The NHL rumor mill blew up yesterday when Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that a potential three-way deal between the Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche fell apart. Details of exactly all the players involved and exactly why it went south are sketchy, but we do know that Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm was one of the players in the mix. It’s believed that Kyle Turris and Matt Duchene would have also been on the move, had the deal gone through.
We also know that as of now, the deal appears to be dead. That didn’t stop Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons from positing a solution to the Toronto Maple Leafs defensive issues, however. In his latest column for the Sun, Simmons makes the case for Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello to make an offer on Ekholm:
If Nashville is in any way considering trading away defenceman Mattias Ekholm, one of the NHL’s most underrated players, Lou Lamoriello should light a fire and start camping outside David Poile’s home. Poile’s done it before – he traded Shea Weber and Seth Jones away and once dealt for Hall of Famer Rod Langway, before he was anything close to Hall of Fame.
While history may agree with Simmons’ sentiment, the Leafs won’t get Ekholm for nothing. And if the rumors of Nashville acquiring Turris for Ekholm are true, you’d have to expected that Preds GM David Poile would expect something of equal value from Toronto. Would forward James van Riemsdyk fit the bill? He’s not the dynamic two-way center that the Preds are seeking, but he’s a valuable winger, nonetheless.
Watch this one closely, Leafs fans. Don’t be surprised if JVR for Ekholm headlines pop up as we draw closer to the NHL trade deadline.