Deals and Steals
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One Big Thing: Deals and Steals
What’s Happening: The NHL’s trade deadline is on Monday, April 12 at 3 p.m. EST, meaning teams only have a few short days to make the roster moves that will set them up for a playoff run. There’s already been one big trade, and there’s sure to be more. Here’s a few players and teams to keep an eye on over the weekend.
Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac were traded to the Islanders Wednesday | @palms21
Kyle Palmieri, F New Jersey Devils: Kyle Palmieri has been involved in trade talks for months now. Palmieri was a scratch in Tuesday’s tilt against the Sabres and Wednesday, the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent was traded to the Islanders along with teammate Travis Zajac.
Big Names to Watch
Taylor Hall, F Buffalo Sabres: Hall was scratched Tuesday against the Devils, hinting that there might be a trade in the works. According to ESPN, “Hall has just two goals and 19 assists in 37 games this season, along with a career-worst minus-21 rating. He was traded from New Jersey to Arizona last season for a first-round pick, a third-round pick and three prospects; the Devils retained 50% of Hall's contract. Hall, an 11-year veteran who was drafted No. 1 overall by Edmonton in 2010, has appeared in only 14 playoff games.” Despite all this, Hall could provide a scoring boost to a bubble team, and there’s no doubt he’s hungry for playoff competition.
James Reimer, G Carolina Hurricanes: The quick ascension of Alex Nedeljkovic has left Reimer as the odd man out in Carolina. Look for the Canes to move Reimer and his $3.4 million cap hit in exchange for a depth forward or defenseman.
Sam Bennett, F Calgary Flames: “Sam Bennett’s name has been out there in trade talks for a couple of months now,” writes Last Word on Sports editor Jim Biringer. “Don’t forget Bennett has requested a trade out of Calgary earlier in the year. Under Darryl Sutter Bennett’s role has increased and he is producing going up against the other team’s top players. Bennett has been very effective in that role despite the Flames still continuing to lose under Sutter.” The Flames are currently 8 points behind the Canadians for the 4th playoff spot in the North Division. “It will be interesting to see if the Flames want to part with a player that has been so good under the new coaching staff.”
Team Specific Needs
Several teams could look to fill in their rosters before the deadline. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have given up a combined 13 goals in the last two games, could look to add some depth in goal. Same with the Colorado Avalanche, given Pavel Francouz’s injury.
After falling out of the playoff race, the Columbus Blue Jackets could look to sell at the deadline. This means much-maligned forward Patrik Laine could be on the move. Other sellers? The Los Angeles Kings (keep an eye on goaltender Jonathon Quick), Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames.
A couple significant injuries could have an impact on the deadline. The Florida Panthers, who are currently leading the Central Division, could look to replace defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who will miss at least three months. The New York Islanders will look to add scoring depth after losing captain Anders Lee for the rest of the season, and the Montreal Canadians could be on the market for a forward after a Brendon Gallagher suffered an injury earlier this week.
Insider Updates & Analysis
Breaking: On Wednesday, Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin skated for the first time since March 16.
Rumor: Taylor Hall will be traded to the Bruins, Flames, Islanders or Leafs.
Update: These players are the front runners to take home the NHL Awards this season.
Update: Former University of Maine goaltender Jeremy Swayman makes 40 saves in first NHL game, as the Bruins defeat the Flyers.
Update: 25 Vancouver Canucks players and coaches have tested positive for COVID-19.
A Question for the Peanut Gallery
Will the Sabres trade Taylor Hall before the April 12 deadline?