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Insider Trading: Stone’s injury sparks trade speculation

Mark Stone Insider Trading Mark Stone Insider Trading - TSN

TSN’s Hockey Insiders discuss the Golden Knights’ trade outlook with Mark Stone “week-to-week,” break down a key time of the season for injuries ahead of the trade deadline, provide an update on Gabriel Landeskog, have the latest on Nick Seeler, the Caps’ plans ahead of March 8, and Gary Bettman’s trip to Winnipeg as the Jets ramp up their ticket push.


Golden Knights shopping to replace Stone?

Mark Stone Vegas Golden Knights

James Duthie: Just two weeks to the deadline. Now, for Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger, the Insiders. Vegas has been a big deadline player since they came into the league because they’ve been a contender from day one. Now with news that Mark Stone is out “week-to-week,” could they be a big player again at this deadline?

Darren Dreger: No question about that. One of Kelly McCrimmon’s – the general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights – strengths is his ability to juggle through adversity. And it’s unfortunately become all too common for Mark Stone to miss big chunks of the second half, which appears to be the case. So, they’re going to have to make that medical determination March 8 or around the trade deadline. But know this; any cap space will be utilized by the Golden Knights. But we should make it clear, I remember having a conversation with McCrimmon at the GM meetings last year and he talked about Mark Stone being the heart and soul. This leaves an enormous hole. But they’ll do everything they can to backfill on the trade front.

Pierre LeBrun: This is a useful reminder for those watching that if your player is gone until the playoffs, then he doesn’t count against the cap after that in the sense that you can replace him on the cap at the trade deadline. And so that is a massive conversation that happens in a lot of front offices at this time of year, especially two weeks out from the deadline. For example, the Tampa Bay Lightning now have more clarity on Mikhail Sergachev and as expected, they can use his $8.5 million cap hit because they don’t expect him back until the playoffs. And we know it’s the same with New Jersey and Dougie Hamilton. He’s not expected back until the playoffs, and that’s $9.5 million on the cap that the Devils can use. But it also goes the other way. Boston doesn’t have Hampus Lindholm right now, he’s week-to-week, but I’m told that is not long-ish term, so that he will be back before the end of the regular season. Viktor Arvidsson, who is back on injured reserve, is not expected to be out that long, so the Kings can’t use his cap hit. So, it cuts both ways. And certainly at this time of year, it’s one of the most important conversations that are happening around front offices every night as players go down. How long is a player out, and how does it affect the deadline?


What’s the latest on Landeskog?

Gabriel Landeskog Colorado Avalanche

Duthie: And then you have the case of Gabriel Landeskog and Colorado, who we haven’t seen since basically since they won the Stanley Cup. Perhaps he could be their big addition around the deadline? Is he close to returning?

Chris Johnston: It certainly doesn’t sound like he’s close but one thing that rival teams have taken note of is that Gabriel Landeskog has become a regular participant in skates in Denver. Look, he’s working his way back from a significant knee surgery last May. This has been a really long-term process. As you mentioned, he hasn’t played since the night they won the Stanley Cup in Tampa back in 2022. But it hasn’t been ruled out, I would say, that Landeskog will not be back. The Avalanche are obviously going to do right by him, they have a long-term investment in him, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on here as we get into the playoffs and Colorado looks at bolstering its lineup.


Flyers plans for Seeler

Nick Seeler Philadelphia Flyers

Duthie: Philly is one of a number of fascinating deadline teams. I don’t think they expected necessarily to be in a playoff position. They’re third in the Metropolitan Division entering play Thursday. And so you have pieces that they could move out, or that they could keep.

Dreger: Yeah, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the potential of available defenceman in Philadelphia and in Calgary haven’t we? And most of the talk around the Philadelphia Flyers is on right shot defenceman Sean Walker, but Nick Seeler has been out there from the get-go as well. However, management will confirm in Philadelphia, as will agent Pat Brisson, that they have engaged in contract extension discussions. Now what general manager Daniel Briere has to figure out is what does the cost of that contract look like for a tough-as-nails defensive defenceman – who they love in Philadelphia by the way – versus what they might get in return on the trade front. So, to be determined, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Seeler signs that extension and stays with the Flyers.


Capitals weighing next steps

Joel Edmundson Washington Capitals

Duthie: And we were chatting the other night about this jam-up that’s happening right now – which I don’t mind whatsoever – because of teams like Philly and Washington, who enter play six points out of a playoff spot. But they’re not ready to declare themselves as a seller?

LeBrun: That’s right, not yet. They want to give this team every chance it has. In some ways the Caps have kind of surprised to still be in the race. They started last year moving some parts and they’re in transition, not allowed to use the word rebuild of course with Alex Ovechkin there. But, if they get closer to March 8 and they’re not close enough in the race, they will start listening on guys like Anthony Mantha, Max Pacioretty and Joel Edmundson. All three are pending unrestricted free agents and those are the key guys that they could trade. Edmundson already is at half price from the Montreal trade last year. If they cut his salary in half again, that’s a $900,000 cap hit only for Edmundson, a Stanley Cup winner. That could be of interest.


Jets continue to battle drop in season ticket sales

Duthie: And finally, Winnipeg is having a terrific season, but still trying to boost their ticket sales with the commissioner coming to town?

Johnston: Yeah, the league’s head office is obviously monitoring this situation quite closely. The Jets have above a 30 per cent drop in the last three years in their season ticket base. And Gary Bettman will be in Winnipeg on Tuesday. He’ll meet with some of the team’s most important corporate sponsors. Think he’ll have a little chat in front of the fans who wish to see that and obviously there’s a big push on from the Jets to improve those season ticket numbers building off the success on the ice this year heading into next season.