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.
With Anders Lee out indefinitely and on long-term injured reserve, Arthur Staple of The Athletic believes the New York Islanders could use their new-found cap space to bring in a winger to replace their captain.
Placing Lee on LTIR on Sunday freed $7 million in cap space for the Islanders, who previously had less than $1 million in wiggle room. Staple believes the Islanders could target pending unrestricted free agents such as Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, Tanner Pearson, Nick Foligno or Mikael Granlund. He notes that Hall has previously played with Jordan Eberle and speculates the Islanders would have to trade defenceman Thomas Hickey and a first- or second-round draft pick to acquire Hall from the Buffalo Sabres.
Should the Islanders opt for a player with term still on his contract, Staple writes that Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell could be a fit, though squeezing his $3.78 million under the cap next season could be a problem.
The Islanders currently sit first in the East Division with a 19-6-4 record and Staple believes the team is "all-in" on this season.
Ansar Khan of MLive.com believes the Detroit Red Wings may be able to fetch as much as a second-round pick for goaltender Jonathan Bernier, if they decide to move him at the deadline.
Bernier has a 7-6 record with a .912 save percentage and a 2.96 goals-against average this season. He is a pending unrestricted free agent, carrying a $3 million cap hit.
Khan believes the Red Wings would be best off re-signing the 32-year-old for next season since their prospects behind him are not NHL-ready, but adds that trading Bernier over the next month and then bringing him back in free agency could be an option.
TSN Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli reported earlier this month that the Washington Capitals are keeping tabs on the goaltender market ahead of the April 12 trade deadline.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun put together several trades he believes would make sense in The Athletic on Friday, including Rakell to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Winnipeg Jets acquiring Mattias Ekholm and the Calgary Flames trading David Rittich to the Capitals.
LeBrun writes the Maple Leafs have made it known they're looking to add a winger to their forward group and Rakell could fit that bill. He notes, however, that the 27-year-old won't come cheap, with talks potentially starting with Maple Leafs 2020 first-round pick Rodion Amirov and Toronto likely having to add even more.
In Winnipeg, LeBrun argues that Ekholm could be the top-four defenceman the Jets need to push them over the top. LeBrun writes he's "heard some rumblings" the Predators have discussed adding Sami Niku and wonders if the defenceman and a first-round pick would be enough to sway the Nashville Predators into making a deal.
With Rittich, LeBrun reiterates that the Capitals are looking for insurance in goal and adds the Flames will undoubtedly make the goaltender, who's a pending free agent, available if they fail to re-enter the playoff picture.