Insider Trading: Oilers see Evander Kane as a good fit
While the league's schedule remains in a state of flux, the NHL's trade deadline remains scheduled for March 21 and the day could be headlined by moves including defencemen.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger noted Tuesday on Insider Trading that there are several noteworthy blueliners currently playing on expiring deals.
"If you look on the right side of the pending unrestricted free agents, you’ve got the likes of John Klingberg, you’ve got Colin Miller from the Buffalo Sabres, you’ve got Josh Manson, potentially, from the Anaheim Ducks. On the left side you’ve got Ben Chiarot, and again potentially, Mark Giordano,” Dreger said on Insider Trading. “There’s a buzz that goes beyond just speculation, but again, now that we’re freshly into the New Year that trade discussion is starting to happen."
With the Montreal Canadiens struggling, Chiarot was listed atop the first TSN Hockey Trade Bait board of the 2021-22 season last month, while Giordano, who is serving as captain of the Seattle Kraken, was the only other defenceman listed on the 10-player list.
One thing that could affect teams’ willingness to swing deals is the possibility that the NHL's salary cap could remain flat next season with revenues affected by reduced capacities in Canadian arenas.
"Well, I’m not sure where the NHL is at, but what I can tell you is there’s a number of teams out there that are concerned now that we’re going to be facing a flat-cap environment heading into next year, in large part due to all those restrictions in the Canadian rinks," TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston said Tuesday.
"At this point, the NHL is sticking to that $82.5 million dollar projection it gave at last month’s board of governors meeting. Bill Daly (said Tuesday) that he’s not going to refresh those projections just yet, but other teams around the league are starting to prepare that it might still stay flat at $81.5 million just because there [are] so many games to be rescheduled, and no clarity yet on when fans can be back in the buildings in Canada."
Fourteen teams currently have less than $1 million in cap space as the deadline approaches, according to CapFriendly.