Rink Fries: Why Dallas may not be done and other trade deadline notes

On this edition of Saturday Headlines, Elliotte Friedman breaks down Elias Pettersson's long term deal with the Canucks, the Lightning being the frontrunner for Noah Hanifin and the Penguins' preference for prospects over picks for Jake Guentzel.

With defenders Chris Tanev and Ilya Lyubushkin off the board look for teams searching out for more hostility on their blue line to turn their attention to Nick Seeler of the Philadelphia Flyers. Dallas could be a good fit here; they’re hoping for a long playoff run and want some of that on their back end.

I know it’s going to be tough with their salary cap situation, but how do you keep Logan Stankoven out of this lineup? The 5-foot-8 forward took the league by storm last week, finding the back of the night three times in four games. He’s a pit bull on a pork chop around the net and doesn’t quit on plays ever. He’s had high end production at every level he’s played at, and it seems the NHL won’t be any different for the second-round pick.

Wait until Dallas finds a way to get AHL leading scorer Mavrik Bourque into the lineup.

We make a lot of the Stars and the 2017 draft that fetched them Miro Heiskanen, Jake Oettinger and Jason Robertson, but let’s consider what the 2021 draft did to them as well. They swapped first round picks with Detroit and picked up a second and fifth in the deal. In the first they took Wyatt Johnston at 23, with their own second they took Stankoven and one slot later with the pick they got from the Red Wings they took Artem Grushnikov who was just used to help bring in Chris Tanev, perhaps the final piece of a Stanley Cup puzzle.

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News, notes, and trade deadline rumours around the NHL…

• Kyle Okposo’s name is out there, as we mentioned on the 32 Thoughts podcast. Don’t be surprised if he has a new team by Friday. Elliotte Friedman mentioned Rangers on the pod.

• Sticking with the Sabres, Erik Johnson’ same as above’s name is also out there. No surprise there.

• Is the New Jersey Devils’ bigger issue goaltending or a lack of blueliners who can defend? Some around the league believe the Devils’ goalies are getting an unfair ride when the real issue exists in front of them.

• One thing to keep in mind as the Boston Bruins explore the goalie market: netminding prospect Brandon Bussi will require waivers next season and they can’t afford to lose him for free. As we talked about on the podcast last week goaltending, which has always been considered an area of strength for the Bruins, is perhaps now being looked at as an area of luxury and a deal could help plug holes in other areas and bring the team closer to winning the Cup.

This doesn’t mean the Bruins will trade Linus Ullmark at the deadline. There’s always the draft and the offseason as well. Getting Jeremy Swayman signed is a major part of all this (Friedman thinks there is a deal there) and I suppose when we consider how this season has gone with teams like Detroit, Montreal, at times Buffalo and, currently, Toronto I suppose carrying three goalies shouldn’t be ruled out. But I think the Bruins would like to avoid that snake pit.

• Really hoping the best for Evgeny Kuznetsov both on and, more importantly, off the ice. I know the Capitals are at the end of their rope here and Kuznetsov does need a fresh start somewhere, so waiving him is best for everyone involved.

• Hershey Bears head coach Todd Nelson should already have NHL interest, but if he can somehow help Kuznetsov find his game again it should move him to the front of the coaching line.

• As Friedman reported on Saturday’s Headlines the Predators and Tommy Novak are making progress on an extension. Without a new deal the Preds would not have let him walk without getting something, so a trade was close to certain. The Rangers, among others, sounded very interested.

One Predators player to keep your eye on is defenceman Alexandre Carrier who’s on an expiring deal and most likely to be moved. The organization likes Spencer Stastney, currently playing in AHL Milwaukee. They’d like to make room for him in the NHL.

Also, Nashville is very open to weaponizing their $8 million of deadline cap space for teams who need assistance completing deals. Watch for that.

• The Cody Hodgson comeback story continues to impress. The 34-year-old former first-rounder who’s been out of the game for eight years after being diagnosed with malignant hyperthermia is on a PTO with the Milwaukee Admirals and so far, so good. He’s scored five goals in six games and the team celebrations for each of them have been loud.

Milwaukee is one of the best teams in the AHL, that helps, and coach Karl Taylor has been running 11 forwards and seven defencemen for the past 26 games or so, but still goals are hard in any league. Fellow first-rounder Joakim Kemell has been a mainstay with Hodgson while Taylor cycles Juuso Parssinen, Liam Foudy and Egor Afanasyev through his line, so they’re surrounding him with talent and giving him a legit shot here. It’s a great hockey story, let’s hope it continues.

PWHL notes…

• Sounds like there are conversations for a Shiann Darkangelo/Jillian Dempsey trade between Boston and Montreal.

• Great to see Olympic gold medallist Melodie Daoust back on the ice for PWHL Montreal scoring a beautiful goal off the faceoff in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Boston. The chemistry with Marie-Philip Poulin is clearly still there. She could be an incredible addition for the playoffs.

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