2021
As per a report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the odds the Oilers sign Larsson this offseason are less than 50 per cent. Apparently, the defenseman isn’t just going to test the market, the belief now is that he’ll sign elsewhere. Seravalli explained during a recent Daily Face-off podcast:
“My understanding is that the Oilers and Adam Larsson are rather unlikely at this point to get something done and that he’ll be heading to market. Now, I think the development which is really interesting is that Tyson Barrie has a real chance to stay in Edmonton. That’s been the the sort of shift that’s occurred over the last four or five days.”
The news about Barrie is also interesting because it doesn’t solve the Oilers needs for a shutdown defenseman on the right side. Ethan Bear is not likely that player and Barrie and Evan Bouchard are both offensive blueliners whose strengths are likely to show up on the power play.
If Larsson leaves, the Oilers are going to be in the market for a player to replace him.
Nick Foligno Likely to Join Brother in Minnesota
According to a few sources, including Andy Strickland, forward Nick Foligno won’t re-sign with the Maple Leafs or return to the Columbus Blue Jackets as a UFA. He’s likely set to join his brother Marcus Foligno in Minnesota and play for the Wild.
Nick Foligno will offer leadership — which is something that left the Wild when Ryan Suter and Zach Parise were bought out — and the belief is that it won’t cost a lot to add him on a short-term deal. He didn’t show well when he went to Toronto and during their playoff run was hit with an injury, but he’s been mostly consistent with his production throughout his 13 year career.
Carey Price Dealing with Injury
There’s a reason the Montreal Canadiens have made Price available during the NHL Expansion Draft. He’s dealing with a potentially serious injury that could require surgery. Reports are he’s got knee and hip issues. In fact, it was Price’s idea to go to the Canadiens and suggest they not protect him so that they could save Jake Allen from exposure.
It’s a gamble, but Price was betting that his massive salary and his injury concerns might be enough to scare the Kraken away from risking a selection on him. What’s interesting is that reports on Monday suggest the Kraken are looking at Price and heavily considering taking him anyways.
Seravalli notes, “I’m told as #SeaKraken continue to investigate Price’s injuries, ownership has given hockey ops the full green light to select Price if Francis sees fit – health concerns and all. There is zero doubt they’re considering it.”
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”