Blog Archives

The Ultimate Guide to the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline: Eastern Conference Edition

The Ultimate Guide to the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline: Eastern Conference Edition

This post is broken up into five parts per team. First is the record as of Wednesday, 2/15, which is two weeks from the trade deadline. 

Secondly is the top prospects per each team. Note, this doesn’t include players like Auston Matthews and Brandon Carlo since they are contributing on a major scale in the NHL. There is room to still call those players and others of that nature as “prospects”, but for this use, they are not considered in that category. 

Also listed is each team’s 2017 unrestricted free agents. After that is an analysis, which is essentially what the team is likely to do at the trade deadline. 

Lastly is potential targets. These players come off of a list from @NHLRumourReport’s “Rumor Board” which can be found here: http://www.nhlrumourreport.com/p/nhl-trade-rumour-board.html?m=1. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter as well. 

Metropolitan Division

Washington Capitals — 

Record as of 2/15: 39-11-6 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Lucas Johansen (D), Madison Bowey (D), Stanislav Galiev (W), Jakub Vrana (W), Ilya Samsonov (G), Vitek Vanacek (G), Zach Sanford (W)

2017 UFAs: TJ Oshie, Justin Williams, Karl Alzner, Daniel Winnik, Brett Connolly, Tom Gilbert

Analysis: The Capitals are essentially all in at this point, so don’t expect them to sell any of their unrestricted free agents. They already made one move, which was acquiring Tom Gilbert from LA in exchange for future considerations. With a hefty number of guys coming off the books this season that will be due for pay raises, specifically TJ Oshie and Karl Alzner, it’s safe to expect to see the Capitals as aggressive buyers this deadline. Although it’s likely not going to be major pieces, depth will he added. 

Potential targets: Radim Vrbata, Alex Burrows, Patrick Eaves

Pittsburgh Penguins — 

Record as of 2/15: 35-13-7 (55 GP)

Top prospects: Derrick Pouliot (D), Jake Guentzel (W), Daniel Sprong (W), Filip Gustavsson (G)

2017 UFAs: Chris Kunitz, Trevor Daley, Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen, Kevin Porter

Analysis: The Penguins, coming off a Stanley Cup win, are essentially in the same mindset as the Capitals. They need to and want to win now. Derrick Pouliot is a name that could be moved out. He hasn’t progressed well since being drafted high in 2012. Colorado could be a fit, but not for Duchene or Landeskog. Maybe another rental, though. 

Potential targets: Jarome Iginla, Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan, Dmitry Kulikov, P-A Parenteau

Columbus Blue Jackets — 

Record as of 2/15: 35-15-5 (55 GP)

Top prospects: Joonas Korpisalo (G), Sonny Milano (W), Oliver Bjorkstrand (W), Paul Bittner (W), Dillon Heatherington (D), Gabriel Carlsson (D), Pierre-Luc Dubois (C), Vitaly Abramov (W)

2017 UFAs: Sam Gagner

Analysis: The Blue Jackets surprised many this season by soaring to the top of the league after an abysmal 2015-2016 season. The emergence of young players like Josh Anderson and Markus Nutivaara have put the Jackets in a good position moving forward to the deadline. A few tweaks may be made, but likely nothing significant. 

Potential targets: John Mitchell, Michael Stone, Brian Boyle, Andreas Martinsen, Tyler Johnson

New York Rangers —

Record as of 2/15: 37-18-1 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Igor Sheshtyorkin (G), Ryan Graves (D), Ryan Gropp (D), Sean Day (D), Ty Ronning (W)

2017 UFAs: Steve Kampfer, Tanner Glass

Analysis: As always, the Rangers are looking to win it all. Henrik Lundqvist is not getting any younger. A primary concern for them is on defense, although an immediate fix may not be in the plans. Kevin Shattenkirk certainly makes sense from both sides, but the Rangers likely won’t cough up what the Blues want for him and will rather wait until the offseason. 

Potential targets: John Mitchell, Kevin Shattenkirk, Michael Stone, Fedor Tyutin, Dmitry Kulikov, Cody Franson

New York Islanders — 

Record as of 2/15: 25-20-10 (55 GP)

Top prospects: Michael Dal Colle (W), Josh Ho-Sang (W), Mathew Barzal (C), Kieffer Bellows (W), Ilya Sorokin (G) 

2017 UFAs: Dennis Seidenberg 

Analysis: The Islanders are stuck in no mans land between making and missing the playoffs currently. They only have one asset to sell, Seidenberg, but it’s unlikely that Garth Snow will do that. However, an expansion prep trade involving Thomas Hickey or Calvin de Haan would certainly be interesting. Regardless, it’ll likely be a quiet day on Long Island. 

Potential targets: Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Tyler Johnson

Philadelphia Flyers —

Record as of 2/15: 27-22-7 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Anthony Stolarz (G), Sam Morin (D), Travis Sanheim (D), German Rubtsov (C), Carter Hart (G), Oskar Lindblom (W)

2017 UFAs: Mark Streit, Steve Mason, Michael Del Zotto, Nick Schultz, Michal Neuvirth, Boyd Gordon, P-E Bellemare, Chris VandeVelde

Analysis: The Flyers are in a very similar spot to the Isles. One spot they have to fix up moving forward is goaltending. One of Steve Mason or Michal Neuvirth, both pending free agents, could be moved out in the upcoming two weeks to allow for Anthony Stolarz to see more NHL playing time. Also, you have to wonder, could Ben Bishop make sense there? It seems like more of an offseason move but it’s definitely interesting. 

Potential targets: Tomas Jurco, Ben Bishop

Carolina Hurricanes — 

Record as of 2/15: 24-22-7 (53 GP)

Top prospects: Jake Bean (D), Julien Gauthier (W), Nicholas Roy (C), Alex Nedeljkovic (G), Haydn Fleury (D)

2017 UFAs: Bryan Bickell, Ron Hainsey, Viktor Stalberg, Jay McClement, Matt Tennyson

Analysis: Continuing with teams in the middle of the pack, the Hurricanes find themselves in a tricky situation as well. However, they differ themselves from the Flyers in the fact that they do not have many quality assets to sell this deadline. Viktor Stalberg is a nice depth piece for a playoff run, but is dealing him for little return worth it at this point? Either way, Carolina will be a fun team to watch these next few months. As I’ve said before, Duchene makes a lot of sense for them. 

Potential targets: Tomas Jurco, Matt Duchene, Ben Bishop, Ryan Spooner, Tyler Johnson

New Jersey Devils — 

Record as of 2/15: 24-22-10 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Michael McLeod (C), Nathan Bastian (C), Joey Anderson (W), Mackenzie Blackwood (G), John Quenneville (C), Josh Jacobs (D), Steve Santini (D)

2017 UFAs: Kyle Quincey, P-A Parenteau, Keith Kinkaid 

Analysis: The Devils are going to be a seller this deadline with the few pieces they have. Kyle Quincey may fetch a late round pick as a depth defensemen. P-A Parenteau is much more enticing as a scorer and could go for upwards of a second round pick depending on the market. Not bad for a player picked up off of waivers in October. 

Potential targets: Tomas Jurco, Ryan Spooner, Derrick Pouliot

————

Atlantic Division 

Montreal Canadiens — 

Record as of 2/15: 31-19-8 (58 GP)

Top prospects: Mikhail Sergachev (D), Noah Juulsen (D), Nikita Scherbak (W), Michael McCarron (W)

2017 UFAs: Andrei Markov, Alex Radulov, David Desharnais, Brian Flynn, Chris Terry

Analysis: Montreal’s big move was firing Therrien and hiring Julien, but that does not mean a few changes won’t be made at the deadline. For starters, Bergevin will try to find suitors for Plekanec and Desharnais. Even if that does not work, I’d expect them to shore up their offense a little bit. Seeing how Alex Galchenyuk does at center under Claude Julien in the upcoming two weeks will have a profound impact on where that offense will be going.  

Potential targets: Martin Hanzal, Shane Doan, Alex Burrows, Patrick Eaves, Brian Gionta 

Ottawa Senators — 

Record as of 2/15: 29-19-6 (54 GP)

Top prospects: Logan Brown (C), Thomas Chabot (D), Colin White (C), Johnathan Dahlen (C)

2017 UFAs: Tommy Wingels, Chris Neil, Chris Kelly, Tom Pyatt, Mike Condon

Analysis: The Senators sit in a pretty good spot right now. They have a solid core of players currently and few UFAs to deal with this summer. As a budget team, there aren’t many big pieces they can add, although Matt Duchene was looked at. Some bottom pairing defense would help them greatly. 

Potential targets: Michael Stone, Fedor Tyutin, Cody Franson

Toronto Maple Leafs — 

Record as of 2/15: 26-18-11 (55 GP)

Top prospects: Carl Grundstrom (W), Joseph Woll (G), Travis Dermott (D), Jeremy Bracco (C), Rinat Valiev (D), Andreas Johnson (W)

2017 UFAs: Brooks Laich, Milan Michalek, Colin Greening, Roman Polak, Matt 

Matt Hunwick, Curtis McElhinney, Ben Smith

Analysis: I wouldn’t expect the Leafs to buy heavily or sell heavily at this trade deadline. Their rebuild has certainly taken an accelerated approach, but they need to stay on track. Trading prospects for a player like a Kevin Shattenkirk should not be in the picture currently. Some veteran bottom-six presence for cheap would be a good addition, though. 

Potential targets: Kevin Shattenkirk, Fedor Tyutin, Brian Boyle, Cody Franson

Boston Bruins —

Record as of 2/15: 29-23-6 (58 GP)

Top prospects: Charlie McAvoy (D), Trent Frederic (C), Jakub Zboril (D), Jake DeBrusk (W), Zachary Senyshyn (W), Jeremy Lauzon (D), Malcolm Subban (G)

2017 UFAs: John-Michael Liles, Dom Moore, Zac Rinaldo

Analysis: Despite not being in a great spot heading into the trade deadline, it seems that the Bruins are looking to do something big. Gabriel Landeskog has been linked to them for a while now. Kevin Shattenkirk makes sense too, but like the Rangers, waiting until the offseason is probably for the best. 

Potential targets: Kevin Shattenkirk, Gabriel Landeskog

Florida Panthers — 

Record as of 2/15: 24-20-10 (54 GP)

Top prospects: Henrik Borgstrom (C), Adam Mascherin (C), Ian McCoshen (D)

2017 UFAs: Jaromir Jagr, Jakub Kindl, Shawn Thornton, Reto Berra 

Analysis: The Panthers don’t have much to do this trade deadline, quite frankly. Jagr is a free agent but I think it’s unlikely he gets moved. A new team to start next season is not out of the question, though. Florida has a lot of front office confusion to sort out in the next few months. A report came out a few months ago that they’d be willing to take on bad contracts if prospects came along with it. That’s after they traded Lawson Crouse with Dave Bolland to Arizona this summer. Very strange. 

Potential targets: prospects

Tampa Bay Lightning — 

Record as of 2/15: 25-24-7 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Brett Howden (C), Boris Katchouk (W), Taylor Raddysh (W), Matthew Spencer (D), Dennis Yan (W), Adam Erne (W)

2017 UFAs: Ben Bishop, Brian Boyle 

Analysis: The Lightning have had a disappointing year, which could be attributed to a number of things. Steven Stamkos being out long term did not help. They’re likely to sell this year. Brian Boyle is a solid bottom six center that can fetch them a second and a B-prospect at worst. Ben Bishop is another interesting piece, but he’s probably going to be available in the summer anyways. So it remains unknown if there will be any takers for him. 

Potential targets: prospects

 
Detroit Red Wings — 

Record as of 2/15: 22-24-10 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Dennis Cholowski (D), Evgeny Svechnikov (W), Vili Saarijarvi (D), Tyler Bertuzzi (W)

2017 UFAs: Brendan Smith, Thomas Vanek, Drew Miller, Steve Ott 

Analysis: For the first time in a long, long, long time the Red Wings will be sellers. Thomas Vanek has had a very strong year and will get them a decent return. Something similar as to when he was traded to Montreal (for Collberg and a 2nd) is likely in line. Even if he is dealt, I think there’s a strong possibility Vanek returns to Detroit next season. Smith could move too, but a late round pick is all they’ll get. 

Potential targets: prospects 

Buffalo Sabres —

Record as of 2/15: 24-23-10 (57 GP)

Top prospects: Alex Nylander (W), Rasmus Asplund (C), Casey Fitzgerald (D), Brendan Guhle (D)

2017 UFAs: Dmitry Kulikov, Brian Gionta, Cody Franson, Anders Nilsson, Derek Grant

Analysis: It has been another bad year for the Sabres. Tensions are boiling over in the locker room, as seen by Robin Lehner’s recent comments. They’ll be sellers again. Dmitry Kulikov has not been a fit and won’t be back with the team next season. If he’s not dealt in two weeks, he will be in the offseason. Cody Franson could fetch a decent return, despite the fact that he’s struggled in his time in Buffalo. Captain Brian Gionta also is a free agent, although he says he wants to stay. I doubt that’ll happen. He’s a good piece for a young team looking to go on a run, whoever that may be. Evander Kane’s name has been out there as well, but he carries term and salary. 

Potential targets: Derrick Pouliot, Ben Hutton

Western Conference coming soon. Please share. Thank you!
-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Running analysis of the 2016 NHL trade deadline 

TRADE: 

To Arizona: Alex Tanguay, Conner Bleackley, Kyle Wood

To Colorado: Mikkel Boedker

First domino of trade deadline day has fallen. Mikkel Boedker was traded to Colorado in the first big deal of the day with just under two hours until the deadline. 

For a rental, it was a huge package to give up. The veteran Tanguay is a tough piece to lose for the run but he hasn’t been good enough this year. Bleackley, a former first round pick, is having another great season in the WHL. Bleackley currently has 41 points in 47 games. He has been in the range of point-per-game for all three years he has been in the WHL. 

I have to chalk this up as a win for Arizona. Getting a first round pick from two years ago plus a veteran presence to mentor the kids is huge. Kyle Wood isn’t a stud prospect, but he has put up good numbers in the OHL. Boedker hasn’t been impressive this year but he does bring a large amount of speed to his game.  

TRADE: 

To Colorado: Eric Gelinas 

To New Jersey: third round pick 

Colorado got their defensemen just minutes after trading for Mikkel Boedker. They acquired Eric Gelinas for a third. They now have no third or forth in the draft. (edit: third is in 2017, not 2016. Avs still have their 2016 third)

Gelinas’ time in New Jersey was obviously done. The former second overall pick in 2009 has 6 points in 34 games this year and 54 points in 156 games total. 

This is a solid trade for both teams. Shero gets a third for a depleting asset while Colorado gets an analytically sound young defenseman. However, only time will tell how this deal truly works out. 

TRADE: 

To Calgary: Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock, second round pick 

To Dallas: Kris Russell

The Flames get a nice haul for Russell here, who was not going to re-sign. Jokipakka is serviceable and a second is nice. Pollock, a forward prospect and former second round pick in 2014, is a point-per-game WHL player. He currently has 67 points in 63 games for the Edmonton Oil Kings. 

I think Hamhuis would have been a better option for Dallas. Russell blocks a lot of shots, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. He could really be hung out to dry in Dallas with the explosive offense and lack of defense. 

It is still possible Dallas gets Hamhuis, but they need the price to drop big time. 

This deal is a win for the Flames in my opinion. They got a lot for Russell, who’s price was dramatically dropping, especially in the eyes of analytically based teams. 

TRADE: 

To Anaheim: Bradon Pirri

To Florida: sixth round picks 

Going to start right off the bat saying that this is a win for Anaheim. Pirri is only 24 years old and has 24 points in 52 games this year. After acquiring Purcell and Hudler the other day, Pirri was the odd man out in Florida. 

I am surprised Pirri did not get a larger return. Yes, he is a defensive liability at times and not a strong skater, but he has a wicked shot and can score with it. He would’ve looked nice on a team like New Jersey. 

For Anaheim, it’s more depth. Pirri can slide nicely into a middle six role with the Ducks. The Ducks are not shy to slower forwards since their defense is so active. Good deal for them. 

Ladd deal to Chicago has potential to work out for both clubs 

The next big domino of the NHL trading season fell on Thursday night, when the Winnipeg Jets traded captain Andrew Ladd to Chicago for Marko Dano and a first round pick. Other assets were involved, like Jay Harrison and a conditional pick, but the latter was the lump of the deal. 

This will be Ladd’s second stint with Chicago, the city where he won a Stanley Cup in 2010. Ladd was a victim of the first of three large cap crunches Chicago has gone through. 

Both teams make out well on this trade, that is if Chicago wins the Cup again. The Blackhawks brought in Ladd to play along side Jonathan Toews, a spot formerly occupied by a number of players including Ryan Garbutt for a short period of time. 

The package coming back to Winnipeg sets them up quite nicely as well. Marko Dano, although bouncing around a lot from team to team, is a solid player with the potential to be a top-six forward. The Jets also add another first round pick, likely in the 24 to 30 range. The Jets are loaded up front for the future with the likes of Scheifele, Connor, Dano, Lemieux, Petan, Ehlers, Roslovic, and Armia. 

This deal sets up the market for the upcoming days. Beside Loui Eriksson, and maybe Mikkel Boedker depending how desperate teams are, Ladd was probably the priciest option out there. Actually, as the trade rumors came through, I was writing something up saying that teams that lose out on Ladd could potentially go after the similar but cheaper option in Jamie McGinn from Buffalo. Florida and Pittsburgh could be on that. 

We will likely see more trades come through before the deadline, which does take some of the excitement out of Monday, but it’s fun to see trades regardless. 

Other updates: 

-Like the Jets, other teams up north are gathering offers for some of their players before deadline day. Edmonton has been aggressively shopping Justin Schultz. Don’t be surprised if that gets done within 24 hours. Montreal has looked at options for Weise but nothing yet, that’ll probably wait for Monday. 

-A Loui Eriksson trade will likely have to wait until Monday at around 3 o’clock to come in. Boston doesn’t mind holding onto him either. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Despite having no quality unrestricted free agents, Blue Jackets expected to be active at trade deadline 

The Columbus Blue Jackets were never able to recover from starting the season with eight straight regulation losses and have put themselves into the position to sell at the 2016 NHL trade deadline. However, they are a strange case, as they only have two unrestricted free agents, both of which would barely fetch a low pick. 

Those two free players are Rene Bourque and Justin Falk. Both men are not appetizing to teams making a Cup run. Columbus does have some assets they could still trade, though. 

One is Scott Hartnell. The 33 year old winger has a respectable 39 points in 58 games this year and is a known agitator. Hartnell still has three years left on his salary. For a team looking to make a playoff push this year and next year, it’s a good investment. But you run the risk of having a worn down and potentially non-productive Hartnell in the last two years of his deal. We’ll see if anyone takes the bait. 

Another favorite to be traded is veteran defenseman Fedor Tyutin. Tyutin is 32 with two more years left on his deal after this one. 

Do teams take a risk going after these players with term left? Tyutin would have one year left and Hartnell would have two if the NHL expanded for the 2017-2018 season, where they could potentially be dropped into the expansion draft by the team who acquires them. Anyways, we’ll put the tinfoil hats away for now. 

As the trade deadline goes, Hartnell and Tyutin should be two names that float around. Whether that is the extent of Columbus’ moves next Monday or not, we do not know. However, the roster will looked changed going into next season regardless.  

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Twelve 2016 NHL Trade Deadline Predictions 

The trade deadline is just two weeks away which means rumors and potential deals will start to heat up. These are some predictions for the 2016 NHL trade deadline. These are pretty much a crapshoot, but here goes nothing. 

Andrew Ladd will be shipped out of Winnipeg to the New York Rangers in a surprise deal. Pavel Buchnevich would not be a part of the package heading back to the Jets. 

Justin Schultz will get a fresh start in Toronto, traded from Edmonton in exchange for a lower end prospect that would have a tough time cracking the Leafs’ roster in a few years. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins will sweep in and acquire Dan Hamhuis from under the noses of Washington and Dallas. Much to the dismay of Penguins fans, it will cost them some nice future assets. 

Kris Russell will remain a Calgary Flames player but Jiri Hudler will not. The Devils will get Hudler in an attempt to make a run at a wild card or divisional spot. 

Roman Polak will be traded to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a third and sixth round pick. 

PA Parenteau and Brad Boyes will also be going out of Toronto, with the Blues and Capitals acquiring them respectively. 

The Panthers will wind up taking Teddy Purcell for a lower price than some other options on the market. 

Radim Vrbata will be traded to the New York Islanders in exchange for picks. 

Eric Staal, Kyle Okposo, and Travis Hamonic will all remain with their current clubs. 

Loui Eriksson will be traded to the Nashville Predators. 

Jonathan Drouin will be traded to the Ottawa Senators at some point or another before next season. 

For the shocking deal of the day, the Sharks and Blues will pull off a blockbuster involving Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrick Marleau. Both players are unrestricted at the end of next season, but more assets would certainly be going to the Blues. Could Mirco Mueller be an option? This is pure speculation. 

In summary: 

Ladd -> NYR

Schultz -> TOR

Hamhuis -> PIT

Hudler -> NJD

Polak -> LAK

Parenteau -> STL

Boyes -> WSH

Purcell -> FLA

Vrbata -> NYI

Eriksson -> NSH

Drouin -> OTT

Shattenkirk -> SJS 

Marleau -> STL

Next year’s cap situation will play a big factor but we are regardless setting up for a big trade deadline. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Byfuglien’s new deal opens up trade market

The stalemate for NHL trades is seemingly coming to an end. Dustin Byfuglien’s new deal with the Winnipeg Jets signals the start of what appears to be an active and exciting trading period. 

Many teams were holding back from making a move while waiting to see what Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff would do with impending unrestricted free agents Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd. The former was solved on Monday, with Byfuglien inking a new five year, 7.6 million per deal. This in all likelihood means that Andrew Ladd will be traded and gives the teams around the league a clearer outlook on what is going to happen on the trade front. 

The second ripple came just a day after of the Byfuglien signing, with Dion Phaneuf being dealt to Ottawa in a monstrous nine-player deal. Salary, prospects, and picks were exchanged, leaving most fans shocked. 

A few hours later, it was reported by Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports that Justin Schultz of the Edmonton Oilers was going to be a heathy scratch tonight possibly due to a trade. Schultz has been awful, for lack of a better term, this year but has the potential to thrive in the right situation. Buffalo and San Jose could be two teams in on him (among others). 

With Byfuglien off the market, Roman Polak’s and Dan Hamhuis’ value have increased. A weak defensive pool both trade wise and free agent wise could leave the Leafs and Canucks in a good position if they choose to move said players. The Kings have been long rumored to be going after a tough defenseman and were linked to Byfuglien, so Polak would make sense. Colorado and Washington would also be fits. 

Kevin Shattenkirk and Keith Yandle have both been asked about but it is doubtful either move. 

The defensive market has definitely opened up and the forward group shouldn’t be too far behind. I would expect an active trade deadline, which is now less than three weeks away. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Nashville and Florida are set to go on the aggression at the trade deadline 

As we know, the trade deadline is rapidly approaching and teams are beginning to decide their plans of action. The Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers are expected to be two teams on the aggression come February 29th. 

The Nashville Predators currently sit one point out of a playoff spot behind the Colorado Avalanche and two points behind the Minnesota Wild. Anaheim and Vancouver are knocking on the door behind them by three points, but the Pacific Division makes it a weird case. 

Despite already pulling off the biggest trade of the year with Ryan Johansen and Seth Jones, the Predators are expected to continue trying to add pieces over this next month. Granted, they’ve found themselves out of the playoff picture partly due to Pekka Rinne’s poor play (.906 SV%), but the team still needs to add offense. 

Loui Eriksson has been a name that has popped up there recently. He is looking for a long term deal with a lot of cash, so he’d likely be a rental over anything. Another player the Predators should explore going after is Teddy Purcell from Edmonton. Purcell currently has 29 points in 50 games for the Oilers. He would be one of the cheaper options. 

I wonder what Nashville is going to do with college standout Jimmy Vesey. He is set to be able to become a free agent this summer and Nashville still hasn’t signed him. He is tearing it up in Harvard as he has the past few years. Would he be a good trade chip if teams are willing to risk losing him? The Predators don’t seem to be in a good position to sign him as of now. 

The Panthers are in a similar boat to Nashville although they are poised to be even more aggressive. Everyone, including most recently Pierre LeBrun, have pegged them as a perfect landing spot for Andrew Ladd. Reports out of Florida indicate that they have no interest in him, but I’m not so sure you can buy into that. He would come at a hefty price, but Tallon knows him from Chicago and he has only gotten better since then. 

Vancouver and Calgary also pose intriguing options with Radim Vrbata and Jiri Hudler respectively. Both players are set to be free agents this summer, however both teams can still squeeze out a playoff birth in the Pacific, Vancouver more likely. These next few weeks will determine whether these two men make it to the market and I would not expect a deal to be made before February 29th. 

This trade deadline is set to be an exciting one, not just for Panthers and Predators fans. We should have a lot to talk about. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Trade Winds: one more month until the NHL trade deadline 

The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and is now about one month away. Teams are beginning to see whether or not they want to sell their players at the deadline meaning the speculation will continue to increase. 

The Buffalo Sabres are still shopping Tyler Ennis but to no avail yet. He has been disappointing this year and with a crowded top-six of young players in Buffalo, he may not have a spot. Due to his high salary, some will have to be retained. Jamie McGinn is also being looked at around the league, but Buffalo likes him. Could he pull a Matt Moulson and sign back with Buffalo in the summer after being traded? We’ll see. 

The Canucks have been looking around the league for potential suitors for Radim Vrbata and Dan Hamhuis. The latter has had injury problems this year, however Vrbata would be a nice pickup for a team in the playoff hunt. Someone like Florida, Nashville, or one of the New York teams could have interest in the forward. 

The Coyotes are very reluctant to move Mikkel Boedker although nothing is impossible. The Danish left winger is due for a big pay increase from his current 3.75 million.

You wonder what the deal is with Yevgeni Medvedev and the Flyers is. He is a good defenseman and would be great for a playoff run for any team but the Flyers are still in the thick of the playoff race themselves. The Flyers also have an influx of young defensemen coming up through the system which could make Medvedev expendable. 

Keith Yandle continues to be shopped but nothing as of yet. It might be in best interest for the Rangers, given their closing window, to get this playoff run out of him. 

Columbus is expected to be very aggressive at the trade deadline. Although they have no big unrestricted free agents, certain names could be moved out such as Kerby Rychel. The David Clarkson contract has been thrown out there but to no takers. 

The Islanders seem to be at a gridlock with Travis Hamonic and Kyle Okposo. Hamonic’s trade won’t come until the offseason and the Islanders don’t want to give up Okposo for futures so they may end up keeping him and risk losing him to free agency. 

The Jets have equally looked around for Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. Nothing is out of the question for the deadline for either player. Ladd is the more feasible option for the team, however. 

Don’t be surprised if the Anaheim Ducks make another move prior to February 29th. Likely a defense for offense move. 

More to come as the trade deadline draws nearer. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles