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NHL Trading Deadline Part 2: Who will Be Buyers or Sellers?

Dec. 01, 2019 - Michael Stewart

NHL Trading Deadline Part 2: Who will Be Buyers or Sellers?

Introduction: Continuing with my NHL trading deadline (Part 2), we’ll take a look at the Metropolitan Division and which teams will be buyers or sellers. We’re still a good two months away (February 24, 2020), however; reports are already being leaked out that we could see some moment well before the deadline approaches.  So let’s take a look at the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference:

Metropolitan Division:

  • Washington Capitals:
  1. Nicklas Backstrom: Backstrom is in the final of his contract and although he has been a main cog for the Capitals and they are playing well, it might be time to trade him for a solid return. The Capitals don’t have a replacement in-house for Backstrom, so expect them to be seeking a young affordable center in return as part of the package. Other notable players to be traded are goalie Braden Hotby. Possible Destinations: Arizona Coyotes or Washington Capitals.
  • New York Islanders:
  1. Josh Ho-Sang: Ho-Sang has requested a trade and it’s still unclear if the Islanders will honor his request. If so, there will be interest in the young forward by a handful of teams looking to bolster their offense. Possible Destinations: Pittsburgh Penguins or Carolina Hurricanes.
  • Pittsburgh Penguins:
  1. Jack Johnson: This has been rumored for awhile now as Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford is considering many options to improve the team. The Penguins could use some offensive help due to injuries to their forwards. Other notable player defenseman Erik Gudbranson. Possible Destinations: Los Angeles Kings or Monreal Canadiens.
  • Carolina Hurricanes:
  1. Haydn Fleury or Trevor Van Riemsdyk: The Hurricanes have depth on defense and could look to move either (or both) at the deadline for more offensive help at the forward position. Fluery and Van Riemsdyk are both RFA as many NHL experts believe that at the right price, either player would be moved. Possible Destination: Los Angeles Kings or Edmonton Oilers.
  • Philadelphia Flyers:
  1. Prospects/Draft Picks: Haven’t gotten any players names as possible trade options, but it seems the Flyers have interest in bolstering up their offense by acquiring a top 6 forward. At this point; the Flyers would be willing to either dangle a prospect/prospects or perhaps a draft pick to get a deal done. Possible Destinations: Tampa Bay Lightning or Edmonton Oilers.
  • New York Rangers:
  1. Chris Kreider: Before the start of the season, rumors had the Rangers trading long time forward Chris Kreider. In fact. The Rangers nearly traded Kreider during the 2019 NHL draft to Colorado, but decided to hold onto to him. Kreider production is down and perhaps this could be the right time to see what the Rangers could get for the talented winger who will be a UFA at season’s end. Last year, the Rangers got a 1st rounder for Kevin Hayes, so it is highly likely that they can do the same with Kreider.  Other player possibly traded, forward Ryan Strome. Possible Destinations: Nashville Predators or the Colorado Avalanche
  • Columbus Blue Jackets:

1. Ryan Murray: The Blue Jackets have been privately shopping Ryan Murray before he broke his hand. Once Murray returns, expect the rumors to start flying about trading him at the deadline. Murray is a very mobile defensemen and plays a solid two-way game. Possible Destinations: Los Angeles Kings or Tampa Bay Lightning. 

  • New Jersey Devils:
  1. Taylor Hall: The Devils are currently sitting in last place of the division and the rumor mill has been swirling regarding the fate of forward Taylor Hall. Both sides haven’t gotten close to any agreement to keep Hall in New Jersey and speculation are that the Devil are more likely to trade Hall be the deadline. Devils GM Ray Shero has kept a poker face in regards to bringing Hall back or not, so the million dollar question remains: will Taylor Hall be a Devil in 2020? Possible Destinations:  Nashville Predators or Arizona Coyotes.

 

Final Thoughts: Of all the teams in the Met conference, the players mentioned above as possible trade candidates; it would seem the least likely that Niklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals would be moved during the season; especially with the way the team is playing. Despite reports being circulated around the NHL as a possibility it would have to be a move that would be a no-brainer for both teams involved.  Next article: The Central Division of the Western Conference.