NHL Rumors: Ducks, Maple Leafs, Canadiens, More

Carolina Hurricanes, Jake Gardiner, Justin Faulk, Mike Babcock, NHL Rumors, Top Story, Toronto Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is a team that has shown interest in defenseman Justin Faulk, but that there are complications with any potential trade. So too, Carolina wasn’t the only team to pitch to Jake Gardiner. Finally, what amount of wins or losses to start the season would be the line in the sand for Mike Babcock in Toronto?

Ducks Interested in Faulk

When the Carolina Hurricanes signed Jake Gardiner to a four-year deal, Justin Faulk’s name almost immediately came up as trade bait out of Carolina. There were a number of teams rumored to make sense and among them were the Anaheim Ducks.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that the Ducks have had discussions with Carolina about Faulk and there might be a trade worked out. The problem is, according to Friedman, the Ducks are on Faulk’s no-trade list. Further to that, James Mirtle of The Athletic tweets that Faulk’s 15-team no-trade clause has been “causing issues” and making any trade much more difficult to accomplish.

Depending on Faulk’s desire to stay with Carolina, he could really stick to his guns on the 15 teams.

Related: NHL Rumors: Predators, Blues, Maple Leafs, Oilers, More

How Long is Babcock’s Leash?

Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun writes that Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has said Mike Babcock’s job is relatively safe when compared to wins and losses to start the Maple Leafs season. This is important for Babcock, especially if a player like Mitch Marner hasn’t worked out his contract issues prior to the season getting underway.

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock
Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Dubas noted that Babcock has already proven himself as an elite coach and it’s more important to pay attention to how the team plays as a whole. Hornby writes:

“It’s a long year, and to say we have to win ‘X’ amount the first month or first two months is not really the way I’ve ever approached hockey. The major focus will be on the process of how we’re playing versus points.”

source -‘Maple Leafs GM Dubas denies coach Babcock is under the gun’ – Lance Hornby – Toronto Sun – 09/04/2019

Dubas also understands that every team has holes and it’s not just Toronto that might have a missing player or two when camp starts or the regular season begins. Not to mention, there is a turnover that happens with every new season so the coaches always get a little time to work out the bugs.

Related: 2012 NHL Draft Top 10: Where Are They Now?

Canadiens Pitched for Gardiner

The Carolina Hurricanes were not the only team to reach out to Jake Gardiner. GM Marc Bergevin confirmed to Eric Engels of Sportsnet that the Montreal Canadiens made an offer as well.

Toronto Maple Leafs Jake Gardiner
Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Bergevin called the process of talking to Gardiner’s side a “two-way street” and that the player needs to be interested as well. That comment makes it sound like Gardiner might not have been interested.

Still with the Canadiens, it sounds like they won’t be bringing in Jason Pominville despite rumors to the contrary. According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, Montreal wants to give their young players a “fair chance” during training camp. If Pominville wants to be part of the Canadiens organization, he may have to settle for a professional tryout.

Related: Gardiner’s Contract a Misstep for Maple Leafs

Zacha Going to the KHL?

Pavel Zacha is still without a contract in New Jersey and according to Igor Eronko of Sport-Express, Zacha has agreed to terms with Avangard of the KHL. There has been no official announcement from either side at this point, but losing Zacha would be a big blow to the Devils who are trying to be as competitive as possible this season.

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