NHL Rumors: Predators ask on Mattias Ekholm high, Avalanche possible Devan Dubnyk destination, and Blackhawks ready to deal

While Taylor Hall may be the forward teams are looking at as a trade deadline rental, the top trade bait candidate for many is defenseman Mattias Ekholm.

NHL Rumors: Ekholm price is high

Ekholm is a 30 year-old lefty defenseman that has a deal with an AAV of $3.75M which expires in the summer of 2022. That means he’s not a rental and the Predators will listen to offers but there’s nothing to discuss unless you pay the price it seems.

What is that price? Elliotte Friedman recently laid that out.

Nashville’s made it clear the Los Angeles/Toronto Muzzin deal is the template for Ekholm. That was a first rounder, a second rounder the previous season (Sean Durzi) and Carl Grundstrom, who was in the AHL at the time and has played 25 of 27 career games this year.

31 Thoughts

While I feel the Leafs overpaid for Jake Muzzin last season, they made that deal before wee hit the COVID-19 era in the NHL. The economics are different and I’m not sure anyone could afford the price set here.

I believe a team will be willing to give Nashville a first rounder, and maybe a mid-level prospect. The Predators need to be realistic about the situation as well. If they try to trade him next season at the deadline as a rental, a first rounder would be all they’d get.

Devan Dubnyk available, calling Colorado?

devan dubnyk
Mar 12, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; San Jose Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk (40) during the Sharks 6-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

On the latest TSN’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun mentioned San Jose Sharks goalie Devan Dubnyk as a trade option. The 34 year-old tender is 3-6-2 this season for a bad Sharks team with a solid GAA of 2.95 and a .908 SV%.

He’s certainly a rental as he will be a UFA this summer. LeBrun cites the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals as two teams that might add Dubnyk to their roster at the deadline.

Blackhawks open to help teams make trades, take on contract

The Chicago Blackhawks may take a page out of the rebuild book from clubs like Detroit and use their ample cap space for valuable draft picks. Frank Seravalli explained on Insider Trading that they’d be willing to even play third wheel to help teams in need of cap space to fit players.

“[Blackhawks] have let it be known that they’re a team that’s willing to take on bad contracts,” he said. “They have almost 22 million in LTIR space which is essentially use or lose. If it isn’t taking on a bad contract, they could be used to facilitate a trade and eat some cap space to make a deal go through.”

TSN Insider Trading

This is a real intriguing piece of information and one to keep an eye on if you hear trade rumors where you ask, “how will they fit that into their cap?”

Check out the NHL Trade Bait Tracker here!