The NHL's Mar. 21 Trade Deadline is approaching and teams are making decisions on whether to buy, sell and decide which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Check out today's trade rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat. And follow TradeCentre on TSN and TSN.ca through Deadline Day for all the updates.
Set to Sell?
While the Vancouver Canucks remain in the race for a wild-card spot, it appears the team is shaping up to be sellers at the trade deadline.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston, the Canucks have put a high price tag on J.T. Miller, but appear to be more willing to engage in talks on two other top-six forwards.
"The asking price is believed to be slightly more modest when it comes to Vancouver forwards Brock Boeser and Conor Garland. Perhaps that is a reason they may be more likely, one or both of them, to be moved at the Trade Deadline rather than Miller," Johnston said Thursday on Insider Trading.
"There are NHL teams that have been in contact with Vancouver over that. At this point the Canucks are still on the fringe of a playoff position, although they are getting closer to making some decisions. As we look to what those potential trades might look like, I believe that they are looking for some players, as opposed to just future assets like draft picks."
Boeser, listed at No. 22 on the TSN Trade Bait board, has seen his name been included in speculation throughout the past few weeks. He is slated for restricted free agency this summer and could be looking at a significant raise over his current $5.875 million cap hit.
The 24-year-old has 15 goals and 31 points this season in 51 games this season. He has topped the 20-goal mark in three of the previous four seasons, but has been unable to top his career-high since scoring 29 goals in 2017-18.
Garland's time with the Canucks could be brief after he joined the team as a part of the deal that also saw Oliver Ekman-Larsson land in Vancouver last summer.
The 25-year-old has 14 goals and 31 points in 51 games with the Canucks this season. Unlike Boeser, Garland is under contract long-term, signed at a cap hit of $4.95 million through the 2025-26 season.
Circling back to Miller, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports calls on the Canucks leading scorer have been scarce with the team's preference not to deal him becoming obvious.
"It’s been a bit of a surprise. Only a handful of clubs have called the Canucks on Miller," Dreger said. "That might be because they know Vancouver's preference is to likely hold onto him for now as he’s got another year on his contract."
The New York Rangers appear well positioned to make the playoffs for just the second time in five years and appear ready to try to boost their chances in the postseason with deadline deals.
Dreger reports that the Rangers are interested in both offensive and defensive players ahead of March 21.
"The New York Rangers would like to get their hands, once again, on Miller and he is a target of theirs as is Rickard Rakell of the Anaheim Ducks," Dreger said. "Chris Drury and the Rangers, given the opportunity, would like to bolster his blueline, so they are among the many suitors in on Montreal Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot three weeks before the deadline."
While the Canucks may be closing the door on dealing Miller, Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek has stated his willingness to deal pending unrestricted free agents if they don't sign an extension before the deadline - a group that includes Rakell.
Rakell, signed at a cap hit of the group at $3.79 million, has 15 goals and 26 points in 46 games this season. The 28-year-old has spent his entire career with Anaheim since being selected in the first round of the 2011 draft. He has 153 goals and 337 points in 545 career games.
On the blueline, Chiarot has moved up to No. 3 on the TSN Trade Bait board as suitors line up for the pending UFA defenceman. Carrying a cap hit of $3.5 million, the 30-year-old has seven goals and 15 points in 50 games this season with the Canadiens. He played a key role in Montreal's run to the Stanley Cup final last year, averaging over 25 minutes of ice time per game.
Time for Change?
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button gave his thoughts on the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending situation, where the Montreal Canadiens could add and whether it's time the Ottawa Senators crown Anton Forsberg as their No. 1 goalie in his weekly 'You Gotta Fix It' segment Thursday.
Watch Button's full breakdown below: