With the Taylor Hall trade going down earlier this week, general managers across the entire NHL have to be standing at attention. The NHL’s Christmas trade freeze goes into affect tomorrow evening and we’re still two months away from the league’s trade deadline, but it’s clear that there’s some trade chatter amongst GMs.
In his latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reported on several pending free agents who could be on the rental market, but two players in particular have raised eyebrows from fans: Toronto Maple Leafs defensemen Jake Muzzin and Tyson Barrie.
Check it out:
What’s interesting is how many potential rentals play for teams who are trying to win, which eliminates their availability. At this time, that includes major names: Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby (Washington), Torey Krug (Boston) and Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis). Even if they remain unsigned, those teams are going for the Stanley Cup. They’ll deal with the fallout later.
But there are some other good players in that situation, too: Tyson Barrie and Jake Muzzin (Toronto), Justin Braun (Philadelphia), Joel Edmundson and Erik Haula (Carolina), Thomas Greiss (Islanders), Radko Gudas (Washington), Justin Schultz (Pittsburgh) and Carl Soderburg (Arizona).
The Leafs are currently three points out of a Wild Card spot, but are actually closer to a playoff spot via the third spot in the NHL’s Atlantic Division. Should they continue to slide down the standings, don’t be surprised if Barrie and Muzzin find themselves on the trade block. Ouch.