The Buffalo Sabres appear to have finalized their price tag on left wing Evander Kane, who is expected to be traded prior to the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Numerous teams are interested in Kane, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, but it appears as if most are waiting to see how they stack up against the competition this month before making any major impact trades. The price set on Kane is a first-round draft pick, a prospect, and “potentially” a conditional draft pick if Kane were to sign an extension with the team he’s dealt to. Most teams are in a “holding pattern” and want to see how the rest of the month plays out before committing to a trade for Kane, but if a club steps up and pays the price now, the Sabres will pull the trigger. Kane, 26, has registered 16 goals and 19 assists for 35 points in 42 games with the Sabres so far this season. The San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders, Vegas Golden Knights, Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins are among the teams believed to have interest in Kane.
Jaromir Jagr’s days with the Calgary Flames are coming to an end, but he isn’t prepared to leave the team until he heals up from what appears to be multiple injuries. The Flames could try to trade Jagr, but there does not appear to be much of a market for him, presently. By all accounts, Jagr wants to continue his playing career, rather than hang up his skates, but that no longer appears to be happening with the Flames, and the two sides could ultimately agree to terminate his contract and part ways. Reports told: “He first wants to get healthy, and then determine what his playing future is”. Jagr, 45, has played in 22 games with the Flames this season, registering one goal and six assists. Also the Flames had granted Jagr’s agent permission to speak with other teams about finding him a new home.
The Montreal Canadiens sit 26th in the NHL and third-last in the Eastern Conference, and unless, by some miracle, they turn their season around and go on a massive winning streak, this team appears destined to miss out on post-season action this season. As GM Marc Bergevin told the media this past week, “a lot of things have to change” in order for the Canadiens to make the playoffs. And as the days move forward, their chances become slimmer and slimmer. While certainly still possible, moving Pacioretty seems unlikely – this season, anyway. The team does, however, have other assets it can look to move. Forwards Andrew Shaw and Michael McCarron have been on the trade block for most of the season, with the Habs willing to move both of them if the right deal presented itself. Expert opinions stated: “In a perfect world, would I love to add a piece to help them? Of course. But to sacrifice the future and to take major risks with the organizations’ long-term [plan], I’m not ready to do that. We have some young players who are coming up and who are improving, despite our first half of the season. I see many parts of [Artturi] Lehkonen’s game which are helping the team. Charles Hudon has had some highs and lows, but he’s been showing some good things, and he’s still young. [Nikita] Scherbak, since he’s been back from his injury, I think he’s headed in the right direction. We have a lot of young players coming up who can make the difference for the organization. But with the parity in the League, it’s hard for me to make promises”. One player the Canadiens are debating moving is veteran centre Tomas Plekanec, who is in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Plekanec, 35, does not own any no-trade protection and can be moved without any consent, but he is also 37 games away from 1,000 career regular-season games in the NHL and in a Canadiens uniform and the team may look to celebrate that accomplishment instead of trading him for a draft pick before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. After not re-signing defenceman Andrei Markov 10 games away from his 1,000 career regular-season feat, the Habs may opt to hold on to Plekanec, who comes with a $6 million cap hit, which won’t be looked on too favourably by most contending teams. In 42 games with the Habs so far this season, Plekanec has registered four goals and 12 assists for 16 points.
Will the Nashville Predators swing a big move before the trade deadline and if so, would it be for a forward or a sixth defender? There is a possibility of Preds GM David Poile making a move. The Preds are happy with their goaltending and defensive group but they could use another scoring winger. The list containing Buffalo’s Evander Kane, Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman and Montreal’s Max Pacioretty as those rumored to be available could fit that description. Their respective cap hits, however, could mean some roster tinker and salary-cap maneuvering by the Preds.
Possible moves by the Boston Bruins could include a top-six winger or a top-four defenseman, but, they’re unwilling to part with their prospects. The Bruins rejected a pitch last year by a rival club for prospect Trent Frederic. Someone like Vancouver’s Thomas Vanek with a late-round draft pick could do the trick. While the Bruins seek a left-shot defenseman, Grzelcyk has been playing well for them lately.