NHL Trade Deadline 2018 Blog: Recapping rumours, surprises

Blues GM Doug Armstrong joins HC at Noon to discuss his club's philosophy heading into this trade deadline, and why he feels it will be a very busy day this year, as opposed to last year.

What a Trade Deadline Day.

Sportsnet.ca’s blog carefully tracked all the rumours, news and reaction from a day of dealing: 16 trades, 31 players dealt, 18 draft picks moved, and $30.8 million in salaries exchanged.

A record five first-round draft picks were spent, and some big names got moved in surprise trades. Perhaps more surprising were some of the trades that didn’t happen.

Scroll down for a complete rundown of the day’s rumours, trades and reaction.

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Luke Fox February 26, 20185:09 pm

Karlsson is still the Senators captain, but for how long?

Flush with cap space, the Vegas Golden Knights were the last team standing as bids for the services of Erik Karlsson went down to the final minutes of trade deadline.

“He’s our franchise player,” GM Pierre Dorion told reporters. “We felt there was no franchise deal out there that would satisfy us.”

The Lightning, Sharks, and Capitals were among the teams reported to be kicking tires at various points.

Dorion insisted he was not and is not shopping his superstar, only listening. His instruction from owner Eugene Melynk is only to make the best hockey deals for the team.

But the GM’s press conference did not comfort Sens fans.

“I had offers on Erik Karlsson no one knew about in the summer,” Dorion revealed.

“If Erik Karlsson is here on July 1, we will be making him a contract offer.”

That’s a big if.

Karlsson did not speak to the media Monday, and the mystery surrounding his future in the nation’s capital is far from over.

Luke Fox February 26, 20184:54 pm

Maroon could be back this summer

Upon his rental trade to New Jersey, former Edmonton winger Patrick Maroon tells reporters that he’s open to signing with the Oilers on July 1.

Luke Fox February 26, 20184:48 pm

Canucks never received draft pick offer

In his post-deadline press conference, Vancouver GM Jim Benning lamented that Columbus never offered a draft pick in their trade for impending UFA Thomas Vanek.

Benning instead had to settle for Jussi Jokinen and Tyler Motte, two borderline NHLers at this point.

Motte was praised by his new GM for his speed and should have a chance to break through withe the rebuilding Canucks.

Luke Fox February 26, 20184:40 pm

Maple Leafs ‘not interested’ in Green

One of the biggest surprises Monday was that Mike Green — the only notable right-shot defenceman on the market — was not traded away by the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings.

The veteran power-play quarterback has not played since suffering a neck injury on Feb. 15, and his health may have played a factor is scaring away suitors.

Green holds a no-move clause but reportedly would’ve been agreeable to a trade back to Washington or to Tampa Bay, a team that did inquire.
Tampa, of course, spent its assets on New York’s Ryan McDonagh, a better pure defender.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, too, were among the teams interested in McDonagh — but not Green.

Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello said he was surprised to see five first-rounders in play Monday and that the prices were too high for his liking. He refused to elaborate on how close he came to landing McDonagh or any other defensive help.

Luke Fox February 26, 20184:26 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20184:15 pm

Hornqvist extension is coming

Patric Hornqvist is an impending UFA with a cap hit of $4.25 million. Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford announced that he expects to sign off on an extension with Hornqvist Tuesday.

Jason Mackey of the Post-Gazette reports the forward’s new deal with be a five-year deal worth $5.3 million per season.

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:54 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:48 pm

Record day for first-round picks

Turns out some of those high asking prices were met…

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:35 pm

What the Rangers are getting in the McDonagh deal

In exchange for Ryan McDonagh and versatile forward J.T. Miller, the Rangers are receiving top-nine forward Vladislav Namestnikov, prospects Brett Howden and Libor Hajek, a 2018 first-round pick, and conditional second-round pick.

The condition? That second becomes another first if the Lightning win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2018 and 2019. Totally worth it.
Tampa Bay turned down all overtures to include defenceman Mikhail Sergachev.

GM Steve Yzerman was hesitant to deal anyone off his roster, but Namestnikov is an impending RFA with arbitration rights. With 20 goals and 44 points, he is enjoying a career year.

The Rangers have swiftly stripped their roster down, dealing away Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, J.T. Miller, Ryan McDonagh and Nick Holden all within a few days.

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:26 pm

Edmonton deals away Maroon

The Oilers send power winger Patrick Maroon to the New Jersey Devils for a 2019 third-round pick and prospect J.D. Dudek, adding to the Chiarelli-Shero trade history.

The Devils also added Michael Grabner on Thursday, significantly bolstering their strength on the wings.

Maroon is an impending free agent.

Flames add Shore

The Calgary Flames acquired forward Nick Shore from the Ottawa Senators.

Shore was traded from the L.A. Kings to the Sens as part of the Dion Phaneuf trade earlier this month.

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:22 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:22 pm

Canadiens land Reilly

Montreal lands Mike Reilly from the Minnesota Wild in return for a 2019 fifth-round pick (previously acquired from Washington).

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:17 pm

Vegas goes shopping
Detroit deals forward Tomas Tatar to the Golden Knights for a first-, second-, and third-rounder, spread out over three seasons.

Pens add Jooris
Pittsburgh lands 27-year-old Josh Jooris from Carolina. He has scored three goals and three assists in 31 games this season and is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

The Penguins send centre Gregg McKegg to Carolina in return. McKegg will join Carolina’s AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

Jets add D depth; Habs keep Patches
Winnipeg picks up defenceman Joe Morrow from Montreal for a fourth-round pick, but the Canadiens will hold on to captain Max Pacioretty for now.

Green stays put
The Red Wings fail to trade Mike Green, despite his being the best right-shot D on the rental market. Green said he would’ve approved a deal to Tampa, but the Lightning landed McDonagh instead.

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:10 pm

Tampa lands a top-pair defenceman

The New York Rangers have once again traded their captain to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ryan McDonagh, a horse on the back end, is headed to Tampa for two shots at the Stanley Cup.

The Lightning were reportedly interested in Karlsson as well.

In a tight Atlantic Division arms race, the Lightning landed the biggest fish, as Boston and Toronto also kicked tires.

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:09 pm

Karlsson stays in Ottawa… for now

There was one team, reportedly Vegas, pushing for Erik Karlsson until the final minutes, but a deal never got done.

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:06 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:04 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20183:03 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20182:49 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20182:48 pm

Vancouver finds a new home for Vanek

Jim Benning has learned from past mistakes and was able to deal UFA Thomas Vanek to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen are reportedly headed to the Canucks, although that is unconfirmed.

Motte, a 22-year-old centre, has divided his season between the NHL and AHL, putting up five points in 31 games with the Blue Jackets.

This will be Jokinen’s fourth different team this season. He has only scored a goal for one of those teams.

At that low price, Vanek is a worthwhile gamble for the Jackets, who also rented Mark Letestu in order to boost their under-performing forward core.

Columbus acquired defenceman Ian Cole from Ottawa in the first trade of the day.

Luke Fox February 26, 20182:39 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20182:33 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20182:33 pm

Karlsson trade talks still ongoing…

Tension mounts as Erik Karlsson may still be dealt in the next half hour.

Karlsson, as has been the case for about a week, declined to meet with reporters after Senators practice today.

Luke Fox February 26, 20182:20 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20182:18 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20182:12 pm

Kane dealt to Sharks just under the wire

Evander Kane — who just had to be moved this hour — has been dealt to the San Jose Sharks for a conditional 2019 first-rounder, prospect Danny O’Regan, and a conditional 2020 fourth-rounder.

That first-rounder becomes a second-rounder if San Jose is unable to re-sign Kane this summer.
Kane is an impending free agent who has never played in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was not going to re-sign in Buffalo.

The left wing already has 20 goals and 40 points this season, and should give the goal-starved Sharks a boost in their playoff race.

Interesting how many first-rounders got moved today after two trade deadline days without any first-round picks being spent.

The German-born O’Regan, 24, has seven goals and 25 points playing as a centre for the AHL Barracuda this season.

O’Regan played with Sabres Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues at Boston University, where they ranked 1-2-3 in scoring.

Luke Fox February 26, 20182:11 pm

Brayden Shenn is not exactly thrilled that Paul Stastny is a member of the Winnipeg Jets…

Luke Fox February 26, 20181:55 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 20181:48 pm

McDonagh would make Pittsburgh basically unstoppable in the East, no?

The aggression shown by Winnipeg, Nashville, Boston and Pittsburgh over the past few days is remarkable.

Among the clubs still trying to land New York’s Ryan McDonagh, Nick Kypreos reports, are the Pittsburgh Penguins.

By acquiring Derick Brassard, the Pens established one of the deepest centre cores in hockey. Picture a top pair of Kris Letang and Ryan McDonagh.

The Maple Leafs, Lightning and Bruins are also among the clubs who reportedly inquired about the Rangers captain.

Luke Fox February 26, 20181:14 pm

Pacioretty trade interest picking up

The Florida Panthers (a playoff long shot) and Anaheim Ducks (firmly in the mix) are both keen to add Montreal Canadiens wing Max Pacioretty.

Pacioretty, we remind you, has two years left on his deal, so this would not be a rental situation.

The captain was present and accounted for during the Habs’ morning skate Monday, but GM Marc Bergevin is working the phones to find the right deal.

If not moved today, Bergevin can always revisit talks regarding Pacioretty at the draft.

The left wing carries a friendly $4.5-million cap hit until July 1, 2019, at which point he should be in for a nice raise.

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:57 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:42 pm

Conditions on the Stastny trade

Worth noting that Paul Stastny waived his no-move option in order to join the Winnipeg Jets today, dark nights be damned.

Per Blues insider Jeremy Rutherford, here are the conditions attached to St. Louis’s trade of Stastny to the Jets:

• If Winnipeg’s pick is Nos. 1-3, Blues will receive Jets’ first-rounder in 2019. Otherwise, they will get it in 2018.

• If Blues don’t re-sign Foley before Aug. 16, 2019, then they receive Jets’ fourth-rounder in 2020.

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:37 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:27 pm

Canucks swing minor deal

Vancouver traded Vegas for winger Brendan Leipsic (a former Leafs prospect). The Canucks send Philip Holm to Sin City.

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:23 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:18 pm

Jets strike big; Blues bowing out of race

Hold your hats. Kevin Cheveldayoff is swinging for the fences.

Winnipeg has acquired centre Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues for a first-round pick, a conditional fourth-rounder and forward prospect Erik Foley.

The Central Division arms race is a wonderful thing.

An excellent two-way centre, the 32-year-old Stastny becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and carries a $7-million cap hit.

The Blues will retain the maximum 50% of Stastny’s salary.
Despite his pending free agency, Stastny was not the subject of trade rumours. This marks the second winter in which Blues GM Doug Armstrong has dealt away one of his best players (Kevin Shattenkirk, 2017) to pick up a first-rounder.

In 63 games for the Blues this season, Stastny posted 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists) and 14 penalty minutes.

Winnipeg had its centre depth tested this season when Mark Scheifele was injured and winger Blake Wheeler was forced to move to the middle.

This trade will give the Jets’ dressing room a massive jolt and suck some air out of the already-slipping Blues.

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:13 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:08 pm

Nashville gets even better

The strong just got stronger, as the Predators traded Chicago for winger Ryan Hartman and a 2018 fifth-rounder for a first- and fourth-round draft pick plus a prospect Victor Edjsell.

Edjsell has 30 points in 44 games playing over in the Swedish league.

Hartman, 23, nearly hit 20 goals as a rookie last season, and this year he has scored eight goals and 17 assists. He’s a restricted free agent at season’s end.
Nashville = all in.

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:07 pm

Flames, Flyers make waiver pickups

A couple teams in the playoff mix opted to go the waiver-wire route today, the cheapest way to add depth.

The Calgary Flames scooped Chris Stewart from Minnesota, and the Philadelphia Flyers grabbed Johnny Oduya off Ottawa.

Both Stewart and Oduya are on cap-friendly deals and become UFAs on July 1.

“I’m excited to be joining the Calgary Flames,” Stewart said in a Sportsnet radio interview.
Colorado also picked up defenceman Mark Alt off waivers from Philly.

Note that Senators forward Alex Burrows and Chicago forward Lance Bouma were not claimed.

Luke Fox February 26, 201812:03 pm

Luke Fox February 26, 201811:55 am

How Plekanec trade affects Leafs lines

A clean-shaven Tomas Plekanec practised Monday morning in Tampa for the first time in something other than a Montreal Canadiens uniform.

Plekanec slotted in as Toronto’s fourth-line centre, bumping Dominic Moore from the lineup.

Mitch Marner was reunited with Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau, while Kaperi Kapanen was promoted up to the second line beside William Nylander.

Here are how the Leafs lines look heading into Monday’s big match versus the first-place Lightning (image via dailyfaceoff.com).

Luke Fox February 26, 201811:29 am

Luke Fox February 26, 201811:21 am

Rumours start flying

The Nashville Predators (buyers) and Chicago Blackhawks (sellers) are reportedly in discussion. The Preds’ target may be winger Ryan Hartman, who did not show for Blackhawks practice today.
The St. Louis Blues are listening on Vladimir Sobotka, Jay Bouwmeester and a goaltender (Jake Allen or Carter Hutton), according to John Shannon.

And Buffalo Sabres starting goalie has been rumoured to have requested a trade. He’s a restricted free agent this summer and carries a $4 million cap hit.

Luke Fox February 26, 201811:14 am

Luke Fox February 26, 201811:07 am

Predators make Fisher signing official

The Nashville Predators just announced a pro-rated $1-million, one-year contract with UFA centre Mike Fisher, who had been practising with his former club.

Fisher needed to sign today in order to participate in the playoffs.

Stanley Cup dreams never retire.

Luke Fox February 26, 201811:04 am

Olympic showing could land Bourque NHL job

Team Canada bronze medallist Rene Bourque may have an opportunity to reignite his NHL career this summer.

A reported four teams have expressed interest in signing the 36-year-old winger after his strong showing in PyeongChang.

Luke Fox February 26, 201810:57 am

Penguins no longer interested in Kane

Evander Kane is arguably the most dangerous scorer left on the rental board, and for months the Pittsburgh Penguins were rumoured to have interest.

Whether Buffalo’s asking price for the left wing is still too high or Pens GM Jim Rutherford believes he’s filled his needs by adding Derick Brassard, Pittsburgh has now backed out of the Kane sweepstakes, according to multiple local reports.

Luke Fox February 26, 201810:20 am

Plekanec shaves for Maple Leafs

We wonder if Lou has a rule about turtlenecks.

Luke Fox February 26, 201810:02 am

No urgency to deal Karlsson today?

The hyper-active Senators are not desperate to trade away their captain and best player within the next five hours, according to this report from John Shannon.

Or are they just trying to keep the price high?

Luke Fox February 26, 20189:45 am

First trade of the day! First ‘intangibles’ trade of the day!

The Ottawa Senators keep on dealing.

Pierre Dorion flipped left-shot defenceman Ian Cole (acquired from Pittsburgh in the Derick Brassard deal) to the Columbus Blue Jackets at 9:39 a.m., in exchange for prospect Nick Moutrey and a 2020 third-round draft pick.

Moutrey is a 22-year-old, Toronto-born right wing who has put up 17 goals in three AHL seasons in the Jackets’ system. Big body.

The 6-foot-3, 222-pound Moutrey will be assigned to AHL Belleville.

We wonder if the acquisition of Cole increases the Jackets’ desire to move Jack Johnson for help up front.

Cole, 29, is making $2.5 million this season, the last of his three-year contract. So Ottawa sheds more salary in the transaction.

“Ian Cole is a hardworking, competitive defenceman who we know very well having drafted him in St. Louis,” Jarmo Kekalainen said. “He is a very good defender and a two-time Stanley Cup champion who can bring a lot of intangibles to our group.”

Hey, Ottawa! Get to know Moutrey here:

Luke Fox February 26, 20189:17 am

Green willing to waive no-trade for at least 2 teams

Detroit Red Wings defenceman Mike Green — the best right-shot defenceman available as a pure rental — holds full no-trade protection on his expiring contract, but The Athletic‘s Craig Custance reports that Green will agree to a potential deal to at least Tampa Bay or Washington if it materializes.

Both of those Eastern Conference contenders are definitely looking to add a blueliner before day’s end.

Though it may not be Green’s first choice, the Toronto Maple Leafs are also poking around for help on the right side of its defence.

Green carries a $6-million cap hit, which would not be an issue for Tampa. Washington and Toronto would either have to ask Detroit to retain salary or shed salary in such a move.

Luke Fox February 26, 20189:08 am

Karlsson or otherwise, Tampa will add a defenceman by 3 p.m.

LightningInsider.com’s Erik Erlendsson firmly believes the Lightning will address its top-heavy blue line in the next few hours.

Erik Karlsson, of course, remains the Bolts’ top target, but secondary options such as Ryan McDonagh, Mike Green, Jack Johnson and Ian Cole are out there.

Luke Fox February 26, 20188:54 am

Capitals want all the defencemen; Anaheim dangling Vermette?

A couple of situations to keep an eye on.

The Capitals added two blueliners via trades last week, but are reportedly hunting for more, having inquired about New York’s Ryan McDonagh.

And, perhaps inspired by the haul Montreal got for Tomas Plekanec, the Ducks healthy-scratched centre Antoine Vermette Sunday. Is he available?

Luke Fox February 26, 20188:45 am

Blue Jackets still hunting

Despite acquiring centre Mark Letestu Sunday from Nashville (via Edmonton), goal-starved Columbus is still looking for forward help as it battles for a playoff spot in the crowded Metropolitan Division.

Luke Fox February 26, 20188:13 am

Karlsson trade anticipation heightens

The Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t the only club looking to see if they can swing a blockbuster to pry Erik Karlsson out of Ottawa.

According to multiple reports, San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson is also kicking tires on the superstar defenceman.

Imagine being able to roll out a right-side defence of Brent Burns and Karlsson? Frightening.

How high is the price for Karlsson? Glenn Healy says teams offered three first-round picks Sunday, and Pierre Dorion turned them down.

Dorion would prefer to shed Bobby Ryan’s expensive contract in a deal for EK65 today.

Luke Fox February 26, 20188:02 am

Time of first trade on Deadline Day

We’re placing today over/under at 10:49 a.m., which means nearly three hours of discussing which line Bruins line Rick Nash is best suited to skate on.

2012: 10:35 a.m.
2013: 12:20 p.m.
2014: 11:30 a.m.
2015: 8:57 a.m.
2016: 9:30 a.m.
2017: 10:39 a.m.

Luke Fox February 26, 20187:51 am

Odds he’ll be traded…

Vegas is taking bets on some big trade deadline targets:

Luke Fox February 26, 20187:48 am

Bruins want to avoid scary Leafs in Round 1?

The voice of the Bruins, Jack Edwards, tells Sportsnet 590 The Fan that Boston would match up better against Tampa than Toronto in a playoff series.

Luke Fox February 26, 20187:28 am

Spooner traded, plays same day

Ryan Spooner, who was dealt to New York from Boston as the play-now portion of the Rick Nash trade made his Rangers debut Sunday night, on the wing.

“I know he’s played most of his career in the middle, and I’m sure he’s very comfortable there. Tonight was our first opportunity to see him and we’ll take it a game at a time,” coach Alain Vigneault told reporters after the Blueshirts’ 3-2 OT loss to Detroit.

“In the third I got to nine forwards and three lines, and I thought he made some real good plays. It was a good start for him.”

Spooner said it felt like a long day.

“Didn’t really have an idea that I was going to get
traded. That was kind of a surprise to me but I’m starting with now and I’m just happy that I’m here,” Spooner said.

“It’s a new system for me, so first period I just kind of felt lost a little bit. But as the game went on I felt good.”

Luke Fox February 26, 20187:25 am

Worth reading…

If you weren’t scouring the Internet Sunday for trade news, here are just a few highlights from Sportsnet’s coverage:

18 quick stats: Trade deadline day by the numbers
• Iain MacIntyre on Jim Benning’s pressure to move Thomas Vanek
• Chris Johnston on the Maple Leafs’ still having cap space for another trade after the Tomas Plekanec acqusition
• Mark Spector on why the Oilers traded for Pontus Aberg
• Scott Morrison on the birth of the trade call
• Rory Boylen gathers a steaming hot batch of trade rumours

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