The Athletic has live coverage of the NHL trade deadline with the latest news, deals and analysis.
A flurry of NHL trades early in deadline week has wreaked havoc on The Athletic’s trade board, which on Wednesday morning, lost:
And then, after a re-ranking, on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, lost:
Other key names, such as Timo Meier, Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko, disappeared from the board in earlier trade action.
Which top targets remain with 24 hours left until the deadline? Who are the new names emerging?
Note: Players are ranked in order of who’s generating the most buzz, taking into account the potential impact of the player and the probability he’d be traded. Analysis is fromThe Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun and Michael Russo.
This list is a living document, with regular updates to rankings and analysis, based on the latest rumblings and the market’s ebbs and flows, so bookmark it and check back.
The Flyers are going nowhere, meaning JVR’s going somewhere. He can produce, but he’s in a significant slump just at the time lots of teams in need of scoring are paying attention. He has two goals and three assists in his past 17 games. With the market thinning, the Wild are among the potential suitors. They had tepid interest a few weeks ago but now seem to be paying attention. The Wild aren’t willing to give up a significant asset for JvR even though their scoring needs are well publicized and he lives in the Twin Cities in the offseason. Teams appear sheepish due to an early-season injury and the fact he only has two power-play goals this season. — Russo, Feb. 27
The clock is ticking. The trade deadline looms.@charlieo_conn isn’t expecting a particularly eventful trade deadline for the Flyers.
So who might be moved as contenders jockey for depth? He answers mailbag questions:
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) February 27, 2023
As the big names at center have trickled off the trade board, the fallback positions are becoming more intriguing. Probably nowhere is that more evident than with Schmaltz. He is a 27-year-old center who missed the early part of the season recovering from surgery, but he has 39 points in 43 games this year. Instructively, that’s the same points-per-game average (0.91) produced by Timo Meier this season — and places him ahead of such luminaries as Martin Necas, Andrei Svechnikov, Mat Barzal, Elias Lindholm, Anze Kopitar and Mark Scheifele. The problem with Schmaltz is making the dollars work. Not only does he have a relatively high cap hit ($5.85 million), but his contract has three years to run after this one. Complicating matters further is the deal is also backloaded, so Schmaltz’s highest earning years are still to come. This year, in real dollars, the Coyotes are paying Schmaltz $4.5 million. Next year, it jumps to $7.5 million, then $8.45 million, then $8.5 million. It explains why Arizona might be prepared to trade away its second-best forward. Trying to find a fit might be difficult, though. Of the teams looking for center-ice depth, Colorado and Dallas may not have the cap space to make it work, but Carolina might. — Duhatschek, Feb. 27
The Ducks are a mess defensively, and Klingberg has contributed more than his share to the mess. Klingberg missed two games last week with a lower-body injury, but he returned on Saturday and scored a goal, his eighth of the season, against the Hurricanes — a reminder that even with some defensive deficiencies in his game, he can be a productive player, with managed minutes. Klingberg signed a one-year, $7 million show-me contract in the summer, which turns him into an unrestricted free agent again following the season, and Anaheim is willing to take some dollars back to make him more financially viable to a contender looking to boost offense from the defense. Assuming Edmonton’s pursuit of Erik Karlsson can’t be managed ahead of the deadline, Klingberg would be a logical fallback position. They inquired about him in the summer. The biggest question now isn’t whether Klingberg will move on but what kind of return can the Ducks reasonably expect for him. A first-round pick, which didn’t seem out of the question in October, seems unlikely. — Duhatschek, Feb. 27
Klingberg and kulikov out for trade related reasons
— lisa dillman (@reallisa) March 1, 2023
Domi has been a rare bright spot on a lost year in Chicago. With three weeks to go until the trade deadline, he was tied with Patrick Kane for the team’s scoring lead. Domi’s been a hockey vagabond, playing for three teams the past three years. As a rental from Columbus to Carolina last year, he produced modest results: six points in 14 playoff games. He signed a one-year, $3 million prove-it contract with the Blackhawks, where he’s had a chance to play top-line minutes with Kane. The most likely scenario for Domi: The Blackhawks get what they can for him as a rental and then circle back and sign him to a longer-term extension next summer. — Duhatschek, Feb. 10
Patrick Kane on the Tarasenko trade: “It’s not like the happiest I’ve been to hear about a trade.”
The latest on Kane in our Blackhawks trade tracker:
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 10, 2023
5. Brock Boeser, Canucks
Teams keep poking around on Boeser and are exploring it more realistically — trying to see how they could make it work. He still has another two years on his contract after this season at a $6.65 million average annual value, so it’s possible the only way he gets dealt is if Vancouver retains money and they find a third-party broker. The Wild have talked to Vancouver and agent Ben Hankinson about Boeser, and Boeser would welcome a return to his home state if he’s going to be dealt. But as of now, as much as the Wild could desperately use another scorer, they feel they can’t make it work cap-wise, even if the Canucks ate half the contract and took Jordan Greenway’s $3 million a year contract. That’s because Minnesota already has to shed money this summer to conduct its offseason business. — Russo, Feb. 27
Who says no? The VIPs suggested hundreds of fun #Canucks trade proposals on J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Luke Schenn and more.
So what would be workable? @harmandayal2 and I broke it down.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) February 27, 2023
Bjugstad is one of only four Coyotes players in double digits in goal scoring, which may be partly attributed to his usage on a talent-thin team. He is 30 now and signed a one-year, $900,000 contract with Arizona as an unrestricted free agent last summer, trying to get a career undermined by injury back on track. He’s a 6-foot-6 behemoth playing reasonable minutes (16:46 per night), and besides Chychrun, is one of only two players with positive ratings on the team — and it’s by a statistically significant margin. More good news: After missing long stretches of the past handful of years because of a variety of issues — including a sports hernia surgery and then a spinal surgery to repair a herniated disc — Bjugstad has played every game thus far this season, so his health issues seem to be thing of the past. He’d be a motivated depth addition for any team wanting to add size at the deadline. — Duhatschek, Feb. 10
Patrick Kane on Broadway? Or playing next to Connor McDavid? And where do Jakob Chychrun and Timo Meier land?
This week, we asked our NHL experts for their bold predictions ahead of the March 3 trade deadline.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 25, 2023
Henrique has been a Duck mainstay since coming over from the New Jersey Devils in the Sami Vatanen trade. Though he came up as a center, he’s played mostly the wing with the Ducks, usually alongside Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry before Terry got hurt. He was flying under the radar as a useful trade-deadline piece until recently because his contract doesn’t run out until the end of next season and carries a significant cap charge, at $5.85 million. Henrique was available on waivers back in February of 2021 and, unsurprisingly, there were no takers. He was amid one of the only real down times in his career and that prohibitive contract scared teams off. But if Anaheim were to retain half of that deal, then any contender could have Henrique for this year and next at what would amount to a modest salary commitment for a player who is solid, experienced, versatile and well-regarded by his peers. However, a lower-body injury, which leaves him week-to-week, could dampen interest at the deadline. If he’s in play, teams will want details about his recovery timeline. — Duhatschek, Feb. 22
Soucy is 28, a 6-foot-5 210-pound behemoth, who is on an expiring contract for a modest $2.75 million and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He shoots left but can play both sides. Given that he’s from Viking, Alberta, he has been linked to both the Oilers and the Flames. My colleague Dom Luszczyszyn did a nice job of summarizing what Soucy’s value would be to a contender, noting: “Soucy is everything general managers claim to be looking for at this time of year: a tough but mobile defensive defender with size. … He just doesn’t play tough minutes, (but) what makes Soucy an attractive commodity is that year after year, opposing players have a very tough time scoring while he’s on the ice. Soucy consistently allows fewer chances than his teammates, but his impact on actual goals against is even larger. Over four years that has meaning and in 3,254 minutes his teams have allowed 0.49 fewer goals against per 60 with him on the ice compared to off. It’s one of the highest marks in the league.” If he’s in play, he could be the fallback fix in Edmonton, given that landing Erik Karlsson seems to be less likely with every passing day. — Duhatschek, Feb. 27
After Bo Horvat and Ryan O’Reilly were traded and Jonathan Toews took himself out of the running for a trade by issuing a statement that he’s focused primarily on dealing with the effects of long COVID, suddenly the market for center-ice depth thinned quickly. That is why Hayes is suddenly starting to attract attention. Philadelphia’s No. 2 scorer this season after Travis Konecny is having a productive offensive season, even if coach John Tortorella has made him a healthy scratch. Hayes’ complication is a familiar one: too much money for teams tight to the cap unless Philadelphia eats a some of the contract. The problem is, it’s a $7.142 million average annual value for not just this year but three years beyond this one. That’s a roadblock unless the Flyers are prepared to take a contract back. But Hayes would have value to Colorado and Dallas, for starters — two teams looking for help down the middle. — Duhatschek, Feb. 22
Some quick Rumblings which will get dated in a hurry! Patrick Kane’s decision, the Capitals’ next moves plus more deadline intel ⤵️
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 24, 2023
Way back at the start of his career, Sheary had two productive playoffs as a useful support player on behalf of the Penguins. He’s 30, earns a modest $1.5 million and is on an expiring contract, so he wouldn’t be an overly pricey addition as a depth forward. He’s currently averaging just under half a point per game, in part because he’s in the midst of a 10-game drought in which he hasn’t registered a point. But for what he’d cost, and the sort of veteran gravitas he could provide, with Washington in full sell mode, he will almost certainly be on the move somewhere. Minnesota, maybe? — Duhatschek, Feb. 27
Last month, the veteran defenseman talked with The Athletic about how hard it was to play knowing he could be traded and that this was going to be his final season with the Wild regardless. Hours later, Dumba played a horrible game against the Capitals and paid the piper by sitting the next two games. Rumors ran rampant that Dumba was on the verge of being traded, but the reality was that coach Dean Evason was punishing Dumba for performance. Evason had general manager Bill Guerin’s blessing, which was an interesting decision when he was actively trying to trade Dumba, and it may have made things more complicated. Guerin didn’t care, telling The Athletic on the “Straight From the Source” podcast Thursday, “People are at our games watching, so we’re not fooling anybody. There’s a track record there … for Matt Dumba playing some really good hockey. You don’t just become a bad player overnight. He’s still a good hockey player.” Dumba is now playing his best hockey of the season, the Wild’s defense has been impeccable and Guerin has indicated Dumba will remain after the deadline and play out the rest of the year. — Russo, Feb. 27
Updated #mnwild trade tracker: How Guerin plans to be active in a thin market, plus Dumba likely staying, more deadline updates
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 27, 2023
Not every team that’s searching for trade-deadline reinforcements is necessarily just looking for a rental, which is where Edmundson might come in. He has this year and next year left on a contract at a manageable AAV of $3.5 million. Edmundson played 22 games in the Blues’ 2019 run to the Cup and Montreal’s 2021 run to the final. The Canadiens have had a little cottage industry these past few years of sending defensemen out the door to teams looking for blue-line help – Ben Chiarot to Florida and Brett Kulak to Edmonton last year – and they could do the same with Edmundson. At age 29, on a reasonable contract, he’d have some value. — Duhatschek, Feb. 10
The Predators are making moves on and off the ice, with general manager David Poile announcing that he’s stepping down at the end of June to make way for former coach Barry Trotz, who will be the team’s new GM going forward. In the meantime, Poile is trying to clear the deck as much as possible. And while Mattias Ekholm is the more desirable piece, the most cost-effective add might be Fabbro, a 24-year-old right-shot defenseman who earns $2.4 million and is on an expiring contract, heading into a restricted-free-agent year with arbitration rights. Fabbro might be a good fit in San Jose, where he could play for David Quinn, his former coach at Boston University. — Duhatschek, Feb. 27
David Poile leaving was necessary, writes @joerexrode. It’s the right move.
But is Barry Trotz the right answer to replace him?
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) February 27, 2023
Three wins in a row left the Senators within striking distance of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and may give them pause about what to do next with Talbot. Is it worth their while to move out a player on an expiring contract who’s had a so-so season but is coming off a strong start Monday in the first of the Senators’ back-to-back wins over Detroit? Maybe not. With Anton Forsberg out for the season, the Senators are getting a chance to evaluate Mads Sogaard who, so far, has shown remarkable poise. On Wednesday, Sogaard was named the NHL’s rookie of the month for February after posting a 4-0-1 record, with a 2.33 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. Talbot probably doesn’t figure in Ottawa’s future next year, once Forsberg returns. On the other hand, if he doesn’t return much in a possible trade — and he probably wouldn’t — Talbot’s greatest short-term value may lie in simply playing out the year with the Senators, as part of a tandem with — and a mentor to — Sogaard. — Duhatschek, March 1
This Red Wings- Senators series could account for a 22-percentage point swing in the Red Wings playoff hopes. It could affect their trade deadline plans. @ian_mendes and I broke it down:
— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) February 27, 2023
Kulikov might be the fallback position for any team that strikes out on Vladislav Gavrikov. Anaheim is Kulikov’s fifth team in four years, but he’s a sturdy (6 feet 1, 201 pounds), experienced stay-at-home defender who is third in terms of time on ice for the Ducks. In short, just the sort of depth player whom just about any contender could use. His cap charge is a reasonable $2.2 million, and he has a limited no-trade clause. Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek was shipping out everything that moved at last year’s deadline. There’s no reason to think he won’t do the same this year, given how poorly Anaheim has played. — Duhatschek, Feb. 10
16. Jordan Greenway, Wild
The irony of Matt Boldy’s seven-year extension last month is it likely wrote Greenway’s exit papers out of Minnesota — and Boldy and Greenway are good friends and have the same agent. The Wild are actively shopping Greenway, whether the move is for now or this summer. He has had a disappointing season, with two goals and four assists in 43 games (no points in the past 21 games), has two years left on his contract at $3 million and in January overslept, missed a game against St. Louis and put the Wild in a horrible spot with no extra healthy forwards on the roster. Due to in-game injuries, the Wild at one point had nine forwards playing in a second game in 24 hours. But there’s no doubt the Wild would be selling low and will be hoping other teams see a 6-foot-6, 25-year-old power forward who averaged 27 points the past four seasons and was part of the productive GREEF line — not an underachieving player in the midst of a poor season. — Russo, Feb. 27
The goalie market may be heating up, with a number of teams in the Western Conference trying to shore up a position. Reimer becomes a decent fallback position for anyone needing insurance and not necessarily a starter. He’s 34, earning $2.25 million and has 462 games of NHL experience under his belt. That might make him a steadying influence on a team that needs steady play between the pipes. — Duhatschek, March 1
Grant went from Anaheim to Philly as a rental at the 2020 deadline and then signed back with the Ducks, where he’s carved out a niche as a feisty fourth-line penalty-killing center. He missed time with a lower-body injury earlier this season but is back playing now. He is 32, on an expiring contract at a modest $1.5 million, and at 52.2 percent, is Anaheim’s most effective center in the faceoff circle. After Lars Eller came off the trade board Wednesday, Grant could provide reasonable forward depth at a modest price. — Duhatschek, March 1
If the Oilers make a secondary move to add an offensive right-shot defenseman — someone like a John Klingberg, with salary retained by Anaheim and maybe further offloaded to a third party — they’d have to clear out more salary. At $3.1 million for this season and next before he becomes a restricted free agent, Yamamoto could be that roster casualty. Thus far, he has not lived up to his draft pedigree — a first-round pick in 2017, selected 22nd overall. He is small and feisty but doesn’t really fit into the Oilers’ top six once Evander Kane returns from injury. A fresh start might be just what the 24-year-old right winger needs. — Duhatschek, March 1
Bonino played 55 playoff games over a two-year span with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017 and altogether has 105 career playoff games on his NHL resume. That postseason pedigree could count for something on any team that determined it was short on playoff experience. At 34, he’s not the player he once was, but on the plus side, he can play all three forward positions, is on a relatively modest contract ($2.05 million, expiring this year) and has 19 points in 58 games for the Sharks as a bottom-six forward. — Duhatschek, March 1
Barrie’s status is fascinating. He was flipped to the rebuilding Predators to make the cap dollars work on the Oilers’ acquisition of Mattias Ekholm, but he seems almost redundant in Nashville, given that Roman Josi also plays the right side and anchors the team’s No. 1 power play. Barrie had a quietly effective year with the Oilers, playing third-pair minutes at five-on-five and quarterbacking the team’s excellent power play. He earns $4.5 million and has a year left on his contract after this. The feeling is Nashville could flip him, either in the summer or at next year’s trade deadline, but there is nothing to prevent the Predators from moving on from him between now and Friday if they get a reasonable offer. In a perfect world, he would land in Calgary, adding further fuel to any future Battles of Alberta that may occur. — Duhatschek, March 1
The Athletic’s NHL trade board at a glance
(Editor’s note: This is not an exhaustive list of players who could be traded before the deadline. These are the players we’re hearing the most buzz about right now.)
Previously ranked: Andreas Athanasiou, Ivan Barbashev, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakob Chychrun, Anthony Duclair, Mattias Ekholm, Lars Eller, Vladislav Gavrikov, Alex Goligoski, Shayne Gostisbehere, Bo Horvat, Nick Jensen, Patrick Kane, Joonas Korpisalo, Sam Lafferty, Jake McCabe, Timo Meier, Sean Monahan, Gustav Nyquist, Ryan O’Reilly, Dmitry Orlov, Jesse Puljujarvi, Jonathan Quick, Nick Ritchie, Jack Roslovic, Luke Schenn, Kevin Shattenkirk, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jonathan Toews, Karel Vejmelka.
(Top photo of Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images))