Prime Trade Deadline Targets
As we quickly approach the NHL trade deadline, we take a look at some of the hottest names on the trade block.
Will he stay or will he go?
Forwards: To date, there’s only been one notable trade involving a forward and that was the Tyler Toffoli trade to the Calgary Flames a few weeks ago. Despite this being the only notable trade thus far, that isn’t to say it will be the only noteworthy trade involving a forward. Perhaps, the hottest rumor on the trade block involves the Flyers’ Claude Giroux. Giroux has seemingly admitted to acknowledging that the Flyers might deal him at the deadline and if he is dealt, expect the Flyers to recoup a very significant haul for him. Giroux is a better player than Toffoli, and if Toffoli was able to fetch a few draft picks, a prospect, and a player, expect the haul for Giroux to greatly top that.
A few other names that are surfacing in trade rumors include the Ducks’ Rakard Rakell and the Blue Jackets’ Max Domi. Neither of these teams are contending for a playoff spot this season and these players would serve well to help contending teams in a complementary role.
Defensemen: The market for defenseman ahead of the trade deadline is red hot. Ben Chariot, formerly of the Montreal Candiens, was traded to the Florida Panthers for 1st and 4th round picks and a prospect. Chariot is by no means an impact defenseman, but he provides a steady hand on the blueline. This trade has set the market for blueliners and expect there to be significant activity either before or on trade deadline day.
Some of the more notable names being floated in trade talks include the Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and the Ducks’ Hampus Lindholm. Chychrun is currently injured with an ankle injury although it does not appear to be a long-term injury and his availability may factor at the deadline. However, after a career year last season and him being a young core player, the ask for him will be much more significant than the return Chariot got. The ask may be so high that it is rumored to have scared off a few teams already.
With Lindholm, the Ducks are looking to rebuild and dangling another one of their defensemen is another way to expedite that rebuild. The other day, Ducks defenseman Josh Manson was dealt to Cup favorites, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Ducks are looking to stockpile as many picks and prospects as they can while they can. Look for Lindholm to be dealt to a serious contender for a return similar or even better than what the Ducks got with Manson.
Goalies: The goalie market isn’t as hot as it is for forwards and defensemen, but one name to watch out for is Marc Andre-Fleury. The Blackhawks gambled big on Seth Jones and MAF thinking they were the key pieces for getting back into contention but it was a miscalculation on their part. The Blackhawks sit in 7th position in the Central Division and are just having a tough season. MAF, who was acquired for literally nothing last offseason, is the most likely goalie to be traded at the deadline as he can offer a contending team a reliable backup option while also being able to capably step in to a starter’s role if need be.
A team that could look to trade for MAF is the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have a documented history of having poor goaltending the past few years and this year has been no different. The Oilers currently are sitting in a Wild Card position and if they want to make a serious push for the playoffs, acquiring that premier goalie just may get them there and into a long playoff run.
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