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TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters raised eyebrows this week when he blasted his roster, saying, “We can’t put that group out again after that,” following a loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Peters vowed “it’ll be different Tuesday.” Marcus Kruger and Haydn Fleury bore the brunt of his anger as scratches against the Philadelphia Flyers.

That doesn’t mean other, bigger changes might not be on the horizon for the Hurricanes.

Canes winger Jeff Skinner is the most prominent among 10 new names to hit TSN Hockey’s latest Trade Bait board ahead of the Feb. 26 trade deadline. The belief is that the Hurricanes, while not actively shopping Skinner, would be willing to listen to offers on him.

Skinner, 25, is in his eighth NHL season with Carolina. The Hurricanes have never made the Stanley Cup playoffs during his tenure.

With 15 goals and 31 points in 54 games this season, Skinner is on pace for his lowest offensive output since 2014-15, coming off a 37-goal campaign last year. Skinner undoubtedly has the high-end skill and speed teams covet, plus he has one more season of cost certainty remaining at $5.725 million before becoming a free agent.

Skinner is no stranger to TSN’s Trade Bait board, having first appeared two seasons ago. But this time there seems to be a growing friction between him and Peters that is likely destined to come to a head – whether in the next two weeks or the summer.

Under aggressive new majority owner Tom Dundon, the Hurricanes are looking to end the NHL’s longest playoff drought (since 2009). Dundon said last week the Canes won’t make a deal to “make us feel good for two weeks that’s going to set us back two years.” Carolina is treading water in the Metropolitan Division, just 6-8-2 in 2018, but remains one point back of a wild-card spot.

One team the Hurricanes are chasing for that final playoff spot may also be listening to offers for its young alternate captain. Blue Jackets centre Boone Jenner, 24, is having a tough season.

Jenner is receiving 10 per cent more ice time this season under coach John Tortorella, but his offensive production is less than half of what it was two seasons ago when he hit 30 goals.

That would mean the Blue Jackets would have to sell low on Jenner, which doesn’t seem like GM Jarmo Kekalainen’s style, since he hung onto Cam Atkinson and watched him blossom after he was on the trade block two years ago. He is an intriguing name nonetheless.

For the first time, TSN’s Trade Bait board features trending arrows, a helpful indicator of which players are perceived to be closer or less likely to moving before the deadline.

James Neal and David Perron have consistently slid down the list as the Vegas Golden Knights seem more likely to hang onto their pending free agents for the franchise’s first playoff run.

Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh increasingly feels like he will be traded in a larger off-season deal, if at all, but GM Jeff Gorton remains open to any and all possibilities.

Playoff-bound teams were also buzzing about Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw earlier in January, but that conversation has cooled considerably with Shaw missing the last 10 games with a lower-body injury.

Three other newcomers are trending up: Flames prospect Jon Gillies, Wild centre Matt Cullen and Habs centre Tomas Plekanec. The board’s other newbies are Canucks defenceman Ben Hutton, Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist and Maple Leafs spare forward Josh Leivo. Sabres net minder Robin Lehner and Blackhawks defenceman Cody Franson make their return to the board.

Hutton, 24, has been a healthy scratch eight times for the Canucks over the last two months.

Plekanec and Cullen are two additions to a shallow centre pool. The Flames may have to consider parting with Gillies in order to acquire the impact winger they’re seeking at the deadline, especially with their franchise depth in net with Tyler Parsons and David Rittich.

Here is TSN Hockey’s Top 40 Trade Bait, whose ranking seeks to blend prominence of players with likelihood of a trade:


The Top 40

Trend Player Pos Age Cap Hit GP G PTS Years Clause
  1. Evander Kane, BUF LW 26 $5.25M 53 16 36 UFA  
  2. Mike Green, DET RD 32 $6M 52 5 26 UFA NTC
  3. Patrick Maroon, EDM LW 29 $1.5M 50 13 26 UFA  
  4. Mike Hoffman, OTT LW 28 $5.19M 52 14 36 2 M-NTC
  5. Michael Grabner, NYR LW 30 $1.65M 52 21 26 UFA  
  6. Max Pacioretty, MTL LW 29 $4.5M 53 16 33 1  
  7. Thomas Vanek, VAN LW 33 $2M 53 15 37 UFA  
  8. Alex Galchenyuk, MTL LW 23 $4.9M 53 12 31 2  
  9. Rick Nash, NYR  LW 33 $7.8M 54 16 25 UFA M-NTC
Embedded Image 10. Jeff Skinner, CAR LW 25 $5.73M 54 15 31 1 NMC
  11. Zack Smith, OTT C/LW 29 $3.25M 38 4 13 3 M-NTC
  12. Mark Letestu, EDM C 32 $1.8M 51 8 17 UFA  
Embedded Image 13. Boone Jenner, CBJ C 24 $2.9M 46 5 13 RFA  
  14. Ian Cole, PIT LD 28 $2.1M 41 3 11 UFA  
  15. Jordan Kyrou, STL C/RW 19 $894K 0 0 0 3 Slide
Embedded Image 16. Ryan McDonagh, NYR LD 28 $4.7M 49 2 26 1 M-NTC
  17. Derek Ryan, CAR C 31 $1.45M 52 11 26 UFA  
  18. Aaron Dell, SJS G 28 $625K 23 2.44 .919 UFA  
Embedded Image 19. Jon Gillies, CGY G 24 $725K 1 5.14 .750 RFA  
  20. J-G Pageau, OTT C 25 $3.1M 48 7 17 4  
Embedded Image 21. Matt Cullen, MIN C 41 $1.7M 51 4 11 UFA  
Embedded Image 22. Tomas Plekanec, MTL C 35 $6M 53 5 20 UFA  
  23. Petr Mrazek, DET G 25 $4M 19 2.75 .914 RFA  
  24. Ben Hutton, VAN LD 24 $2.8M 46 0 6 1  
  25. Gustav Nyquist, DET RW 28 $4.75M 52 15 24 1 NTC
  26. Jack Johnson, CBJ LD 31 $4.35M 53 2 7 UFA  
  27. Nick Holden, NYR LD 30 $1.65M 49 3 9 UFA  
  28. Erik Gudbranson, VAN RD 26 $3.5M 35 1 3 UFA  
Embedded Image 29. James Neal, VGK LW 30 $5M 53 23 36 UFA M-NTC
Embedded Image 30. David Perron, VGK RW 29 $3.75M 47 13 47 UFA M-NTC
  31. Josh Leivo, TOR LW 24 $613K 12 1 3 1  
Embedded Image 32. Andrew Shaw, MTL C/RW 26 $3.9M 43 10 19 4  
  33. Blake Comeau, COL RW 31 $2.4M 52 10 22 UFA  
  34. Nic Petan, WPG C 22 $863K 7 1 1 RFA  
  35. Robin Lehner, BUF G 26 $4M 40 2.83 .913 RFA  
  36. Nikita Soshnikov, TOR RW 24 $736K 3 0 0 RFA  
  37. Cody Franson, CHI RD 30 $1M 23 1 7 UFA  
  38. Sam Reinhart, BUF RW 22 $3.54M 53 10 23 RFA  
  39. Tyson Barrie, COL RD 26 $5.5M 38 4 29 2  



Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli​