In today’s NHL rumors we look at the Vancouver Canucks, New Jersey Devils and Taylor Hall, the Edmonton Oilers interest in Connor Brown out of Toronto, and if the Winnipeg Jets were really going to land Wayne Simmonds?

Could Virtanen Be Traded By Canucks?

Jason Brough of The Athletic suggests (subscription requires) that the Vancouver Canucks might look to trade Jake Virtanen in the offseason because they need to improve their blueline and they don’t have much else on offense to trade other than the young stars of the team like Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat or Brock Boeser — the team is certainly not going to do that.

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What’s the Future For Taylor Hall and New Jersey?

Bob McKenzie said, that while the Taylor Hall surgery news is troubling for the New Jersey Devils, more troubling could be what the organization does with Hall once he returns. Hall has one season left on his contract but the Devils are not looking much like a playoff team.

McKenzie wonders if the team can convince Hall they’ll be competitive or have to move him so as to not lose him in free agency next summer. Would the Devils go out and offer sheet an RFA to try and land Hall some help or will they consider the cost of doing such a thing far too high and move Hall instead?

GM of the Devils, Ray Shero said he has no desire to move Hall and that it’s not often you can trade for a player who comes in and becomes an NHL MVP.

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Did Wayne Simmonds Almost Become a Winnipeg Jet?

Elliotte Friedman recently said on his 31 Thoughts Podcast, he believes that while there was interest from the Jets in forward Wayne Simmonds, he explained the team went another direction and they weren’t as close to grabbing him as many people might have believed.

Friedman explained, “… they made the choice to go with [Kevin] Hayes, which took their first-round pick out of play.” He also said Morrissey got hurt and once that happened, they switched to focusing on defense.

Edmonton Oilers Had Interest in Connor Brown

Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek talked about the Edmonton Oilers interest in Connor Brown from the Toronto Maple Leafs and said it was quite strong but ultimately the two sides couldn’t work out a deal. Friedman heard that the Oilers offered up Matt Benning and Marek said he’d heard the Oilers might have offered up Jujhar Khaira.

Both suggested the rumor that Adam Larsson was somehow connected to that deal was not true. In fact, they heard there was more to the idea that perhaps Zack Kassian goes for Brown versus Larsson.

“By the way, Kassian an interesting one. Someone told me Nashville looked at Kassian before they got Brian Boyle,” Friedman said.

Islanders and Anders Lee

Friedman reported that he’s not sure where the New York Islanders stand on their discussions with pending free agent Anders Lee.  “The one I’ve heard about [Anders] Lee is the Islanders are concerned about the term,” indicated Friedman. “That’s all I’ve heard. No questions about the player or the willingness to keep him, it’s all about the term on him.”