NHL trade deadline bold prediction: Penguins land Jakob Chychrun, Predators move Juuse Saros

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NHL trade deadline 2023 has already been one of the most chaotic in recent memory, but that doesn’t mean the fireworks are over. With some big names coming off the board early, general managers have time to get creative and pull off some stunners before March 3rd.

Players like Timo Meier, Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko have been off the board for a while now, but there are still teams looking to update their roster for a deep playoff run. The Pittsburgh Penguins may want to make a big move with their key players still intact, and the Carolina Hurricanes need more offensive firepower after Max Pacioretty’s injury.

On the other hand, teams like the Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers can try to move big names with their status as already established sellers.

Here are some bold predictions for what will happen in the last two days leading up to the 2023 NHL trade deadline:

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The Flames have big decisions to make and not much time to make them. At the moment, Calgary is four points out of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

In terms of points percentage, the Flames are 10th in the conference. That puts them behind the Nashville Predators, who have already decided to be sellers. Calgary doesn’t have much time to turn things around, and it might be wise for the team to make a few sales to get something out of what has been a disappointing season so far.

If the Flames decide to move into two roster players for future assets, Toffoli could bring in a big chunk for a team in need of offense. That’s where the Minnesota Wild come into this situation.

The Wild’s biggest struggle this season has been deep scoring, and if they hope to challenge the other top teams in the Western Conference, they may need some firepower. more offensive. With 25 goals and 52 points in 60 games this season, Toffoli would give them a big upgrade.

Not only would Toffoli give Kirill Kaprizov some extra help this season, but he’s also signed for a manageable $4.25 million through 2023-24. The buyout penalties from Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s contracts won’t get worse next season, so accepting a team-friendly deal like Toffoli could help Minnesota stay competitive at Co -talk West next season too. — Nivison

The Pittsburgh Penguins are clinging to the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference and have been as inconsistent as any playoff-caliber team in the league lately. Penguins general manager Ron Hextall chose to bring the band back together when he re-signed Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to long-term deals in the offseason, so he can’t sit on his hands now.

The window may not be open much longer for Pittsburgh, so the Penguins will have to go for a break. That’s why it makes sense for the Penguins to make a splash at the trade deadline in the form of acquiring star defenseman Jakob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes.

The Penguins defense is allowing 3.20 goals per game, which is in the bottom half of the league. The addition of Chychrun would give them a great two-way defenseman who would round out the team’s blue line.

Chychrun has a cannon of a shot that would add another big boost to Pittsburgh’s offense. He could also be a huge asset on the team’s power play if added to the mix.

If the Penguins were to add Chychrun, it also wouldn’t be surprising if Hextall found a way to include Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka in the deal. Tristan Jarry has not been able to stay healthy this season and Casey DeSmith has struggled with a 3.27 goals against average in relief of Jarry. — Bengel

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Carolina missed out on the biggest prize of this year’s trade deadline when Timo Meier went to the New Jersey Devils, but there are still options for general manager Don Waddell, especially if the Florida Panthers decide to be sellers.

Much like the Flames, the Panthers have a chance to reach the postseason lower than they appear on the surface. That’s because Florida’s hitting percentage of .525 ranks 12th in the conference. The New York Islanders, Detroit Red Wings, and Ottawa Senators are all ahead of the Panthers in that category.

With Florida’s playoff hopes hanging by a thread, Carolina might be worth asking about winger Sam Reinhart. Max Pacioretty is pretty much done for the season with another Achilles injury, so the Hurricanes are once again looking for a scoring player, and Reinhart would fit that bill.

Over the past two seasons with the Panthers, Reinhart has played in 139 games and scored 54 goals. There’s no reason Reinhart couldn’t keep scoring at that pace – or even higher – on a Hurricanes team loaded with young offensive players.

In terms of money, this could make some sense for both sides. The Panthers would have $6.5 million to reload this summer, and he has one more year left on his contract. Reinhart wouldn’t be a rental for Carolina, and the team wouldn’t have to find a way to fit him under the cap when Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Martin Necas and Seth Jarvis become free agents next year. summer 2024. . — Nivison

Over the years, the Vegas Golden Knights have made it clear that they are not afraid to do a lot at the trade deadline.

Although he was not at the trade deadline last season, the team went out and acquired Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres. In previous years, the Golden Knights have added Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Tomas Tatar before the trade deadline.

It’s a mindset that the Golden Knights haven’t failed in as they’ve qualified for the playoffs in four of their first five seasons in the NHL. However, this is the year where Vegas could hang on to their assets and play with their existing roster.

In February, the Golden Knights announced that captain Mark Stone had undergone back surgery and would be out of the lineup indefinitely, with no guarantee that he would be back for the season. posts

Vegas currently leads the Western Conference with 76 points and has obviously done well without Stone, who has been limited to just 43 games this season. This is a group that still has plenty of playmakers in the form of Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, and Chandler Stephenson, so a marquee move may not be necessary.

Goalie Logan Thompson is currently dealing with a leg injury and has been placed on injured reserve. As long as Thompson is back before playoff time, the Golden Knights should be a dangerous force in the West even if they stand at the deadline. — Bengel

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The Nashville Predators entered the trade market as sellers over the weekend, and they did so with a bang. They started the fire sale by trading Nino Niederreiter to the Winnipeg Jets and trading Tanner Jeannot to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Predators may have more moves on the way, and while it looks like Juuse Saros may be one of several undiscovered things, they might be better off listening to offers on star visitor.

Saros has two more years with $5 million remaining on his contract, and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July 2025. Assuming Saros continues to play at a high level over the next two years, he will expect to increase. at that time. If the Predators are still committed to their rebuild, would it make sense to give Saros, who will then turn 30, a big payday?

For most teams, the answer is probably, “Yes.” A consistent hit, especially a Vezina-caliber hit, is hard to come by. Saros could be dominant in his 30s, but Nashville probably doesn’t have to be.

That’s because Nashville’s future goaltending position may already be in the AHL. The Predators drafted big-time goaltending prospect Yaroslav Askarov with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, and that pick is already looking like a good one. In his first season with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, Askarov has posted strong numbers en route to being named an All-Star.

As the Predators try to build around young talent, Askarov may be ready to surpass the goal in a few years. Askarov will turn 23 in the summer of 2025, and may be the best option if Nashville is taking a long-term approach to roster building under new general manager Barry Trotz.

Trading a franchise player and top-five goaltender in the league may be difficult for the Predators, but moving Saros to a goaltending team could set them up well for the future . — Nivison

The Seattle Kraken went through some growing pains that most expansion teams do in their early season. Fast forward a year later, and the Kraken are looking for a playoff spot in the very tight Western Conference.

The Kraken were never going to run Timo Meier or Patrick Kane, but there are a few veteran forwards who could help them a lot in their run towards the playoffs. One of them is Philadelphia Flyers player James van Riemsdyk.

Van Riemsdyk has a sense of familiarity with Dave Hakstol having been the Flyers head coach for part of van Riemsdyk’s first season in Philadelphia back in 2018-19.

Van Riemsdyk is clearly not the explosive 30-goal player he used to be, but he still has plenty to offer a team like Seattle. The Flyers forward has nine goals and 14 assists on the season and would provide a veteran presence on the Kraken’s second or third line.

The 33-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, so he may not have a high trade price.

van Riemsdyk sat out Saturday’s Philadelphia game against the New Jersey Devils for undisclosed reasons, fueling speculation that he will be moved. Although it was said that the Flyers are talking to several teams, it would be wise to go to a head coach who knows van Riemsdyk’s style of play. — Bengel

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