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NHL Trade Deadline Primer

The trade deadline is less than 72 hours away. We could see some highly skilled players traded before Monday’s 1 p.m. MST deadline. Matt Duchene and Mark Stone were healthy scratches by the Ottawa Senators last night as they didn’t want to risk injury and get nothing for the pending unrestricted free agents. Duchene was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets this morning.

That move likely takes Artemi Panarin off the market, along with Sergei Bobrovsky. Will the Sabres deal Jeff Skinner if they don’t have a contract extension in place?

This should be a wild next few days.

The race in the East is between Montreal, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Carolina. One of them will miss, unless Buffalo or Philadelphia go on an amazing run.

The Blue Jackets’ addition of Duchene was a big win for them, because some Eastern teams were hoping Panarin was on the market. Now he isn’t so they won’t get better, while the Blue Jackets add a legit top-six forward in Duchene.

The Blue Jackets gave up their 2019 first rounder and prospects Jonathon Davidsson (sixth rounder, 2017) who is playing in Sweden and had 10-10-20 in 30 games, and Vitaly Abramov (third rounder, 2016) who has 12-10-22 in 52 games in the AHL for Duchene. If he re-signs with the Jackets Ottawa will receive Columbus’ 2020 first round pick as well.

The Senators should get a lot for Mark Stone and a decent return for Ryan Dzingel, but they are still losing three legit forwards and picks and prospects are never guaranteed to pan out. It is not an ideal situation for the Senators.

As you update your phone by the minute this weekend, here is an outline of each team’s 2019 draft picks.

2019 Draft Picks 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
NYI

1

1

NA NA

1

1

1

WSH

1

1

1

1

1

NA

1

PITT

1

NA NA

1

1

1

1

TAMPA 1* NA*

1

1

NA

1

2

TOR NA

1

1

2

1

NA

2

BOS

1

1

1

1

NA

1

1

MTL

1

2

1

1

3

1

1

CAR

1

2

1

1

1

2

1

CBJ NA NA

1

1

NA NA

2

BUFF

3

NA

1

1

NA

2

1

PHI

1

1

2

1

1

2

2

FLOR

1

1

1

3

1

1

1

DET

1

2

1

1

3

1

1

NYR 1*

1

1

NA

1

1

NA
OTT

1

2

1

1

1

NA

2

Washington and Pittsburgh don’t have a lot of top prospects in their system. The Penguins moved Daniel Sprong earlier this year to Anaheim. Zach Aston-Reese is already on their team and Dominik Simon and Tristan Jarry would be the other young players they might be able to offer if they are looking to make a big addition.Tampa Bay has the asterisk because if they win the Stanley Cup the Rangers get their 2019 first rounder. If they don’t, the Rangers get their second round pick. Toronto gave up their first when they acquired Jake Muzzin.

For the Capitals, goalie Ilya Samsanov is their best prospect, but I doubt they move him. I really like Red Deer Rebels D-man Alexander Alexeyev, and they also have Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs and Jonas Siegenthaler. I could see the Pens and Capitals tinker, but the Caps don’t have any cap space so it will be hard for them to make a major addition. They acquired D-man Nick Jensen and a 5th round pick in exchange for defender Madison Bowey and a 2nd.

The Islanders have loads of cap room. I heard they had interest in Panarin, but I don’t see him being on the move. They also have many really good prospects. I could see them making multiple moves. They need another scoring winger.

The Bruins already added Charlie Coyle, but they still have decent amount of cap space if they want to add some more. They and the Maple Leafs are in an interesting spot. They will face each other in the first round and, barring a major upset, the stacked Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round. I think both of them would need to add something significant to defeat the Lightning. Tampa will likely tinker, but they don’t need to make a major splash. They are the best, and deepest, team in the NHL.

Montreal and Carolina are interesting. The Habs have been a major surprise all season. They are ahead of where the organization thought they’d be. Do they try and match Columbus’ addition of Duchene, or do they stay patient, not give up much, and try to grind their way into the playoffs? Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon desperately wants to make the playoffs. Carolina has missed the postseason dance for the past nine years and Dundon has no interest in tying the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers record of ten years without the playoffs. They have the most cap space in the NHL and Dundon isn’t afraid to spend money — he just invested $250 million in the AAF — and if GM Don Waddell can find a good deal the Hurricanes will make a move.

The rest of the East will be sellers. Wayne Simmonds, Mike Hoffman, Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, Gustav Nyquist, Marcus Johansson are the most likely names to be moved. I do wonder if the Red Wings would part with Jimmy Howard?

THE WEST…

2019 Draft Picks 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
CGY

1

NA

1

1

1

NA

1

SJ NA

1

1

NA

1

1

1

NSH

1

NA

1

2

1

1

1

WPG

1

1

NA

1

1

1

1

VEG

1

1

3

1

3

NA NA
STL NA

1

1

NA

1

1

1

DAL

1

1

1

1

1

1

NA
COL

2

1

2

NA

1

1

1

MINN

1

1

1

NA

1

2

1

CHI

1

1

NA

2

1

1

1

ARI

1

1

2

1

NA

2

NA
VAN

1

1

1

1

1

3

1

ANA

1

1

NA

1

1

1

NA
EDM

1

1

1

1

NA

1

1

LA

2

1

1

2

1

1

1

San Jose already made their major move acquiring Erik Karlsson last summer. They don’t have a first rounder in 2019 or 2020, but I still expect Doug Wilson to make some sort of move. The Sharks will go for it this year. They have enough cap space to be creative, and I suspect he will look for more offence. Nyqvist would be a great addition. They are the best team in the West in my eyes right now, so I think Wilson looks more for a big move than a depth one.

The Flames are very good as well, but they’d like another scorer. GM Brad Treliving said this about rental players. “Every year, there are players on expiring contracts and they always get attention. Each year, especially in this country (Canada), it becomes bigger and bigger, gets more attention. Traditionally, I haven’t been a big fan of the rental market. Expending assets for something short in time, that’s difficult in a cap-based system. We’ve spent picks before but all for players with term. We’ll have to see how it plays out. You stay in touch with the marketplace and talk to other teams, but we’ll wait and see and watch how things go. It can be a dangerous game, getting involved and spending a lot of assets for something that’s real short-term.”

He also had an interesting quote to Eric Francis about “window to win.”

“The other thing I caution everybody with is the idea we are ‘entering a window.’ You never know when your time is. There are guys who show up their first year, make the final and never get there again. We know the core of this team is young and hopefully will continue to get better. But you never take anything for granted in this game — it has a way of humbling you if you do.”

I could see the Flames making a move, but not sure it will be a big name. More of a depth move, which as Washington showed last year can often be more impactful than a big name.

Nashville needs another scorer. I don’t think they have enough high-powered offensive players to win the Cup right now. David Poile has done a great job developing players, and the Predators have only had two picks in the top-40 in the past four seasons. Most of the NHL’s elite scorers were drafted high. Yes, there are a few exceptions, but the vast majority are high picks. The Predators were in on Duchene, and I wonder if they switch their focus to Stone.

The Jets are also very good, but Patrik Laine has really struggled and Nick Ehlers is just returning from injury. They have many good young players, so they can afford to add a big name. I keep hearing they want Stone, but I think they need a centre more. They have four really good wingers.

The Blues are on fire. They made a lot of changes in the off-season, so I see them more tweaking on the edges rather than making a big move.

Vegas is the wildcard. They are 4-8-1 in their last 13 games and could use another scorer. They don’t want to be a one-year wonder and lose out in the first round, but right now I don’t see them beating the Flames or Sharks in the first round unless they add some more firepower.

The teams in the race for the wildcard are also unknowns. Minnesota has already made two hockey trades in 2019., shipping out Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter for Viktor Rask and Ryan Donato. They need more offence. Dallas should be a playoff team, but injuries have hampered them all season. I could see them adding a D-man or a depth forward.

Colorado has Ottawa’s first round pick, which should for sure be top-four, so maybe they are willing to move their first rounder to get in the playoffs. They need to shore up their defence.

Chicago won big in their Dylan Strome trade and managed to offload Brandon Manning to Edmonton. Stan Bowman would love to sneak into the playoffs and they have a lot of cap space to make some moves. I’d be surprised if he didn’t add something. Chicago is more talented than the other teams battling for the final wildcard spot. Their issue is they can’t stop allowing goals. They need a steady defender, and I wonder if they look to add a goalie — Jimmy Howard perhaps?

Arizona continues to stick around and they too have been crushed by injuries. They’d love to make the playoffs, but I don’t see them sacrificing too much for rental. I see them tinkering.

I’d be surprised if the Canucks make a big move. They have overachieved all year, and I think management might just ride that out and see if they can sneak in.

The Ducks are an interesting team because their GM is now on the bench and in the room daily. He will have a better feel of who he wants around. They just extended Jakob Silfverberg so they won’t be moving him. The Ducks’ top forwards are getting older and the team doesn’t have much cap space. I could see them be a seller more than a buyer.

The Oilers might do very little. Maybe they ship out a depth player or two. At this point I think it is more likely they keep Alex Chiasson unless they get a prospect in return. They would like to shed some salary for next year.

What are your predictions for the deadline?

Who gets Stone?

Will the Sabres move Skinner?

Who needs to make a move?

Which team will improve the most by Monday at 2 p.m. MST?

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