Yesterday was a busy day with regards to news that could have major implications to the NHL Trade market. The biggest revelation and it absolutely will have ramifications is the scoop that the Winnipeg Jets and Dustin Byfuglien are going to mutually agree to terminate his contract.
Jets get needed cap space
TSN’s Frank Seravalli got the news the Jets and Dustin Byfuglien will part ways. That is going to give them over $7M in cap space to make a run at the trade deadline and address their biggest need for defense. The consensus is that GM, Kevin Cheveldayoff isn’t looking at a rental after being burned by Kevin Hayes this past summer and wants to make a hockey trade. This will make it even tougher for the Maple Leafs who are also in the market for a top four defenseman (left side).
Leafs goaltending situation gets worse
Last night the Leafs starting goaltender, Frederik Andersen left the game with an apparent head injury. Early reports look good but they called up Kasimir Kaskisuo just in case. So now what are the Leafs going to address first, defense or their glaring issues in net as their backups continue to struggle. Considering that more teams are in the market for blue-liners at the deadline, I expect GM Kyle Dubas to turn his eyes back to the goalie market and specifically the Rangers Alexander Georgiev.
The Blueshirts are still very interested in Kasperi Kapanen in order to ease prized prospect, Kaapo Kakko’s transition with a fellow countryman in the lineup. Jeff Gorton could possibly send Libor Hajek along in the deal to help the Leafs defensive concerns if Dubas will sweeten the pot with a future 1st round pick or another top prospect.
The Minnesota Wild are said to be sellers in the upcoming deadline and the biggest asset they may trade is defenseman Matt Dumba. At a $6M cap hit, the 25 year old defenseman is cost controlled until 2023. The Leafs are said to be interested but with Jets in the market for a top four blue liner with term and plenty of cap space, I expect them to go hard after and land him. The Jets also have the assets to get Matt Dumba in Winnipeg.