The moves have started to happen. The buyers and sellers are being set. And surprises lurk around the corner.
Trade season is upon us and the deadline to make moves comes up fast on Monday. There’s lots of business to take care of before then as teams try to gear up for a Cup run, or make tweaks for a push just to get into the playoffs.
On this week’s 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman offered up a deadline preview. They touched on every team around the league and discussed the buzz around each, exploring how GMs may approach the deadline.
Here, we’ve compiled some of the highlights of what Elliotte said, and given one note on each team ahead of the deadline.
For the full scope and conversation, listen to the full episode to get every detail.
“They have a guy who I think there’s some interest in, and that’s Derek Grant. He’s their centre who’s played really well. Bob Murray really likes Derek Grant and he’s had a really good year. To me he’s a perfect depth centre for the playoffs.
“I think Ondrej Kase is a guy who’s had some interest. He was almost traded to Carolina, there are other teams who like him. He’s a guy who would go depending on health. I think that’s something that worries people. But from what I’ve heard their big guys, the Lindholms, the Fowlers, the Mansons, the Silfverbergs, the Rakells, they aren’t going anywhere.”
“I still don’t believe Taylor Hall’s getting traded. Arizona’s in it. They’re recovering.
“I wonder if Arizona’s going to be in it to get more scoring. They’re always looking for scoring right, and they still struggle to score at times. I think Arizona’s going to add. I don’t think they’re going to subtract.”
“From what I heard they weren’t crazy about giving up their first-rounder for Coleman and that’s why they didn’t get him.
“I’ve heard that Boston isn’t crazy about giving up a first-round pick. They did it a couple years ago for (Rick) Nash, I don’t think they want to do it again. Now, I think if it’s (Chris) Kreider or (Kyle) Palmieri, and I’m going to throw one other name in there, Brandon Saad, they might consider it.
“And also with Boston, we’ll talk about him later when we get to the Blue Jackets: Josh Anderson’s health. I think that’s another thing the Bruins are keeping an eye on.”
“I think he’s really trying to do things. I think he’s been trying to do things all year.
“I think they have a lot of good side pieces. Conor Sheary, I’ve heard Pittsburgh. I’ve also heard potentially Nashville. John Hynes had Sheary in Wilkes-Barre, but I think that depends on Nashville — do they think they’re in it?
“Johan Larsson, I gotta think somebody’s gonna take a chance on Larsson in the playoffs. Evan Rodrigues, they couldn’t trade him earlier in the year because his number was too big, $2 million. I think he gets dealt. I think it’s possible Jimmy Vesey could get dealt.
“Ristolainen’s value is down. I think they were always hoping they could get a top two centre for Ristolainen — I don’t think they’re going to be able to do that now.”
“They were in around Toffoli although at the end I think they kind of backed away. There’s no point for them to pay that price for Toffoli.
“The thing about Calgary is — I’m a big believer in players determine the future of a team. And I think they could be coming to the end of this run.”
“They don’t like rentals. The owner doesn’t like rentals. I think they’ve tried to move (Jake) Gardiner, not a lot of takers there. I’d heard they were interested in (Robin) Lehner, but after I mentioned that somebody reached out to say they don’t think Carolina’s going to do that.
“Carolina likes term. If they give up something to get someone, they like term. So who’s the guy with term they’re going to go get out there?”
“Colorado I heard after Grubauer got hurt, I heard they were looking around on (Corey Crawford).
“I think Chicago’s gotta make a decision. If you’re trading one of these guys, Crawford or Lehner, what are you doing for next year? Are you going out and getting two guys?
“I think Chicago’s going to have a lot of things on the table. They have Gustafsson. They have the two goalies. (Brandon) Saad.”
“I think they’re looking at two different things. I think they’re looking at some short-term, inexpensive options. I think (Vladislav) Namestnikov would be a guy who would be on their radar because it’ll cost them like a mid-round pick and they can plug him in. They’ve liked Namestnikov before. I think they’re in on Kreider. I had someone tell me they were in on Tomas Tatar but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think they’re looking for both defencemen and a forward. I think Colorado sees it as a year they can go for it and I think they want to add. Though I also think they’re looking at some inexpensive options to plug in while Kadri and Rantanen and all those guys get healthy.
“And I also think they’re looking for goaltending depth.”
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
“The biggest question is what’s Josh Anderson’s health? If you’re Columbus and you get the Blake Coleman offer for Josh Anderson, do you do it? He’s one year from UFA and you know it’s going to be a tough negotiation.
“I could also see Columbus trying to do something, like I mentioned with Colorado, an inexpensive add to reward their players. You can’t pay the same price as Toffoli because you did it last year, but I could see Jarmo (Kekalainen) saying our guys have played hard, they’re in the race, we gotta help them out.”
“I think they’re going to look for some speed and maybe a bit of scoring. I wonder if they’re the team that takes a shot with (Andreas) Athanasiou. Because Jim Nill would know him. They’re a playoff team, but they can use a burner.
“I also wonder, if Joe Thornton goes, I could see this being a fit.”
DETROIT RED WINGS
“Everybody’s known who’s available from Detroit for a long time now…the one thing is, and it’s the truth, is that nobody on that team’s trade value has increased this year.
“One guy on Detroit I do think would have interest would be Luke Glendening, I’m just not sure they’re trading him. One name I’ve heard in the past couple of days was Mike Green. Someone told me they thought Washington might consider bringing him back. I heard Calgary, but some other people poo-pooed that a bit. Calgary needs D so logically it makes sense.”
“I had a couple teams tell me Coleman was the one guy they were going to do the first-rounder for and I think that was a smart try for Edmonton.
“I think it’s going to be hard for the Oilers to do it because of their entire injury situation, I think they like (J-G) Pageau. I just don’t know if they’re going to be able to pull it off.”
“The Panthers to me are an interesting team. They want to remodel themselves almost on the fly.
“The Trocheck thing is really interesting to me because his name’s gotten out there and I think they’d be willing to do it if it brought them back a stud ‘D.’ The question is what does Bill Guerin think of Vincent Trocheck because that’s the kind of thing that Bill Guerin’s looking for.
“I think (Michael) Matheson’s out there too. I know there are teams who like Matheson, they’re just not crazy about the contract. So, I think Florida’s got a lot of different pieces going in different directions, but they’ve gotta think the way Toronto’s going that they can catch Toronto. So they’re not going backwards. They’re making themselves better.”
LOS ANGELES KINGS
“They still have Trevor Lewis out there. They’ve still got Ben Hutton out there. And they’re going to have an interesting one, which is Jeff Carter. They’re not really looking for ‘D’ but they’re looking for forwards.
“I think they’ve committed. They’ve said we’re keeping our cornerstones Kopitar and Doughty and that’s it. And we’re going to move pieces around them and we’re going to build ourselves up.
“Someone called me today and said there’s definitely interest in Carter. The Kings could increase their return if they’re willing to retain (salary). The biggest question is what does Carter think? Last year he made it very clear he did not want to go anywhere. I’m not convinced he wants to go to Philly, it’s too far, he’s very comfortable in California. But what if it was Arizona? What if it’s somebody around there?”
“(Guerin) has got maybe the two biggest trade chips around: Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin.
“He could keep them both and wait until the summer.
“I had a long talk with someone about Brodin. Said that nobody knows who he is, but he’s going to play 15-20 years and nobody may know who he is when he’s done. He’s just a solid player who’s never going to put up a ton of points, but he’s really good defensively. And he can play against anybody. I actually think the price on him might even be more than the price on Dumba…there aren’t many guys who can do what he does anymore. He’s not a point-getter, but he’s a minutes-eater and he does a lot of things that a lot of defencemen don’t do anymore.”
“Here’s the thing. I’ve heard rumours about (Max) Domi, I’ve had people say he’s out there, I’ve had other people absolutely shoot it down to me. I think they’re trying to extend (Jeff) Petry, he’s eligible July 1. Tatar, I don’t think they want to do it, but you look at the prices — do they say we gotta do it? I’ve had people tell me no on Drouin, I don’t know. I think (Bergevin) could do anything. I don’t believe the Price to Colorado stuff, there’s no way Colorado is adding that kind of term when MacKinnon’s up in three years and Makar they gotta pay in a year.
“I think (Bergervin’s) a total wild card… I think he could do anything, or nothing.”
“My question is what does David Poile believe? Do you believe that you just have to get into the playoffs for the sake of your ticket base or your fan base?
“(Mikael) Granlund’s been on the market, but he’s been one of their best players. (Craig) Smith’s been on the market; he’s heated up a bit lately. (Kyle) Turris has been on the market; he’s been up and down. They’re looking for ‘D’ I think.
“I wonder if after the season, if it doesn’t get better, we hear that they start seeing if there’s a market for (Ryan) Johansen or (Matt) Duchene?”
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
“I think the biggest question is what’s going on with Palmieri? Do they move him? I think with Coleman I got the impression not only did they look at what they got for him, they looked at it and said, he’s a UFA in a year, what are we going to have to pay him? I think they looked at it and said ‘boy that’s going to be a big price and are we sure the price is going to match the production?’ I think they felt they were dealing him at his apex.
“Palmieri to me is a bit of a different guy. He’s got a bit more of a proven track record as a scorer.
“I don’t believe Ray Shero wanted to trade Coleman or Palmieri. But now teams are looking and saying ‘well maybe he didn’t, but the new guy might so we better make our offers and see where that takes us.'”
“I do think (Lamoriello’s) in on Kreider. My hunch is that he knows if he’s going to get him out of New York it’s gotta be a big deal. But I had someone say to me do not underestimate his ability to maybe involve someone else in this.
“I think the Islanders are going to add. I think it’s the same names we talked about for Boston. It’s Palmieri. It’s Saad, if he’s available. I think they’re going to look for a depth centre along the lines of Nate Thompson. I think (Lamoriello) could do a couple things.”
“(Henrik) Lundqvist probably stays. (Alexandar) Georgiev I bet stays.
“What do they do with Kreider? If they extend him, then they’ve got some other cap things they’re going to have to deal with. Do they trade (Anthony) DeAngelo? Do they trade (Pavel) Buchnevich, or do they just punt it all until the summer?”
“I think early on the market for (Pageau) was soft. It wasn’t as high as Ottawa wanted. That’s not to say it won’t change, because he’s a centre and it’s hard to find centres and he’s probably the top centre available. I think they’d want a first if not a conditional first-rounder…Pageau, I think he wants term and Ottawa is scared of term.
“I think it’s more likely than not he gets traded.
“I think they’ll look for centre help if it’s available. Grant, guys like that. Maybe Pageau. If they’re looking at Carter, they’re looking at some centre help. They’ve gotta have legitimate reason to believe that (Nolan) Patrick might not be a factor this year so it says to me they’re considering their options.”
“I mentioned Sheary, I think they could add another ‘D’ as well. Especially with Marino out. I think they add for depth.”
ST. LOUIS BLUES
“I don’t know what to make of it, but I’ve had people tell me they thought St. Louis was more in on Taylor Hall than people realized. I look at them and they’re all about winning the Cup this year. They’re going for the repeat. I think they’re stealth.”
SAN JOSE SHARKS
“I think there are teams who want (Joe Thornton). I could see Dallas liking him, I could see Boston liking him, I could see Toronto liking him. But the thing is Doug Wilson’s made it clear it’s gotta be Joe Thornton’s call so they’ll work on it together.”
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
“They made their one big move. I don’t know if they’re going to do anything else.”
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
“I think Dubas is looking for depth forwards. I think he might even be looking for ‘D.’ But how much more can you give up? They can trade Marchment for Malgin. Malgin’s a guy who wants to play, they’ll give him a chance to play. He’s got some talent. We’ll see. But I think this is a bigger issue right now in Toronto: The heat’s coming on the players. They wanted the coach gone, they got the coach gone. Now the new coach sounds like the old coach.
“I am not chasing for this year if I’m Kyle Dubas. They’re not ready.
“You’ve traded a first to deal Marleau. You don’t have a lot of your picks. You traded a couple picks to get Campbell and Clifford. What do you think you could get for Barrie?
“The other thing now too is that with Johnsson out can you really trade Kapanen or Kerfoot? If you get something with term you can do it, but I might deal Barrie.”
“I think they’re in on Wayne Simmonds. I wonder if they would dangle someone like Juolevi for Simmonds. Jim Benning said he didn’t want to trade any more picks so I wonder if a Juolevi or someone like that would be part of it. I think the Canucks will add another forward.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
“I think (Alec Martinez) is probably their move. I wonder if they go after a goalie though. Just a depth goalie.”
“I’ve heard that Jensen might be available. It just hasn’t worked there as much as they would have liked. You just added Dillon and your top four is going to be Carlson, Orlov, Kempny, and Dillon. I think Washington might have some interest in Green.
“(GM) Brian MacLellan, he’s got big brass ones. He’s not afraid.”
“I think they could look for centre depth. Not a big price unless it’s with term, but (Bryan) Little’s out for the year.
“I don’t think they’re doing anything big unless it’s for term.”