In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on who the Boston Bruins are targeting as their top target at the NHL Trade Deadline, plus who are the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames targeting? Finally, how much of a role will player contracts play in trades made during this year’s trade deadline hysteria?
Bruins Targeting Kreider Over All Others
NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty mentions that New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider appears to be the primary target of the Boston Bruins between now and the Feb 24 deadline. How they plan to make a trade work should be the most intriguing part.
Kreider is a natural left winger where the Bruins have some depth. All of Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, and Danton Heinen are left-wingers meaning Bjork and Heinen might be moved over to the right side.
The Bruins will also have issues affording Kreider’s salary considering CapFriendly projects the team will have $712 in cap room. Even if the Rangers retained the maximum 50% of his over $4.6 million salary in trade, Boston would need to make other moves. If you include bonuses earned by players on the team, (which carry over into the 2020-21 season) Kreider is an expensive luxury that the team possibly can’t justify.
This is all assuming Boston outbids any other interested teams.
Related: 3 Best Trades in Senators History
Maple Leafs Have Eyes on a Few Players
Luke Fox of Sportsnet is suggesting the Maple Leafs pursue New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. This is not news as that rumor has been out there for some time. However, he also adds San Jose Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon, or Calgary Flames blueliner Travis Hamonic to that list.
Fox believes in order to acquire Dillon, the Leafs would have to be willing to move either a prospect like Dmytro Timashov or Jeremy Bracco and possibly a later-round pick. To acquire Hamonic would cost a young forward like Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, or Alexander Kerfoot.
If Georgiev isn’t available, Fox suggests the Leafs might look at Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith, Anaheim’s Ryan Miller, or San Jose’s Aaron Dell as Plan B options.
Flames Main Trade Targets
Darren Haynes of The Athletic took a look at 10 possible trade targets for the Calgary Flames before the deadline. He notes that the Flames are the only NHL team without a right-shooting winger at the moment. They’ll likely want to address that.
In looking at players with terms, Haynes points out Kyle Palmieri from the New Jersey Devils, Josh Anderson from the Blue Jackets, Kasperi Kapanen from the Maple Leafs, among a couple of others.
In looking at pure rentals, he notes Tyler Toffoli, Wayne Simmonds, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau will be the top targets. Haynes writes:
If you’re wondering how successful the heavy-lefty blueprint has been, Detroit is last in the NHL, a whopping 13 points out of 30th.
All this to say when Pierre LeBrun, senior NHL columnist for The Athletic and NHL Insider for TSN, reported last Thursday that Brad Treliving is scouring the trade market for — specifically — a right-shot forward, no kidding!source – ’10 players Flames GM Brad Treliving should consider as he hunts for a right-shot forward’ – Darren Haynes – The Athletic – 01/20/2020
Expect Contract Slot to Play Big Part in Trades
One of the things that may stop the action from getting hot and heavy in the NHL over the next few weeks are how many contracts slots teams do and don’t have available to add players. No team can go above the maximum of 50 on any given roster and many teams are at 48 or 49.
Some of the teams rumored to be buyers before Feb. 24 are teams like the Edmonton Oilers (48), Dallas Stars (48), New York Islanders (49), Pittsburgh Penguins (48), Tampa Bay Lightning (48) and that might hinder their ability to make moves if they first don’t do deals with teams who don’t have as many contracts and are sellers.
If a team like the New York Rangers — who only has 46 contracts decides to sell, they could get down to 43 or 42 and start taking other people’s contracts in exchange for picks. This would allow buyers to free up roster space.
Obviously, some teams can do things internally to help their own situations, but don’t be surprised if we start to hear about these kinds of deals so teams have the flexibility they need.