There are less than three weeks until the Feb. 25 NHL Trade Deadline. That might feel like a lot of time, but it isn’t when you consider that trades aren’t always easy to make when you don’t know if you’re a playoff team or not.
If we look at the top 10 trade options potentially available in this year’s NHL marketplace, we see that some names that shouldn’t surprise many hockey fans. But, what’s really going on when it comes to these players in a sellers market?
Here are the top names on our NHL trade board this week:
1. Artemi Panarin, Columbus Blue Jackets:
The Blue Jackets now know that Artemi Panarin is leaving after the season. The question becomes whether or not they send him out prior to the trade deadline on Feb. 25. or not. The Blue Jackets don’t want to lose their best offensive weapon for nothing but moving him severely hurts their chances in the postseason should they make it there.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 1, 2019
Bob McKenzie recently said on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 that Panarin has his list of teams ready to go for the offseason. The Florida-based franchises are on it as are the Chicago Blackhawks and potentially the New York Rangers. Still, McKenzie adds that Panarin will “go through, I think, a rather exhaustive process once the season is over and he gets into that shopping period before free agency.”
2. Derick Brassard, Florida Panthers:
Now a Florida Panther, Derick Brassard came out and discussed why things didn’t work in Pittsburgh. Expect them not to work in Florida either. This won’t be because he’s not a good fit, it will simply be because the Panthers have no intention of hanging onto him.
It is being widely speculated that the Panthers intend to flip Brassard before the trade deadline and that the end goal for the organization is to chase Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky.
3. Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers:
Mats Zuccarello has been hot for the New York Rangers with 13 points in his last seven games. His sudden production boost has made him even more attractive to teams looking to add before the trade deadline. One team rumored as interested is the Pittsburgh Penguins.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 4, 2019
In a sellers market, will there be a bidding war over a player like Zuccarello and has his trade value gone up that much?
4. Matt Duchene, Ottawa Senators:
Matt Duchene has been at the top of many trade board lists over the past few weeks and while he’s not No. 1 on ours, he’s certainly still up there. As each day passes, it looks like more and more of a locke he’ll be moved before the deadline date of Feb. 25.
Josh Bell of The Hockey Writers wrote that Senators ownership has now set a cap of $8 million per season on Duchene’s contract and that has to mean he’s out the door knowing he can get more in free agency.
Duchene is currently having a great season, with 21 goals and 48 points in 43 games.
5. Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers:
The Flyers are on fire with a multiple-game winning streak going on. That said, they are still well outside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference and it hasn’t changed the fact that Wayne Simmonds is likely going to be traded before the deadline.
How many teams are lining up to acquire him? It sounds like a number and for good reason.
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