Countdown to TradeCentre: The Markstrom Debate
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.
The Markstrom Debate
There are no shortage of rumours surrounding the Calgary Flames as the trade deadline approaches next month, with Chris Tanev listed atop the most recent TSN Trade Bait board and Noah Hanifin checking in at No. 6.
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button weighed in on the possibility of the team trading Jacob Markstrom on Monday, after being asked about the New Jersey Devils rumoured to be interested in the goaltender.
Button believes the Flames should only deal Markstrom, who is listed at No. 35 on the Trade Bait board, if the return in a trade boosts the team's playoff hopes in the near future, rather than five years down the line.
The 34-year-old netminder has a 17-14-2 record this season with a .916 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average. He is signed through next season at a cap hit of $6 million.
Markstrom allowed one goal on 30 shots as the Flames lost 2-0 to the New York Rangers on Monday night, snapping their win streak at four games.
Calgary enters play Tuesday sitting three points back of the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Flames, however, have played two more games than St. Louis and four more games than the Kings.
Despite cooling off with two losses in their past three games after a 16-game win streak, the Edmonton Oilers are still shaping up as buyers ahead of the trade deadline.
Defenceman Philip Broberg has been reportedly looking for change of scenery throughout the season, but Oilers general manager Ken Holland threw cold water on the idea of moving the 22-year-old in a deadline deal.
“No. I don’t see it,” Holland said, according to The Athletic. “It’s hard to find 6-foot-4 young defencemen. We’re trying to win. We’re making decisions to win. But behind the scenes in Bakersfield, good things are happening.”
Listed at No. 30 on the most recent TSN Trade Bait board, Broberg has one goal and 19 points in 29 games with the AHL's Bakersfield Condors this season. He went without a point in 10 games with Edmonton before being sent down.
Selected eighth overall in the 2019 draft, Broberg is scheduled for restricted free agency this summer.
While Broberg may be off the table, the Oilers could elect to move their first-round pick this year, which is listed at No. 10 on the Trade Bait board.
TSN Hockey analyst Martin Biron argued Monday that the Oilers should be considering moving that pick in order to go 'all-in' at the deadline.
According to CapFriendly, the Oilers are projected to have $2.37 million in cap space at the trade deadline. Edmonton currently sits third in the Pacific Division, seven points back of the Vegas Golden Knights with five games in hand.
Could Tarasenko stay put?
Tarasenko was ranked No. 5 on the latest TSN Trade Bait board as he plays out a one-year deal signed with the Senators in the off-season, which carries a full no-trade clause.
"I don't think about it,” Tarasenko said of the upcoming trade deadline. “I think about the game tomorrow, I think about things today. You know, if you focus on the past and the future too much, you just lose the present time, lose excitement, and being stressed out every time. I may think about it sometimes, yeah, but mostly try to set it away and prepare for the coming games.
"I think the biggest part is don't read the experts online, you know? I don't go online. I don't read hockey news. There's many people, there's many opinions. I know a lot of guys like to read it and they take it very [personally], but I think you have to be focused on yourself mostly and do whatever you can do in your situation, and the rest will take care [of itself]."
The 32-year-old winger, who carries a $5 million cap hit, has 14 goals and 34 points in 46 games this season.
"I have a good group of guys [here],” Tarasenko said. “I enjoy the guys a lot. They're very fun. I think it's a very tight group. I always thought it's not about the place, it's more about the people surrounding you. And I was fortunate [with] both the Blues and Rangers, there were good people around me. Here, it's the same thing. A lot of people willing to help. ... I'm enjoying it."
The Senators enter play Tuesday sitting second-last in the Eastern Conference, 16 points back of the Detroit Red Wings for the final playoff spot. Winners of three straight, the Senators will play three games this week against other teams outside the playoff picture as they hope to re-enter the conversation.