As the regular season starts its final wind-down approaching the playoffs this spring, the final big hurdle teams now face is the annual NHL trade deadline which – scary thing- is next week already. The New York and Toronto markets have already rolled the dice with the Islanders picking up Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks; the Rangers picked up Vladimir Tarasenko and NIkko MIkkola from the St. Louis Blues and the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Blues team captain Ryan O’Reilly to new deals in new towns – and a chance for each of these players to hoist the Stanley Cup this spring.
The remaining big names out there on the trading block are:
- Timo Meier, San Jose Sharks: Meier is having a great season in San Jose and looks to be a favored target and is a 30 goal scorer this season already. Meier’s name pops up on nearly every rumored trade list right and for good reason. Meier’s current salary is $10 million dollars and any trade partner will need to pony up that kind of cash to be in the running for his services.
- Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks: Kane’s name is almost becoming synonymous with the word trade right now in the NHL. The venerable Blackhawk legend has been playing a stellar game lately-maybe in anticipation of a move to another city. The New York Rangers seem to have designs on Kane right now but maybe he’ll end up somewhere else.
- Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks: The high-scoring defenseman is worth his weight in gold right now and on target to a 100 point season. Of course, Karlsson has a No Movement Clause (NMC) in his contract so any trade will have to be approved by him.
- Max Domi, Chicago Blackhawks: Another Blackhawk name circulating around trade rumors right now and for good reason. Domi was brought in by Chicago this season as a rental player and he’s having a career year right now -just in time to improve his trade stock.
- John Klingberg, Anaheim Ducks: What a difference a year makes. Klingberg was in Dallas last season and if he stayed, he’d be looking at a deep Stanley Cup run right now. Since he’s in Anaheim, the only drama there is which top draft pick the Ducks will take this summer.
- James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers: Another name floating out of Philly is JVR and for good reason. Maybe he’s just ready to get out of Philadelphia or maybe he doesn’t quite fit into the Tortorella mold but I suspect JVR won’t be hanging around with Gritty for much longer.
- Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks: Bo Horvat was able to escape Vancouver because he’s cheaper than Boeser and having a much better season than his former teammate. Boeser’s name still pops up on the trade radar and maybe the Canucks are ready to make some deals to clear out cap space and build their new lineup around Elias Petterssonm, Andrei Kuzmenko and Quinn Hughes.