The NHL trade deadline day came and went with none of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ big stars getting dealt. Despite anticipation by some pundits suggesting Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak or Joffrey Lupul would be traded, the four will finish this season with the Leafs.
It was for lack of trying on GM Dave Nonis’ part. In the hours leading up to the 3 PM ET deadline, there were reports Nonis was in talks with Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding a possible deal for the 29-year-old Phaneuf.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claims one reason the deal fell through was the Leafs sought highly-touted Wings prospect forward Anthony Mantha as part of the return. Holland repeatedly made it clear throughout this season none of his top prospects or good young roster players were available. It’s not surprising he balked at Nonis’ request for Mantha. Read more
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
The Chicago Blackhawks wasted little time utilizing the nearly $6 million in cap relief from superstar Patrick Kane going on long-term injured reserve. On Friday, they acquired veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen from the Philadelphia Flyers for a 2015 second-round pick and a conditional 2016 pick. The following day, they shipped minor-league defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and a 2015 first-round pick to Arizona for forward Antoine Vermette.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman might not be done dealing. Backup goalie Antti Raanta could be a trade chip. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Lazerus notes Raanta, 25, was recently demoted to the minors while Scott Darling was called up as Corey Crawford’s backup. Lazerus wonders if Raanta still has a future with the Blackhawks. Read more
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ dealing the supposedly untradeable David Clarkson to Columbus for Nathan Horton stunned the hockey world. It’s sparked considerable buzz over what other surprises Leafs GM Dave Nonis has in store leading up to the March 2 trade deadline.
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal notes a rumor making the rounds linked the Oilers to Leafs center Tyler Bozak. Staples doubts the Oilers would take on the 28-year-old Bozak’s $4.2-million annual cap hit without sending an expensive contract back to the Leafs. There’s also the little matter of Bozak’s modified no-trade clause.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul could be on the Washington Capitals radar. CSN Washington.com’s Chuck Gormley suggests players like Dallas’ Erik Cole or Vernon Fiddler might interest the Caps but made no mention of Lupul. Read more
Chicago’s Patrick Kane is out with a broken clavicle, which has spurred on speculation the Blackhawks will be dogged in pursuing someone to replace some of the winger’s production.
To be fair, there’s no one in this year’s trade market capable of adequately replacing Kane. At best, the Blackhawks land a decent scoring winger to fill the void until Kane’s return sometime in mid-May, provided the ‘Hawks get that far into the post-season. Read more
Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette still tops the list of best available player on the trade market. Prized for his two-way skills and ability to play center or wing, interest remains high in the 32-year-old forward.
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch links Vermette to the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, suggesting the Pittsburgh Penguins could also get into the bidding. Read more
As the NHL trade deadline draws nearer, expectation is growing over possible moves by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their mid-February trading of Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to the Nashville Predators is considered the first of several significant moves as the Leafs begin a long-overdue rebuild.
The Toronto Sun’s Rob Longley reports “many players”, led by winger Daniel Winnik, center Tyler Bozak, defenseman Roman Polak and perhaps goaltender Jonathan Bernier, could be playing elsewhere soon. Read more
The Columbus Blue Jackets made defenseman James Wisniewski a healthy scratch for Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers. At the time it was reportedly a coach’s decision. Of course, whenever a notable healthy player becomes a late scratch at this time of year, it’s assumed he’s about to be traded.
NBC Sports’ James O’Brien thought it was an odd move, citing the 31-year-old Wisniewski’s solid puck-possession stats. He pointed out the veteran blueliner has two years remaining on his contract at an annual cap hit of $5.5 million. O’Brien also cited a tweet from TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie speculating Wisniewski could be traded. Read more