One thing I know for certain, a lot can change from now until the April 12 NHL Trade Deadline. Team’s directions and decisions will be dictated by their play along with position in the standings.
Let’s take a look at a few teams and what they are looking for at the deadline.
NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets looking for a center
The Blue Jackets sit 5th in the Central Division and are 5 points behind the Blackhawks for the last playoff spot. They have 17 games between now and the deadline. Currently they are in the market for a center as they believe they can make the playoffs.
After Jarmo Kekalainen traded Piere-Luc Dubois he created a hole down the middle that his current charges have not been able to fill. He’s on record looking for help at center.
“It’s a challenge because they’re just not available.. Now we have to get back into our hunt, finding a centerman either through the draft or through a trade. They aren’t available very often. There could be some available in the free agent market next summer.”Jarmo Kekalainen
The question is will there be a legit option for him and the Jackets at the deadline? Or will they be behind the 8-Ball this summer competing with an asset and cap loaded Rangers team when those few centers hit the market?
However, for immediate help they could go the rental route with Mikael Granlund or make a longer play for Rickard Rakell from the Ducks who can play center and wing.
NHL Rumors: Islanders looking for a third line scorer
The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta is reporting that the Islanders are looking for a third line scorer to join Oliver Wahlstrom and JG Pageau. An interesting tidbit is a possible deal with the Panthers.
There was some chatter circulating about the Islanders and Florida Panthers discussing a swap of Komarov for Brett Connolly, but the Panthers would need to retain a portion of Connolly’s deal or take on another contract in order to make this work. So far, it hasn’t.TFP
As it’s been since the start of the season the issue for the Islanders is cap space. They just don’t have much room to do anything, so they’ll need to be creative.
The Islander sit first in the East and will be buyers at the deadline.
NHL Rumors: Flyers looking for blue-line help
The Flyers join the Bruins in the hunt for a defenseman. TFP reinforces reporting from elsewhere that Philadelphia is looking for a veteran presence back on the blue-line.
The good news for both teams is that come trade deadline their should be plenty of options including Columbus’ David Savard, and Arizona’s Alex Goligoski.
NHL Rumors: Penguins looking for some muscle
Hearing that Brian Burke and Ron Hextall are looking for toughness at the deadline comes as no surprise to me. They should have no problem finding it either.
Of course, in today’s NHL where fighting is down – define what you mean by toughness. Is forward Kevin Fiala in Nashville a candidate? How about defenseman Erik Gudbranson out of Ottawa? Your guess is as good as mine.
NHL Rumors: Will the Jets now move Paul Stastny?
Winnipeg brought in Paul Stastny to jump start Patrik Laine in the hopes of building his value up for a trade. Then Pierre-Luc Dubois became available and a swap of disgruntled players became a no-brainer.
So should the Jets consider moving him now. Well Ken Wiebe doesn’t think so.
No, Cheveldayoff will not be entertaining a deal involving Stastny, nor should he. Under the current construction of the roster, Stastny is most likely to spend the bulk of his time on the wing and he’s adapted well to that scenario.Sportsnet
I have the Jets as buyers at this deadline, so it makes sense to keep him.