The National Hockey League's Trade Deadline is on Monday, Feb. 24, 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.
The Boston Bruins sit atop the Atlantic Division with 68 points through 50 games this season and it appears the team intends to add to their roster ahead of the trade deadline.
Joe Haggerty of NBC Boston writes that the Bruins plan to acquire a top-six winger over the next month and have made New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider their No. 1 target.
Kreider, a pending unrestricted free agent, has 16 goals and 31 points in 47 games this season. The 28-year-old carries a $4.625 million cap hit in the final season of a four-year deal signed with the Rangers in 2016.
Haggerty expects Kreider to be in high demand ahead of the deadline and notes the acquisition could cost the Bruins a first-round pick. He adds, however, that the move would undoubtedly boost their depth and offence ahead of the postseason.
Kreider, who has not played in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons with the Rangers, has 23 goals and 37 points in 77 career postseason games.
Plan in Place
Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said last week he planned to avoid creating a “circus atmosphere” ahead of this year’s trade deadline after last year saw the team move Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel after months of speculation.
Dorion told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun in The Athletic that the team has a clear plan on how to proceed moving forward.
“Pierre, you got to understand, we’ve got a plan in place," Dorion said. "Going forward, we’ve got a plan, we know who our players are. We’re going to be negotiating with some of the guys that we feel we want to have stay here; but at the same time, they want to be here, too.
“We’re not going to overpay guys just because other teams do it. We’ve got a plan we’re going to follow here. We’ve got to be smart in the short, medium and long term for us to have success as we move along. When it comes to those things, the one deal I’ve had with agents and so far it’s been very good, is that we’ve kept everything out of the public.
“We do it for many reasons. We do it out of respect for our fans who know that we’re trying to follow this plan, we do it out of respect to the players so they’re not worried about who’s going to be their teammate game after game at the end of the year. If they want to talk amongst themselves when they go for coffee, that’s their choice. But we know that to try to get things done, we’ve got to do things as quietly as possible.”
In addition to Stone, Duchene and Dzingel, the Senators also traded then-captain Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks prior to last season as he entered a contract year. When asked about the possibility of moving more long-time players at the deadline this year in Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mark Borowiecki and Craig Anderson, Dorion noted that player intentions have been a factor in previous moves.
“But I think it’s always part of the plan, it just gets back to how I answered the question before, is that yes, but they have a choice to stay here or not. It’s a public fact that we offered pretty good contracts to a lot of people who were pending free agents and some decided that they didn’t want to stay here, they didn’t want to be part of the rebuild where they were in their career. Now some players are different than others, and we have to respect that.
“But we have a plan going forward, and in future discussions we will know who wants to be here and who doesn’t want to be here.”
In addition to Pageau, Borowiecki and Anderson, the Senators have five other pending unrestricted free agents - Mikkel Boedker, Vladislav Namestnikov, Tyler Ennis, Scott Sabourin and Cody Goloubef.
Money To Burn
According to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia, the Anaheim Ducks are willing to take on "lousy contracts" if teams include a sweetener of a draft pick or prospect.
Garrioch reports Ducks general manager Bob Murray is looking to load up on assets with his team sitting second-last in the Western Conference.
The Ducks currently have $3.6 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly, but could free up just over $10 million by moving Patrick Eaves and Ryan Kesler to long-term injured reserve.
Garrioch points to the Pittsburgh Penguins as a potential trade partner for the Ducks as they look to clear space to make additions ahead of the deadline.