Trades we'd like to see before the deadline
The trade deadline is approaching, with the cut-off date for contenders to materially improve and lottery teams to get whatever additional futures they can set for Monday, March 21 at 3 p.m., ET. As has become an annual tradition, I'm beginning to worry about how much meaningful player movement we're actually going to be treated to between now and then.
For a variety of reasons, the market of players that would've initially seemed like ideal candidates to move has been shrinking. The Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks were most notably poised to be crucial facilitators for the event, until they legitimately clawed their way back into the playoff race. Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski got extended by their current teams, and Jakob Chychrun got banged up. Ben Chiarot, Josh Manson, and Calle Järnkrok have already been dealt. Even John Klingberg, who for a time seemed like a certainty to be traded, now seems to be staying put because Miro Heiskanen's status remains unclear.
So instead of spending time labouring over predictions for what NHL GMs will do, let's do something a little bit different. Let's cook up some logical moves we'd love to see if we had our say. We did this last year, and it turned out to be pretty useful in hindsight. There are only a couple of simple rules for the exercise:
- We have to have good reason to believe that the player being moved is actually available for a reasonable price, and we're going to use public trade bait boards as a general guide for that.
- The deal needs to at least make sense logistically. The acquiring team has to be able to make the money work, and they also need to have assets that would make it worthwhile for another team to engage with them.
- We're not going to get bogged down by the details of the return. The goal is to identify players that teams should be targeting, and then providing the case for why they would help and what the fit would look like.
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