In his latest column, Frank Seravalli of TSN takes a look at the upcoming trade deadlines for each of the seven Canadian clubs. The entire piece is worth a read as he goes into detail on each team, but here are some highlights.
- The Montreal Canadiens are looking to acquire a center with size, and Arizona’s Martin Hanzal fits the bill perfectly. Even when injured #1 center Alex Galchenyuk comes back, Seravalli points to the decline of Tomas Plekanec as a concern and says the team must add size down the middle. He also mentions Matt Duchene as a different possibility, though doesn’t expect that to happen during the season.
- The Edmonton Oilers have been beaten on at least two waiver claims over the past few weeks (and possibly a third just yesterday) for Matt Nieto and Ty Rattie, and are still looking for a right-shooting winger (though Nieto is a lefty) to plug into their third line. A right-hand shot defenseman for the powerplay would be a bonus.
- The Maple Leafs could dangle either James van Riemsdyk or Kasperi Kapanen in trade, but are more likely to stay the course with both players at least during the season. JVR could still end up with the team long-term, and with Kapanen tearing up the AHL (and being best friends with William Nylander) he looks like a future core piece.
- Calgary may be in a pretty solid position now that Chad Johnson has taken the reins in net, but they need to shore up their blueline a bit for a real playoff run. A second-pairing player is all they need, but may have trouble parting with what he would cost.
- In Winnipeg, the team is likely to make minor deals if any at the deadline as they’re content with the development of their club. Seravalli points to Mathieu Perreault as a possible trade chip, as he thinks the team could be at risk of losing him this summer in the expansion draft. Drew Stafford is another name that could be moved out to make room for prospect Kyle Connor.
- The Ottawa Senators need scoring, and they need it bad. If the Maple Leafs weren’t in the same division, van Riemsdyk would be a likely target but they’ll have to look elsewhere for a new top line left winger. Unless of course Clarke MacArthur can come back close to 100% and add depth to their wings.
- The Vancouver Canucks remain a mystery to media and fans alike, and Seravalli isn’t sure what to expect from them. A scoring winger is an option to help now and down the road, but an improvement in draft picks is what the team really needs. Even though they may miss the playoffs again, they only own five picks at this summer’s entry draft (rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 7).