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 Vancouver Canucks enter the All-Star break sitting first in the Pacific Division, but it doesn't appear that general manager Jim Benning intends to shake up his roster for a playoff push.
Benning told Thomas Drance of The Athletic earlier this week that he is more likely to look within the organization for players that could boost their depth, having already moved the team's 2020 first-round pick.
"Well, we gave up a first-round pick and a third-round pick for J.T. Miller to get him for the whole year. We paid deadline prices for a guy that we knew would help us the full year and he’s got three years left on his contract after this year," Benning said.
"As far as the trade deadline is concerned, it’s still a month away. We got Brandon Sutter back here the last two games before the break, and we’re hoping in the next couple of weeks that we’re going to get Micheal Ferland back. It would be nice to see what our group looks like healthy - we won’t have Josh Leivo obviously, he’s going to be out for a period of time yet.
"We’ll see with how we perform here in February. And injury-wise, where we’re at. I think that will give us a better idea of what we need to do heading into the deadline.
"Part of our strategy and our thinking was that the last couple seasons we’ve had so many injuries that we tried to make sure this summer we added depth to our whole organization. A guy like Justin Bailey - he has three hat tricks in his last four games! I went down to Utica when we were in Buffalo last weekend to see him play and he had a hat trick. I’d like to get him some games, get a look at him. He’s worked hard and he’s earned some games.
"Zack MacEwen, the games he’s played, he doesn’t look out of place. He looks like he’s ready to play in the NHL. Tyler Graovac should be back in the next couple of weeks. Ashton Sautner and Jalen Chatfield have played well for us this year down there — I think they’re ready to play games. Brogan Rafferty has had a real good year, leading their defence in scoring and he’s close to playing. Guillaume Brisebois, too.
"In our quest to have depth in our organization, maybe as we come to the deadline and we see where we’re at, we have to measure which depth players we’re going to trade for versus our own guys we have internally. We maybe have to give them an opportunity to show us what they can do. Because they’ve earned it."
The Canucks have missed the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons and haven't advanced past the first round since their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. While Benning said he isn't afraid to add to his roster ahead of Feb. 24, he said the list of assets he's willing to move is limited.
"I’m not trying to skirt your question, but it’s too early to say," he explained when asked if fans should expect a quiet deadline day. "We have another month. Let’s see, first of all, how the team performs as a healthy unit. And let’s see where we’re at injury-wise at the deadline.
"I’m not afraid to add. The one thing, though, is that it’s going to be hard to add, because I’m not going to be trading any of our good young players away. And if we do make the playoffs, then I’ve already moved my first-round pick. It’ll have to be some kind of lateral move somehow, but we’ll stay in the market.
"I’m talking to all of the general managers and we’ll know what the market is going to call for at the time. We’ll make that determination as we get closer to February 24th."
The Canucks will set out on a five-game road trip after hosting the St. Louis Blues in their first game after the All-Star break.
Ready to Move?
According to NBC's Pierre McGuire, Detroit Red Wings defenceman Trevor Daley has informed the team's management that he would like to move to a contender ahead of the trade deadline.
Daley, 36, has four assists in 26 games this season while averaging 16:11 of ice time.
"His contract's up at the end of this year. He's already spoken to Detroit management, and if he gets a chance, he'd like to move on to have a chance to play for a Cup," McGuire said during Wednesday's broadcast of the Red Wings and Minnesota Wild game.
Daley, a veteran of 16 NHL seasons, won back-to-back Stanley Cups as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. He has six goals and 18 points in 71 career postseason games.
The Toronto native carries a $3.167 million cap hit for this season, his third with the Red Wings.
The Red Wings have the NHL's worst record at 12-35-4 and are expected to be sellers at the trade deadline. Andreas Athanasiou is currently the lone Detroit player on the TSN Trade Bait board, listed at No. 9.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger joined Overdrive on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto on Wednesday to discuss how the price to acquire a defenceman has risen over the course of the season. Dreger notes that market has shifted from a buyer's market with plenty of top-six options available, but a seller's market with a growing list of teams looking for blueline help.