NHL trade deadline: Likely sellers increasing in standings is bad news for Bruins originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Bruins require assistance at the NHL trade deadline, and their pursuit of a top-four defenseman or top-six forward hasn’t been helped by the reality that a number of potential sellers have surged up the standings in current weeks.
Just a few weeks ago, the Nashville Predators ran out the playoff picture in the Central Department and appearing like the most interesting seller ahead of the trade due date. Nashville has several talented gamers who might potentially be readily available, headlined by defenseman Mattias Ekholm and forwards Mikael Granlund, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg
The Predators are no longer spiraling toward the lottery. Quite the opposite. Nashville has won 6 video games in a row and eight of its last10 As an outcome, the Preds are tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for the 4th and last playoff berth in the division.
Why would the Predators go into sell mode? Barring some crazy losing streak getting in the April 12 due date, offering crucial pieces would be a tough message to send to their fan base.
Another element is that Ekholm, Arvidsson and Forsberg are all signed a minimum of through next season, so there’s no rush to move these people. Nashville could have some hard expansion draft security decisions coming up, however it’s not like they need to urgently eliminate any of these gamers.
This is an issue for the Bruins due to the fact that Ekholm is the very best defenseman rumored to be on the market. He’s a legit two-way, top-four defenseman who can log 20- plus minutes per game versus quality competitors. Ekholm is a trusted player and a smooth skater, and most notably, he would attend to the B’s significant need for a veteran left-shot defenseman.
Another potential seller that’s heating up is the Arizona Coyotes.
They have won 3 consecutive video games and sit one point behind the having a hard time St. Louis Blues for the last playoff berth in the West Department.
Conor Garland would be an exceptional addition to the Bruins forward group, particularly when you take a look at his 5-on-5 scoring production– 19 points in 32 video games. Boston ranks 30 th in 5-on-5 goals scored. However why would the Coyotes eliminate the 26- year-old right winger when he’s the team’s second-leading scorer and the franchise is battling for a playoff spot?
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a potential seller, too, however they’re just 3 points out of a postseason area in the Central. Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard would be a strong blue line upgrade for a competitor, but will Columbus trade him if the team is still in the playoff mix as the deadline nears? Again, it would be a hard option, especially for these groups that need playoff income during this challenging monetary climate.
The Bruins’ No. 1 need at the due date need to be a top-four defenseman. This was painfully obvious Tuesday night when Boston’s young defensemen– particularly Jeremy Lauzon– played too thoughtlessly with the puck and handed the Devils a couple simple goals. The B’s thankfully outscored their mistakes and won 5-4 in a shootout
The expense to acquire a top-four defenseman won’t be inexpensive.
For Ekholm, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun just recently kept in mind a possible asking rate of “a first-round choice, an elite possibility and a 3rd possession.” That’s a steep price for any group, particularly for the Bruins, who have among the worst possibility pools in the league. Boston’s top trade possessions are not as strong as other contenders’.
Aaron Ekblad’s injury– and his expected 12- week healing time— might send out the Florida Panthers into the trade market, where they might compete for the same defensemen who the Bruins are targeting. This likewise isn’t a perfect situation for Boston.
It’s going to be extremely interesting to see how many sellers there remain in the days leading up to the trade due date. With so many teams still in the hunt for a playoff area, these potential sellers may simply decide to hold their players. For gamers with term on their contracts, it most likely makes more sense for teams to trade them in the offseason when more purchasers might enter the mix and the growth draft situations become more clear.
For likely purchasers such as the Bruins, it might be difficult to make impactful moves at the trade deadline for these reasons. It’s not an enviable position for general supervisors such as Don Sweeney.