The looming NHL Trade deadline is affecting the odds of online prediction sites and also leading to speculations on which players will stay and which will shift camp.
With only days and hours remaining to the close of the NHL trade deadline which ends at 3pm on February 29, the 30 teams are in a last minute dash to trade or sign in new players for the upcoming season.
Making decisions is never easy as contenders have to choose between staying on and looking for other options, a decision that can either make or break a player. Some players may choose to go for veteran talent instead of joining top minor league teams.
During last year’s deadline, Antoine Vermette, a veteran who helped his team the Chicago Blackhawks take the Stanley Cup had to forgo a first-round draft selection as well as a possible move to the Arizona Coyotes.
Vermette scored four goals, had three assists in 20 games, and three of his goals were game winners that saw his team, the Blackhawks, lift the Stanley Cup. However, there were other players on rental who were in the same team but were never acquired.
The players who are more likely to move are the veterans who become free agents during the offseason. Players under this category include Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd and Boston’s Loui Eriksson who according to fans and analysts are among the big names stirring the rumors.
P.K. Subban, a defenseman at Montreal and former winner of the Norris Trophy is regarded as amongst the league’s most fiery and offensive defensemen. Though he is on contract with the Canadiens through 2021-22 season, the team’s slump from the top of the Eastern conference to a place outside the playoffs is fueling rumors of his departure from the team.
According to Louis Jean, an analyst working with Canadian television network, TVA, tweets suspected to be from the team indicating the Canadiens are gauging how much interest other teams have for Subban and how much they could trade him for.
During the season, Subban made several errors on ice that put him in not-so-good terms with the head coach, Michel Therrien especially after the loss to Colorado Avalanche. This further fuels the rumors on his possible move away from the Canadiens.
To better the chances of them making it to the playoffs, the Canadiens may be looking to trade veterans players who become free agents at the end of the season.
Pierre LeBrun, a hockey writer at ESPN.com wrote that speculations hint on the Canadiens offloading veteran players who include Tom Gilbert, Dale Weise, and Tomas Fleischmann before the deadline.
Eric Staal, who joined the Carolina Hurricanes as a rookie in 2003-04 season has been a stronghold for the team and was part of the squad that won the Stanley Cup in 2006. But the team’s failure to make it to the playoffs after the 2008-2009 seasons is leading to speculations that the 31 years old veteran might be leaving.
Reports from Ian Mendes of TSN 1200 suggest that although Staal has scored at least 30 goals in his career, staying with Carolina seems unlikely. However, considering that he is regarded as one of the best players to grace the Hurricanes in the last couple of years, it wouldn’t be surprising for the team to make him an offer.
At this time in his life and career, such an offer would be welcomed by Staal.