Rumor Roundup: Bernier, Stewart among five top remaining trade targets

Jonathan Bernier.  (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL trade deadline is only hours away. With Antoine Vermette dealt to Chicago and Curtis Glencross shipped off to Washington, the pool of available trade talent is quickly drying up. Here’s a look at the notable players who could be on the move and the clubs they’re linked to.

Marek Zidlicky, New Jersey Devils. The 38-year-old blueliner has a no-trade clause which will limit where the Devils can ship him. He’s an experienced puck-moving defenseman with a right-handed shot, which could interest the Ducks and Red Wings. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty suggests the Bruins could also make a pitch. Read more

Brad Marchand takes hilarious dive after Eric Gelinas trip

Jared Clinton
Brad Marchand (Getty Images)

There is diving and then there is performance art. Friday night, Brad Marchand presented us with the latter.

In overtime of the Boston Bruins’ game against the New Jersey Devils, Marchand took one of the most hilarious dives there will likely ever be. After Reilly Smith put a puck on goal in the extra frame, Marchand followed the puck to the net and was chopped in the foot by Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas. And what was Marchand’s reaction? Flying, rolling and finally coming to a stop with his legs above his head, of course. Read more

Top 10 big names likely to be traded before the deadline

Antoine Vermette  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Let the wheelin’ and dealin’ begin! Here are the remaining 10 big-time players most likely to find new NHL homes by March 2:

RYAN O’REILLY
Colorado Avalanche, center
Contract status: 1 year @ $6M
Good fit for…ARI, BUF, FLA, MTL, WPG

Although some think O’Reilly, 24, could make the jump to become a bona fide No. 1 center, many pro scouts view him more as a tremendous second-line pivot. He’s a solid two-way forward with exceptional discipline (he had just two penalty minutes in 80 games last season), and he’s not a rental, with one season left on a two-year, $12-million contract. The Avs need a young defenseman in return. It’s more a matter of when he’s traded, not if. Read more

THN mock deadline trades: Jagr, Lupul and Vermette

Jaromir Jagr (Getty Images)

Better rush to get this blog up before every name in the headline above finds a new team.

The writing on the wall is pretty much in perma-Sharpie for right winger Jaromir Jagr and center Antoine Vermette. Left winger Joffrey Lupul has a decent shot at changing addresses before March 2′s trade deadline, too, assuming the Toronto Maple Leafs eat some of his $5.25-million cap hit.

Admit it: one of the funnest things to do this time of year is speculate on deals and propose some of your own. Let’s take a crack at it in this space with a few plausible swaps for each on-the-block player.

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THN Trade Deadline preview: Metropolitan Division

(Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

With the Eastern Conference about as wide open as it gets in the parity-laden NHL, the trade deadline could be huge in the Metropolitan Division. Who knows if, come deadline day, a GM from one of the three main contenders swings a deal that changes their team’s fate.

The New York Islanders made their biggest splash in the off-season, trading for blueliners Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, the latter of whom was signed to a seven-year extension on Tuesday. The New York Rangers are right at the top of the standings thanks to a red hot Rich Nash. And the Pittsburgh Penguins… well, the Penguins have two guys by the name of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin who can be game breakers at any time. But don’t count out the Capitals.

Even the lowly Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets are making some noise heading into the deadline, which could make the Metropolitan extremely active come deadline day. Read more

Could Scott Gomez actually be a wanted man at the trade deadline?

Ken Campbell
Scott Gomez Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

The first and only time Scott Gomez was traded, the results were a disaster. That trade started a series of falling dominos that led to Gomez’s career spiraling downhill and to him becoming one of the NHL’s biggest pariahs.

So how cool is it that almost six years later, Gomez could become a wanted man at the trade deadline? All right, wanted might be gilding the lily a little. But the fact that Gomez has played his way into the conversation of players who could be moved by March 2 is nothing short of remarkable.

The NHL trade deadline seems becoming less about blockbusters – those big trades for players with term left on their deals are usually done at the draft now – and more about bolstering and tinkering. Some of the deals that turn out to be the best ones are the relatively minor ones that don’t cost the team acquiring the player much. And all the uncertainty surrounding the salary cap next season might impact this year’s trade deadline even more in that respect. (The Los Angeles Kings, though, are outliers in this one. Both of their Cup wins were preceded by big pre-deadline deals with the Columbus Blue Jackets that paid off in a big way in the playoffs – getting Jeff Carter in 2012 and Marian Gaborik last season.)

There are some GMs who think this year’s deadline will be dominated only by rentals because teams are wary of taking on too much money and term without know what the cap will be next season. And the uncertainty over whether the NHL Players’ Association will trigger the five percent inflator, because that will mean more in escrow payments, is adding to the worry.

So if the market is going to be flooded with rentals, teams looking for some inexpensive help might do worse than pick up Gomez, who rededicated himself to fitness and seems intent on proving he’s still got game. His 20 points in 33 games puts him pace for full season total of 50 points. Read more