The trade deadline is just a few weeks away and this guide will help you decide which teams to keep an eye on.
The “nhl 2021 trade deadline” is a guide that provides information on the NHL’s 2021 trade deadline. The guide includes all 32 teams and their respective players, as well as their 2019-2020 stats.
The NHL trade deadline is set for 3 p.m. ET on Monday. Several Stanley Cup contenders are hunting for the last pieces to complete their puzzles. Other clubs are attempting to take advantage of the worth of pending free agents before they go.
The availability of a few high-profile stars, such as Philadelphia Flyers star Claude Giroux, Chicago Blackhawks goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury, and Anaheim Ducks defender Hampus Lindholm, is a highlight of the 2022 deadline. There are a lot of defenders on the ice. However, if a club needs a goalkeeper, this may not be the greatest time to make a transaction.
This thorough guide will keep you up to date on the players and selections currently in play, as well as the limits and prospective movements for each NHL club, ahead of the deadline. Who is going to stay? Who’s going? Find out in the next paragraphs.
Natural Stat Trick, Hockey Reference, and Evolving Hockey are some of the sites where statistics may be found. The data for cap space are from CapFriendly and are current as of March 14.
The Atlantic and Central teams were guided by Kristen Shilton, while the Metropolitan and Pacific teams were managed by Greg Wyshynski.
ANA | ARI | BOS | BUF CGY | CAR | CHI | COL CBJ | DAL | DET | EDM FLA | LA | MIN | MTL NSH | NJ | NYI | NYR OTT | PHI | PIT | SJ SEA | STL | TB | TOR VAN | VGK | WSH | WPG VAN | VGK | WSH | WPG VAN | VGK | WSH | WPG
Division of the Atlantic
Deadline status: There’s still time. $5,220,374 in cap space LW Jake DeBrusk ($3.675 million, RFA in 2022), C Oskar Steen ($809,167, RFA in 2022) are two players with picks in play.
What they should do: The Bruins have just enough cap space to reel in a big-name rental for maximum impact on the weeks ahead. What Don Sweeney & Co. don’t seem to have are many players they are either eager to part with (think prospects like Fabian Lysell) or would move the needle in a big way on the trade market (like Steen). They do have a full complement of picks for the next two drafts (their third-round pick this year is Calgary’s).
What does this mean for Boston? The Bruins’ most apparent need is left-side defense, and they’ve been eyeing P.K. Subban since New Jersey GM Tom Fitzgerald openly indicated that the prospective UFA isn’t in the club’s future plans. Sure, he’s a right-handed shooter, but Subban is a versatile veteran who can plug gaps and relieve pressure, might come cheap, and will be driven by Boston’s playoff standing.
Calvin de Haan, Nick Leddy, and Mark Giordano are three more alternatives for Boston’s D corps, all of whom may fit in as reasonably inexpensive short-term fixes.
Also keep an eye on Andrew Copp of Winnipeg. If DeBrusk leaves, the Bruins will need a possible replacement, and Copp (a pending UFA) may suit the bill.
Status of the deadline: Getting ready to unload $57,600,672 in cap space C Cody Eakin ($2.25 million, UFA in 2022), D Robert Hagg ($1.6 million, UFA), D Colin Miller ($3.875 million, UFA in 2022), D Mark Pysyk ($900,000, UFA in 2022) are among the players with picks in play.
What they should do: With the November trade of Jack Eichel, Buffalo began their spring cleaning early this season. Now is the time to continue creating place for the Sabres’ future building pieces, the next generation of youthful talent.
Buffalo must sacrifice short-term success in order to achieve long-term prosperity. Offloading veterans (not named Jeff Skinner) and other contracts that aren’t expected to be part of the continuing rebuild will be crucial, and there’s no better time to start than now. The Sabres may then get a look at some of their intriguing prospects in late-season games that won’t matter much in the standings but might be crucial in determining the franchise’s future orientation.
Buffalo also has a few quality assets to deal, especially to competing clubs looking to improve their bottom six or third pairing. It’s a genuine win-win situation if those players get a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup and the Sabres receive some assets in exchange.
In the midst of a reconstruction, there’s a deadline to meet. $45,684,009 in cap space Picks in play for players: D UFA in 2022: Nick Leddy ($5.5 million). D Troy Stecher ($1.7 million, UFA in 2022), D Marc Staal ($2 million, UFA in 2022), F Vladislav Namestnikov ($2 million, UFA in 2022).
What they should do: Detroit made a move earlier this month when it claimed Florida’s Olli Juolevi off waivers. The Red Wings now have nine defenseman, implying that GM Steve Yzerman is seeking to move one or two of the current blueliners.
The remainder of Detroit’s deadline preparations will almost certainly be affected by their continued exit from the wild-card chase. Even a few weeks ago, it looked possible that Detroit might make a run for one of those two positions with the proper acquisition or two. That’s becoming less probable, which is a frustrating but regular scenario for clubs in the last stages of a rebuild.
At the deadline, Yzerman’s best bet would be to trade veterans who aren’t in his future plans for guys he can bring in later. He could have a better chance this summer of landing a top-four defender and a middle-six forward to complement the Red Wings’ youthful core.
The deadline is approaching at full speed. $2,920,014 in cap space Picks in play for players: F RW Patric Hornqvist ($5.3 million, UFA in 2023), RW Owen Tippett ($863,000, RFA in 2022) and RW Grigori Denisenko ($925,000, RFA in 2022)
What they should do: Now is not the time for Florida to sit on its hands and wait. The Panthers have exploited their depth to become one of the highest-scoring teams this season. They’re expected to compete for a postseason berth. It’s GM Bill Zito’s duty to make sure that occurs by pressing the appropriate buttons at the right time.
While Florida leads the league in average goals scored this season, it is in the middle of the pack when it comes to goals allowed. Jakob Chychrun, Mark Giordano, and John Klingberg are among the available defenders for Zito to consider. All three would provide the Panthers with the steadying, seasoned presence they need to balance their high-flying attack. And it’d be nice insurance in front of Sergei Bobrovsky and youngster Spencer Knight, the goaltending duo.
Florida will almost certainly have to trade with a valuable prospect in order to bring in a major player immediately. Tippett would be a better fit for Zito than Anton Lundell, despite the fact that Lundell’s trade value is higher. The 23-year-depth old’s of untapped potential is a fantastic chip for Zito to sling about. Denisenko, a first-round choice by Florida in 2018, is another example of a player who has yet to make an impact in the NHL.
Status of the deadline: Organize the cabinets. $7,886,396 in cap space RW Joel Armia ($3.4 million, UFA in 2025), D Ben Chiarot ($3.5 million, UFA in 2022), RW Artturi Lehkonen ($2.3 million, RFA in 2022), D Jeff Petry ($6.25 million, UFA in 2025), D Shea Weber ($7.9 million, UFA in 2026), RW Artturi Lehkonen ($2.3 million, RFA in 2022), D Jeff Petry ($6.25 million, UFA in 2025
They should perform the following: When GM Kent Hughes moved Tyler Toffoli to Calgary in February, he went right to work. Since then, all eyes have been on Ben Chiarot and which of his half-dozen serious suitors across the league will be prepared to pay the Canadiens’ asking price. Apart from that, Hughes has said that Montreal is not in the midst of a fire-sale or even a full-fledged rebuild, but the team is accepting calls and analyzing how different proposals may support their long-term ambitions.
Hughes, for one, is still in an intriguing situation. Under interim head coach Martin St. Louis, he’s getting to know the Canadiens’ players and how they work. If Hughes is still being evaluated, swinging for the fences to acquire some notable player(s) before the deadline rather than free agency makes little sense. Hughes can also be patient because of Montreal’s position in the standings; he doesn’t have to rush a deal.
Artturi Lehkonen, apart from Chiarot, may be the most intriguing player for a contender. Hughes should be focused on acquiring more young players and draft selections. The Canadiens may also pursue low-cost players in need of a new start, such as Max Comtois of Anaheim or Vitali Kravtsov of the Rangers.
Deadline status: Unloading with trepidation (again) $46,794,626 in cap space Picks in play for players: Josh Brown ($1.2 million, 2022 UFA) is a defenseman. D G Anton Forsberg ($900,000, pending UFA), C Nick Paul ($1.35 million, UFA in 2022), RW Michael Del Zotto ($2 million, UFA in 2023), RW Zach Sanford (UFA in 2022, $2 million)
They should perform the following: Ottawa believed the rebuilding process was complete. Then it pondered once more.
The Senators are on the verge of another deadline, this one well outside the playoff picture, when they must make decisions on assets that other clubs would want to use in a Stanley Cup run. The biggest hype is around Zach Sanford, and GM Pierre Dorion would be wise to trade him for all he’s worth.
Dorion will need to start accumulating more premium draft selections before the deadline if he wants to turn the Senators into a long-term contender. While Ottawa’s roster isn’t quite there yet, it does have plenty of rising talent (including Drake Batherson, Tim Stutzle, Shane Pinto, Brady Tkachuk, and others). The squad has taken its time developing its next generation, and adding a few more impact players to the mix must be a top goal.
Travis Konecny may be an interesting alternative for Dorion if he decides to take a swing. For the next three seasons, he has a $5.5 million cap hit and could use a new opportunity. As the reconstruction continues, bringing in one or two proven players on modest terms would placate the fans.
Deadline status: There are no true needs, just desires. Space limit: Deadline status: No real needs — only wants Cap space: $0 Players, picks in play: First-round pick in 2022, 2023 First-round selections in 2022 and 2023 are on the table.
What they should do: There are no pressing requirements for the Lightning to address before the trade deadline. Tampa, on the other hand, recognizes that it takes a community to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. If there is any depth available on the market, the Lightning may be interested in purchasing it.
Consider how GM Julien BriseBois brought in players like Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman in the past because he recognized that sort of player — nasty and physical — would provide Tampa with the snarl that every lengthy playoff run requires. The Lightning are unlikely to sign a big-name free agent due to a lack of salary space.
But what about Calle Jarnkrok in Seattle? He’s the quintessential jack-of-all-trades, capable of playing anywhere in the lineup, contributing on special teams, and being low-maintenance. Christian Fischer is another bottom-six skater who might be enticed away from Arizona at a reasonable price, and he’s accustomed to being the kind of high-energy player Tampa would need.
It’s all about enhancement for the Lightning, even if it’s only a little nip or tuck that may put them back on top.
Deadline status: I’m looking for a rise in the blue line. $3,719,166 in cap space Picks in play for players: In 2022, he will be a first-round selection. D D. Travis Dermott ($1.5 million, 2023 RFA) Timothy Liljegren ($863,000, RFA in 2022) and Joseph Duszak ($750,000, RFA in 2022).
What they should do: Even before Jack Campbell’s rib injury last week, the Leafs had goalie concerns. They lack the resources to make significant progress in that area before the trade deadline. Setting priorities and adhering to them is essential in a flat-cap world, and the blue line is Toronto’s top worry that can be addressed.
As you can see, the Leafs have a number of defenseman available for trade. Since the COVID-19 hiatus earlier this season, Toronto’s defense has been steadily deteriorating, and strengthening is not only their greatest chance of keeping Boston at bay in the standings, but also of getting beyond the first-round hump.
Toronto now anticipates Jake Muzzin to return from injury (and be off long-term injured reserve) by mid-April, limiting the amount of cost space available for a deal. Would GM Kyle Dubas look to re-sign players like Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson, who have a lot of talent but a higher asking price? Or should you go with experienced pending UFAs Mark Giordano and John Klingberg, who will bring value on the ice at a reduced cost?
One thing is certain: if a defender becomes available, he will undoubtedly be linked to Toronto at some time. Because the Leafs are in desperate need of a playoff round victory, and this blue line isn’t going to cut it.
Division of Metro
Deadline status: Still looking for one more component… $1,792,500 in cap space Picks in play: second-round pick in 2022; prospects
What they should do: With a.737 point percentage through 59 games, the Hurricanes are already quite excellent. They’re excellent in every way. They could do nothing and not feel bad about it at the trade deadline.
Their most pressing need, though, is defensive depth. The Hurricanes have been without defenseman Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Smith due to injuries. Boosting the blue line would be the deadline aim even if there were no injuries. “If we were going to spend any money anywhere right now, I believe it would be defense,” GM Don Waddell recently told NHL Network Radio.
What they’d give up for such defensive aid is the question. Their two big-name pending unrestricted free agents, C Vincent Trocheck ($4.75 million AAV) and F Nino Niederreiter ($5.25 million AAV), are key members of the squad. After the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet, their 2022 first-round selection was sent away. They have a prospect pool that may be used to make a deal. However, this seems to be a position for a depth defender rather than a puck-moving game-changer whose price tag appears to be more than the Hurricanes can afford right now.
Garage sale deadline is approaching. $46,003,791 in cap space Picks in play for players: G Joonas Korpisalo ($2.8 million, UFA this summer); cap space for F Max Domi ($5.3 million AAV, UFA this summer).
GM is what they should do. The teams of Jarmo Kekalainen have a life cycle. They compete, they lose key players, we write them off, and then the Blue Jackets are back to being a nagging team with a bright future. Cole Sillinger, a forward, was given a chance to shine this season. Forwards Liam Foudy, Kent Johnson, and Kirill Marchenko, as well as goaltender Daniil Tarasov, might all be key players next season.
Domi, a prospective UFA who will be pushed out by the younger players, will be absent. Korpisalo, a 27-year-old pending UFA who has kept Tarasov’s seat warm, is unlikely to appear. Both have trade potential; it says a lot about the goalies on the market that Korpisalo, who has the fifth-worst goals saved above average (minus-6.2), may be one of the most sought-after netminders this season.
The Blue Jackets’ most important move, though, may be to take on someone else’s contract burden. They have a lot of cap room to work with and could easily be the middleman in a deal, gaining a draft selection or a prospect in the process.
The deadline is approaching, and I’m hoping to be impressed. $32,064,115 in cap space G Mackenzie Blackwood ($2.8 million AAV, RFA in 2023); D P.K. Subban ($9 million AAV, UFA this summer); D Damon Severson ($4,166,666, UFA this summer); C Pavel Zacha ($2.25 million AAV, RFA this summer); cap space
What they should do: The Devils don’t have the same sense of urgency as they had in 2021, when Kyle Palmieri was valuable and had a contract that was about to expire. Is it possible to trade Zacha before he becomes a restricted free agent? Could they find a way to get Subban’s cap figure down to a more manageable level and send him to a contender? Sure, but neither step is required… or mathematically persuasive in Subban’s situation.
The Devils are expected to take a cautious approach to the deadline. Whether someone offers them an irresistible offer for a player with a term like Severson or Blackwood, they’ll listen, think about it, and decide if it’s better for the organization to get ahead of a move they’ll have to make later. (In Blackwood’s situation, rookie goaltender Nico Daws is providing real-time market correction.)
New Jersey, on the other hand, will be looking for players who have been released by cap-strapped clubs, which is a speciality of GM Tom Fitzgerald’s front office. Despite being a long way from the playoffs, the Devils acquired defender Jonas Siegenthaler from the Capitals before the trade deadline. Expect the same sort of movement this year, with a focus on 2022-23.
Deadline status: Tough choices in the midst of a bad season $11,804,677 in cap space Picks in play for players: D Zdeno Chara ($750,000 AAV, UFA this summer); F Cal Clutterbuck ($3.5 million, UFA this summer); D Andy Greene ($750,000 AAV, UFA this summer); D Scott Mayfield ($1.45 million AAV, UFA in 2023); LW Zach Parise ($750,000, UFA this summer); G Semyon Varlamov ($5 million AAV, UFA in 2023); D Scott Mayfield ($1.45 million AAV, UFA in 2023);
What they should do: There’s a difference between what the Islanders should do and what they’ll do at the deadline, since no one knows what GM Lou Lamoriello has planned. The Islanders should work with Chara, Greene, and Parise to find suitors for their low-cap services, according to logic. Candidates like a fourth-line, forechecking devil, so Clutterbuck should have many of admirers.
With Varlamov and Mayfield, things become a bit more tricky. Mayfield, for example, is a solid, right-shot defensive defender with a contract figure that is quite manageable beyond this season. There’s a lot of value there… for both the Islanders and the Islanders’ fans.
Varlamov, after Marc-Andre Fleury, would easily be the second-best goalkeeper available in a market devoid of seasoned, successful choices. He’ll earn $5 million against the cap next season, but just $4 million in actual currency. This is now Ilya Sorokin’s squad; trading Varlamov would free up cap space and provide a great return. The problem is that he can veto a deal to half the league, which may include those clubs in desperate need of an improvement (Edmonton, Toronto).
Deadline status: They’re trying to get the most out of their limited time. $27,276,647 in cap space G Alexandar Georgiev ($2.425 million, RFA this summer) is a player with a first-round selection in 2022.
What they should do: The Rangers are still riding the coattails of the finest goalkeeper on the planet (Igor Shesterkin) and a scorching power play (26.5 percent, second in the NHL), while putting up horror-show numbers in 5-on-5 play. They’re a playoff squad, not a title contender, and there’s a distinction to be made.
Shesterkin, on the other hand, offers them a chance to win whatever postseason series they find themselves in. They have enough cap room to make a substantial short-term addition to their top-six forward group before their financial situation drastically alters next season: The budget charge for defenseman Adam Fox will climb by $9.25 million, and they’ll either give Ryan Strome, a prospective UFA, a raise or improve at center through free agency.
The Rangers’ trade deadline focus should be on right wing, where they can get an experienced rental. Of course, the team could always trade for a center and move Strome to the wing; Tomas Hertl of the Sharks would be excellent for the job. The Rangers will have choices, including clubs that may be interested in acquiring Georgiev. In the end, their biggest transfers will most likely happen in the summer.
Status of the deadline: Way to go, business! $6,536,989 in cap space C Derick Brassard ($825,000, UFA this summer); D Justin Braun ($1.8 million AAV, UFA this summer); C Claude Giroux ($8.275 million AAV, UFA this summer); G Martin Jones ($2 million, UFA this summer); LW James van Riemsdyk ($7 million AAV, UFA in 2023); LW James van Riemsdyk ($7 million AAV, UFA in 2023).
What they should do: General manager Chuck Fletcher will do the right thing and trade everyone who is tradeable. That begins with Giroux, who has spent his entire 15-year NHL career with the Flyers but is suddenly the most sought-after player at the trade deadline. While it hasn’t been said directly that Giroux would waive his no-movement clause in exchange for a deadline trade, everything he and Fletcher have said in recent weeks suggests as much. Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, and St. Louis are among Giroux’s opponents. A first-round choice and a pair of prospects kick off the discussion.
As an experienced defensive defender, Braun will get a lot of attention. Given how weak the goalkeeper market is at the deadline, Jones will as well.
Then there’s the 32-year-old winger van Riemsdyk. His salary would mandate some kind of retention, but he might thrive on a club in need of a net-front presence and power-play support.
Status of the deadline: Money comes in, money goes out $4,750,000 in cap space First-round pick in 2022; F Kasperi Kapanen ($3.2 million AAV, RFA this summer); D John Marino ($4.4 million AAV, UFA in 2027).
What they should do: The Penguins would want to add a tough forward to their lineup ahead of the playoffs, but given their cap space, it’ll most likely be a “money in, money out” scenario. Forward Kasperi Kapanen, a potential RFA, is the most probable “money out” candidate. Former Penguins GM Jim Rutherford and deputy GM Patrik Allvin, both of whom are now with Vancouver, have been linked to the 24-year-old defender John Marino.
When it comes to reinforcements, bear in mind that the Penguins prefer some of their young internal possibilities, like as defender Pierre-Olivier Joseph and winger Valtteri Puustinen, who was just called up. However, the allure of bringing in players from outside the organization is enormous, particularly given this aging team’s little window of opportunity to win.
Dealing with the deadline: Preparing for a playoff run $155,834 in cap space Picks in play: first-round selection in 2022; F Sprong, Daniel ($725,000, RFA this summer)
What they should do: When it comes to the Capitals at the deadline, there seem to be two schools of thought. The first is that they are taking things slowly, keeping their first-round choice and prospects such as Hendrix Lapierre and Connor McMichael in mind while they look for a seasoned rental forward to fill their middle six. The second option is to cast their hooks into the ocean and attempt to get Marc-Andre Fleury or Claude Giroux to join the squad, assuming that both veterans agree to do so.
The Capitals are more likely to take a cautious approach, with players like Seattle’s Calle Jarnkrok, Winnipeg’s Andrew Copp, Montreal’s Artturi Lehkonen, and Vancouver’s Tyler Motte among the possible targets.
Status of the deadline: Willing to assist for a fee $27,684,464 in cap space D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D LW Lawson Crouse ($1.53 million, RFA in 2022), Jakob Chychrun ($4.6 million, UFA in 2025), C RW Johan Larsson ($1.4 million, 2022 UFA) Phil Kessel ($8 million, unrestricted free agent in 2022)
What they should do: Arizona, Arizona, Arizona, Arizona, Arizona, Arizona, Arizona, Arizona, Arizona, Arizona, NHL contracts that don’t age well are retired here.
Cap-strapped clubs are likely to take advantage of the Coyotes’ space and assist Arizona in acquiring players with long-term contracts or important future assets. With that aim in mind, the Coyotes will strive to move on from players who don’t fit into their long-term goals in order to continue laying a foundation. For example, a competitive team’s top-six choice would be Phil Kessel.
The primary focus for Arizona, though, will be on Chychrun. After an injury-plagued and less productive season, Chychrun’s breakthrough season last season — 18 goals and 41 points in 56 games — seems a long way away. Regardless, Chychrun’s skills are in high demand due to his age (23) and affordable cap charge. The Coyotes will aim to cash in while the iron is still (relatively) hot, ideally pulling in many pieces that will help them in the long run.
Status of the deadline: Investing in the future $3,203,318 in cap space Picks in play for players: G Marc-Andre Fleury ($7 million, UFA in 2022), LW Brandon Hagel ($1.5 million, UFA in 2024), F Henrik Borgstrom ($1 million, RFA in 2023), D Calvin de Haan ($4.55 million, UFA in 2022), C Henrik Borgstrom ($1 million, RFA in 2023), D Calvin de Haan ($4.55 million, UFA in 2022), G Marc-Andre Fleury ($7 million, UFA C. Dominik Kubalik ($3.7 million, RFA in 2022), D. Dominik Kubalik ($3.7 million, RFA in 2022), D. Dominik Dylan Strome (RFA in 2022, $3 million)
What they should do: The Blackhawks have a plethora of trade carrots hanging in front of them. Chicago requires the two P’s in exchange: picks and prospects.
It’s no secret that the Chicago Blackhawks’ cupboards are barren. They do, however, have cap room, which should be put to good use in a league where most contenders lack it. Would taking on a terrible contract or two this season net the Blackhawks a high draft pick or a promising prospect? They must consider such possibility.
If new GM Kyle Davidson does not view Brandon Hagel and Dominik Kubalik as part of the team’s reconstruction, they must be dealt immediately. Hagel is a dynamic competitor who is youthful and productive. Why would you want to get rid of it? You wouldn’t, unless you’re a club like Chicago facing a three- to five-year retooling and can receive an A-plus package for Hagel.
Los Angeles or Minnesota may be good trading partners. Both teams are looking to go on a run and want some supplementary scoring (for now and the future). Hagel or Kubalik may be a good match. Strome is also present, although his play has been inconsistent and he has never fully lived up to expectations. Depending on the return, he could be able to find a good trade partner in the playoffs.
Win-now mode is the current deadline condition. $3,309,979 in cap space D Sean Behrens (unsigned draft pick), D Bowen Byram ($894,167, RFA in 2023), D Sean Behrens (unsigned draft selection), D Sean Behrens (unsigned draft pick), D Sean Behrens (unsigned draft pick), D Sean Behrens (unsigned draft pick), D Sean Behrens ( RW Martin Kaut ($863,333, RFA in 2023) and UFA Samuel Girard ($5 million, UFA in 2027).
What they should do: The Avalanche have already begun their rebuild, acquiring defender Josh Manson from Anaheim for prospect Drew Helleson and a 2023 draft selection. Colorado shouldn’t be limited to just that.
This Avalanche team has been outstanding all season. They also have several significant players on expiring contracts, like as Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin. Not to mention that Nathan MacKinnon’s team-friendly contract (worth an average of $6.3 million per year) is still in place for another year. This is the perfect opportunity to go all-in.
Colorado has had some injury issues recently, which might have an impact on their deadline deals. After knee surgery, Gabriel Landeskog is out indefinitely (they hope he’ll be back for the playoffs), while Samuel Girard is out for four weeks with an injury (not that it would preclude Colorado from trading him). The simple conclusion is that the Avalanche are just too skilled to not go all out to win a Cup.
Claude Giroux is a player that the club is really interested in. J.T. Miller has been contacted. Tomas Hertl isn’t completely out of the question. That’s the kind of guy they should be looking for, a true game-changer who can push them over the top and set them up for a lengthy playoff run. Colorado, like most long-running playoff teams, would benefit from a depth forward with some grit.
What might the Avalanche be willing to give up? This is where the club’s pool of youthful talent and possibilities come into play. Given his history of concussions and the fact that he hasn’t played since January 10, Bowen Byram is the most fascinating player in this group. Byram, too, is just 20 years old. Moving him would need a significant return, given how much time he has left in his career.
Don’t give up now that the deadline has passed. $50,000 in cap space G Braden Holtby ($2 million, UFA in 2022), D John Klingberg ($4.25 million, UFA in 2022), F Alex Radulov ($6.25 million, UFA in 2022) are the players in play.
What they should do: Dallas’ ability to claw its way back into the postseason race despite a sluggish start is really remarkable. Even in the fiercely competitive Central, the Stars are establishing themselves as a serious competitor. So, why are you hesitating now?
Klingberg is responsible for a lot of what Dallas should accomplish here. It’s a reasonable bet he won’t be re-signing with the Stars, and the defender’s dissatisfaction with seeing colleagues sign new contracts ahead of him might be contributing to his terrible season. Klingberg, on the other hand, might be a valuable asset to a competitor, as a fresh chance will serve as a proving ground for his next contract. Win-win.
The fact that Miro Heiskanen has mononucleosis and will be sidelined indefinitely might stymie Dallas’ trade efforts. The team may want to wait another week to assess how he’s doing. While they figure things out, the Stars should look for some middle-six forward help, such as Reilly Smith of Vegas or Vladislav Namestnikov of Detroit, who can contribute right away.
The deadline is approaching. $10,654,472 in cap space Players and draft selections in play: 2022 second-round draft pick, 2023 second-round draft pick, 2024 second-round draft pick, 2025 second-round draft pick F Unsigned draft selection Jack McBain, C Nico Sturm (UFA in 2022, $725,000)
What they should do: Bill Guerin is well aware of the impending disaster. The Wild will have to carry $12.7 million and $14.7 million in dead money over the next two seasons after buying out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s contracts. That’s how much it costs to run a firm. Is this to say that Guerin should go all-in and sign a top-line center or top-six forward now, while he still has financial room, in order to make a real playoff run this season?
It’s a fascinating concept, made the more so by Minnesota’s current eight-game losing streak. Suddenly, a club that previously seemed to be in perfect condition is revealing major flaws. Guerin, on the other hand, has made it clear that he does not want to upset locker room camaraderie, which bringing in a big-name (and possibly big-voiced) player may accomplish.
Minnesota has a slew of enticing young prospects to trade with clubs who are more focused on the future than the present. If Guerin is certain that this is Minnesota’s year to win the Stanley Cup, he should put his confidence in his players to absorb the appropriate addition without losing sight of what makes the Wild so special.
To go all-in or not to go all-in, that is the question. Players, selections in play: LW Filip Forsberg ($6 million, UFA in 2022), D Luke Kunin ($2.3 million, RFA in 2022) Cap space: $44,653,932
They should perform the following: Before the deadline, GM David Poile must address one question: Does Nashville have a realistic chance of making the playoffs?
This season, the Predators have outperformed expectations. Positive development may be seen all over the ice. Nashville, on the other hand, is erratic, swinging from volcanically hot to glacier-cold in a matter of hours. If Poile feels the Predators have a chance to go on a run, Filip Forsberg must remain and Nashville must acquire another winger to strengthen the team’s sometimes depleted secondary scoring.
On the rental market, Phil Kessel or Max Domi may be appealing options. Brandon Hagel would inject some fresh zeal into the equation as well.
Nashville’s third-pairing defensive options are another area where they might improve. John Klingberg has shown he can play effectively on both sides of the ice in the past, and he might help Nashville score more goals from the blue line.
However, such a relocation would be costly for Nashville. Poile must decide whether to put his money where his mouth is and gamble on the Predators at their best, or to sell Forsberg now and see what Nashville can accomplish without him.
Time is running out to find a defender. $113,333 in cap space Players and selections in play: 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2022 third-round pick, 2022 fourth-round pick, 2022 C RFA in 2024: Zach Bolduc ($925,000), LW Jake Neighbours ($866,667), D Marco Scandella ($3.275 million, UFA in 2024).
What they should do: Even before youngster Scott Perunovich underwent left wrist surgery last week (he’ll be out for at least eight weeks), the Blues needed another defence. Perunovich was another a player St. Louis might have made available in a trade (and still may), but the Blues seem to be at least one blue-line acquisition away from making another serious Cup push.
Due to a paucity of capital, St. Louis will continue to concentrate on the rental market. In the near term, they’ll need to trade a bigger contract, preferably Marco Scandella’s, to boost the blue line. Even with Perunovich out, the emergence of Jake Walman would make losing Scandella more bearable, and the Blues should be looking for a major talent to come on board as well.
Mark Giordano and Ben Chiarot, in particular, are pending free agents who would fit in well with a competitive team like St. Louis. However, the Blues may need to keep some payroll in a deal, which is where their draft selection(s) may come in handy; they are without their second-round pick this year due to the Pavel Buchnevich trade, but they have the remainder of their early-round choices in the following three drafts. Depending on how serious GM Doug Armstrong is about giving his team the greatest shot, going all-in on a player he genuinely feels will make the difference might be worthwhile.
Status of the deadline: I’m hoping to make it through. $669,167 in cap space Picks in play for players: D C Andrew Copp ($3.64 million, UFA in 2022), Nathan Beaulieu ($1.25 million, UFA in 2022), Nathan Beaulieu ($1.25 million, UFA in 2022), Nathan Beaulieu ($1.25 million, UFA in 2022), Nathan Beaulieu ($1.25 million, Paul Stastny (UFA in 2022, $3.75 million)
What they should do: In an ideal world, Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff does nothing at the trade deadline. He may not have to if Winnipeg keeps winning. The Jets are likely to offload if they don’t.
Among Winnipeg’s pending UFAs, Andrew Copp’s name is the most talked about. On a short-term basis, the 27-year-flexibility old’s (he can play second- or third-line center or wing) is wanted by contenders, and he wants to play himself into a huge deal elsewhere, which may not be with the Jets. Winnipeg is interested in acquiring additional cap-friendly contracts, which they might get through a Copp deal, or a first-round selection.
Beaulieu is another contract that is about to expire, but it is now on LTIR, making it more difficult, but not impossible, to arrange a trade with the proper partner.
Is renting a plane a good idea for the Jets? Most likely not. When your club has been inconsistent all season, it’s too risky to give away an asset to bring in a short cure. It’s better to let this group fight for each other and see where it leads them, rather than trying to relocate people who aren’t likely to be involved in the future.
Pacific Division is a division of the United States Army
Status of the deadline: Either you’re in or you’re out. Players, selections in play: $47,882,209 Cap space: $47,882,209 F Rickard Rakell ($3,789,444 AAV, UFA this summer); D Hampus Lindholm ($5,205,556 AAV, UFA this summer).
They should perform the following: Pat Verbeek, the new general manager, adds a fresh viewpoint to a squad that has been running it back with the same veterans for the last several years. At the Ducks’ next generation of Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, and others took control as a trio of veterans neared free agency, he came as a crossroads — a duck crossing?
Verbeek said he wouldn’t allow his free players go away for nothing, and on Monday he proved it by moving pending UFA defender Josh Manson to the Avalanche in exchange for prospect defenseman Drew Helleson and a 2023 second-round pick.
Lindholm would be a sought-after rental if he cannot reach an agreement with the Ducks on a new contract; the Panthers would be one intriguing alternative. He hasn’t been able to replicate the brilliance of his finest seasons, but he remains a capable defender who averages 22:35 minutes per game. Rakell, who has lately battled an injury, can play both wings, has a 5.9 GAA, and gets a lot of power-play time for Anaheim.
Deadline status: The bulk of the work has been completed; now it’s time to put the final touches on it. $627,872 in cap space Selections in play: 2022 second-round picks, 2022 third-round picks, 2022 fourth-round picks, 2022 fifth-round picks, F Brett Ritchie (UFA this summer, $900,000 AAV)
What they should do is repeat what they’ve previously accomplished. The team’s Valentine’s Day purchase of winger Tyler Toffoli will outperform the bulk of the transactions done between now and Monday’s deadline. With the Flames, he has 13 points in 14 games, and they dodged the instability of the deadline market by locking in their deal early.
The Flames have their own second-round pick and the Panthers’ second-round pick to trade either a bottom-six forward or a depth defender on an expiring deal at the deadline. With the way Calgary is playing, it’s hard to believe they’d want to break up the band — a depth player like Ritchie leaving to free up some cap space may be all that’s needed.
The status of the deadline is: deciding on the investment. $591,304 in cap space First-round pick in 2021; F Josh Archibald ($1.5 million AAV, UFA this summer); G Josh Archibald ($1.5 million AAV, UFA this summer); G Josh Archibald ($1.5 million AAV, UFA this summer); G Josh Archibald ($1.5 million AAV, UFA F Kyle Turris ($1.65 million AAV, UFA this summer) and Mikko Koskinen ($4.5 million AAV, UFA this summer)
What should they do: What are their options? Ken Holland, the team’s general manager, has been adamant that he would not sell his first-round selection in 2021 or any of his best prospects for a rental. Would he give it up for a player with a longer contract? That is the query. If the Oilers are in a “money in, money out” position, they may sell Koskinen, who has trade protection, for a big improvement in goal. We’d anticipate the Oilers to pursue a defender at the deadline instead, given that there isn’t one.
More likely, they’ll try to move Archibald, but that’ll be difficult. After missing the most of the season due to post-COVID-19 myocarditis, he just returned to the lineup. Archibald’s situation is complicated by the fact that he is still unvaccinated.
Injury-plagued forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi are expected to return after the deadline, giving the Oilers a boost. Local media, on the other hand, is pressuring the team to do more and not waste another season with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Status of the deadline: It’s tricky. $5,315,834 in cap space Selections in play: first- and second-round picks in 2022; prospects
What they should do: This has suddenly become a more complex subject. The Kings, who are still in contention for a playoff spot, have a solid hockey squad on injured reserve right now: Dustin Brown, Viktor Arvidsson, Andreas Athanasiou, and Brendan Lemieux are forwards, while Drew Doughty and Mikey Anderson are defenders. Is it possible that GM Rob Blake may have to make a trade or two to close the gaps before the playoffs begin?
For the last several seasons, Blake and the Kings have gone at their own speed. They began ramping up last offseason when they signed Arvidsson and Phillip Danault, but we anticipate the cautious and methodical approach to continue at the trade deadline… unless Blake finds a player he can’t pass up with his plethora of choices and prospects. Jakob Chychrun, a 24-year-old Coyotes defender committed through 2024-25 with a $4.6 million AAV, has been connected to L.A. for some time. The cost of acquiring him is exorbitant, but the Kings may be able to gain a leg up on the competition.
Status of the deadline: Getting close to the Hertl Cap: $22,325,489 Picks in play for players: C Andrew Cogliano ($1 million AAV, UFA this summer); C Tomas Hertl ($5.625 million, UFA this summer); F Alexander Barabanov ($1 million AAV, UFA this summer).
What they should do: With Hertl, the Sharks are in a bit of a pickle. He’s perhaps the second most sought-after forward available as a trade component, after Claude Giroux. He’d be a better match for several teams: He’s a year younger (28), has a bigger physical presence, and produces equal offensive numbers. In his past 29 postseason games, he’s scored 24 points. He’s a game-changer, and he’d bring back the sort of draft selections and prospects the Sharks need to keep rebuilding around their immovable senior contracts.
If that seems like the kind of player the Sharks would rather keep than trade, it’s no surprise that Hertl’s agency and the team have been working on a contract extension. Their deadline will be determined by how that goes, however they do have a handful of additional players whose contracts are up for renewal.
Year 2 deadline status: constructing $30,270,706 in cap space Picks in play for players: D Mark Giordano ($6.75 million, UFA this summer); F Calle Jarnkrok ($2 million, UFA this summer); F Marcus Johansson ($1.5 million, UFA this summer); cap space for F Colin Blackwell ($725,000, UFA this summer); cap space for D Mark Giordano ($6.75 million, UFA this summer); cap space for D Mark Giordano ($6.75 million, UFA this summer); cap space for D Mark Giordano ($6.75
What they should do: Seattle’s inaugural season finds them in the basement of the Pacific Division is a division of the United States Army. Needless to say, they won’t have the moral quandary that the Golden Knights had in their inaugural season at the trade deadline, when they had the chance to flip expansion draft players or hold onto them for a playoff run. The Kraken will be unloading.
Giordano, who has a restricted no-trade clause, is the most valuable rental as a seasoned puck-moving power-play quarterback with leadership intangibles. Jarnkrok and Johansson might help contenders by bringing back mid-round draft selections as depth forwards.
Keep in mind that the Kraken have a lot of cap space that they may employ to acquire picks and prospects, as well as facilitate deals for other teams.
Status of the deadline: Push for the playoffs with an eye on the future $2,375,000 in cap space F Brock Boeser ($5.875 million, RFA this summer); G Jaroslav Halak ($1.5 million AAV, UFA this summer); C J.T. Miller ($5.25 million AAV, UFA in 2023); F Tyler Motte ($1.225 million, UFA this summer) are among the players with picks in play.
They should perform the following: With the Canucks, it’s difficult to tell the truth from the rumors. Is J.T. Miller available for an interview? Is it simply that the rest of the league lusts for a versatile forward with offensive pop, tenacity, and a postseason-ready game? Is Brock Boeser, 24, a vital member of the team going ahead, or will he be moved before he receives a $7.5 million qualifying offer this summer? Is Tyler Motte going to be a depth player for another club or will he continue to assist the Canucks in their playoff push?
Jaroslav Halak, 36, is a viable goaltender option for clubs in need of assistance. He has a complete no-movement clause, but it’s not out of the question that if the perfect circumstance is provided to him — one that benefits his family, his playing time, and his chances of winning — he’ll waive it. But, even if it hasn’t been his best season, Vancouver is in a playoff chase and may want to keep him.
Tensions are increasing as the deadline approaches. $1,210,833 in cap space F Mattias Janmark ($2 million AAV, UFA this summer); F Reilly Smith ($5 million AAV, UFA this summer); 2022 second-round selection are among the players in play.
What they should do: The Golden Knights’ situation has clearly altered since their huge trade coup in bringing Jack Eichel back to the ice. According to FiveThirtyEight, their odds of making the playoffs have dropped to 55%. Reilly Smith and Robin Lehner have been added to the injured reserve list, joining Brayden McNabb, Mattias Janmark, Mark Stone, and Alec Martinez. It’s a shambles, and it’s happening at the worst moment.
The Knights don’t have much cap room at the deadline, even with players on long-term injured reserve. They do have two players whose contracts are up for renewal who they might relocate, however losing original “Golden Misfit” Smith could be more detrimental than beneficial. If Vegas is searching for assistance at the deadline, it may be for goaltending, but their choices are limited, particularly because the best goaltender available, Marc-Andre Fleury, isn’t returning to Sin City to save them.
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