The NHL Trade Deadline, one of the NHL’s biggest events, is on Feb. 25, and a lot of teams will be looking to make changes on their roster before 3 p.m. that day.
Here are the big five big names you need to know.
Artemi Panarin, a forward with the Columbus Blue Jackets, will not be negotiating a new contract with the team, despite being on a playoff team and the team’s leading scorer (67 points). So trading the club’s best skater for something in return is the best thing the club could do. Whatever team he will be traded to, however, will have to give a lot away. There have been no substantial rumours on where he could be headed, but it’s likely almost every team in the league is looking at him. The only thing certain about Panarin is that he won’t be a Blue Jacket next season, with five teams rumoured to be already sniffing him out in preparation for the free agency period in July.
Sergei Bobrovsky, another player with the Blue Jackets but a goalie, is also on the trading block. A similar situation to Panarin, but just a lot weirder, in terms of what is happening. Bobrovsky hasn’t said publicly that he will not negotiate a new contract, but it’s well known that he wants out of Ohio. He is probably likely to stay for the rest of the season and through the playoffs, though. The Blue Jackets will need a goalie in the playoffs, and even though he has a reputation for underperforming during them, there isn’t much of a market to replace him. It’s unlikely Columbus will do a one-for-one trade with Detroit for their goalie, Jimmy Howard, but it’s a trade that could happen if Detroit adds another piece.
Matt Duchene of the Ottawa Senators is a bona fide number one centre, and even though he likes being in Ottawa, if he brings in a high return he will likely be traded. If Panarin is traded, it’s likely the Blue Jackets will make a play for him with an established player and a few high-end draft picks. However, he will likely stay put if he can come to lucrative terms with the franchise.
Mark Stone, another forward with the Ottawa Senators, is more likely to leave. The popular landing spots rumoured are Detroit and Winnipeg. If he goes to the latter, Ottawa will be happy, as it means one of the Atlantic Division’s best wingers is now somewhere else that isn’t Ottawa. It will, however, mean that the Winnipeg Jets would be the scariest offensive threat in the NHL, with all that firepower.
Gustav Nyquist will be what every team in the playoff picture will be looking for. The Detroit Red Wings winger is having a career year and will add a secondary punch in scoring for whatever team he will go to. Detroit has already asked for his list of teams and he also has a no-trade clause, so he can stick it out with the team if he decides to stick around for the rest of the season. Calgary, Washington, Dallas and San Jose are all looking at him. Whatever the trade is, Detroit fans should expect a pretty good return.