The NHL’s Feb. 26 trade deadline is only a few weeks away, and things are still pretty quiet around the league.
For now, anyway.
It’s a tough market out there, and all it takes is one team or player to set a precedent and drive up the cost of getting a deal done.
“I think a lot of the GMs are telling me that’s based on Max Pacioretty and the ask from the Montreal Canadiens,” Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “Some teams are telling me as many as four pieces: a first-rounder, a second-rounder, a warm roster body, and a top prospect. That is a non-starter for a lot of teams.”
Reports of Pacioretty’s availability first surfaced last month, coinciding with a dismal scoring slump for the Habs captain that held him without a goal for all of December. Pacioretty has since broken that drought, registering eight goals and three assists in January. He now has 16 goals and 32 points through 52 games this season.
“Maybe, just maybe, when we get to Feb. 26, it might be the day when the prices finally drop,” Kypreos said, later adding that the Buffalo Sabres’ asking price for forward Evander Kane is also high. “It’s a game of chicken and we know that some teams right now are interested — but not at that price.”
According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, trade chatter is quiet on all fronts — not just those doing the shopping.
“It just works both ways. In touching base with a few teams that I would call sellers at this point, those GMs are saying no one is stepping up with any real offers at this stage and it just feels as though we’re still in a bit of a staring contest here when it comes to the trade market,” Johnston said.