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5 Playoff Pretenders That Ought to Blow It Up on the 2024 NHL Commerce Deadline

5 Playoff Pretenders That Should Blow It Up at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline 0 of 5 Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images The NHL’s March 8 trade deadline is fast approaching. Fans can expect plenty of activity in the trade market between playoff contenders trying to bolster their rosters and non-contenders shipping out players who

5 Playoff Pretenders That Ought to Blow It Up on the 2024 NHL Commerce Deadline

5 Playoff Pretenders That Ought to Blow It Up on the 2024 NHL Commerce Deadline

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    PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 02:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores past Darcy Kuemper #35 of the Washington Capitals at PPG PAINTS Arena on January 2, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Joe Sargent/NHLI by way of Getty Pictures

    The NHL’s March 8 commerce deadline is quick approaching. Followers can count on loads of exercise within the commerce market between playoff contenders attempting to bolster their rosters and non-contenders transport out gamers who now not match into their plans past this season.

    Whereas the race for the 2 wild-card spots in each conferences stays tight, a handful of playoff hopefuls ought to severely contemplate changing into sellers by the deadline.

    Three of these groups are former Stanley Cup champions whose finest seasons are nicely behind them. One other is a Western Canadian membership that when appeared poised to turn into a Stanley Cup contender solely to be undone by the departures of some key gamers.

    Here is a take a look at the 5 groups we really feel must cease pretending they’re playoff contenders and begin the painful strategy of rebuilding their rosters. We’ll clarify the the reason why they will now not delay the inevitable and which gamers may (or ought to) turn into commerce candidates earlier than March 8.

    Do you agree or disagree with our itemizing? Is there a group that you just consider we have missed? Tell us within the app feedback under.

Calgary Flames

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    ELMONT, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10: (L-R) Noah Hanifin #55, Kevin Rooney #21, Chris Tanev #8 and Jacob Markstrom #35 of the Calgary Flames defend the net against the New York Islanders during the third period at UBS Arena on February 10, 2024 in Elmont, New York. The Flames defeated the Islanders 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Bruce Bennett/Getty Pictures

    It seems the Calgary Flames are already within the strategy of blowing issues up on the commerce deadline. On Jan.
    31, they shipped heart Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks.
    In the meantime, goaltender Jacob Markström and defensemen Noah Hanifin and
    Chris Tanev have been frequent fodder for trade rumors.

    The Calgary Herald‘s Wes Gilbertson believes the Lindholm commerce signifies basic supervisor Craig Conroy’s
    seriousness in retooling the roster. He additionally anticipated that
    Hanifin and Tanev can be subsequent to be shipped out. Maybe Markström
    will be part of them if Conroy receives a critical supply that does not
    contain retaining a part of his $6 million common annual worth.

    Since 2014-15, the Flames have been an
    inconsistent membership. In some seasons they appeared poised to interrupt out as
    Stanley Cup contenders and in others, they’ve regressed and missed the playoffs. They’ve by no means actually recovered from the departures of core forwards
    Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau in the summertime of 2022.

    One cause Conroy is retooling is he is carrying veterans equivalent to Markstrom,
    Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri and MacKenzie Weegar on costly
    long-term contracts. Shifting them may show to be a troublesome
    endeavor in a season with so many groups carrying limited
    salary-cap space

    Nevertheless, latest commerce rumors about
    Markström recommend it won’t be not possible to maneuver him. In the meantime,
    The Denver Put up‘s Sean Keeler made the case final month for the
    Colorado Avalanche to carry again Kadri. Whereas that could possibly be powerful for
    the Avs to do, possibly Conroy may at the very least gauge Kadri’s worth within the
    commerce market.

    Markström and Kadri may fetch
    important returns for the Flames that could possibly be put towards
    rebuilding their roster now in addition to sooner or later. Which means
    including younger NHL gamers, first-round draft picks and prospects to
    restock their prospect pipeline as kids like Connor Zary and Dustin Wolf proceed to maneuver
    of their roster.

New York Islanders

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    ELMONT, NY - APRIL 12: New York Islanders Center Brock Nelson (29) congratulates New York Islanders Goalie Ilya Sorokin (30) for the victory along with New York Islanders Left Wing Anders Lee (27) and New York Islanders Defenseman Adam Pelech (3) after the National Hockey League game between the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Islanders on 4/12/2023, at UBS Arena in Elmont, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures

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    After decades of mediocrity, the New York Islanders lastly appeared to show the nook in 2018-19. They completed second within the Metropolitan Division that season, adopted by reaching the Jap Convention Last through the 2020 COVID bubble playoffs and the Stanley Cup semifinal through the COVID-shortened 2020-21 marketing campaign.

    Since then, nonetheless, the Islanders have appeared nothing like Cup contenders. They missed the playoffs in 2021-22. Final season, they had been seventh total within the Jap Convention earlier than being eradicated from the opening spherical of the playoffs.

    This season, the Islanders discover themselves struggling to stay within the playoff race. Regardless of changing head coach Lane Lambert with Patrick Roy in January, they’re among the many league’s lowest-scoring golf equipment with a 2.93 goals-per-game common and a league-worst penalty-killing share of 71.5.

    Basic supervisor Lou Lamoriello has a well-earned popularity for taking part in his playing cards near the vest concerning his intentions. His golf equipment are inclined to favor tight-checking defensive hockey, and he is constructed the Islanders round that mannequin. With the group exhibiting no signal of actual enchancment below Roy, it could be time for him to simply accept the inevitable and rebuild.

    That would come with looking for new properties for older veterans with two years or much less remaining on their contracts equivalent to Brock Nelson, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Anders Lee and Kyle Palmieri. With a farm system ranked dead last by The Athletic, the Islanders badly must replenish on prospects and younger gamers.

    Doing so will not be straightforward. Nelson and Pageau ought to have good worth within the commerce market however Lee and Palmieri are in decline. Attempting to maneuver gamers on longer-term contracts may show too troublesome to aim in-season however may be attainable within the offseason, particularly with the wage cap rising by a projected $4.2 million for 2024-25.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 11: Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87), Pittsburgh Penguins Defenseman Kris Letang (58), Pittsburgh Penguins Center Evgeni Malkin (71), and Pittsburgh Penguins Left Wing Jake Guentzel (59) talk before a power play during the third period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks on April 11, 2023, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures

    The Pittsburgh Penguins missed the playoffs final season for the primary time since group captain Sidney Crosby’s rookie marketing campaign of 2005-06. Searching for a fast turnaround, they acquired defenseman Erik Karlsson in a blockbuster three-team commerce final summer time. The Penguins additionally added winger Reilly Smith, defenseman Ryan Graves and Lars Eller.

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    These strikes, nonetheless, didn’t reverse the Penguins’ fortunes. They’re struggling to stay inside vary of a wild-card berth within the Jap Convention standings.

    Since their final championship in 2017, the Penguins have been in a sluggish however regular decline that is turn into extra apparent with every season. In accordance with Left Wing Lock, the typical age of their roster is 31.5, making them the oldest team within the league. They’re twenty third in scoring (2.91 objectives per sport) whereas their 13.9 energy play share ranks 30th.

    Crosby, 36, continues to be acting at an elite level, whereas fellow 36-year-old Kris Letang continues placing up good numbers. Nevertheless, 37-year-old Evgeni Malkin is exhibiting his age. Smith, Eller and Rickard Rakell are of their early 30s and in addition enduring a decline of their respective performances.

    On Feb. 21, basic supervisor Kyle Dubas spoke of the Penguins’ want to usher in youthful gamers. His predecessors depleted their prospect pool, leaving him little selection however to start out restocking with promising younger gamers who can in the future blossom into stars. Doing meaning buying and selling some veterans for draft picks and prospects.

    Blowing up the roster, nonetheless, may show troublesome with 13 players carrying some type of no-movement or no-trade safety. Crosby, Malkin and Letang will not be going wherever, however Dubas should try to persuade a few of the others to waive their clauses to simply accept getting moved to actual playoff contenders.

    Their finest commerce chip is scoring winger Jake Guentzel. Eligible to turn into an unrestricted free agent this summer time, the 29-year-old is at the moment sidelined till after the commerce deadline however ought to nonetheless draw loads of curiosity within the commerce market. Smith, Eller and Rakell may additionally garner some consideration from contenders

St. Louis Blues

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 22: Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the St. Louis Blues is congratulated after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders on February 22, 2024 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Scott Rovak/NHLI by way of Getty Pictures

    4 seasons after the St. Louis Blues received their first-ever Stanley Cup, they failed to qualify for the 2023 playoffs. Together with his membership struggling by means of most of that season, basic supervisor Doug Armstrong traded away core forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko main as much as the 2023 commerce deadline.

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    Armstrong, nonetheless, wasn’t engaged in a rebuild however slightly a retooling of his roster. Final Might, Day by day Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported the Blues GM was after a participant or gamers of their mid-twenties with time period remaining on their contracts who may assist reboot the group.

    The Blues are at the moment jockeying for the ultimate wild-card berth within the Western Convention. Nevertheless, it may be time for Armstrong to aim extra of a rebuild to turn into a Cup contender in just a few years slightly than merely trying a fast turnaround.

    Younger forwards Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou and Jake Neighbours give the Blues a part of a promising younger core to construct round for the long run. Armstrong may peddle pending unrestricted free-agent role players like Kasperi Kapanen, Sammy Blais, Oskar Sundqvist and Marco Scandella, however they will not fetch a lot in return.

    Pavel Buchnevich is Armstrong’s finest commerce chip. The 28-year-old scoring winger is a 12 months away from UFA eligibility and is drawing curiosity within the commerce market.

    Armstrong may additionally take a look at the commerce market on veterans equivalent to Brayden Schenn, Brandon Saad, Torey Krug, Justin Faulk and Colton Parayko. Their no-trade clauses, nonetheless, complicate issues. Nonetheless, it would not damage to broach the topic with any of them if there’s curiosity from rival golf equipment.

Washington Capitals

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: John Carlson #74, Alex Ovechkin #8, and Tom Wilson #43 of the Washington Capitals line up against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of the game at Capital One Arena on January 3, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

    Scott Taetsch/Getty Pictures

    Six years after successful their first Stanley Cup in franchise historical past, the Washington Capitals are susceptible to lacking the playoffs for the second successive 12 months. They have been in decline since their championship 12 months and are now not the powerhouse that completed first within the Metropolitan Division for five straight seasons from 2015-16 to 2019-20.

    The Capitals carry an getting old roster. Led by 38-year-old captain Alex Ovechkin, 37-year-old winger T.J. Oshie and 34-year-old defenseman John Carlson, they’re the NHL’s fourth-oldest club (29.6) in keeping with Left Wing Lock. Even when they attain the 2024 playoffs, they will be hard-pressed to advance past the primary spherical.

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    The Capitals have began incorporating youthful gamers into their roster over the previous couple of years, equivalent to Aliaksei Protas, Connor McMichael and Rasmus Sandin. It is a development they need to speed up by changing into sellers on the March 8 commerce deadline.

    Ovechkin, Oshie and Carlson every have 10-team no-trade clauses of their contracts. Nevertheless, administration will not transfer any of them given how a lot they’ve meant to the franchise. That is very true of Ovechkin as he continues his quest to interrupt Wayne Gretzky’s document of 894 profession objectives.

    With that trio of core gamers now previous their prime, basic supervisor Brian McLellan should try and rebuild round them. Which means purchasing veterans to construct for the long run by stocking up a prospect pool that is ranked 20th by The Athletic.

    A few of these veterans are pending unrestricted free brokers equivalent to Anthony Mantha, Max Pacioretty and Joel Edmundson. They should not be too troublesome to hawk by March 8.

    Veteran heart Nic Dowd along with his inexpensive $1.3 million cap hit must also be straightforward to maneuver. Given the shortage of beginning goalies on this 12 months’s commerce market, McLellan ought to look into the market worth of Darcy Kuemper.

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