Trade Deadline Musings

Carolina Hurricanes Blowing It Up?

Feb 14th, 2024 – Rumour has it that Carolina GM Armando Trejo may be willing to move some significant players after a disappointing season to date. The Canes were thought of as contenders by many at the outset of the 2023-2024 campaign but instead they find themselves near the bottom of the Eastern Conference and 7 points away from the final wild card spot. 38 year old defenseman Brent Burns, a year removed from an 18 goal season, has struggled mightily and is on pace for only 10 goals and 17 points this season. Another disappointment has been free agent acquisition Michael Bunting. After consecutive 20 goal seasons with the Maple Leafs it is looking like Bunting was merely a product of his environment, producing only 3 goals on the season to date. All is not lost for the Hurricanes as they have a strong young core of forwards between Sebastian Aho, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Andrei Svechnikov, Martin Necas and Seth Jarvis to build upon. Young netminder Pyotr Kochetkov has also risen to prominence with 8 starts in their last 12 games and is looking like the heir apparent to oft-injured Frederik Andersen in the crease. Kochetkov has a .922 save percentage and 2 shutouts this year. Among players rumoured to be available at the deadline are G Frederick Andersen, RD Brett Pesce, LW Teuvo Teravainen, LW Michael Bunting, RW Jesper Fast and C Jordan Martinook. Pesce and Teravainen especially look to be tantalizing pieces for any contender hoping to make a splash with the deadline looming. The Kings have reportedly been in the market for a first line winger for some time, could they possibly be willing to ante up a first rounder for Teravainen (on a 20 goal, 55 point pace currently)? Fast and Martinook are both valuable depth pieces with playoff experience who play the game the right way. Expect at least some of these players to be wearing a different jersey a month from now.

Boston willing to move on from Ullmark, anoint Swayman #1?

Feb 14th, 2024 – Bruins GM Rick Witt has made it known to other front offices that he is willing to move 30 year old netminder Linus Ullmark. Ullmark and Swayman have formed a formidable tandem in recent years but Witt looks ready to transition to the younger Swayman as his permanent starter. Thus far both goalies have continued to share the crease but Swayman has a .915 save percentage compared to Ullmark’s mark of .900. With the 25 year old Swayman committed for three years on a team friendly $4.3M per year extension Boston is poised to move off of Ullmark if they can find any takers. Ullmark’s NMC won’t make it easy but there is a list of ten teams he would accept a trade to. Insiders report that one of those teams is Boston’s rival the Toronto Maple Leafs, who sit at fourth in the Atlantic and are weak in net, rolling with a tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Martin Jones. Whether the Bruins would be open to helping Toronto out when both are in a tight race in the Atlantic is a question we will see answered in the coming weeks.

Mixed messaging from Kraken GM on captain Jordan Eberle

Feb 14th, 2024 – Insiders report that the Kraken have made a list of available players known to other teams in the league prior to the trade deadline. Included on the list were a few players with NTCs, including goaltender Philipp Grubauer, D Jamie Oleksiak, C Alex Wennberg and team captain Jordan Eberle. Eberle recently signed a three year extension with the Kraken and GM Rova was effusive in his praise of the veteran winger’s intangibles, leadership and skill in the ensuing press conference. However, with reports surfacing that Eberle is also potentially on the block pundits are uncertain how to read the intentions of the Kraken front office. Perhaps things have changed in recent weeks in how they see Eberle or, more likely, perhaps they are just realistic about where their team is at and feel they need to be open to anything that could improve the team long term.