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Countdown to TradeCentre: Are Hanifin, Dumba locks to move?


The NHL's March 8 Trade Deadline is approaching, and teams are making decisions on whether to buy or sell, and on 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.

More defencemen on the move?

The market for defencemen appears to be heating up after Chris Tanev and Ilya Lyubushkin were dealt on back-to-back nights. 

Notably, neither trade involved a first-round pick, with the Calgary Flames opting to receive a 2024 second-round pick, 20-year-old defence prospect Artem Grushnikov and a 2026 conditional third-rounder back for Tanev. TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports the Flames turned down an offer that included a first-rounder, but would have involved taking back a player with term still on their contract. 

Top names remaining on the blueline on TSN's Trade Bait board include Noah Hanifin of the Calgary Flames, Matt Dumba of the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Sean Walker

"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," TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston said Thursday on Insider Trading. "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."

Calgary faces a tougher situation with Hanifin, whose trade could involve an extension with the acquiring team. The clock is ticking to get a deal done before next Friday at 3pm ET. 

"(The Flames) 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," LeBrun added. "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."



Stars lacking LTIR space

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports Dallas Stars are expecting forward Tyler Seguin back before the playoffs, meaning his $9.85 million salary will not be available to spend in long-term injured reserve cap space before the trade deadline. 

LeBrun notes that forward Evgeni Dadonov may not return before the playoffs, but the team is already using his $2.25 million in LTIR space. 

After Stars general manager Jim Nill had previously pointed to defence as a position of need, the Stars made their big splash ahead of the deadline on Wednesday, acquiring Chris Tanev.


Oilers, Golden Knights out to add

It appears Pacific Division rivals the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights could be going head-to-head in the trade market as both teams pursue forward help.

With captain Mark Stone expected to miss the remainder of the regular season, the Golden Knights will hold the advantage in cap space over the Oilers. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that Edmonton is looking at multiple options to improve their top-six, including a potential reunion with Jordan Eberle.

"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," Dreger explained on Insider Trading. "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."

Toffoli, 31, surged to No. 12 on the TSN Trade Bait board this week as the New Jersey Devils struggle to keep up in the playoff race. The pending unrestricted free agent has 25 goals and 42 points in 58 games this season as he carries a cap hit of $4.25 million.

Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic wrote last week that the team would need to be wowed by an offer to move Buchnevich. Signed through next season at a cap hit of $5.8 million, Buchnevich has 24 goals and 48 points in 57 games.

Eberle, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Oilers before moving to the New York Islanders in 2017, has 14 goals and 35 points in 55 games this season with Seattle. He is signed at an expiring cap hit of $5.5 million as he approaches unrestricted free agency this summer.



Trade watch in Washington

While the Washington Capitals remain in the playoff race, sitting seven points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning with four games in hand, their roster players appear well aware that the team may be sellers at the deadline.

Nic Dowd, Joel Edmundson, Anthony Mantha and Max Pacioretty all hold spots on the TSN Trade Bait board as Washington weighs its opens. 

“It’s tough for everyone,” Mantha said Thursday of the speculation. "Nothing’s done until you get that call, right? I just try and focus on being here and try not to think too much ahead.”

The team has three games remaining ahead of the deadline, starting Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers, as they look to convince general manager Brian MacLellan to stay the course.

“Pretty sure if we go 3-0 in these next three games, it’s going to make the decisions a little tougher,” centre Dylan Strome said. “That’s ultimately what we want as a team. No one wants to have guys move on and go to teams that are at the top of the standings.”

Following Friday's game, the Capitals will host the skidding Arizona Coyotes on Sunday before their final pre-deadline game on Thursday against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins

The Capitals missed the playoffs last season for just the second time since 2007, but have failed to win a playoff round since winning the Stanley Cup in 2018.