big Spenders, Major Sellers and Those Playing The Waiting Game
By: Jordan Miliotes
The NHL trade deadline is just a short two weeks away and it is slowly becoming more apparent which teams and which players we should be keeping an eye on. We are set to see some teams willing to sell it all for a rebuild and others willing to use any and all cap space to bolster their playoff push. Some big names that could benefit from a change of scenery are: Claude Giroux, John Klingberg, Jakob Chychrun, Marc-Andre Fleury, and more. Here are my deadline thoughts:
It’s no secret that teams like the Montreal Canadians, Seattle Kraken, and Arizona Coyotes have been anything short of disappointing this season. A few names that could be used as trade chips would be: Ben Chiarot, Mark Giordano, and Phil Kessel. There are still other teams in Trade Deadline No-Man’s-Land — out of the playoff mix yet not hopeless enough to dump their talent as a prelude to a full rebuild — the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks come to mind. A few players I wouldn’t be surprised to see on the move would be Thomas Hertl, Rickard Rakell, and Brock Boeser. Those teams, among others, know that their rosters aren’t well-rounded enough to make a run to the Final quite yet. A couple of deadline trades and a few off-season acquisitions could write a different story though.
“Now or Never” is the thought for several teams like the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Players like Alexander Ovechkin, Brad Marchand, and Sidney Crosby aren’t getting any younger and the teams will need to be very strategic with any new additions. Additionally, teams like the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, and Calgary Flames will be looking to add a final piece or two before the playoffs kick into gear. None of these contenders will be shy in using their full arsenal of picks, prospects and other assets to land the right player. One team to keep a close eye on during the Claude Giroux sweepstakes will be the Avalanche.
I expect a good handful of teams to kick back and relax while they monitor the deadline chaos. Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, and Nashville Predators are organizations who are watching young players take on leadership roles and have pending UFAs still considering re-signing. On the other hand, there are teams like the Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning who simply don’t have the cap space to make any moves that would greatly impact the team. Many of these teams are on their way to being good or are already a decent team who don’t need to force any unneeded moves. If you aren’t at the bottom of the league but aren’t in a playoff spot that is okay. Time is needed for players to develop and waiting for the off-season gives you more time to see how the next few months play out.