Toronto Maple Leafs need to upgrade defence
National Post: Michael Traikos reports the Toronto Maple Leafs need better defensemen if they hope to contend for the Stanley Cup, even if that means trading someone like William Nylander to get one. He points out the Leafs have considerable depth at forward but it’s a different story on the blueline, “with (Jake) Gardiner, Ron Hainsey and Nikita Zaitsev playing too high in the line-up.” While they could pursue a UFA such as John Carlson or Mike Green, Traikos suggests better options, such as Vancouver’s Chris Tanev or Calgary’s T.J. Brodie, could be available via the trade market, or perhaps Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson or Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty. Pursuing a quality defenseman, however, could cost someone such as Nylander, Connor Brown or Kasperi Kapanen.
Carolina Hurricanes looking to trade Jeff Skinner
Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman reports the Carolina Hurricanes need an edge as they feel they’re too easy to play against. Winger Jeff Skinner is a year away from eligibility for unrestricted free agency and they’re going to test his value in this summer’s trade market. Friedman believes the Los Angeles Kings would be interested in Skinner.
Latest Philadelphia Flyers trade rumors
NBC Sports: John Boruk reports there won’t be any changes to the Philadelphia Flyers coaching staff. He also wasn’t planning on re-signing pending UFAs Matt Read, Valtteri Filppula and Brandon Manning, but hasn’t ruled out bringing one of them back next season. He could also look toward affordable additions via free agency.
Hextall also indicated he doesn’t intend to buy out the final season of Jori Lehtera’s contract. Noting the Flyers’ prospect depth, Boruk speculated Hextall might get creative and attempt a bold move at this year’s draft.