NHL Rumors: Top 5 pending UFAs likely to stay put this trade deadline

nhl rumors david pastrnak
Jan 2, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) skates during warmups before a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2023 Winter Classic ice hockey game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Every season the NHL Rumors mill is filled with pending unrestricted free agents and where they will land. That being said, we also see a handful of them stay put because they’re considered an own rental.

What is an own rental?

It’s a player that is heading to unrestricted free agency and will likely sign with the highest bidder. General managers assessing their teams determine this is exactly the type of player they would be looking for on March 3, 2023 and thus retain him instead of acquiring a similar player for picks and/or prospects.

Let’s look at 5 pending UFA’s that aren’t expected to be traded this season.

NHL Rumors: Top 5 UFA’s likely to stay put

David Pastrnak:

Boston Bruins, Forward, 26 years-old
Current cap hit: $6.6M
2022-23 Stats: 37 GP, 25 G – 25 A, 50 PTS

Latest Info: Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet recently compared Pastrnak’s situation as very similar to how things went with Filip Forsberg. The Nashville Predators forward was retained past the NHL Trade Deadline with some speculation that he could walk via Free Agency. Despite a lot of uncertainty, Forsberg re-signed for 8 years on July 11. With Patrice Bergeron possibly paying his last season, there’s no way the Bruins let him get away this summer.

Max Pacioretty:

Carolina Hurricanes, Forward, 34 years-old
Current cap hit: $7M
2022-23 Stats: Has yet to play

The Hurricanes basically landed Pacioretty for nothing thanks to the Vegas Golden Knights cap crunch. So if he were to walk away in the summer for nothing, it won’t be a big loss. At the end of the day, you could look at the addition of Pacioretty as an early trade deadline addition now that he’s come off LTIR and is getting ready to make his debut. The Canes will love his offensive punch and it would be silly to trade him away.

Mathew Dumba:

matt dumba nhl rumors
Feb 27, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (24) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild, Defense, 28 years-old
Current cap hit: $6M
2022-23 Stats: 37 GP, 4 G – 6 A, 10 PTS

One of the top things teams look for at the trade deadline are defensemen. Considering the Wild are looking good for a playoff spot, it would be foolish to trade away a top four defenseman and then wish they hadn’t. Things could change if they’re out of a playoff spot on March 3, but I highly doubt it.

Jordan Staal:

Carolina Hurricanes, Forward, 34 years-old
Current cap hit: $6M
2022-23 Stats: 38 GP, 10 G – 8 A, 18 PTS

It’s hard to see any scenario where the Hurricanes trade their captain. The team is in first place in the Metro Division and are a virtual lock for the playoffs. A team with Stanley Cup aspirations isn’t trading their captain.

Alex Killorn:

alex killorn injury
Jul 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) hoists the Stanley Cup after the Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in game five to win the 2021 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning, Forward, 33 years-old
Current cap hit: $4.45M
2022-23 Stats: 37 GP, 12 G – 14 A, 26 PTS

Killorn is a glue guy that is having a tremendous season for an aging team hoping to make another Stanley Cup run. Contenders would love to add a player like him to their roster which is exactly what Tampa want to add more of for the playoffs. It’s very likely Killorn will be wearing a new uniform next season, but he’s going nowhere in March.

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