NHL Rumors: Atlantic Division buyers and sellers
The NHL Trade Deadline is less than two months away on March 3.
Who are the buyers? Who will be selling? And where will the teams in between eventually land? These are the questions that need to be answered and we will attempt to do just that in the next several installments of NHL Rumors.
Let’s begin with the Atlantic Division.
NHL Rumors: Atlantic Division’s Aggressive Buyers
Boston Bruins: 33-5-4, 70 points (1st place)
Trade Targets: Ryan O’Reilly, Bo Horvat, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane
Trade Chips: 2023 first-round pick, Jake DeBrusk
Buzz: Boston is reportedly making progress on an extension for David Pastrnak per Elliotte Friedman after re-signing Pavel Zacha. The Bruins future at center is uncertain with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci on one-year deals. That has them as a potential contender for Bo Horvat. Of course, they may look to add a pure rental like Ryan O’Reilly or Jonathan Toews for a deep playoff run if they can’t find the assets for Horvat. They’ve also been mentioned in the Patrick Kane speculation.
Toronto Maple Leafs: 26-11-8, 59 points (2nd place)
Trade Targets: Ryan O’Reilly, James van Riemsdyk, John Klingberg, Vladislav Gavrikov
Trade Chips: 2023 first-round pick, Ty Voit
Buzz: Toronto like many contenders will have to do some cap gymnastics at the deadline to make a deal work. GM Kyle Dubas’ job could be on the line if this team is bounced in the first round again, so everyone is expecting him to add at least a top forward or defenseman at the deadline. Can he add both? That’s the biggest question for the Leafs.
Tampa Bay Lightning: 27-13-1, 55 points (3rd place)
Trade Targets: Luke Schenn, Vladislav Gavrikov, Dmitry Kulikov
Trade Chips: Picks and prospects
Buzz: With no first-round pick in the 2023, it’s not going to be easy for the Lightning to go after big name rentals. Elliotte Friedman recently mentioned that Tampa may be looking to aggressively reunite with defenseman Luke Schenn playing with the Vancouver Canucks. The team is stacked up front, so going for a depth on the blue line makes sense.
NHL Rumors: Atlantic Division’s Undecided
Buffalo Sabres: 21-18-2, 44 points (4th place)
Trade Targets: Bo Horvat, Max Domi, Ivan Barbashev, Vladislav Gavrikov
Trade Chips: Draft picks
Buzz: Even if the Sabres opt to buy at the deadline, it will likely be for some depth pieces up front and on defense. One thing is clear, the Sabres aren’t selling no matter where they are in the standings. This is a young team on the rise, but if they have a chance to make the playoffs GM Kevyn Adams owes it to the fans to get some help for a run. By the way, wouldn’t it be something if they traded for Bo Horvat and signed him soon after to expedite the rebuild?
Florida Panthers: 20-20-4, 44 points (5th place)
Trade Targets: Future assets
Trade Chips: Patric Hornqvist, Anthony Duclair, Sam Bennet, Sam Reinhardt
Buzz: It’s unlikely that Florida would be a big time buyer as they meander through this season. After going all in last year, they’ve depleted the cupboard and have no first-round pick in 2023. Of course, if they are hovering close to the wild card, they may make a small move for some depth on defense. However, it’s more likely they’ll become sellers sooner rather than later. This season, I could see them moving either Sam Bennett or Sam Reinhardt for future assets.
Detroit Red Wings: 18-16-7, 43 points (6th place)
Trade Targets: Bo Horvat
Trade Chips: 2023 first-round pick, Tyler Bertuzzi
Buzz: The Red Wings are a very interesting team come this trade deadline. Sure, they’ll sell off veterans like Olli Maatta and Erne Adams since both are pending UFAs. The question is what will they do about Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi? GM Steve Yzerman is likely to re-sign Larkin, but could use assets from a Bertuzzi trade to package with a first-round pick to Vancouver for Bo Horvat.
NHL Rumors: Atlantic Division’s Sellers
Ottawa Senators: 19-20-3, 41 points (7th place)
Trade Targets: Bo Horvat, NHL ready prospects
Trade Chips: 2023 first-round pick, Alex DeBrincat, Nikita Zaitsev, Tyler Motte, Travis Hamonic
Buzz: Another disappointing season for the Senators, who looked like they were poised to make some noise after adding Alex DeBrincat, Claude Giroux, and Cam Talbot to their lineup. The Sens have plenty of pieces to go after a player like Bo Horvat, including pending RFA Alex DeBrincat if they don’t feel they can lock him down to a longterm deal. Of course, any trade involving DeBrincat for Horvat would require permission for the Sens to work out a contract before making the deal.
Montreal Canadiens: 17-23-3, 37 points (8th place)
Trade Targets: Get as many lottery balls for Connor Bedard as possible
Trade Chips: Joel Edmundson, Sean Monahan, Jonathan Drouin, Evgenii Dadonov, Mike Hoffman
Buzz: Montreal has been open for business since the season started. They will most assuredly be looking to dump as many veterans as possible for picks a prospects. The more they lose, the better the chances of winning the lottery and drafting Connor Bedard.