March 1, NHL Trade Deadline Day.
The hyped-up non-hockey occasion of the entire year is right around the corner and with the rumor mill getting ready to spin off its moorings, this deadline might actually live up to its billing. Last year’s policy left much to be desired but with eight teams separated by just seven points in the center of the Eastern Conference, margins couldn’t be tighter and I’m expecting the lead-up into the deadline to be something of a de facto arms race.
Online sportsbook BetOnline has set a variety of lines for deadline day and I’ll be breaking them down based on what I’ve been hearing and on what my wannabe general manager brain thinks might decrease at days to come.
Avalanche have finished their tumble into the bottomIt’s hard to talk about the trade deadline without speaking about the Colorado Avalanche. Presently 14 points behind the next worst team in the NHL, the Avs are prime trading partners for just about every other team in the league. They have two gamers specifically — Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene — who have been targeted heavily the past couple of weeks but reports are saying that the Colorado brass is requesting too much for the once-touted prospects.
To be honest, these guys were the third and second overall selections in their various drafts and they’re both signed for two seasons. As of right now, it would take a hell of an offer to pry both of these talented forwards away from the atrocious Avalanche however I could see a group such as the Canadiens, who have a closing window and a dire need for a middle, have a risk on Duchene.
I am not particularly bullish on either of those lines but if I were to pick one of those mile-high players to be coped, it would be Ducher. Colorado is fairly deep in centre with Nathan MacKinnon and up-and-comer Mikhail Grigorenko and I wouldn’t be shocked if they shipped him to get a first-round draft selection along with a blue-chip prospect in the blue line.UPDATE: Hanzal was dealt with the Minnesota Wild for a first-round selection, a second-round choice and a conditional draft pick to be named after.
Martin Hanzal must have his bags packed. He’s having an superb season with a barbarous team and could make a massive difference to some roster needing an imposing force at the center spot. The 6’6″ Czech leads the Coyotes in faceoff winning percentage (55.5) in addition to in goals with 12 and will be the definition of a leasing player as he’ll become a UFA at the end of the season. Several teams could wind up using Hanzal but he will probably land together with the Panthers, Ottawa Senators or even Canadiens.
Teams have been aggressively pursuing the 30-year-old and that I can see him being traded prior to the deadline. I would not take the risk here as most of wagers will be settled without a action if gamers on the list are dealt prior to deadline day.