5 Commerce Concepts for the NHL’s Worst Groups
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Anaheim Geese goaltender John GibsonJohn McCreary/NHLI through Getty Photographs
The NHL’s commerce deadline is 3 p.m. ET on Friday, March 8. Between now and deadline day, anticipate loads of hypothesis over which gamers will turn out to be commerce candidates and the place they might find yourself.
Whereas deadline day is six weeks away, we are able to already decide a number of groups which are anticipated to turn out to be sellers. Most could be discovered close to the underside of the league standings, as their playoff hopes are fading every day. They embrace the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Geese.
Potential consumers, in the meantime, are groups already holding playoff spots within the standings such because the Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers. Others, just like the New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals, are vying for one of many two wild-card berths.
Gamers who might be accessible embrace Geese goaltender John Gibson, who’s been the topic of trade speculation all through this season. One other might be Ottawa defenseman Jakob Chychrun, who was acquired by the Senators from the Arizona Coyotes earlier than final 12 months’s trade deadline.
The next is our listing of 5 commerce concepts for a few of this season’s worst NHL golf equipment. We’ll look at why the gamers talked about could be good matches with their proposed commerce locations and what the shedding golf equipment might acquire in return.
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San Jose Sharks Commerce Anthony Duclair to the New York Rangers
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Sitting on the backside of the league standings, the rebuilding San Jose Sharks are anticipated to be sellers on the commerce deadline. In contrast to final 12 months after they had notable stars resembling Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier as commerce bait, they’ve largely second-tier expertise to supply up in pending free agents resembling Mike Hoffman, Kevin Labanc and Anthony Declair.
Of these gamers, Duclair might have the very best worth. The 28-year-old winger carries an affordable cap hit of $3 million. He had a career-best 31-goal, 58-point efficiency with the Florida Panthers in 2021-22 and returned from damage final season to assist them attain the 2023 Stanley Cup Remaining.
Maybe Duclair would curiosity the New York Rangers, who drafted him in 2013. Rangers basic supervisor Chris Drury wasn’t a part of the membership’s entrance workplace again then, however he might be out there for an inexpensive middle-six proper winger with Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafrenière struggling in latest video games.
The Sharks will doubtless proceed to stockpile draft picks and prospects this 12 months as a part of their rebuilding plan. It might price the Rangers a second-round choose for Duclair, who they’ll afford with $3.7 million in projected trade deadline cap area.
Montreal Canadiens Commerce Sean Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets
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The rebuilding Montreal Canadiens have proven some enchancment, as they’ve performed round .500 hockey this season. Nonetheless, they’re close to the underside of the Atlantic Division and are anticipated to be commerce deadline sellers for the third straight 12 months.
On Jan. 15, Sportsnet’s Eric Engels speculated Canadiens basic supervisor Kent Hughes might transfer as many as 5 gamers by deadline day. Engels thought-about Sean Monahan because the probably to maneuver. The 29-year-old two-way middle is amongst their main scorers with 13 objectives and 34 factors in 48 video games. He carries an inexpensive one-year, $1.9 million contract.
The Winnipeg Jets might be the front-runners for Monahan. On Jan. 16, the Ottawa Solar‘s Bruce Garrioch reported listening to rumors the Jets are out there for depth at middle. Somebody with Monahan’s abilities and cap hit might be simply what they’re in search of.
With $5.4 million in projected trade deadline cap space, the Jets can simply afford Monahan’s contract. The Canadiens might search so as to add to their stockpile of draft picks by reacquiring the second-rounder at the moment held by the Jets. They may additionally contemplate including extra scoring amongst their prospects by looking for middle Brad Lambert in return.
Columbus Blue Jackets Ship Elvis Merzļikins to the Chicago Blackhawks
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Sad over an absence of taking part in time since Dec. 29, Elvis Merzļikins told the media on Jan. 12 that he and Columbus Blue Jackets administration mutually agreed to discover a “new situation.” Three days later, he confirmed that he had requested a commerce.
Merzļikins, 29, may benefit from a change of surroundings, however shifting him will not be simple. He struggled in 2022-23 however has proven some enchancment this season. His contract is the larger sticking level, with a mean annual worth of $5.4 million through 2026-27 and a 10-team no-trade clause.
Chicago might deal with that problem. Aaron Portzline of The Athletic included them on his listing of potential trade destinations, noting the rebuilding membership has loads of cap space to soak up his contract. He urged Merzļikins might be a great choice for Chicago if unable to re-sign Petr Mrázek.
Mrázek has re-signed with Chicago, however Merzļikins might present them with a stable goalie tandem. They could be capable to get him for little in return, particularly in the event that they tackle his full contract. With three picks within the second spherical and two third-rounders on this 12 months’s draft, maybe they’ll tempt the Jackets with one choose from every spherical in a bundle supply.
Ottawa Senators Ship Jakob Chychrun to the Washington Capitals
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Mired close to the underside of the Japanese Convention standings, the Ottawa Senators’ new basic supervisor Steve Staios might begin shaking issues up by the commerce deadline. In keeping with the Ottawa Solar‘s Bruce Garrioch, Jakob Chychrun might be amongst his trade options, as different golf equipment are expressing curiosity within the 25-year-old defenseman.
Staios stated Thursday that he hopes to re-sign Chychrun, who’s signed via subsequent season with a $4.6 million cap hit. Nonetheless, that might change if the 2 sides fail to succeed in an settlement on a contract extension or if the Senators obtain a tempting commerce supply earlier than the deadline.
In the meantime, the Washington Capitals are an ageing membership struggling to stay in playoff competition within the Japanese Convention. They may use an injection of expert expertise into their roster in the event that they want to retool and keep aggressive, particularly on the left aspect of their defensive corps.
The Senators are loaded with left-shot defensemen however want depth on the precise aspect. Their asking value might embrace promising Ryan Chesley, who starred for america on their gold-medal staff on the 2024 World Junior Championship.
Anaheim Geese Commerce John Gibson to the New Jersey Devils
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John McCreary/NHLI through Getty Photographs
As famous in our intro, Anaheim Geese goaltender John Gibson has steadily appeared in commerce rumors this season. He’s signed through 2026-27 with a mean annual worth of $6.4 million and a 10-team no-trade clause, so he would not match into his rebuilding membership’s long-range plans.
If the Geese commerce Gibson, they will doubtless desire shifting his complete contract off their books. Doing so through the common season, nevertheless, could be troublesome, particularly in a season the place most groups have limited salary-cap space. Nonetheless, the New Jersey Devils may be capable to accommodate this.
The Devils are in determined want of an skilled beginning goaltender with NHL playoff expertise. Present starter Vitek Vanecek’s stats are among the worst for NHL starters. Name-up Nico Daws’ numbers aren’t much better, and he might undergo the identical destiny as Akira Schmid, who shone briefly final season however is now again with their AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
Having positioned sidelined defenseman Dougie Hamilton on long-term injury reserve, the Devils can afford Gibson’s cap hit. With loads of younger expertise on their roster and inside their system, they’ve property to tempt the Geese if the latter seeks to proceed loading up with youth.