The National Hockey League's Trade Deadline is on Monday, Feb. 26, 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.
Take a Listen
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger was asked Tuesday whether the Toronto Maple Leafs should consider listening to offers on three key pending free agents (James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov) since the team is seems locked into the third playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
Dreger said the price for van Riemsdyk would likely compare to the Buffalo Sabres' price tag on Evander Kane and said van Riemsdyk could be a more intriguing option.
"I think they should look, I doubt that they will actually move James van Riemsdyk because of his importance to the team for the duration of this year," Dreger explained TSN Radio 1050 Toronto. "I always look at what Buffalo is asking for Evander Kane - and it's a first round pick, a prospect, a roster player for certain teams and maybe even a conditional draft pick. Now you're talking about four elements to make a deal like that happen for Evander Kane.
"So what would you get for JVR? I have to believe Lou Lamoriello is at least willing to listen to what the interest is out there because there would be a lot of interest. I don't quite fully understand or embrace it, but many teams with interest in Evander Kane always go 'OK, I like him, he's a good power forward, but he's got that history.' I mean that doesn't matter to me, he's a hell of a hockey player, that's what matters to me. James van Riemsdyk is this clean-cut American kid and he puts the puck in the net.
"If you could acquire a boatload of assets for one, or two, or maybe even all three of those guys, maybe now you go into the draft, you don't go as deep as you might in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but you go into the draft in June and all of sudden Arizona decided 'well maybe we do want to trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson,' as an example. Hypothetically, you've got a collection of draft pieces, including first-round picks, to go to Arizona and say 'here you go, what else do you need?'
"That's the only way that you acquire those assets, in my opinion. And, isn't that better than letting a guy walk for entirely nothing? Which could happen with all three of those pieces."
Central of Attention
The Nashville Predators return from the All-Star break on the heels of the Winnipeg Jets for first in the Central Division, but general manager David Poile knows that in the competitive division, the team is far from being assured a playoff spot.
“I feel good about our team,” Poile told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun in an interview with The Athetlic. “But I look at our division and we’re one point out of first and eight points from being out of the playoffs. So it’s not like there’s a lot of breathing room. I think we’ve got a pretty good team, we’ve been pretty consistent all year long. Like everybody else, we’ve had some injuries. I’d like to see us get healthy. You look at last year, you certainly need depth and a little bit of luck on the injury side. We’ll just have to see. It’s not crystal clear here what needs to take place.”
The Predators have been rumoured to be in the market for a forward, including speculation that the team could acquire Max Pacioretty or Mike Hoffman.
“Yeah, that’s fair,” Poile said of the assumption he would target scoring help. “Our goaltending is pretty good and we’re carrying eight defencemen. So logically that would be the area.”
LeBrun adds that the Predators will face competition on the trade market. He believes the St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets could all be in the market for similar players - and that's just within their division.
“Well we might be looking to do the exact same thing,” Poile said. “So it depends how much you want to pay for something.”
Poile pointed out to LeBrun that he feels the team already made one deadline type of deal in acquiring Kyle Turris from the Ottawa Senators in a three-way trade with the Colorado Avalanche. The Predators gave up their second-round pick this season in that trade and 2016 second-round pick Samuel Girard.
Return to D.C.?
Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post believes the Capitals could have interest in reuniting with defenceman Mike Green for a playoff push this season.
Green, a pending free agent, is listed at No. 3 on the TSN Trade Bait board and widely expected to be moved by the Red Wings before the deadline.
The 32-year-old defenceman spent 10 seasons with the Capitals before signing with Detroit in the summer of 2015.
Dougherty argues Green's offensive prowess and ability to boost the team's power play could make him a fit with the Capitals.
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz told The Post he believes Green was ahead of time as an offensive defenceman during his tenure with the Capitals.
“With Mike, he’s obviously been an exceptional talent for a long, long time offensively, and probably didn’t get the credit he deserved,” said Trotz, who coached Green during the 2014-15 season.
“I think his style is more the way the game is. He was probably ahead of the curve in some ways, you know? He would be joining the attack and staying in the attack and maybe never leaving the attack, and now I think it’s part of the process where defencemen are expected to complement the attack, continue with the attack, and it’s okay to stay in it.”
The Capitals parted with their first-round pick at the deadline last year to acquire offensive defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk, who Trotz has not praised since his exit with the team.
Pierre LeBrun wrote Monday in The Athletic that the Colorado Avalanche have identified a need for a top-nine winger ahead of the trade deadline.
The Avalanche enter Tuesday's game against the Vancouver Canucks owning the Western Conference's second wild-card spot.
The team has already posted 57 points this season after notching a dismal 48 points last season.
The Avalanche enter the deadline with more than $8 million in cap space and four draft picks in the first two rounds of this year's draft thanks to the Matt Duchene trade.
Not in the Market?
The Chicago Blackhawks have emerged as a popular landing spot for goaltenders in the rumour mill with starter Corey Crawford sidelined.
However, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said Monday he's "optimistic" Crawford will play again this season, which could take the Blackhawks out of the market.
"You think he’s close to getting on the ice, so he’s showing all the signs that he’ll be helping us at some point," Quenneville told Mark Potash of The Chicago Sun Times.
Over the weekend, MLive.com speculated the Blackhawks could be interested in one of the Detroit Red Wings goaltenders in Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek.
TSN's Trade Bait Board - last updated on Jan. 25:
1. Evander Kane, BUF
2. Patrick Maroon, EDM
3. Mike Green, DET
4. Mike Hoffman, OTT
5. Max Pacioretty, MTL
6. Thomas Vanek, VAN
7. Alex Galchenyuk, MTL
8. Michael Grabner, NYR
9. Zack Smith, OTT
10. Ryan McDonagh, NYR
11. James Neal, VGK
12. Ian Cole, PIT
13. Jordan Kyrou, STL
14. Erik Gudbranson, VAN
15. Rick Nash, NYR
16. Aaron Dell, SJS
17. Mark Letestu, EDM
18. Andrew Shaw, MTL
19. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, OTT
20. David Perron, VGK
21. Nic Petan, WPG
22. Jack Johnson, CBJ
23. Nick Holden, NYR
24. Petr Mrazek, DET
25. Sam Reinhart, BUF
26. Dion Phaneuf, OTT
27. Blake Comeau, COL
28. Robin Lehner, BUF
29. Cody Franson, CHI
30. Tyson Barrie, COL