There used to be a time when the best way to become an NHL GM was by being a former NHL player. But Florida struck gold with a player agent-turned-GM, and Montreal and Vancouver hope to do the same thing, too.
The New York Islanders' hopes of reversing their recent struggles suffered a big hit with versatile defenseman Ryan Pulock sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury. That prompted The Athletic's Arthur Staple to speculate over how general manager Lou Lamoriello will address the 27-year-old Pulock's absence.
Lamoriello drew from within his ranks by calling up Robin Salo. Staple speculated he could also give more playing time to Noah Dobson or call up Thomas Hickey. He wondered if the Isles GM would consider making a trade now that he's got some cap space to work with after trading Johnny Boychuk's contract to the Buffalo Sabres and Leo Komarov's departure for Russia.
Staple brought up the Arizona Coyotes' Jakob Chychrun and Dallas Stars' John Klingberg as possible trade targets. Other options included the Seattle Kraken's Mark Giordano or Vince Dunn, the Montreal Canadiens' Ben Chiarot and St. Louis Blues' Marco Scandella.
Teams usually aren't ready to make major moves at this point in time. If Lamoriello opts for a big trade to replace Pulock or to address another need it likely won't happen until later in the season. The bulk of the trade activity tends to place in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, scheduled this season for March 21.
The Coyotes see Chychrun as a key piece in their rebuild so he's not going anywhere. Klingberg, meanwhile, is in contract extension talks with the Stars. They could shop him if those discussions fall through but that likely won't happen until later in the season. While the Kraken and Canadiens are fading in the standings they probably won't go into sell mode until closer to the deadline to maximize the returns.