Monday's NHL 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.
As the final weekend before the trade deadline approaches it appears it may only be a matter of time before the two players sitting atop the TSN Trade Bait board are moved.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports Flyers star Claude Giroux, who is listed at No. 1 on the Trade Bait board, will not play either of the team's remaining games before the deadline as Philadelphia works on a trade for a captain. Meanwhile, LeBrun also reports that the Ducks have made no progress towards an extension to keep defenceman Hampus Lindholm in Anaheim and will hold him out the lineup Friday as they focus on a trade.
Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek has repeatedly stated his plan to trade the team's unrestricted free agents who have not re-signed by the deadline, though LeBrun adds the 28-year-old will not come cheap. In fact, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports the current ask is a first-round pick, a third-round pick and a top prospect, with the price possibly being inflated after the Montreal Canadiens return for Ben Chiarot earlier this week.
LeBrun pointed to the Boston Bruins - who were also suitors for Ducks blueliner Josh Manson before his trade to Colorado - and the St. Louis Blues as potential landing spots for Lindholm on Thursday.
As for Giroux, the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche continue to sit atop the list of suitors and things are expected to heat up on the trade front now that Giroux has played in his 1,000th game with the Flyers.
"Well obviously playing in that game was very important to Claude Giroux and I think there came a point in this process a few days ago where the Flyers knew they aren’t going to trade him with all the pomp and circumstance before that game," LeBrun said on Insider Trading. "As of Friday morning, I think things will start to escalate. Again, the two teams that continue to show interest – the Florida Panthers and the Colorado Avalanche – is there a third mystery team? I cannot pinpoint one. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t one.
"The Florida Panthers, I would categorize them as all in on Claude Giroux. In fact, my understanding is there was another conversation between the Panthers and Flyers on Thursday before that game, so we’ll see where this goes. Owen Tippett could be part of an offer for the Florida Panthers going the other way to Philadelphia, but I think the Avalanche are going to put their best foot forward as well. They’ve managed their cap very well so that they can take a run at him as well.
"It’s going to come down to what Claude Giroux wants and I don’t think we’ll know that until starting on Friday."
Tippett, the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, was held out an AHL game by the Panthers Thursday, fueling rumours he was involved in a deal for Giroux. The 23-year-old has six goals and 14 points in 42 games with the Panthers this season and six goals and 18 points in 12 games with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers.
Giroux, 34, has 18 goals and 42 points in 57 games this season and is set to depart the Flyers sitting second all-time in team history in games played, assists (609) and points (900) behind Bobby Clarke.
A pending unrestricted free agent, Giroux carries a cap hit of $8.275 million as he plays out the last of an eight-year deal signed back in 2013.
Staying in Arizona?
There have been shortage of trade rumours around Arizona Coyotes defenceman Jakob Chychrun this season, but it appears that there's a growing chance he will remain with the organization through the trade deadline.
Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest tweeted Thursday it's "looking more and more like Jakob Chychrun won't be moved before Monday's deadline," adding a deal is more likely to happen after the season.
LeBrun expressed a similar sentiment on Thursday while discussing the deadline plans of the Boston Bruins on Insider Trading.
"Our understanding is the Bruins have shown interest in Jakob Chychrun all along, but it’s not clear at this point now whether the Arizona Coyotes feel this is the best time to trade Jakob Chychrun based on the offers they have got," LeBrun said. "They could wait for the summer, or is that a way to tell Boston and L.A. and other teams (to) put your best foot forward."
Chychrun is currently sidelined with a lower-body injury, but could resume skating as soon as this weekend. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported earlier this week the Bruins and Los Angeles Kings were committed to staying in the hunt for the blueliner with "multiple-piece offers."
The 23-year-old has seven goals and 14 assists in 47 games this season. Signed for three more seasons at an affordable $4.6 million cap hit, Chychrun has dropped to No. 3 on the TSN Trade Bait board this week after previously occupying the No. 1 spot.
Down to the Wire?
With the clock ticking down towards the deadline, the Ottawa Senators are continuing to try negotiate a new deal with pending unrestricted free agent Nick Paul.
Dreger reported Thursday, however, that the Senators have been set on a four-year term, which could ultimately leave the two sides without a deal. And if Paul remains unsigned by Monday, the 26-year-old will likely be on the move.
"Looking at the Ottawa Senators, sources tell us that the Senators made another offer to extend Nick Paul. They topped up the money a little bit. It’s believed they are still working around a four-year term and the fact is that the term may ultimately be the undoing for the Ottawa Senators in their quest to extend an important piece," Dreger said on Insider Trading. "Nick Paul is an important piece of the Ottawa Senators, so it’s believed unless something changes between Ottawa and the Nick Paul camp that he will go to unrestricted free agency.
"So then obviously that begs the question as to what does Pierre Dorion and the Ottawa Senators do with Nick Paul as a trade asset between now and Monday. The belief is that if they cannot close that gap in negotiation, Paul will very likely be traded before or at the deadline on Monday."
Signed at a cap hit of $1.35 million, Paul has a career-high 11 goals and has posted 18 points in 59 games this season.
A fourth-round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2013, Paul has spent his entire NHL career in Ottawa, posting 29 goals and 66 points in 227 games.
Paul (No. 11) is one of three members of the Senators listed on the TSN Hockey Trade Bait board along with fellow pending UFA Zach Sanford (No. 26) and defenceman Michael Del Zotto (No. 45).