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.
Sharks in full sell mode?
With the news Erik Karlsson will miss the rest of the season, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported the thinking is the San Jose Sharks will go into full sell mode ahead of the Trade Deadline.
“The belief is Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has put up the “For Sale” sign and is trying to move as many pieces as possible before the deadline kicks in.”
The Sharks are currently sixth in the Pacific Division with a 26-28-4 record, 10 points out of a wildcard spot in the Western Conference.
Defenceman Brenden Dillon is expected to be moved for sure, but the question remains if the Sharks will trade veteran forward Joe Thornton.
“He has a full “no move” clause, but the Sharks would like to give him the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup,” Garrioch reported. “If he’s going to be dealt, then league executives believe he’ll only go to a team that has a chance to win, so the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins are both viewed as good fits.”
Speaking of Thornton…
Avalanche reporter Adrian Dater speculated that if the Sharks decide to move Thornton, he could see the 40-year-old landing with his former team the Boston Bruins or the Colorado Avalanche.
“I will not be surprised if he goes back to Boston,” Dater wrote. “That would be a great story, either way. I will also not be at all surprised if he winds up on the Colorado Avalanche. To me, he’d be a nice fit here. He’d be short-term insurance for Nazem Kadri, and he’d be a potential playoff run replacement for a guy like a Tyson Jost or a Vlad Kamenev.”
Thornton, who is No. 15 on TSN’s Trade Bait list, has two goals and 22 assists in 58 games for the Sharks this season.
While most of the trade talk coming out of South Florida so far has centred around winger Mike Hoffman, a new name has emerged as the Panthers continue to struggle leading up to the Trade Deadline.
Garrioch reported the Panthers could look to move centre Vincent Trocheck in their search for help on the blue line.
“While the Panthers probably wouldn’t mind moving Trocheck, he has a cap hit of $4.75 million through the next two seasons and that’s going to be difficult to move unless GM Dale Tallon is willing to accept a contract in return.”
Trocheck has eight goals and 24 assists in 51 games for the Panthers this season. And the Panthers are right up to the salary cap this season.
Petry and Tatar staying put?
Marc De Foy of the Montreal Journal reported that defenceman Jeff Petry and winger Tomas Tatar will not be traded by the Montreal Canadiens this season.
“The decision has been made for a long time. In the case of Petry, the loss of Shea Weber only consolidated the position of hockey operations personnel.
“As for Tatar, it is hard to see Bergevin divesting himself of the left wing of his only functional trio.
“Finally, the two players correspond to the image that Bergevin or any other general manager is looking for. They have the right attitude and they enjoy Montreal.”
Petry has one more year left on his contract after this season at a cap hit of $5.5 million while Tatar has one year left after this season at a cap hit of $4.8 million.
De Foy added that while Petry and Tatar aren’t necessarily destined to end their careers with the Habs, they appear safe at least for this season.
Asking price for Kovalchuk
Garrioch also had a note on the Canadiens, reporting GM Marc Bergevin will have to drop his asking price on veteran winger Ilya Kovalchuk to facilitate a deal.
“Teams will call about winger Ilya Kovalchuk, but the club will have to lower its asking price of a second-round pick because 29 other teams could have had him for free when he was bought out by the Kings earlier in the season.”
Kovalchuk, who sits sixth on TSN’s Trade Bait List, has recorded six goals and six assists in 19 games with the Habs this season.