With less than 48 hours remaining until the NHL’s trade deadline, some teams are jumping the gun and have already pulled the trigger on deals to improve their squads. The prices have been high, and there has been no shortage of big names and draft picks being shuttled between clubs. It remains to be seen just what teams will do on deadline day, but if the days leading up to it are any indication, reporters, insiders and fans alike may be in for some fireworks.
Defensive Depth Move
Have a player with an expiring contract/pending UFA? No problem, we’ll give you a second round pick and a prospect (the Avalanche did just that to have Josh Manson on their blueline down the stretch and into the playoffs). The Panthers also opened the coffers at the trade deadline, sending prospect Ty Smilanic along with a first round pick and a fourth round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for pending UFA defenceman Ben Chiarot.
Adding to the Attack
Depth forward, anticipated to slot in on your third line? The Flames were willing to send a second, third and seventh round pick to the Seattle Kraken in exchange for right winger Calle Jarnkrok. In a similar move, the Blackhawks dealt second line winger Brandon Hagel and 2 fourth round draft picks to Tampa Bay in exchange for an impressive haul, consisting of 2 first round draft picks as well as Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk.
There has been no shortage of moves to this point, with more expected as we march towards the trade deadline, and the prices have been quite high, as teams are seemingly desperate to get moves made for the players they covet.
The Bruins were willing to deal a first round pick, two second round selections, as well as defencemen Urho Vaakanainen and John Moore for 20 or so games and a playoff run out of Hampus Lindholm and Kodie Curran (although there are reports that an extension with Lindholm is being discussed already).
Why the Canucks shouldn’t be trade deadline sellers.
Panthers Go All In
Not to be outdone, Florida also gave up significant assets for Claude Giroux, sending top prospect Owen Tippett, a first round pick and a third round pick to Philadelphia, in exchange for Giroux (50% retained) a 5th round pick, and centremen Connor Bunnaman and German Rubstov.
There are still potential trade targets available, and we’ve been hearing the anticipated returns their GMs are seeking in a deal. The completed moves to this point, do nothing in terms of keeping acquisition prices sensible and many would consider them to be overpayments. But this is the cost of doing business if you want to improve your team at this time of the year. The amount of prospect capital and early draft selections changing hands is nothing short of shocking. Some teams are pushing all of their chips in and taking a chance that the piece(s) they acquire will put them over the top during the playoffs.
You have to wonder if some GMs might stand pat, choosing instead to ride it out with what they have instead of mortgaging their team’s future. Stay tuned for what will surely be an eventful two days until the 3:00 PM EST trade deadline on Monday.