Does the setup seem quieter than usual until this year's close on February 24? There are a number of names in the rumor mill (and we've collected the top 25 here), but fewer actual trades are settled before the deadline.
The Toronto Maple Leafs teamed up with the Los Angeles Kings, and the long-awaited Jason Zucker trade finally took place this week between the Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins. But a tight race in the overall standings has blurred the boundaries between buyers and sellers this year, so a number of organizations that may turn into sellers aren't ready to give up this year's playoff hopes.
What is there?
"I think it's complicated, and it has probably resulted in a somewhat slower start-up than we have usually seen with movements that have already taken place, but I also think it will work itself out," said Chris Johnston to Pinder and Steinberg on Sportsnet 960. “I think most teams generally understand that you want to be on one side or the other of this equation. I don't know that too many teams meet the deadline to decide 100 percent whether they want to be pat.
“This is a crazy year. The Pacific Division best embodies it … it's a more compact ranking than ever. "
Another factor is that the rental market is rather weak. Chris Kreider's name may be the largest name available from this group, but after that he drops sharply to more options for the bottom six or the depth.
"I heard that the rental market, with the exception of Kreider, is pretty weak," said Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet 960s Boomer in the Morning. "Some teams have told me and you know that it can always change over the next 10 days, but the bites they get are not as big as they wanted. Conceptual players who want teams want this Players definitely get nibbles. "
The split started in the east, where the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers appear to be the only teams that are currently looking outside and have a chance to land in the playoffs. This split is also beginning to prevail in the West, although even the Chicago Blackhawks in 12th place may feel that they only have a chance to sit six points behind.
A good run or a bad run can quickly change a team's trading deadline, but we're now only nine days away from the deadline. So the fact is that we have no more time for these strips. Enthusiasm in the retail market will only pick up speed in the coming week. In the meantime, here are some of the latest rumors.
IF MCDAVID'S INFRINGEMENT DOES NOT CHANGE EDMONTON'S PLAN, WHAT DO YOU DO?
When GM Ken Holland announced that Connor McDavid's quad injury would keep him out of the lineup for the next 2-3 weeks, he was asked if the news would change his approach to the deadline at all.
"No" was Holland's short answer.
As we explored earlier this week, the Edmonton Oilers do not appear to be ready to move their first choice, Evan Bouchard, or even Jesse Puljujarvi, into a loaner deal. Despite being second in the Pacific Division, they are only three points away from a playoff spot. Therefore, it is difficult to go all-in on a squad that is still trying to stabilize for long-term success.
But if Holland has the ability to win a tenured player or is young enough for the team to get years of control back? Well, that could change the equation of who or what is available.
"In my opinion, if you get someone on the ball, there is a difference in what you are willing to do," said Elliotte Friedman in The Program of FAN 650 this week.
It may still be difficult to get your first classic into this kind of trade, but could more Puljujarvi buzz come this week? Puljujarvi plays for Karpat in the Finnish Liiga, has 18 goals and 44 points in 45 games and is second in the team ranking. In fact, Puljujarvi is sixth in the league, just four points from the lead.
The fourth choice from the 2016 draft has so far been an NHL disappointment, but it is only 21 years old. If the Oilers can hit a hit over time, Puljujarvi may be the most important asset to make a deal, even if its value has dropped in the past four years.
"I think Puljujarvi and a second are probably (Holland's) two biggest chips to go more deep in depth. So I wouldn't be surprised if Puljujarvi were on the move within the deadline." Said Johnston. “There were also extensive discussions with teams. The New York Rangers showed great interest in him in summer and in the season.
“The devils asked about him. Tampa at one point. I think there is enough history there that the Oilers will be pretty clear who has at least some interest. And I think it still has some value, not the value of where it was obviously chosen, but this is one of the real cards that I think the Oilers could play.
"And I expect Edmonton to be active to bring at least one more forward."
HAVE DEFENSE INJURIES THINKING THE ALEC MARTINEZ MARKET?
According to all information, the rental market is weak, perhaps with the exception of Kreider (more on this later). So if there is a top 4 defender with a term in his contract who is available from Los Angeles like Alec Martinez, there should be no shortage of prospects.
But a recent spate of injuries could complicate this market.
Seth Jones in Columbus. Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci in Toronto. Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic in Calgary. All of these teams are still in the playoff bubble, and two of them may not have had a need to expand their back-end yet. Given these violations, priorities could change.
And then you have people like Vancouver, Florida, and Carolina as teams that have already had the need or desire to add the blue line.
The kings are one of the few teams that are definitely salespeople with attractive moves and would therefore benefit from a larger group of teams that take part in the tender.
"I think the guy who means a lot is Alec Martinez," Friedman noted. "I think Carolina tried to trade a more experienced player for him and I don't think the kings are interested in it. I think they're more looking for a choice and perspective and I think all of this has the price in it Driven high. "
Boomer in the morning
Elliotte Friedman: Kassian's kick, market for D-Man and commercial items
February 14, 2020
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NEW JERSEY WILL HAVE SOME INTERESTING DECISIONS
The New Jersey Devils are again far from the race this season and are firmly in the seller category, but how far they go is difficult to predict. In anticipation of the UFA, Wayne Simmonds appears to be most likely to be treated, but given the slow rental market, the return could turn out to be overwhelming.
From there, the Devils could also move Kyle Palmieri – a reliable striker who is committed to next season as well. But these two players are 31 and 29 years old. So it is likely that their best years will be behind them when New Jersey breaks out of this remodeling.
The name that keeps coming up in rumors is Blake Coleman. The 29-year-old has had a fantastic season with 21 goals in 56 games, followed by a season with 22 goals. It's also cheap with a $ 1.8 million cap next season, so it gets the production at a bargain price from AAV.
"I think they're offered a little bit for him," said Friedman. "I heard yesterday that they have some offers there that really make you think."
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people around the hockey world and tell the audience everything about what they heard and what they think about it.
It could also be interesting how interim GM Tom Fitzgerald decides for some younger players. For example, could 24-year-old left wing Miles Wood be made available? How about 25-year-old defender Damon Severson?
On the one hand, the Devils are still building up their depth map, need a future for it and this type of players would bring back the best returns. On the other hand, they will need NHLers to play minutes and avoid getting into this malicious loss cycle longer than necessary. And if you pull out a number of top-class players now, what incentive do fans have to show themselves on the ice rink?
"As far as I know, Jersey is looking for young people who are ready to play bigger roles," added Friedman. "Especially forward. So if you could tempt the devil with such people, they would at least consider this type of player. "
Elliotte Friedman discusses the Canucks position in the Pacific Division.
February 11, 2020
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WHERE IS DUMBA'S FUTURE?
A top 4 physical defender signed long term, in its prime and with an upward trend? Sure, Mathew Dumba may have a off-season, but you'd better believe there's a lot of interest in him.
The Wild have already made a trade, sent sugar to the penguins, and fired head coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday. That could suggest that changes are on the way, though GM Bill Guerin said he believes this team should challenge for a place in the playoffs and that with just three points, it still seems to have a chance.
Jonas Brodin's name is another one from the blue line of the wild, but Dumba seems to be the big catch. He earned $ 6 million by 2022/23, and although his offensive numbers are lower this season, it follows four consecutive years with at least 10 goals, including last year when an injury limited him to 32 games. In his last full healthy season, Dumba scored 14 goals and 50 points.
But why should a playoff-hopeful player move such an important player now?
"He could give them a significant consideration, so they took some calls to him and explored the market," said Johnston. "If I put a percentage on it, it is likely that he will stay in Minnesota beyond the deadline.
"I think Bill Guerin, who is new to the job, may be more open and maybe a little less married to some of the team's core players than what you would normally see for someone in this position."
Pinder & Steinberg
Chris Johnston: Retirement of Sedins & # 39; jersey, Markstrom's contract and close of trading
February 13, 2020
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HOW ABOUT KREIDER? Will he re-register or be traded in New York?
Chris Kreider's representative and the New York Rangers have had some discussions about his future and whether there is a way to sign the upcoming UFA before the close on February 24th. If not, it seems far from certain that he will soon be wearing a new jersey.
The problem is that Kreider's AAV request could prove too rich for the Rangers on his next contract. The good news for the team is that with 22 goals and 40 points (through 55 games this season), the player is sure to be the best rental available and a number of teams will need his type.
"I read that they are only willing to go that far in these negotiations," said Johnston. "I don't even know they would give him the Kevin Hayes contract he got in Philly (seven years, $ 7.1 million AAV). Without doing that, I'm just not sure even if Chris Kreider enjoyed being a ranger if it made sense for him to sign for less.
"Wherever it leads us, it will be the top rental on the futures market, it will probably attract the greatest interest." I think he will give you a first choice if you move him, and to me that seems the most likely goal for these sites. "
DALLAS STARS GM JIM NILL SAYS HE IS HAPPY TO DO NOTHING
A year ago, the stars were an inch away from eliminating the St. Louis Blues in the second round. This year they are challenging the blues and avalanche for the first time in the Central Division. You have the defensive structure, the gate, the depth and the gate to survive and prosper.
Dallas has no clear need like 2019. At that time, the second evaluation was a sore point, and so Nill Mats Zuccarello acquired from the Rangers as a deadline for the selection of the second and third round. Nill picked up Joe Pavelski in the summer, so this need will not exist in 2020.
Though they may be rivals again this season, Dallas may not be able to take a step. We will see.
"I think we'd all like to be buyers, but I also need to run a hockey department," Nill told NHL.com. “I gave away last year, well, I have no choice for the second or third round this year because I made decisions in the retail sector last year.
"You always think in the short term as well as in the long term and I have to make these decisions. At the moment I also have to think about this franchise so that I can make more choices."
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WILL COLUMBUS DICE AGAIN?
Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was the hero of the 2019 trading period and went all-in in a team that had no guarantee of even reaching the playoffs. The payout was a massive surprise in a four-game Tampa Bay Lightning game.
The Blue Jackets are expected to step back this season after losing a number of key players to their hands – including their deadline pickups – and yet are right in the middle of it. Their Latvian goalkeepers – especially Elvis Merzlikins – have made fans almost forget about Sergei Bobrovsky, and the team currently occupies first place on the wild card and is just one point behind the New York Islanders in third place in the Metro.
However, it may not be so easy to have the same schedule this time. Jones is out for 8-10 weeks, which is a big blow to the blue line. The first winger Cam Atkinson is also out, and you can add Josh Anderson, Alexander Wennberg, Alexandre Texier, and Dean Kukan to this list as well. Even one of the goalkeepers, Joonas Korpisalo, is currently on the sidelines.
"It is a bit difficult for us to get help," Kekalainen told The Athletic. "We cannot take anything out of our lineup, and one on one [trades] rarely makes you better. Our defensive depth … we currently have no defensive depth."