We’re just under three months away from the NHL trade deadline, and the hotstove is at least starting to get into shape.
Many eyes had been fixed on William Nylander’s contract standoff with the Toronto Maple Leafs through the early part of the season, but with that situation resolved, trade talks are beginning to pick up around the league.
And, according to Elliotte Friedman, these are the eight teams most eager to make a move.
“Just asking around, the teams that seem to be at the centre of a lot of these conversations: L.A, Philly, Minnesota, Boston, Pittsburgh, Florida, St. Louis, and Chicago,” said Friedman during Saturday’s Headlines on Hockey Night in Canada. “All for different reasons, but those seem to be the most active teams and anything that’s kind of happening around the league is kind of flowing through them.”
It’s still early enough for any team to believe it can make a push to the post-season, but the Kings, Blackhawks, and Blues make up the three worst teams in the Western Conference by record, making them likely sellers. The Wild are on the fringe of the playoff picture, along with the Penguins, while the Bruins are contenders for the Stanley Cup this season. The Panthers and Flyers have some work to do to gain ground in the standings, and could go either way as far as buying and selling is concerned.
Friedman reported in 31 Thoughts on Wednesday that the Penguins had “tested the market” on winger Phil Kessel.
The trade deadline is on Feb. 25.