McLennan on Maple Leafs' goaltending situation, Jets' defensive concerns
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.
Under the Radar?
Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes that defenceman P.K. Subban is quietly having a strong season with the New Jersey Devils, having "all but eliminated The Big Mistake from his repertoire."
Subban is signed through next season at a cap hit of $9 million and Brooks believes teams in need of a right-handed shot could do a lot worse if the Devils are willing retain half his salary.
The 31-year-old has three goals and 14 points in 29 games this season while averaging 22:34 of ice time.
A second-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 2007 and a Norris Trophy winner in 2013, Subban was acquired by the Devils prior to last season from the Nashville Predators for a package that included two second-round picks.
Sitting Back and Watching
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said his team is not alone in being pushed up against the salary cap and is waiting to see whether that leads to a quiet trade deadline around the league.
"That supply and demand equation, I don't know what it looks like right now," BriseBois told NHL.com. "I know a lot of teams are in the same situation we're in where they literally have no cap space or very, very little, not enough to add a player without subtracting.
"At the same time, the schedule matrix and the divisional format, there's a lot more four-point games. The teams on the bubble, I don't know what's ultimately going to guide their decisions. Are they going to add or try to sell? Will there be more teams standing pat? I don't know. It'll be interesting to find out."
The Lightning, who have forward Nikita Kucherov among four players on long-term injured reserve, have used all but $370,000 of their relief space, according to CapFriendly with a roster of 21 skaters.
Tampa Bay added Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow at the trade deadline last season before eventually winning the Stanley Cup in September.
The Vegas Golden Knights have been buyers in each of the past three seasons, with Tomas Tatar, Mark Stone, Alec Martinez and Robin Lehner all coming in on deadline deals, but it appears the team may be planning to stand pat this season.
The Golden Knights are also squeezed up against the salary cap, with just $141,480 in deadline space according to CapFriendly, with off-season addition Alex Pietrangelo currently on long-term injured reserve.
“We’re in this position by choice,” general manager Kelly McCrimmon told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s what we wanted to do with our roster. We like our roster, and I believe our approach will be quite different based on that.”
Vegas currently sits first in the West Division with a three-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche following a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.