We are now under a week from the NHL Trade Deadline and moves are happening! The Colorado Avalanche made a pair of trades earlier this week acquiring Josh Manson from the Ducks and then flipping Tyson Jost to Minnesota for Nico Sturm. 
With the Manson deal, they had Anaheim retain $2 million and the other trade saved them about $1.3 million in cap space. They’re clearly looking to make another big move and a lot of people seem to be connecting them to Claude Giroux. The market for the Flyers Captain will certainly heat up after he plays his 1000th game with the club tonight, a milestone that is very important to him.
The Avalanche will try to get him. I would expect the St. Louis Blues to take a run at him as well. The Florida Panthers are an Eastern Conference team that apparently has interest in him too. The Flyers will get a very good haul back in this move. Giroux sits at #1 on Frank Seravalli’s Trade Targets list.
Speaking of that list, he updated it earlier this week and added 15 new players.
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The two big names were Tyler Bertuzzi and Sean Monahan. The latter is interesting because one would assume that if the Flames are offloading Monahan and his $6.375m cap hit, it’s because they have their eyes on another big addition.
Monahan does have a 10 team no-trade list that he can submit so I doubt he’d be willing to leave a solid Calgary team and go to some rebuilding team though. This feels like a move that probably happens in the offseason but you never know.
Bertuzzi is fascinating because he’s only 27-years-old and he’s producing at almost a point-per-game rate. He’s also under contract for one more year at a $4.75m cap hit. There’s no doubt that a lot of teams would be interested, but I’m not sure why Detroit would want to move him. He’s young enough that he can keep growing along with their newly established young core. The only reason why I could see them moving him is that they know they won’t want to commit big money to him in a few years.
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The other thing that would complicate any potential move is Bertuzzi’s vaccination status. As one of the two unvaccinated players in the league, he’s ineligible to play games in Canada. Why would any team acquire him ahead of the playoffs when there’s a chance he can’t help them in a potential series against a Canadian club? 
There are some new names on the Trade Targets list that should interest the Oilers. The first is left-handed defenseman, Carson Soucy.
I’ve talked about him as a potential fit for the Oilers on more than one occasion and I stand by it. He’s just 27-years-old, is strong in his own zone, and he’s signed for one more season with a very reasonable $2.75m cap hit. He’s exactly what they need and would give them a strong third-pairing shutdown option.
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The only question would be acquisition cost. I’m sure the Oilers would love to offload Tyson Barrie in a potential deal with Seattle, but there would need to be a sweetener.
Some defensemen that won’t cost nearly as much as Soucy, but are on Frank’s list include Brett Kulak, Calvin De Haan, and Robert Hagg. 
What do the Oilers have that they could offer up? I would imagine that they’d be open to moving one of their next two second-round picks. They also have a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft and their third and fourth-rounders in 2023. All of those should be on the table. It sounds like the organization would be open to moving Dmitri Samorukov as well if a team wanted a prospect.
They also have the Josh Archibald situation which is worth keeping an eye on. If an American team likes him and the Oilers can recoup a late-round pick for him, I wonder if they’ll turn around and go acquire a new depth forward to slide into the lineup.
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Mark Spector wrote that Arturri Lehkonen could be a name to watch, but I think he’ll get a second-round pick at a minimum and I just can’t see the Oilers giving that up for a guy who would be on their third line.
Spector also mentioned Justin Braun. There has been so much chatter around him and the Oilers that I would call him their most likely deadline acquisition.
As for the Oilers and the goaltending market, it sounds like Ken Holland is going to just run with what they have. They apparently don’t view any of the realistic options on the market as major upgrades. 
Mike Smith is going to start tonight against Buffalo though and if it doesn’t go well, I would imagine that the Oilers will think long and hard about going with a three-goalie system down the stretch.
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The Oilers are currently in a playoff spot in the Pacific Division and largely control their own destiny. That is mostly thanks to the Golden Knights falling off the face of the earth. GM Kelly McCrimmon has some big decisions to make in the next few days. Before I get to Vegas, I want to hit on the juciest Oilers rumour that we’ve got right now…

ARE OILERS IN ON KUBALIK?

Chicago Blackhawks beat reported Ben Pope wrote yesterday that the Blackhawks are close to trading forward Dominik Kubalik and that the Oilers and Ducks are finalists for him. Kubalik is just 26-years-old and in his third season in the league. His rookie year was by far his best season as he posted 30 goals and was a finalist for the Calder Trophy. He’s been up and down since then and has really struggled at points this season.
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He carries a cap hit of $3.6 million this season and is due a qualifying offer around $4 million for next season as he’s a pending RFA.
I like Kubalik, but I don’t love him. I generally agree with Sid’s analysis here as well. Tom Gazzola, who is very plugged in, said that a Kubalik deal wouldn’t make a lot of sense for the Oilers in his opinion but he did say that a potential return could include Kailer Yamamoto. I don’t love the idea of swapping those two players, I think Yamamoto is better and his next contract will be cheaper, but if the Hawks took Tyson Barrie back and threw in Calvin De Haan, then I think there’s a chance this could be a win for Edmonton. Feels unlikely though.
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WHAT WILL THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS DO?

In the 14 games since Jack Eichel played his first game with the club, the Vegas Golden Knights have managed to grab just four wins. There have been some nasty losses to non-playoff clubs in that span, the most recent of which was Tuesday night when they lost 7-3 to the Winnipeg Jets despite only allowing 23 shots on goal.
They are really hurting right now, in more ways than one. They’re missing Mark Stone, Alec Martinez, Reilly Smith, and probably most importantly Robin Lehner. Yes, they should start to get healthier, but you have to wonder if it will be too little too late.
I feel like the injury to Lehner and their goaltending woes will lead to them going out and acquiring a goalie before the deadline. They apparently reached out to the Blackhawks to ask about Fleury a few weeks ago and they reportedly have interest in Alexandar Georgiev. Those are two names to keep an eye on as Vegas looks to turn their season around.
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HERTL IS OFF THE BOARD

Tomas Hertl was right behind Claude Giroux on the Trade Targets list and now he won’t be going anywhere. The San Jose Sharks locked up the 29-year-old forward to an eight-year extension that carries an AAV of $8 million.
Hertl has been a cornerstone piece for the Sharks for many years, but I’m honestly a little surprised they didn’t cash in on his value. He very likely could have gotten them a first-round pick and a solid prospect. Instead, they paid market value to keep him and they’re going to be paying him a lot of money when he’s in his mid-30s.
I don’t view the Sharks as close to competing and think they would have been better off trading Hertl, getting future assets in the process, and maybe spending that money somewhere else in the summer. They opted to reward a player who has done a lot of good for their organization though.
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The Sharks could still make some moves at the deadline. Defenseman Jacob Middleton could fetch them a second-round pick and forward Alex Barbanov, who has nine goals in 51 games this season, could be moved as well.

QUICK NOTES

  • Mark Giordano was held out of the Kraken lineup last night. Ben Chariot was held out of the Habs lineup earlier in the week. That doesn’t mean a deal is close, teams are just being extra cautious with their trade pieces.
  • The Panthers cleared out $2.35m in cap space when they sent Frank Vatrano to the New York Rangers. I wonder if they have their eyes on another bigger name forward. If they don’t get Giroux, who else could they target? Rickard Rakell, Tomas Hertl, and Tyler Motte are the next three rental forwards on Frank’s list.
  • Like I talked about last week, the Stars are going to hold onto their pending free agents. Klingberg and Holtby are expected to stay in Dallas.
  • Friedman and Marek reported that there are Western Conference teams interested in Canadiens forward Christian Dvorak. He’s scored seven goals in 34 games with the Habs this season and has three more years at $4.45 million.
  • Pierre LeBrun connected the Bruins to Jakob Chychrun.
  • Friedman says the Arizona Coyotes are trying to re-sign goaltender Karel Vejmelka and in typical Coyotes fashion, they are also trying to get Shea Weber’s contract.
  • If the Jets trade Andrew Copp, Darren Dreger says that the Avalanche, Rangers, and Bruins are interested.

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