Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are six days remaining until the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET; April 12). Here’s a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:
Taylor Hall will be scratched when the Sabres play at the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, MSG-B, NHL.TV).
Hall is expected to be traded before the deadline and him sitting would be an indication the Sabres don’t want to risk injury.
“We’re still undetermined yet but it’s just part of the business, we all know that, Taylor knows that,” coach Don Granato said before the Sabres announced Hall would not play.
TSN reported Monday that there’s a sense that trade talks for Hall have escalated. The forward, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, has scored 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) in 37 games this season.
Hall was a healthy scratch for the Devils for two consecutive games before he was traded to the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 16, 2019.
The Sabres are last in the eight-team MassMutual East Division, 22 points behind the fourth-place Boston Bruins. The top four teams in each of the four divisions qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets lost one potential trade option in forward Riley Nash, who is out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury sustained against the Florida Panthers on Sunday.
The 31-year-old, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, has scored seven points (two goals, five assists) in 37 games. He could have been a solid rental acquisition for a contending team.
It appears the Blue Jackets will be sellers leading up to the deadline after going 1-5-0 during a six-game road trip.
Columbus is tied with the Dallas Stars for sixth place in the eight-team Discover Central Division, five points behind the fourth-place Nashville Predators. The top four teams in the division qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
San Jose Sharks
Coach Bob Boughner said he doesn’t expect the Sharks to be active before the deadline even though they have won four in a row and are within five points of a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“We’re pretty set on this group and moving forward, I think for the most part, this is the group we’re going to see after the deadline,” Boughner said Monday. “Our guys have responded pretty well to some of the adversity and things going on and things they may read. I think right now we’re in a good spot and I think there’s no need to change much.”
The biggest question surrounding the Sharks heading toward the deadline is the future of forward Patrick Marleau, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season, and on March 23 told The Athletic he’d consider being traded from San Jose if asked.
Boughner’s comments make it seem likely the 41-year-old could stay.
The Sharks are tied with the St. Louis Blues for fifth place in the Honda West Division, five points behind the fourth-place Arizona Coyotes. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.
The Hurricanes won’t be as busy ahead of the deadline as they were in 2020, general manager Don Waddell said.
“No way we’ll be as active as we were last year, I can tell you that. That’s not in the cards right now,” Waddell told the Hurricanes website. “I’ve been very open about adding a defenseman potentially. It’s not even to replace what we have right now, but any time you can add depth is something we have to make sure we’re on top of. If there’s something that makes sense, we want to have the opportunity to act on it.”
The Hurricanes acquired forward Vincent Trocheck and defensemen Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen before the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline.
Carolina is third in the eight-team Discover Central Division, one point behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning and three behind the first-place Florida Panthers.
Waddell said the Hurricanes feel good about their situation, especially as they get players back from injury. Goalie Petr Mrazek, who missed 29 games after having right-thumb surgery Feb. 3, made 28 saves in a 1-0 win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. Carolina is hoping forward Teuvo Teravainen (concussion), who skated late last week, can return soon. Teravainen has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 13 games this season.
“If we got healthy for the stretch run and playoffs, I think our team is pretty well built,” Waddell said. “I put a lot of faith in that these guys will get the job done.”
The Oilers are unlikely to make a major move before the deadline for several reasons, general manager Ken Holland said.
“Number one is the [NHL salary] cap; we’re tight,” Holland told The Athletic in comments published Monday. “Then, obviously, there’s those assets. We do have some assets, but there’s some assets that I’m not going to trade. I’m trying to build this thing so that we have multiple chances. You’re trying to be in the playoffs multiple times. And part of doing that is having young players. Early on, they’re cheap. You need that in a cap world.”
The Oilers are third in the seven-team Scotia North Division, one point behind the second-place Winnipeg Jets and seven points behind the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs.