NHL Rumors Pacific Division: Golden Knights big game hunting? Oilers ready to make moves?

Today’s NHL Rumors looks at each team in the Pacific Division and their outlook a month away from the NHL Trade Deadline set for March 3.

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NHL Rumors: Golden Knights and Oilers making moves?

Anaheim Ducks: It’s all about the Connor Bedard draft lottery for the Ducks this season. Anaheim is loaded with defensemen and will be moving John Klingberg, Dmitry Kulikov, and possibly Kevin Shattenkirk. All are pending UFAs and can help Anaheim’s rebuild efforts going forward.

Calgary Flames: After losing Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk the Flames need more scoring. Nazem Kadri has done well after signing with them via free agency, but Jonathan Huberdeau has not had the season expected. Keep an eye on the Flames and James van Riesmdyk or Tyler Bertuzzi. On the flip side, should the Flames be out of a playoff spot near the deadline is it possible they trade Milan Lucic?

Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers need defense and there’s several good options out there. With that said, they must make sure to get one. Vadislav Gavrikov appears to be the primary target, but could GM Ken Holland stun everyone by getting Jakob Chychrun? That would be quite the move indeed. At the end of the day, adding a defender like Kulikov would still be an improvement.

NHL Recaps Connor McDavid
Jan 13, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; The Edmonton Oilers bench celebrates with center Connor McDavid (97) during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings: The Kings also need a defenseman and have been considered the prime landing spot for the aforementioned Chychrun. Of course, they could always go after Gavrikov which will leave division rival Edmonton scrambling. Here’s another intriguing possibility, Mattias Ekholm of the Nashville Predators. That’s if the Preds finally decide to rebuild. Bottom line, the Kings have plenty of assets to add a big d-man at the deadline.

San Jose Sharks: San Jose will be sellers and they own the prized trade bait candidate in Timo Meier. The 26 year-old isn’t a pure rental and will be an RFA this summer. Right now, the New Jersey Devils seem like the only logical destination but I believe GM Mike Grier will hold onto him and wait for next trade deadline with the cap scheduled to go up by $4 million in 2024.

“But let me be the person that reads between the lines and says that Timo Meier would fit exactly what the Devils are looking for,” Pierre LeBrun said. “I think Meier fits that description and the Devils will certainly investigate that possibility.”

Seattle Kraken: The most intriguing team in the Pacific are the Kraken. Will they be buyers or stand pat and keep their picks and prospects. Currently, they’re in a playoff spot but could easily fall out. I doubt the Sharks would trade Meier to a division rival, and nothing out there makes a bunch of sense. Maybe a few depth moves, but I think they stay on course in just their second season of existence.

Vancouver Canucks: The fire sale begun when they moved Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders. Vancouver is in the hunt for Connor Bedard and will look to sell off as many veteran assets as possible. The big question is if there’s a market for Brock Boeser who has term left on his contract.

“They still have a tremendous amount of interest in Brock Boeser as an example,” Darren Dreger said. “But clubs need to know whether or not the Canucks are willing to retain salary because he has term remaining on his deal.”

Vegas Golden Knights: Prior to the injury to captain Mark Stone, Vegas was in no position to go big game hunting. That’s all changed now and they want an elite winger for Jack Eichel. So will Patrick Kane waive for Vegas? What about a pairing with James van Riemsdyk or Tyler Bertuzzi? Or how about Ryan O’Reilly or Jonathan Toews. Game on in Sin City.