NHL Rumors: Taylor Hall likely to be moved, Dmitry Orlov on the block, and Ryan Strome trade bait

Jan 22, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall (4) shoots the puck on Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) in the second period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We all now the Buffalo Sabres will be making changes. They finally did so by relieving head coach Ralph Krueger of his duties yesterday, but what about the roster? Kevyn Adams addressed the media and reiterated he is open to anything.

NHL Rumors: Taylor Hall likely to be moved

Taylor Hall said he would like to stay in Buffalo, and yes he said this while the team was mired in the worst NHL slump in recent memory. In truth, the Sabres could desperately use his star power next season, especially if they are forced to move Jack Eichel.

The reality is simple for the Sabres, they need to rework this mess of a lineup and moving Jeff Skinner’s contract is not plausible or possible. That’s why when asked about Hall, GM Adams seemed very open to trading him at the deadline.

If it works out, Adams can bring him back in free agency and have a first round pick or more as well. It’s the right move for Buffalo to make.

NHL Rumors: Dmitry Orlov Caps odd man out?

The Capitals will be buyers at this deadline. They are currently tied for first place in the East halfway through the season. Washington is said to be looking to add a veteran goalie, and maybe some depth at forward. Of course, they need money to do that. Dmitry Orlov’s $5.1 million cap hit may make him the odd man out on the Caps overcrowded blue-line.

Given the cap crunch, the only way the Caps can acquire anyone at the deadline is to move money. And they want to add a veteran goalie. Orlov’s cap hit is $5.1 million for this year and the two seasons after it. The Caps have eight NHL defensemen on the roster plus three young left-shot blueliners (Jonas Siegenthaler, Martin Fehervary and Alex Alexeyev) who’ll be pushing for a spot soon. It feels like a long shot (he’s got a five-team no-trade clause) but it makes sense, too.

Tarik El-Bashir, The Athletic

NHL Rumors: Ryan Strome trade bait?

nhl trade rumors rangers
Feb 26, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Ryan Strome #16 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins at 2:32 of the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are an interesting team heading into the deadline. They really aren’t a buyer or a seller regardless of their playoff position. I’ve written extensively about Jeff Gorton gearing up to make a run at Jack Eichel. That’s also true of any center that could be placed on the market from Evgeni Malkin to Aleksander Barkov.

One player I do not believe the Rangers will be moving at the deadline is Ryan Strome. However, others see it different.

With an abundance of cap space materializing after the conclusion of this season, the Rangers almost certainly will be in the market for a legit top-two center. That makes Strome expendable. He would also be a good get for a contender at the deadline: a versatile, right-shot, power-play center with some offense in his game, only 27 and signed for one more year at a reasonable $4.5 million cap hit.

Rick Carpiniello, The Athletic

If the Rangers are going to land Eichel or anyone of the mentioned centers, Ryan Strome may have to be the roster player sent back the other way to replace them in the middle. Unless of course the Buffalo Sabres are looking to rebuild and the 27 year-old Strome would be swapped with a younger center in Filip Chytil.

Bottom line, I doubt he’s going anywhere at the deadline.

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