NHL Rumors: Spitballing five trades, and an Alexis Lafreniere decision

Originally published by NHLRumors.com

Spitballing five trades

Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic: The holiday roster freeze is over and here are five trades that we’d like to see happen. (purely speculation/spitballing)

1.  The Arizona Coyotes trade Jakob Chychrun to the Los Angeles Kings for Quinton Byfield. Chychrun and Karel Vejmelka for Byfield and Cal Petersen.

2. The New York Rangers trade Alexis Lafreniere to the Vancouver Canucks – Lafreniere’s former agent, Émilie Castonguay, is part of the Canucks management.

3. The Carolina Hurricanes trade for either Bo Horvat or Ryan O’Reilly – either could be the last piece the Hurricanes need and could slide into the No. 2 center slot.

4. The Chicago Blackhawks trade Jonathan Toews to the Winnipeg Jets for a draft pick and a prospect – May require someone, maybe Mark Scheifele, to play on the wing.

5. The Anaheim Ducks trade their pending UFA defensemen – John Klingberg, Kevin Shattenkirk and Dmitry Kulikov could all be moved. Klingberg has struggled in Anaheim so far, and at a $7 million cap hit, the Ducks will have to retain salary. The Toronto Maple Leafs could use a right-handed defenseman but would Klingberg be a good fit? If the Hurricanes can’t add a No. 2 center, maybe they add someone like Klingberg to help their PP. If the St. Louis Blues get back in the race, Klingberg might make some sense. Former Blues defenseman Shattenkirk would cost less than Klingberg and could become an option for the Blues.

The Rangers could have a decision to make on Alexis Lafreniere

Arthur Staple of The Athletic: The New York Rangers made forward and former No. 1 pick, Alexis Lafreniere, a healthy scratch on Thursday.

“He doesn’t seem to accomplish much out there with or without the puck,” said one NHL scout whose coverage area includes the Rangers. “When you watch him play it’s hard to find him out there, has little impact on the outcome. I don’t know if it’s lack of confidence but his processing seems a little bit of a step behind.”

Rangers coach Gerard Gallant has noted that Lafreniere has been inconsistent. Dreams of a big, second contract appear to have vanished for Lafreniere unless he can really turn things around.

If Lafreniere doesn’t improve his play, the Rangers will have to make a decision to keep him or trade him. The bad news for the Rangers as they aren’t the only team noticing his struggles.