Ron Longley of the Toronto Sun: Dave Nonis, Senior VP of hockey operations, and right hand man to Brian Burke, confirmed that the Maple Leafs have received interest in Niklas Hagman. Nonis said “We’ve been listening. There’s a big different between listening and shopping him. But we would listen to any offer that we thought might make the team better.” I don’t see how trading Hagman would improve the Leafs in the short run, as teams that are probably interested in him think they are close to contending and wouldn’t want to give up a solid roster player. Trading your 2nd best goal scorer for draft picks, only increases the chances that Boston will be picking in the Top 5 this season, and maybe Top 10 next year. Hagman has the talent to be a 30-35 goal scorer, which is pretty good for a 2nd line winger. With Hagman’s play of late, he might be working his way to a legitimate top 6 player, which would give the Leafs 2 (Kessel the other).
From ESPN’s Rumor Central: “The Toronto Maple Leafs might soon be pressured to bring up top prospect Nazem Kadri, especially if the Leafs have trouble shaking up the roster through trades.” I don’t know where this came and I’m sure there is no truth to it, just an attempt to start a rumor in Leafland (and the sad thing is, it will probably work). The Leafs have been playing well the last 10-15 games, and have outplayed their opponents in most games. Bringing up Kadri would not help the Leafs win more games. Yes, they could use 2, top 2 centers but Kadri is not ready. If there are any call-ups, they’ll be from the AHL, and not the OHL.
Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette: Andrei Markov skated for 10 minutes yesterday for the second time since having his tendon on his left foot sliced during the first game of the season. Markov is slightly ahead of schedule and is aiming for an early January return. My fantasy team awaits your return.