The days leading up to, and including, the draft weekend always spark renewed activity in the trade market. This year is no exception.
Since Friday, several trades have taken place. The biggest to date saw the New York Rangers acquire defenseman Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets. With the draft weekend fast approaching, here’s the latest notable trade speculation:
JETS NOT DONE DEALING
In the wake of the Trouba trade, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could be cooking up another deal. Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press reports Cheveldayoff said he still has “lots of moving parts, or balls in the air.”
TSN’s Frank Seravalli believes the Jets offered winger Nikolaj Ehlers to the Carolina Hurricanes for one of their top-four, right-shot defensemen. Those include Justin Faulk, Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce. Chip Alexander of Raleigh’s The News & Observer reports Hurricanes GM Don Waddell is in the market for a top-nine forward. However, he didn’t indicate if he’ll shop one of those blueliners.
COULD KRUG BECOME A TRADE CHIP?
Boston Bruins president Cam Neely admitted Tuesday his club could target a top-six forward. NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty feels defenseman Torey Krug would make the perfect trade bait.
Krug, 28, is coming off a strong performance this season. He’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent status and could prove expensive to re-sign. Haggerty reports Bruins GM Don Sweeney didn’t reject the idea but it would take a mind-blowing offer to sway him.
ZUCKER’S FUTURE UNCERTAIN IN MINNESOTA
Ahead of the February trade deadline, the Wild ran out of time trying to send Jason Zucker to the Calgary Flames. On Monday, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford admitted a recently proposed deal that would’ve brought Zucker to Pittsburgh in exchange for Phil Kessel fell apart over Kessel’s refusal to waive his no-trade clause.
Despite those failed attempts, Wild GM Paul Fenton could try again. Last week, he told The Athletic’s Michael Russo he’s received calls about Zucker and several other players. Fenton claimed he’s not intent on moving Zucker, but his recent actions suggest otherwise.
ZAITSEV LINKED TO CANUCKS AND OILERS
The Toronto Maple Leafs are attempting to honor Nikita Zaitsev’s trade request. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman indicated their asking price is a defenseman or a return that can be used to acquire a blueliner.
The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples cited reports out of Toronto tying the 27-year-old defenseman to the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers. Staples considers Zaitsev’s $4.5-million cap hit through 2023-24 a deal breaker for the Oilers. Canucks GM Jim Benning is looking for defensive depth. If he’s kicking tires on Zaitsev he could request the Leafs include a quality prospect or young player in the deal.
CANADIENS EYEING GOSTISBEHERE?
Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher is wasting no time adding experienced depth to his defense corps. Since Friday, he has shipped Radko Gudas to the Washington Capitals for Matt Niskanen and sent two draft picks to the San Jose Sharks for Justin Braun. Those moves could raise questions about Shayne Gostisbehere’s future in Philadelphia.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jordan Hall doesn’t expect the Flyers will trade any of their young defensemen. Nevertheless, recent rumors out of Montreal claim the Canadiens and Flyers discussed Gostisbehere. The Habs need a top-four left-side defenseman to boost their anemic power play and ‘Ghost Bear’ could fit the bill.
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