The National Hockey League's Trade Deadline is on Monday, April 12 and teams will be making decisions on whether to buy or sell and decide which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Check out the latest trade rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.
On the Move?
Following the team's coaching change on Wednesday, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams left the door open to the possibility of trading pending unrestricted free agent Taylor Hall at the trade deadline.
Hall, who joined Buffalo in October on a one-year, $8 million deal, has two goals and 16 points in 28 games with the last-place Sabres this season.
"We're open to anything and everything," Adams said. "My job is to do anything and everything to make this franchise move in the right direction. I have a very good relationship with (Hall's agent) Darren Ferris and Taylor. Open lines of communication and obviously days are moving forward here, so there will be a lot of conversations around that."
Hall, 29, has a full no-move clause in his contract, but TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun tweeted Wednesday he'd be shocked if Adams doesn't approach Hall on a potential move.
Adams acknowledged that teams around the league see the Sabres as a seller and are making calls accordingly.
"Obviously where we are in the standings lends to the fact I'll be getting phone calls or have been getting phone calls on players," Adams said. "Conversations every day. A lot of conversations. Absolutely, this is my job to make sure not only that I'm proactive but listen as well and [am] doing everything I can to move this thing forward."
Hall is listed at No. 4 on the latest TSN Trade Bait Board, with teammates Brandon Montour (No. 9), Eric Staal (No. 13) and Colin Miller (No. 9) also on the list.
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman confirmed Wednesday that while the Blackhawks won't be shopping to improve their current playoff chances over the next month, the team is open to absorbing contracts in order to improve their future outlook.
"I would say we're trying to add players that we think can be part of our future," Bowman told the "Blackhawks Insider" podcast, per NHL.com. "I don't think we're going to be looking for rental players who will be here a couple of months and having to give up some top, young assets to do it. We have a lot of salary cap space, because we have several players on long-term injury, so we have the ability to take on some contracts this year if that situation presents itself."
TSN Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli said Tuesday on Insider Trading that the Blackhawks have let it be known their willing to take on bad contracts or eat cap space in order to help facilitate deals with their $22 million space from long-term injured reserve.
The Blackhawks are currently in a playoff spot, sitting fourth in the Central Division with a four-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Bowman reiterated that the focus is on the future for the club, couldn't classify the team as a seller ahead of the deadline.
"Our best years are ahead of us going forward, so I think we want to make sure we don't trade out young assets unless you're getting a young asset back, someone that you think is going to be part of your future," Bowman said. "I don't know if you would call us a seller or a buyer. We're willing to do a little bit of both, but we're not going to sell off players we think have a future for us."
Buyers and Sellers
In his latest Trade Bait column, Seravalli listed eight teams that appear to be clear buyers ahead of the trade deadline, while 10 teams are shaping up as sellers.
In the North Division, Seravalli listed the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets as buyers as the two teams fight for the top spot. The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames were placed in the next section down, among the the teams are "soft buyers" searching for specific needs. The Montreal Canadiens were placed among the neutral trade deadline teams, while the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators were on the sellers list.
Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas was open about his pursuit of a middle-six forward this week, adding he'd prefer a rental given the team's salary cap outlook. Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff also stated his willingness to add, with Seravalli writing the team is "in need of a shut-off valve, a blueliner who can break up the cycle and get the puck quickly to the high-octane forwards that fuel the Jets."
In Edmonton, Seravalli reports the Oilers are seeking a scoring left winger or a second-pairing left-shooting defenceman, but aren't looking for rentals and are not willing to part with draft picks. Flames general manager Brad Treliving continues to look for an impact right-shooting winger, but Seravalli notes that the prices are high and Calgary remains on the playoff bubble.