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.
Guessing the Cost
With the Winnipeg Jets believed to be looking for a defenceman ahead of the deadline, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun and Thomas Drance of The Atheltic asked an NHL executive what it would cost for the team to land Mattias Ekholm.
The executive believed the Jets would have to part with Mathieu Perreault, a 2021 first-round pick and defenceman Ville Heinola. They noted that Perreault, a pending unrestricted free agent carrying a cap hit of $4.125 million, would need to be moved to make the money work and added the Predators could push for prospect Cole Perfetti if Winnipeg isn't willing to part with the first-round pick.
LeBrun argued that he believed the Predators would be coming out on top in the deal, though it may be worth it for the Jets if it gets them through the North Division in the playoffs.
Heinola, selected 20th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, has four goals and 10 points in 16 games with the AHL's Manitoba Moose this season. Perfetti, selected 10th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, has three goals and nine points in 19 games with the Moose.
Ekholm, listed atop the TSN Trade Bait board, has five goals and 15 points in 29 games with the Nashville Predators this season. The 30-year-old is signed at a cap hit of $3.75 million through next season, providing an opportunity to be a part of the team's next two playoff runs.
LeBrun and Drance broke down a total of nine possible trades with NHL executives including two different proposals for the Toronto Maple Leafs to land Mikael Granlund. See them all here.
Time to Sell?
With the Vancouver Canucks sitting outside the playoff picture, Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province believes it's time for the team to become sellers ahead of the trade deadline.
Johnston argues the Canucks should accumulate draft picks to have trade fodder for team's looking to move players they could move in the Seattle expansion draft this summer. He lists Jake Virtanen, Alex Edler, Brandon Sutter, Tanner Pearson and Jordie Benn as five players the team should consider trading.
Edler, Sutter, Pearson and Benn are all pending unrestricted free agents, while Johnston argues Virtanen, signed through next season at a $2.25 million cap hit, is in need of a change of scenery.
Virtanen, 24, has four goals and no assists in 32 games this season. He has 54 goals and 99 points in 311 career games with the Canucks since being selected sixth overall in the 2014 NHL Draft.
On the Move?
The Carolina Hurricanes may be willing to part with a goaltender ahead of the trade deadline, general manager Don Waddell told The Athletic.
Alex Nedeljkovic has an 8-2-2 record since getting called up when Petr Mrazek was injured in February, earning more playing time than James Reimer recently. With Mrazek expected to return in the near future, Waddell said it could make sense to deal one of the netminders.
"I’ve said the luxury of having the cap space is to keep the three goalies," Waddell told The Athletic. "Nedeljkovic has been a great story — he won that championship down in Charlotte in the American Hockey League. But I’ve also said — we don’t have a lot of cap space. If we’re gonna do something at the trade deadline, maybe one of the chips is one of our goalies. I can’t say which one. It depends. But, you know, I think as you look at the way the schedule is and, hopefully going deep in the playoffs, you’d think you’d want to have three goalies. So I think this is a good problem to have, and we’ll find a way to keep three goalies on the roster if we need to."
Should the Hurricanes look to add ahead of the trade deadline, Waddell said he's eyeing another right-hand shot on the blueline.
"We like our defense, but you know, after you get through our first two sets of pairs, we've got three lefties there," Waddell said. "They all play well, but they all would be better on their natural side. They're all left-hands who would be better on the left side. … So if we could add a right-hand-shot defenseman to complement them, I think that would be good."
Haydn Fleury and Jake Bean currently make up the team's third defence pairing behind Jaccob Slavin and Dougie Hamilton, and Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce. Left-handed shot Jake Gardiner is also on the team's taxi squad.
The Hurricanes are second in the Central Division, just one point back of the Tampa Bay Lightning with a game in hand.
According to CapFriendly, Carolina has $2.3 million in cap space.