Toronto Maple Leafs Rumors: All the Latest Buzz Ahead of 2013 NHL Draft
Perhaps the trade signaled that the Leafs are open for business and looking to deal.
Regardless, over the past week, many rumors surrounding the Buds have popped up.
Here is all the latest buzz around the Maple Leafs ahead of the 2013 NHL draft.
7th Overall Draft Pick
The first significant chatter came from Nick Kypreos on June 19, when he tweeted that Leafs GM Dave Nonis and the Edmonton Oilers'GM had been spotted talking. Kypreos wondered if they could be discussing a potential trade:
That led David Staples of the Edmonton Journal to posit that perhaps Carl Gunnarsson or Jake Gardiner, along with the 21st overall draft choice, would go to Edmonton for the seventh overall selection.
Note: This rumor preceded the Jonathan Bernier trade mentioned in the previous slide.
Another rumor involving the Leafs and Oilers surfaced just under a week ago, when Josh Rimer of Sportsnet tweeted that the Leafs could be in discussion with the Oilers about their young center Sam Gagner:
Hearing Leafs have had discussions with Oilers about Sam Gagner. Leafs are looking for a young centre and he certainly fits the bill.— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) June 23, 2013
That sparked the aforementioned David Staples' attention, who weighed in on the Gagner situation as well.
With Gagner still not signed to an extension by the Oilers, don't be surprised if his name comes up again on June 30.
Another center involved in trade rumors regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs is Colorado Avalanche youngster Paul Stastny.
With Stastny's price tag at $6.6 million and the news that Colorado will likely pass on Seth Jones with the first pick in the draft—meaning another center in Nathan MacKinnon is likely to be their choice—there may not be any room in Denver for Stastny.
Adrian Dater of The Denver Post speculated that the Avs could look to Toronto to swap defenseman Dion Phaneuf for Stastny.
Whether or not Toronto would make that trade remains to be seen, but watch for Stastny to be another frequently dropped name on draft day.
Possibly the most surprising name linked to the Leafs in trade talks this past week is Pittsburgh Penguins star defenseman Kris Letang.
According to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Letang would prefer to remain in Pittsburgh, but if a deal can't be hammered out, Toronto might be his preferred destination..
With recent news that Letang turned down Pittsburgh's recent offer that would have paid him a whopping $7 million a season over the next eight years, the Pens might have to let him go to avoid hamstringing themselves salary cap-wise.
Whether or not the price is right on Letang, Leafs fans have to keep their eyes on this news.
The most recent talk around Toronto has been about the potential signing of the recently bought-out Vincent Lecavalier.
With the Tampa Bay Lightning in a tight salary-cap situation, they parted ways with Lecavalier, who is set to hit the open market on July 5 as a free agent.
Experts around the league have mentioned the Leafs as a leader for the 33-year-old's services. Darren Dreger of TSN called Toronto a major player, and Craig Custance of ESPN (subscription required) wrote that the Leafs are the best fit for the veteran center.
Signing him won't be easy, however. As many as 15 teams are interested in Lecavalier, according to RDS' Renaud Lavoie:
Close to 15 teams have interest in Vincent Lecavalier so far. #RDS— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) June 28, 2013
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my other articles on each of these rumors for more in-depth analysis of each potential move! And follow me on Twitter: