While it is Frank Seravalli who produces TSN’s Trade Bait board, colleagues Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun backed up the trade statuses of a pair of players at the top of his board on this evening’s edition of Insider Trading. While he may be only 22 years old with four 50+ point seasons under his belt, don’t dismiss the rumors surrounding Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine as wild speculation, warns Dreger. He states that the Jets are “serious” and absolutely listening on the young scorer. In fact, the Laine noise has not been louder merely because the interest has been limited so far, either due to the asking price or other teams not truly believing that Laine is for sale. LeBrun notes that the Columbus Blue Jackets are one team that is definitely interested in Laine. The team sorely needs high-end talent up front as may have the top-four defenseman and young center that Winnipeg desires. Another team that also kicked the tires on Laine was the Carolina Hurricanes, but LeBrun believes that they balked at the asking price for the Finnish sniper and talks fell off after that. One team that hasn’t checked in on Laine yet? The Montreal Canadiens. While LeBrun acknowledges that the Canadiens could desperately use a player of Laine’s ability, they thus far have been hesitant to enter negotiations.
- The trade availability of Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, No. 2 on the trade bait board, has been far more concrete, as teams and the media alike can look ahead to the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft and see the conundrum coming down the line for the Wild. Yet, Dreger states that Dumba is on the block, but Minnesota is not in a rush to move him. He believes that the Wild will hold on to Dumba, perhaps even through the season, until the asking price is met. Right now, that price is believed to be a legitimate top-six center, which Dreger feels might be asking too much. The other option could be a high first-round pick and a young roster forward, which is a more likely return. The team will hold out for one of those two returns, as there is no urgency to move on from Dumba at a lower price.
- One name that rival GM’s are asking about who isn’t necessarily on the block is Pittsburgh Penguins forward Bryan Rust. Rust is coming off of a career year, but it seems like no one on the Penguins roster is safe, leading other teams to ask the question. GM Jim Rutherford tells The Athletic’s Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe that he will listen to any offer, but isn’t keen to trade Rust. However, another sources tells The Athletic that Rutherford would part with Rust for an NHL-ready prospect and another top prospect. That might be a heavy price to pay, but don’t rule out the possibility in an unpredictable off-season.