NHL Rumors: 3 Atlantic Division Defensemen Expected to be Traded This Summer

Welcome to the latest series at NHLTR where we'll dive into each division across the NHL and examine the most likely trade candidates. Forwards, defensemen and goaltenders, you will see them all as it's expected to be a busy summer of movement across the league. For this episode, let's showcase three defensemen from the Atlantic division who are expected to be moved this summer:

Justin Holl, Toronto Maple Leafs

One of the more polarizing players among Leafs Nation, Justin Holl of the Toronto Maple Leafs has emerged as one of the scape goats for their hockey team. From media members getting heated with the team over why he's starting a game, to Holl making a couple of costly mistakes in Game 7 which led to the disallowed tying goal, it certainly hasn't been all butterflies and rainbows for the right-handed defenseman. With a $2 million cap hit and a couple of young defensemen to re-sign in Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren, expect to see Holl shipped out of Toronto this summer.

Jeff Petry, Montreal Canadiens

The worst kept secret in hockey is the fact the Montreal Canadiens are trying to trade defenseman Jeff Petry. Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has been open and honest about his desire to move on from Petry's contract, even with a strong second half from the player under a new head coach. Petry finished last season with 27 points in 68 games, however with three years left, paying him $6.25 million annually, the contract is a sore spot for Canadiens management. He holds trade protection where he submits a list of 15 teams he'd like to avoid. We'll see if the other 16 available teams have any interest in a aging defenseman with declining numbers this offseason.

Jake Muzzin, Toronto Maple Leafs

When Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas re-signed Mark Giordano to a two-year contract for under a million annually, Jake Muzzin became a prime trade candidate. The Leafs have a number of left-shot defensemen on their depth chart now and Muzzin and his $5.6 million annual salary could be a prime target to get moved as Dubas is trying to re-sign Jack Campbell. Toronto doesn't have a ton of cap space to work with this summer but in this case, moving Muzzin will only happen if it's the absolute perfect deal. He's one of the most beloved teammates in the dressing room and it would be a major shakeup to the team's core if the defenseman gets dealt. Toronto is a team to watch this summer as they have a number of interesting options should they pull the trigger on a trade to save some cash.

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