Rumor: Two Canadian teams bidding on Flyers' Ristolainen
Zuma Press  

Rumor: Two Canadian teams bidding on Flyers' Ristolainen

A bidding war for a guy the Flyers don't even want!?!?



Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was made a late scratch for his team's game against the Winnipeg Jets this evening, leading many to believe that he could be in play on the trade market. After all, the Flyers are expected to listen to all trade offers on Ristolainen ahead of the NHL's March 8th trade deadline.

Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman however has poured cold water on the rumor that Ristolainen has been moved this evening, reporting that the Finnish blueliner is simply out of the lineup with an illness.

Interestingly enough, it's Friedman who reported earlier today that there's interest around the league from other teams on Ristolainen but that his contract makes a trade difficult for most teams. He's signed for another three seasons at a whopping $5.1 million cap hit. He's certainly not worth that much in dollars or in term, but if the Flyers are willing to eat as much as 50% of his salary, they could likely move him with relative ease.

Flyers insider Anthony DiMarco reports that the Flyers value Ristolainen at a $3.5 million cap hit:

DiMarco also reports that the two teams most interested in Ristolainen appear to be the Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Check it out:

The Canucks are all over seemingly every trade rumor this season, so it's not terribly surprising to see them in the mix. As for the Leafs, they're perpetually looking for quality defensemen but I don't think Ristolainen fits the bill of what they're looking for. Then again, maybe he's exactly what the team needs... he'd fit in perfectly with the rest of their overpaid roster.

Read below for our earlier report on the Canucks and their interest in free agent Phil Kessel.

According to Vancouver Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal, the team has been 'poking around' unrestricted free agent and the NHL's all-time Ironman Phil Kessel.

From Dhaliwal earlier today:

Furthermore, Dhaliwal reports that Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet had some nice words to share on Kessel this past weekend.

Tocchet and Kessel, of course, won back to back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Tocchet was largely credited with helping Kessel reach his potential with the Penguins, to the point where he was jokingly referred to as the 'Phil Whisperer' for his work with Kessel. The two have spoken fondly about each other for years, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a reunion of the two on Vancouver's West Coast. Stay tuned.

Source: Anthony DiMarco