NHL Trade Deadline Movers and Shakers


It's that time of year again, when NHL General Managers become Wall Street traders, and they are either buyers, sellers, or standing pat until they've got a productive on-ice product. There are a few big names out there, and most of the contenders are just looking to add some solid depth, for their third and fourth-line production. We have until 3 pm next Friday to speculate, so let's take a look at some of the bigger names that may need a Change of Address form from the Post Office. 

 

1) Jake Guentzel, LW/RW - Pittsburgh Penguins 

Jake Guentzel is a UFA after this season and we all know what he can do on the ice. He is the elite goal scorer that can be had at the trade deadline, but here's the rub. Guentzel has been on Long-Term IR, and will not come off until shortly after the trade deadline. General Manager Kyle Dubas, has said that the Penguins need to get younger, and since all the elder statesmen (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Erik Karlsson) are tied up in huge contracts, this makes Guentzel a prime candidate to be traded, as he can net the biggest return of any player on the roster.

Now every team could use a top-line scorer who can play either wing, so where does the veteran land?  Honestly, I'd love to see him end up on the Blackhawks, but they're in dead last and it will not happen. As for playoff-bound teams or teams making their push, Guentzel would be a great addition to the Oilers, as they have two of the best players on Earth, and adding him to that top-six would make Edmonton's offense almost illegal in Arizona.  The Avalanche and Kings also make sense and could benefit from adding this sniper.  As a Rangers (second team) fan, I'd love to see him there, and as a Wings (first always) fan, it's almost our time, but not quite yet though. 

Guentzel can score everywhere and anywhere.

 

2) Jacob Markstrom, G - Calgary Flames 

There are a couple of intriguing netminders out there that should be available. Before you get any further along in this piece, no, Calgary is not boarding up the windows and closing up shop forever, but as of this writing, they are one of the hotter teams in the NHL. It has become the Clash song, Should I Stay, or Should I Go, as all these players could net a very nice return for the future building of the squad. Jacob Markstrom is owed $6 Million per season through 2025/26, but teams like New Jersey could use some stability between the pipes. Instead of searching for lightning in a bottle with what they're currently calling a goalie, Markstrom would have to waive his no-trade clause but may just do that to make a Cup run. Toronto could use him as well and for the same reasons as the Devils, but at what cost?  The Leafs and Kings are right up against the salary cap, but New Jersey has a little wiggle room. 

 

3) Noah Hanafin, D - Calgary Flames

Noah Hanafin meets the requirements for most NHL teams that are looking for a defenseman, that is big, strong, and entering his prime at age 27.  He turned down the Flames seven-year offer and this offseason he will be testing the Free-Agency waters. In short, trade for him now to get something in return, as he plans to leave Calgary regardless, and that is a shame.  Now I imagine that Dallas is out of the running for Hanafin, since  Chris Tanev was dealt there earlier this week, but Toronto could use him badly. Vancouver needs to solidify their back end with a stay-at-home brute who chips in offensively.  New Jersey who has been very underwhelming this year, mainly due to injury and shady netminding would also greatly benefit from a Hanafin trade, and once Dougie Hamilton returns, would give the Devils another stopper, and Puddy would approve of this move more importantly. 

Gotta support the team...

 

4) Jusse Saros, G, Nashville Predators 

Jusse Saros is having an off year for his usual superhuman standards, and once again his name is floating around at the trade deadline like it was last year.  Saros is still under contract for another year, and the Predators are in the hunt for a Wild Card spot but need scoring badly.  They also have another top goalie prospect waiting in the wings, we do say they often about the Nashville prospect pipeline, always another stud defenseman or stud goalie coming, and it's always true.  Yaroslav Askarov is coming, do they stand pat with Saros and crew? The New Jersey Devils and the LA Kings come to mind immediately when I think of contenders who need an upgrade between the pipes. 

5) Chris Tanev, D - Calgary Flames 

Chris Tanev was traded to Dallas on 2/28/24 for a second-rounder in this year's draft, Defensive prospect Artyom Grushnikov, and a 2026 third round pick if Dallas makes the Stanley Cup Finals this year.  

 

6) Jakob Chychurn, D - Ottawa Senators 

Ottawa is falling way below expectations this season and has a plethora of young talent that needs a new direction.  I feel that Jakob Chychurn is a young stud, and gives the Senators three players of such ilk in their defensive corps Jake Sanderson, Thomas Chabot, and Chychurn.  I'm sure they could move on from Chychurn, and maybe acquire a goalie who can keep them in games, or an offensive talented veteran who could guide these youngsters in the ways of professionalism and being an NHL player, or even better, a ton of draft capital. What team wouldn't want that? Chychurn is only 25, and the asking price will be steep, but I would love to see a younger team take the chance, like the Red Wings, who have draft capital and could pair him with Moritz Seider or Simon Edvidsson, when he moves across state to Detroit next season.  The Rangers are always willing to make a big splash and thinking of Adam Fox and Chychurn together for the next decade is a nice thought. Another catch besides giving up all those picks is that Chychurn has a list of teams he won't go to.   

 

There are many others out there, and we can discuss them after the trade deadline, but I see these players as the movers and shakers, or the big fish on the market.  Feel free to debate me or just talk fantasy sports @TheKingPolka on X as I had to create a new account. 


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