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Insider Trading: Oilers, Golden Knights aggressively in market for forward

Insider Trading Feb. 29 Insider Trading Feb. 29 - TSN

TSN's Hockey Insiders discuss Edmonton and Vegas' deadline objectives, the fallout from the Chris Tanev trade, where the Leafs turn next, the Flames' focus now on Noah Hanifin and the latest on the Canucks and Elias Pettersson.

Oilers & Golden Knights aggressively in market for forward

Gino Reda: They are the Insiders, Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger. Just over a week to the NHL trade deadline for teams in dire need. It's almost a game of chicken trying to decide how long they can hold out before getting shut out. Darren, could the Oilers and Knights end up in a bidding war to fill their biggest need?

Dreger: Yeah, up front, a forward yes, they could. I mean, let's be honest, the clock is ticking now and all the top teams in the National Hockey League are trying to add something to upgrade, to potentially load up. Now the news out of the Vegas Golden Knights isn't good, Mark Stone we know we're told is out for the regular season and he is questionable for the Stanley Cup playoffs so you can be certain that Kelly McCrimmon and the Golden Knights will utilize his cap space. We know that the Edmonton Oilers have been targeting a top-six forward so both teams are looking at players like Tyler Toffoli, [Pavel] Buchnevich from the St. Louis Blues, maybe Jordan Eberle if he doesn't sign with the Seattle Kraken, I mean go down the list from there. There is a list of high-level players potentially available. And you can be sure that the Oilers and the Vegas Golden Knights are going to be among the top clubs trying to pick one up. 

Chris Tanev trade fallout

Reda: Chris Tanev was sitting at No. 2 on our Trade Bait board before the Flames moved him to Dallas. Who else was in the running for him? And how did the Flames end up going with the Stars, Pierre?

LeBrun: I don't know why he wasn't No. 1, who's in charge of that board? But yeah, there was a lot of interest in Chris Tanev. Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Colorado were the four finalists that we know of other than the team that got him of course, the Dallas Stars. But it tells you that three Canadian teams who have Cup aspirations were in on Tanev which may also tell you what their next moves may be in terms of perhaps upgrading their blue-line. You know, the Leafs had yet another conversation with Calgary on Wednesday, the day of the trade, but my understanding is Brad Treliving was still not willing to move that first-round pick in the Tanev deal and Calgary moves on with a Dallas deal and it's a deal that Calgary really liked. You know they've been criticized for not getting a first in this deal. But they liked the prospect [Artem] Grushnikov, they see some Tanev-like attributes in him. And by the way, Calgary did have a first-round pick on the table in one of their trade offers. But it came with taking a player with term as part of the package and that wasn't of interest to Calgary so you understand the package they ended up with, why it makes more sense for Calgary.

Chris Tanev trade could set market for other 'D'

Johnston: What I can tell you, the fact that they didn't get a first-rounder back for Chris Tanev, wasn't warmly received in places like Philadelphia and Arizona, where Sean Walker and Matt Dumba respectively are pending unrestricted defencemen that are out there and obviously their teams were hoping to get a first-rounder and are still hoping to get a first-rounder back for them. I think the Philadelphia situation is most interesting with Walker because you get to a point where if it isn't a first-rounder, and that's not to say it won't be, but it becomes a little tougher with the market now set by the Tanev move. Then does Philadelphia move on from him? They're in a playoff spot. I think there'll be a decision if they don't like the return, maybe just to keep them as their own player. As for Dumba, I do think Arizona is committed to moving on from him. They've had a long losing streak here. And you know, they made a move last year with Edmonton at the deadline but for Nick Bjugstad where they didn't get as high of a pick as they wanted, but they got a player they liked. And you know, maybe that's the path for a Dumba deal if a first-rounder doesn't materialize for the Coyotes. 

Where do Leafs turn next?

Reda: CJ, Pierre mentioned the Leafs were going hard for Tanev, now that that didn't work out, what's Plan B for them?

Johnston: Well, let's start right where I finished there. I think Matt Dumba is a player that makes a lot of sense for Toronto. Obviously, you know, this week we've seen them play a couple games with six left-handed defencemen. They're looking for someone on the right side, I think Dumba with the way he elevated himself, played pretty well in the playoffs last year for Minnesota, his extensive history, the way he plays physically makes some sense. Another one is Ilya Lyubushkin, who of course finished a couple seasons ago as a member of the Maple Leafs. He's been down in Anaheim and I don't think the Ducks are necessarily fully committed to moving on from Lyubushkin but he's a player that certainly has garnered some interest from Toronto's end of things. 

Flames now focused on Noah Hanifin

LeBrun: Well, and you speak about what's next for the Leafs, what's next for Calgary? They still have a major player that they will probably trade in Noah Hanifin, another pending UFA, they've been unable to sign him as of Thursday. My understanding is that there was really nothing close on a Hanifin trade. We know that can change quickly, but I think it speaks to the complex situation they have there in that two of the teams that really covet him, Boston and Tampa Bay, and neither one of them has a first-round pick in this year's draft. And also there's a complication, Hanifin has a modified no-trade, there are certain places he would go and I think his agent Pat Brisson perhaps talking about a potential extension which complicates things. So this may go to next Friday right to the wire on Noah Hanifin

Elias Pettersson extension expected to range from 5-8 years

Reda: And while teams are wheeling and dealing on the trade front right now, the Canucks have a key order of business to take care of in house, Dregs.

Dreger: Yeah, Elias Pettersson and we know the Vancouver Canucks and Pettersson's agents J.P. Barry and Pat Brisson engaged with Canucks management on Tuesday and discussions have continued over the course of this week. And they're negotiating in a variety of options. Now it's important to note, a player of this magnitude normally can command a term of anywhere from three years of course to the eight-year maximum. As for the annual average salary, I suspect that it could come in just slightly above William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs at $11.5 million but again, ongoing discussions when they complete the process and the agents will take all of these options to Pettersson and he will decide which is the best fit for his future.

Reda: Sounds good. They are the Insiders, Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger.