We take a second crack at mock NHL trade deadline moves, this time shifting to the blueline. Defenseman trades are interesting because they involve such a premium position. It can lead to overpays. Stay-at-home Douglas Murray netted two second-round picks in 2013. Andrew MacDonald? A second- and third-rounder in 2014. Offense-minded D-men, especially those with manageable contracts and an additional year on their deals, can haul in more still. Jay Bouwmeester got Calgary a first-round pick when it sent him to St. Louis in 2013. Marek Zidlicky alone brought three skaters and two picks to Minnesota in 2012.
What, then, of sought-after Keith Yandle, Mike Green and Jeff Petry? Yandle has boom potential with a year left on his deal. Green and Petry make for handy rentals as pending unrestricted free agents. Here are some mock trades to consider.
The Wayne Gretzky shocker to L.A. will always be hockey’s pre-eminent swap. It is, after all, known simply as “The Trade.”
That said, the first seismic, earth-shattering, mind-blowing blockbuster to register on my Richter scale happened more than a decade earlier, on Nov. 7, 1975, when the Rangers sent Jean Ratelle, Brad Park and Joe Zanussi to Boston for Phil Esposito and Carol Vadnais. To borrow a line from Greg Kihn, they just don’t write ’em like that anymore. Read more
Let the wheelin’ and dealin’ begin! Here are the remaining 10 big-time players most likely to find new NHL homes by March 2:
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
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are division rivals whose rivalry has ramped up since stars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005-06 – and after Wednesday’s game included a brawl that spilled onto the Pens’ bench, the emotion of the rivalry is as hot as ever.
The Metropolitan Division teams got into a skirmish at center ice near the halfway point of Wednesday’s game in Washington, and within a matter of seconds, it erupted into a battle that jumped the boards and into Pittsburgh’s bench: (Video via SportsnetCanada) Read more
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
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
Hockey fans awoke this morning to a sight that’s not usually seen outside of the first few weeks of the NHL season: the goal scoring leader, a Washington Capital; the assist leader, a Washington Capital; and sitting atop the Art Ross Trophy race, a Washington Capital.
It has been more than a decade since teammates from a single team have dominated the NHL points race together, the last duo to do so coming in 2002-03 when Avalanche teammates Milan Hejduk scored 50 goals and Peter Forsberg paced the league with a 77-assist, 106-point season. But the Washington tandem of Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom is looking poised to duplicate feat and changing the Capitals’ fortunes in the process. Read more
Multi-goal games happen on a near nightly basis, but it takes a special night for a player to complete a hat trick. There have been strange hat tricks in NHL history – heck, Mason Raymond has three in his career – but even most gifted offensive talents have struggled to net their own.
Take Jamie Benn, for instance. Tuesday night marked his first career hat trick and it was his 401st NHL game. Shane Doan was drafted in 1995 and scored his first trio in 2012. Brad Richards was nearly 33 before he scored his first.
Two players on this list have had playoff hat tricks, but the regular season feat remains out of their grasp. The names will shock you, too. These are five players waiting for their first career hat trick: Read more