NHL Trade Deadline Primer: Pacific Division rumor roundup

The Flames have the possibility to make big moves with James Neal out

It’s hard to keep up with the NHL’s trade deadline machine. Rumors — both real and fake — are everywhere, and on any given day a team can feel like they’re in the playoff hunt or not. It’s tough to sort through all the mess, so for the next few days, we’re going to go through the NHL’s trade rumor mill and parse out which forwards, defensemen, and goalies might actually see themselves on a new team come February 25th.

We are into the final set of teams and there’s a little bit of everything to pick from. You have two top-class teams looking to buy big, two quiet team with depth to provide, and the delusional teams who screwed themselves months ago.

Let’s get into it.

The Buyers

Calgary Flames

First off, the Calgary Flames are hoping to acquire the James Neal they signed last summer. He’s been a ghost of himself so far this season, and is currently out for what will be much of the rest of the regular season, but a stronger playoff run would wash all that away.

With Neal on the IR, the Flames have a lot of cap space wiggle room to make moves. Mark Stone is the big fish still available, and if the Flames can get him out of the death grip the Jets fanbase seemingly has on the winger, he would be a huge addition.

The Flames are also apparently in on Wayne Simmonds, but that situation is a little more complicated. The Philadelphia Flyers think they have a chance to make the playoffs, and  like when the team lost both games on the weekend before firing coach Dave Hakstol, the team has this weekend to prove that they can make the playoffs. They won the Stadium Series game over the Penguins, but not Thursday against the Canadiens. They currently sit seven points out of a playoff spot. The Flyers have been working with their emotions a lot since Dave Hextall left, so who knows if Simmonds is even available.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks never stay quiet at the trade deadline. Last year, they got Evander Kane, this year they might get Wayne Simmonds or Mark Stone. Marcus Johansson is another option for the team. So far, the Sharks have struck out on the Duchenes, Zuccarellos, and probably Panarins, so for a team desperate to win a Cup, they won’t leave the deadline empty-handed.

Ryan Miller sounds like he’s going to drive up (down?) to San Jose from Anaheim in the next day or so. Aaron Dell hasn’t been great this year, and with Martin Jones’ up and down season, having a veteran backup who can come in and play well immediately is probably key for this team.

Vegas Golden Knights

The feeling around Vegas is that they won’t be going for any of the homeruns on deadline day. They’re going to be a little more conservative this time around. One thing Elliotte Friedman said they were going to do on his latest podcast is rest Marc-Andre Fleury. He’s played the most games out of any goalie in the league and the team is pretty much locked in on third in the Pacific.

The Golden Knights might be in on Mark Stone, but only if they can get an agreed extension signed with him. They need to start building long-term assets (like Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty last summer). Wayne Simmonds is another option within that framework, but it doesn’t sound like they’re as willing to give a player like him term.

The Sellers

Arizona Coyotes

As usual, no one’s talking about the Coyotes. Richard Panik and Jordan Weal are the obvious depth rental options for teams, but it sounds like no one’s interested enough to talk about them. They’ll probably get moved, but to where or for how much will probably just end up being a five-minute conversation between GMs sometime on Monday.

If the Yotes are smart, they’ll try and get creative with taking contract dollars back in trades between teams close to the cap ceiling. As of right now, there hasn’t been any whispers of that happening, and those deals tend to take time, so the odds of it happening feel low.

Los Angeles Kings

The Kings got their big trade chip out of town early, and have since relaxed while teams around them scramble to sell. Everyone on the team is locked up for another year, so unless teams want a player like Kyle Clifford, Tyler Toffoli, or Trevor Lewis for this year and next, it’s going to be a quiet Monday for the Kings. They shouldn’t feel too down about this. They have a lottery first-round pick and the Leafs’ first, along with a pair of prospects from the Jake Muzzin deal.

I don’t think this rumor has much merit, but it comes from Elliotte Friedman, so I’ll share it. The Kings might be getting restless and want to turn their decline around as fast as they can. A way to do that would be to trade for Artemi Panarin in order to sign him. Trading back Ilya Kovalchuk would kill two birds with one stone.

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks are in a stalemate with defenseman Alex Edler. Edler is currently out with a concussion, but his side has been negotiating a contract extension with the only team he’s ever known. The deal appears to be getting done, so a trade for Edler appears to be off the table. He’s a left shot and has a long history of injuries (he’s injured now!), so I’m not sure if his value would’ve been high anyway.

  • Contracts talks with Edler progressing. [TSN]/

The Confused

Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks

Neither of these management groups have planned to be sellers at the trade deadline, and have made trades to further take themselves away from that option.

The Ducks have “signed” Jakob Silfverberg to a contract extension, but can’t officially sign the deal because it would mean the team is above the buffer allowed to be over the salary cap next year. Beyond Silfverberg, the Ducks have Michael Del Zotto as pending UFAs on the roster. Like most players on Anaheim this season, Del Zotto has been really bad. There hasn’t been much interest on him at all. Ryan Miller is set to expire, so he might be the only guy to get moved out of Anaheim tomorrow.

The Edmonton Oilers did all their moves just after Christmas, and found a way to sell their good players for rentals that ended up being worse. As a result, the liquor cabinet for teams to sample from is bare. Alex Chiasson is one player teams might have liked to trade for, but it sounds like Edmonton would rather keep him for “a run to the playoffs.”

Jesse Puljujarvi definitely sounds like he wants out of Edmonton. The reported asking price for him is very low, so there isn’t much traction on a deal right now. Unless things progress really quickly in the next day, this is probably going to be a Draft or mid-July trade.


So they might get a third-round pick for Chiasson and trade Connor McDavid for Jack Johnson.

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