NHL Trade Buzz: Jets could add defenseman before Deadline

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Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are nine 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:

 
Winnipeg Jets

The Jets haven’t ruled out adding a defenseman before the deadline, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said.  

“Our defense is not a household-name type of defense, but it is one that I think operates more by committee so to speak and kind of accentuates each other,” Cheveldayoff told The Athletic in comments published Friday. “Sure, we’re not the tightest in certain areas, but there’s a lot of teams with lots of weaknesses. So if we find something that we think can upgrade us, we’ll take a look at it.”

Mattias Ekholm of the Nashville Predators, David Savard of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Josh Manson of the Anaheim Ducks are potential defensemen of interest for Winnipeg, according to The Athletic. Ekholm and Manson each has one season remaining on his contract, and Savard can become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The Jets are tied with the Edmonton Oilers for second place in the seven-team Scotia North Division, four points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs. The top four teams in each of the four divisions qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Tweet from @PierreVLeBrun: Every game can affect the deadline.���You���re watching and you���ve got a million things going through your mind. And all of sudden something happens and now you���ve got a separate million things going through your mind.”On the Jets GM and what lies ahead:https://t.co/pGPxjxZ2v2

 
New Jersey Devils

Kyle Palmieri‘s future with the Devils is reportedly in doubt. 

Pierre LeBrun of Sportsnet and The Athletic reported Saturday that the Devils and the forward, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, have not made much progress toward a new contract. 

If traded, the 30-year-old, who has scored 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 34 games this season, could provide a boost for a contender looking to add some scoring. Potential landing spots for Palmieri include the New York Islanders, who are without forward Anders Lee for the rest of the season because of a knee injury, and the Boston Bruins, who were 22nd in the NHL in goals per game (2.61) entering Saturday. 

New Jersey is seventh in the eight-team MassMutual East Division. New York is second, two points behind the Washington Capitals, and Boston is fourth, nine points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins with four games in hand.

Tweet from @PierreVLeBrun: You never know how these things go at the 11th hour, but my gut feeling is there won’t be an extension. I see a trade coming. https://t.co/p1gHJ1alou

 
Chicago Blackhawks

Vinnie Hinostroza will bring speed and energy and likely play a bottom-six role for the Blackhawks, who acquired him from the Florida Panthers for forward Brad Morrison on Friday. 

But Hinostroza, who could become an unrestricted free agent after this season, could also be a part of Chicago’s future.

General manager Stan Bowman said on the “Blackhawks Insider” podcast on March 17 that Chicago, which is tied for fourth in the eight-team Discover Central Division, is looking to acquire players who can help it rebuild these next few seasons. The top four teams will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Hinostroza could fall into that category because of his familiarity with the Blackhawks, who he played for from 2015-18, and also Jeremy Colliton, who coached Hinostroza with Rockford of the American Hockey League in 2017-18.

 
Boston Bruins 

The Bruins could look to add a defenseman ahead of the deadline with Brandon Carlo week to week with an upper-body injury. 

Carlo was injured against the Penguins on April 1, his second game after returning from a concussion that caused him to miss 10 games.

“It’s been a trying year for him, obviously, injury-wise,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We went into this year with a few younger guys back in there and we wanted [Carlo] and [Matt Grzelcyk] and [Charlie McAvoy] to take a step forward in terms of responsibility and leadership, and I think Brandon was trying to do that. 

“At the end of the day, that’s the hand we’re dealt. We just missed Brandon for 10 games or so. You’ve got to put other guys in there to step up and do the job.”

Defenseman Kevan Miller, who has missed the past 18 games with a knee injury, is “getting closer,” according to Cassidy. 

The Bruins, who are 8-9-3 in their past 20 games, are in fourth place in the eight-team MassMutual East Division. They are nine points back of the Penguins and New York Islanders for second with four games in hand on each, and three points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers. — Amalie Benjamin 

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