The 2016 NHL trade deadline will be met in less than
100 160 hours now and that ramps up speculation and actual trade negotiations between the NHLs 30 franchises. The Tampa Bay Lightning have been an organization deep in the speculative rhetoric since the start of the new year with thanks to Allan Walsh and the Jonathan Drouin trade request.
Yet there's more talk out there in the league than just two players - one of whom was formally pulled away from trade-deadline discussion last week. As the deadline inches closer and closer (3 PM EST on Monday, February 29; formal attire is not necessary for those attending) more focus and attention is given to some of the media entities that rule the establishment from perches in TSN, Sportsnet, NBC Sports and other mainstream entities.
Monday afternoon, starting exactly one week from the trade deadline (3 PM), Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman stopped by Reddit's /r/hockey group for an Ask Me Anything session. Ask Me Anything (or AMA) basically gives fans a chance to do the interview process with people of fame, stature, or niche (/r/IAmA is where many of those sessions happen in general). Friedman took questions from participating hockey fans and while Drouin and Stamkos were both touched on, but it was Friedman's response on another question that should pique bolts fans interest:
So what the H E Double Hockey Sticks is Chiarelli going to do? [...]
They are in last place, first year of a franchise overhaul it would seem... Friedman's response (with emphasis added by me):
He's got a lot going on.
Purcell depending on what happens with Ladd. Schultz (was talking with TB). Korpikoski I hear is out there. Maybe Hendricks. Not sure about RNH. Was told Eberle not going. Let's see how much of that is actually right.
Justin Schultz...? Righty shot defenseman has been a topic of speculation with the Lightning for much of the trade season. Schultz numbers haven't exactly lit up this season in Edmonton but then again, it's the Edmonton Oilers. Schultz has also battled injuries that contributed to reduced playing time. I can't speculate on what the cost would be, but I wouldn't be shocked to see someone on the current blue line sent to Edmonton (perhaps Braydon Coburn as a rental player, though fans on the Reddit thread wanted prospect Anthony DeAngelo in return for the 25 year-old Schultz). Muse about that in comments if you have an opinion on a deal or don't want to see it happen.
Regardless or Schultz or the other stuff out there, my advice to readers isn't to put too much stock in any rumors leading up to the deadline, but be prepared for change to play out with the Lightning roster regardless of what's acquired.