NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Nick Foligno's Future, Taylor Hall, More

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IApril 21, 2021

NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Nick Foligno's Future, Taylor Hall, More

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    Paul Vernon/Associated Press

    Early opinions on moves made at the NHL trade deadline will always be expressed, but those deals can't be fairly assessed until the rest of the season plays out.

    So, while some teams looked to have made strong moves this year ahead of the April 12 deadline, the rest of the 2020-21 regular season could impact on how they are eventually viewed.

    Teams that were buyers at the deadline will look to push their way into the Stanley Cup playoffs, while those that were sellers will hope the draft capital they acquired will benefit them in the future. It will take some time before we know whether any of them were smart moves.

    The trade deadline has also created some buzz ahead of the upcoming offseason. Here's some of the latest from around the NHL.

Foligno Unlikely to Be in Toronto for Long Term?

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    Paul Vernon/Associated Press

    Nick Foligno is preparing to make his debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday after spending the last nine years with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    But the 33-year-old's time in Toronto may not extend beyond the end of the 2020-21 season. According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, the Maple Leafs view him as "a versatile, gritty player who can help get them over the top, not a long-term commitment." And perhaps Foligno could even soon be back in Ohio.

    "Even before Foligno was traded, there was talk around the NHL that he could become the latest player to get traded at the deadline, then circle back the following summer as an unrestricted free agent and re-sign with the club that just traded him," Portzline wrote.

    That likely won't be the only possibility for Foligno this upcoming offseason, though. Portzline also reported that the Minnesota Wild had interest in him ahead of the deadline and they "could make a play" for the forward in free agency.

    The Buffalo, New York native might be intrigued by that possibility as he could become teammates with his younger brother, Marcus, for the first time in their NHL careers.

    Foligno has proved he can still be an offensive contributor at this point in his career. In 42 games with Columbus this season, he had seven goals and nine assists.

Teams Were Reportedly Willing to Give Up 1st-Round Pick for Hall

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Taylor Hall is with his fourth team over the past two seasons, after the Boston Bruins acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres on April 12.

    In that deal, the 29-year-old and fellow forward Curtis Lazar went to Boston in exchange for forward Anders Bjork and a 2021 second-round draft pick.

    Apparently, that may not have been the best offer the Sabres received, though. According to NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton, there may have been some better deals on the table.

    "I know for a fact a team that offered a first-round pick. And there's more than one," Lawton told the Real Kyper at Noon podcast. "It cost the Buffalo Sabres millions of dollars."

    However, Buffalo couldn't have made any of those deals unless they were approved by Hall, who had a full no-movement clause include in the contract he signed with the Sabres last offseason. He wanted to go to Boston, and that's what ended up happening, even though Buffalo didn't get the best possible return.

    The 2018 Hart Trophy winner is now looking to be more productive than he has been in recent stints with the Arizona Coyotes and Sabres. He's off to a strong start with two goals and one assist in his first four games with the Bruins, after recording only two goals and 17 assists in 37 games with Buffalo.

Blackhawks Had 'High Price' for Zadorov at Deadline

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    If it was up to the Chicago Blackhawks, then they may have traded Nikita Zadorov. However, the defenseman, who is set to become a restricted free agent after the season, remains on the team.

    Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times reported the Blackhawks "asked a high price" for the 26-year-old ahead of the trade deadline and "unsurprisingly, no suitors met that price." Meanwhile, Chicago went out and acquired another defenseman, trading for Riley Stillman in a deal with the Florida Panthers.

    Stillman has now played four games for the Blackhawks, while Zadorov was a healthy scratch on Monday. So it could be difficult for the Russian to prove he should remain in Chicago if he doesn't get on the ice much over the next few weeks.

    Zadorov spent five seasons with the Colorado Avalanche and two with the Sabres before getting traded to the Blackhawks last October. In 45 games for Chicago this season, he has one goal and six assists, as well as a plus-minus rating of plus-two.

    He will likely have some suitors in free agency and could be heading elsewhere should the Blackhawks decide not to match offers this upcoming offseason.