NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz Following Stanley Cup Final 2021

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 16, 2021

NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz Following Stanley Cup Final 2021

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    The Stanley Cup playoffs ended recently. The Seattle Kraken expansion draft is set for Wednesday. The entry draft takes place July 23-24. And free agency will get underway July 28. So things are about to pick up in the NHL.

    While there may not be a ton of moves taking place, that will likely soon change. Even though free agents haven't hit the market, it's still possible for the league's 32 teams to make trades, which has led to plenty of rumors and speculation about potential deals.

    As the offseason heats up, here's some of the latest trade buzz from around the NHL.

Will Maple Leafs Trade Hyman's Rights in Near Future?

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Zach Hyman is set to hit free agency, and there's been plenty of speculation that the 29-year-old won't be returning to the Toronto Maple Leafs. As it turns out, that confirmation could come sooner than expected.

    According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the Maple Leafs granted Hyman's agent, Todd Reynolds, the permission to speak with other teams regarding a potential trade for the wing's rights. If such a deal occurred, that team could then sign Hyman to a contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 28.

    Dreger also reported that there's been "considerable interest" in Hyman around the league already. However, some of those teams may have to wait to pull off a trade until after Wednesday's expansion draft, as they are "cap teams willing to move pieces," per Dreger.

    Hyman was selected by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL draft, but he didn't enter the league until after he was traded to Toronto in June 2015. Over the past six seasons, he's tallied 86 goals and 99 assists in 345 games with the Maple Leafs.

Toronto, Colorado Interested in Trading for Kuemper

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Although the Arizona Coyotes have had their share of struggles in recent seasons, goaltender Darcy Kuemper has played well since he was traded to the Yotes from the Los Angeles Kings in February 2018. Now it could soon be time for the 31-year-old to be dealt again.

    Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff recently reported that the Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche both have interest in trying to trade for Kuemper, who has played 121 games in four seasons with the Coyotes. Seravalli noted that discussions "have been ongoing," as both the Leafs and Avs "consider the goaltending market at-large."

    Each of those teams has a goaltender who is about to become a free agent, as Toronto's Frederik Andersen and Colorado's Philipp Grubauer will soon be hitting the market. But according to Seravalli, both teams "remain in contact and conversation" with their respective netminders.

    However, if those negotiations don't lead to contracts, one of the teams could trade for Kuemper. In addition to the Maple Leafs and Avalanche, the Kraken are "also believed to have interest" in the goaltender, per Seravalli.

Rangers Have High Asking Price for Georgiev

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Another goaltender who is a potential trade target this offseason is Alexandar Georgiev, a 25-year-old who has spent his first four NHL seasons with the New York Rangers. However, if a team is going to deal for Georgiev, it appears he will come at a high cost.

    Seravalli reported that teams that have discussed Georgiev with Rangers general manager Chris Drury "believe the ask to be a first-round pick" in any deal. Although Georgiev is only signed through the 2021-22 season, he will be a restricted free agent next offseason, so his team will remain in control.

    As for the Rangers, they may be considering a trade, but it appears they are in no rush to move Georgiev.

    "There is no urgency or rush for the Rangers," Seravalli wrote. "It's a luxury move for Drury as Igor Shesterkin is exempt from the expansion draft."

    Georgiev has played 96 games for New York, posting a .912 save percentage and a 2.95 goals-against averaging during that time.