Patrik Laine & Nikolaj Ehlers available for trade; A bidding war for Jacob Markstrom?: The Rumour Mill

Photo credit:Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
29 days ago
The Rumour Mill is as hot as a kettle this time of year. This week in the NHL sees a struggling former star request a trade, a bidding war for former Vancouver Canucks goaltender and a defensive stud is set to hit the free agent market.
Let’s find out.

Patrik Laine Requests Trade

Earlier this week, the Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Patrik Laine informed the Columbus Blue Jackets he would like a fresh start. The Blue Jackets obliged, and both sides are currently working on a deal.
Laine came onto the NHL scene in a big way after going second overall in the 2016 draft – and I mean big. He’s a 6’5, 215-lb Finnish winger with one of the league’s most lethal shots. Laine had 36 goals and 74 points in his rookie year and carried that on throughout his four years in Winnipeg. Laine would request a trade and finish his Jets tenure with 140 goals and 250 points in 306 games.
Since the move to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Laine has struggled to find his game again. He hasn’t played more than 56 games in a single season and has not scored more than 26 goals — Laine’s lowest goal total in Winnipeg was 28.
Laine, 26, only played 18 games last season after dealing with a shoulder injury and spending time in the NHL/NHLPA’s players assistance program from January onward. He has two years remaining on his $8.7M contract with a 10-team modified no-trade clause. So, the Finnish sniper does have some control over his future.
Now, let’s put our Vancouver Canucks sunglasses on…
Is Laine someone you want to see the Canucks target? They’re looking for a top-6 scoring winger, and that’s exactly what Laine was like during his time in Winnipeg. Is there a world where he can return to that form? Or does his inconsistencies and weaker defensive play make him another version of Andrei Kuzmenko?

Winnipeg Jets Taking Calls on Nikolaj Ehlers

After the Jets were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, it’s clear the club needed to make a change. And Ehlers looks to be the casualty.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on Insider Trading that the Jets are definitely taking calls on Ehlers. Dreger adds the Carolina Hurricanes as a potential fit and suggests a swap for Martin Necas. He doesn’t completely rule out a return to Winnipeg, as he can sign an extension on July 1st, but it certainly sounds like a smoke screen.
Usually, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and Ehlers has been rumoured to be on the trade block all offseason. So, his departure this summer would not surprise most.
Okay, the Vancouver Canucks glasses are back on.
Would Ehlers be an acceptable top-six forward for the Canucks? He and Laine are virtually polar opposites. Laine struggles with consistency, but he’s a goal scorer. Ehlers, 28, is a consistent 60-point player every season, but that seems to be his ceiling. He has one year remaining on his $6M contract.

Mario Ferraro Drawing Interest

With the minimal assets on this San Jose Sharks team, they’ve sure got a lot of calls on their number one defencemen, Mario Ferraro. David Pagnotta of the Fourth Period reported that the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs were teams to inquire about the defenceman.
Ferraro, 25, is best known for his defensive play. He is a first-over-the-board pairing defenceman on the penalty kill and has logged crucial minutes since the 2020-2021 season. Ferraro averaged 22:52 minutes of ice time and a career-high 21 points this season.
The left-shot defenceman has two years remaining on his $3.25M contract.

Bidding War Starting for Jacob Markstrom

It’s not a question of if but when and who will land Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman informed us on what he’s hearing on the Jeff Marek Show.
“He wants to play for a team with a winning situation. I believe Calgary has not given up on the possibility that it could be them, but I believe the Flames are prepared to trade Markstrom, Friedman said. “I mentioned Toronto, I think New Jersey, I think LA, I’ve mentioned Ottawa, I’m not sure how Markstrom feels about that.”
Rumours have been swirling about Markstrom and the Devils since last year’s trade deadline. According to multiple reports, the Flames and Devils had an agreement on the table, and Markstrom agreed to waive his no-movement clause. However, the agreement was later shut down by Flames ownership, and Markstrom was not happy.
Now he’s not going to do the Flames any favours and can handpick his next destination.
Both the Flames and Devils have now circled back on their negotiations. It’s unclear what New Jersey was sending Calgary’s way back then, but they’re now dangling their 10th overall pick as ammunition for an elite goaltender.
The Senators have made a recent push for Markstrom and have announced they would move the 7th overall pick for a goaltender as well. However, with his no-movement clause and the speculation that Markstrom wants to win but is unsure about the Senators, there may not be a marriage here.
Let the bidding war begin!

Brenden Dillon to Hit Free Agency

After three successful seasons in Winnipeg, Brenden Dillon is set to hit free agency on July 1st. Dillon, 33, registered 20+ points each year with the Jets and finished this season with a +20 plus/minus rating.
According to sources close to the team, the Jets had never even made an offer or called Dillon to discuss a contract extension. It’s reported that Dillon grew to love his time in Winnipeg. Why did the club not even contact one of the few guys who’ve expressed interest in playing in this market? This is something Winnipeg has struggled with in the last few seasons.
Elliotte Friedman enlightened us with an update on Dillon’s situation:
“I heard he’s going to free agency. I think there were some conversations between him and the Jets. You never rule anything out, but I don’t think there’s going to be any re-signing with Winnipeg before the window opens. So I expect Dillon to hit the market.”
With confirmation he’ll be hitting the open market, these quotes from the New Westminster native from the Donnie and Dhali show mean something a little bit more now.
The defensive market will be busy this offseason with a lot of player movement and teams needing to fill their voids. For any team looking for a pure defensive defenseman, Dillon is going to be high on that list. Could he be a potential option for the Canucks?
We’ll be back next week to update you further on the Rumour Mill around the league.

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