Where Maple Leafs, Canucks, Oilers stand two weeks from trade deadline

On this edition of Saturday Headlines, Elliotte Friedman breaks down the trade deadline outlook for six NHL teams, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks.

With just under two weeks to go before the NHL’s trade deadline on March 8, Elliotte Friedman provided an update on where six teams stand ahead of one of the busiest days of the season.

During the Saturday Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Friedman took a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars.

Maple Leafs

According to Friedman, the focus in Toronto continues to be on finding a right-shot defenceman.

“That has been their look for most of the season and that continues,” said Friedman.

The Maple Leafs currently have two right-shot defencemen in their regular lineup in T.J. Brodie and Timothy Liljegren. Off-season acquisition John Klingberg is a right-shot defenceman, but the 31-year-old has been on LTIR since November.

As a side note, Friedman also shared that goaltender Joseph Woll’s return to the team is getting close. The 25-year-old netminder is currently on a conditioning stint with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and started for the team on Friday night, stopping 36 of the 37 shots he faced.

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Vancouver is enjoying a much more successful season than many anticipated. The team has consistently found itself in the top half of the league standings, and management has executed several moves that have helped improve the team overall.

However, the one thing they have not been able to do yet is get star forward Elias Pettersson to ink a new contract. The 25-year-old is on the last year of his current deal and is heading into this off-season as a restricted free agent. Both Pettersson and the Canucks have stayed relatively quiet on how talks have been progressing.

As a result, Friedman says other teams are starting to get curious.

“One of the things that I think has developed over the last couple of weeks in Vancouver is the amount of noise around Pettersson,” said Friedman. “I think what that has led to is teams calling the Canucks and saying, ‘What exactly is going on here?’ and ‘Could he be available?’ Now, the Canucks do not want to comment on this, they feel the noise is already enough, but they are telling teams ‘We are trying to sign him.'”

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Far removed from their 16-game win streak before the NHL All-Star break, Edmonton has been slightly struggling since returning to play. Ahead of their Battle of Alberta tilt on Saturday with the Calgary Flames, the Oilers had dropped their previous two contests against Boston and Minnesota.

Friedman suggested that one thing they are doing ahead of the deadline is looking at adding some forward depth throughout their lineup.

“I think they have some interest in two players from Anaheim — Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick,” said Friedman. “Now, I don’t know if that’s both or just one of the two, but both of those names are names that have been linked to the Oilers.”

Carrick, 33, is a former Maple Leafs draft pick. In 56 games this season, the Markham, Ont. native has 10 points (seven goals and three assists). Meanwhile, Henrique, 34, has 36 points (16 goals and 20 assists) in 55 games.


There’s been buzz around Jake Guentzel’s name for some time now when it comes to the pending unrestricted free agent being traded from Pittsburgh.

According to Friedman, several teams have shown interest in the forward, including playoff contenders such as Vegas, Vancouver, Edmonton, Carolina and Florida.

However, he might not be the only player on the move from the Penguins.

“I believe that there are other players in the Pittsburgh organization that have begun to get attention — obviously none of the big guys, they’re not doing that,” said Friedman. “But one position that I do think people have started to ask about, and the Penguins will consider, is goal.”

The Penguins have a tandem of starting goaltender Tristan Jarry and backup Alex Nedeljkovic at the NHL level. Jarry, 28, has a 2.46 goals-against average and .916 save percentage over 37 appearances this season. Nedeljkovic, also 28, has a 2.67 goals-against average and 9.15 save percentage over 19 appearances.

Friedman also notes the team has a really strong goaltender prospect in Joel Blomqvist, who is having a strong year in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Across 33 games this season, the 22-year-old has a 2.17 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

“A couple of teams have suggested to me that you might want to add to the list of goalies that could be moved, someone in Pittsburgh,” Friedman said.

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Touching on Philadelphia, Friedman shared some insight provided by Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek.

“There are teams that have contacted the Flyers about both Nick Seeler and Sean Walker as a pair,” said Friedman. “They’ve been very good together this year. The Flyers are weighing whether to sign them or trade them, but I believe at least two teams, according to Jeff, have asked about acquiring them as a pair.”

Seeler and Walker are both defencemen. The former shoots right and the latter shoots left.

Walker, 29, is in his first season with the Flyers. Over 58 games, the Keswick, Ont. native has recorded 20 points (five goals and 15 assists). Seeler, 30, has been with the Flyers for three seasons. He has 10 points this year (one goal and nine assists) over the same amount of games.

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Currently sitting first in the Central Division, second in the Western Conference and fifth in the league, Dallas has been putting together an understatedly impressive 2023-24 season.

Taking this into consideration, it’s definitely a possibility that they will be in the mix at the trade deadline in an effort to improve their roster.

“I had a few people say to me that people should be talking more about the Stars,” Friedman said. “That behind the scenes they are quietly one of the more aggressive teams, they definitely think they can win the Stanley Cup, they are looking for defence and they are looking for depth.”

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