Plenty of potential Canadian content seven weeks out from NHL trade deadline
TORONTO — The NHL has passed the halfway point of its schedule. All-star festivities are set for early next month in Toronto. Teams are making moves in the standings.
The big date circled by the league's 32 general managers, however, is March 8 — the trade deadline.
There was already a significant splash when Philadelphia dealt forward Cutter Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks for defenceman Jamie Drysdale and a draft pick after the prized Flyers prospect made it clear he wouldn't sign.
Whether an organization is looking to load up for a playoff run or make moves with an eye toward the future, GMs will be busy with the trade cutoff exactly seven weeks away.
The Canadian Press takes a look at some of the talent — including plenty of names currently playing north of the border — that could be on the move:
ELIAS LINDHOLM (Calgary Flames, US$4.85-million salary cap hit)
The 29-year-old centre is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Lindholm could of course still sign an extension and stay in southern Alberta, but the clock continues to tick. Rookie GM Craig Conroy can't risk having Lindholm go to market — especially after the organization was burned by Johnny Gaudreau in the summer of 2022.
CHRIS TANEV (Calgary Flames, $4.5-million cap hit)
The veteran right-shot defenceman has been rumoured to be on the move much of the season. The 33-year-old pending UFA would be a valuable addition to a contender in need of grit on the back end. Fellow Flames blue-liner Noah Hanifin — a left-shot also set to become a UFA — is another option. The 26-year-old is playing out the final season of a contract that carries a $4.95-million cap hit.
VLADIMIR TARASENKO (Ottawa Senators, $5-million cap hit)
The 32-year-old winger signed in the nation's capital thinking Ottawa was ready for its first playoff appearance since 2017. The team has instead fallen well short of expectations. Tarasenko, who has a no-trade clause on his expiring deal and would have to agree to any move, could add depth scoring and post-season pedigree to a contender after winning the 2019 Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues.
JAKE ALLEN (Montreal Canadiens, $3.85-million cap hit)
The 33-year-old is part of a three-headed goaltending monster along with Sam Montembeault, 27, and Cayden Primeau, 24. Allen is the obvious choice among the three to be dealt based on age, but with a year remaining on the netminder's contract, Canadiens GM Kent Hughes doesn't have to force a move.
SEAN WALKER (Philadelphia Flyers, $2.65-million cap hit)
Contenders unable to land Tanev or Hanifin could do worse than having to settle for the 29-year-old pending UFA. Walker is another dependable right-shot option with a far more palatable wage bill for teams tight to the cap.
ANTHONY DUCLAIR (San Jose Sharks, $3-million cap hit)
The 28-year-old winger with speed to burn has shown an ability to put the puck in the net. Things haven't gone well with the Sharks this season both personally and for the team, but the pending UFA would be a tidy deadline addition for a club looking to upgrade its forward group.
PAT MAROON (Minnesota Wild, $800,000-cap hit)
The bruising winger won three straight Stanley Cups (2019, 2020, 2021) before also making the 2022 final. Maroon isn't the same player he once was, but the 35-year-old pending UFA has been through the battles and understands the game within the game — a skill that can sometimes tilt the balance of a playoff series.
TYSON BARRIE (Nashville Predators, $4.5-million cap hit)
The 32-year-old hasn't had his best season, but he can still run a power play at a time of the year when goals are often at a premium. The right-shot defenceman made it to the 2022 Western Conference final with the Edmonton Oilers and could help a team looking to boost offence from the blue line.
ANDREI KUZMENKO (Vancouver Canucks, $5.5-million)
The 27-year-old winger has found himself in head coach Rick Tocchet's doghouse this season. Despite one year remaining on his current contract, it might be best for the player and organization to move on.
SEAN MONAHAN (Montreal Canadiens, $1.985-million cap hit)
Last season's injury trouble behind him, the 29-year-old centre has put up decent numbers on a Montreal team looking to next year. Monahan's manageable cap hit and pending UFA status make it likely he'll be moved before 3 p.m. ET on March 8.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2024.
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