With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, but not many teams finding themselves out of the playoff race a team like Colorado is becoming the scouting capital for the NHL. Tonight as they take on the Buffalo Sabres in a rare trip to the North East, teams have come out in full force to watch players like Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. Terry Frei of the Denver Post tweeted out the list of scouts in attendance, and it includes 24 names including three from the Maple Leafs and two each from Montreal, Los Angeles, Columbus, Winnipeg and Calgary.
The Maple Leafs in particular have a strong contingent, sending assistant GM Kyle Dubas down in person. The Maple Leafs are being tight-lipped on the status of Mitch Marner after leaving the game last night, though there have been reports of the amount of cap space the team has opened up prior to the deadline. Don’t forget that Buffalo has struggled this year as well, and have multiple players (like Evander Kane) that would be interesting to teams around the league.
- The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten some reinforcements today, bringing Nick Schmaltz and Tanner Kero up from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL according to Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago. The Hawks have been off since February 11th on their mandatory bye-week, but get back into the swing of things with three games in four nights (and four in six) starting Saturday.
- Former first-overall pick Nail Yakupov is back in the St. Louis Blues lineup tonight for the first time in nearly two weeks. With a career almost completely off the rails it will be interesting to see what happens to him at the deadline, and whether a team makes a play for his upside. Still just 23-years old, Yakupov only has six points in 31 games this season and is barely playing over 10 minutes a night whenever he does crack the lineup. He’s arbitration eligible this offseason, and is a clear candidate to not even be tendered a qualifying offer. His $2.5MM salary is currently way more than he is producing, and the QO would need to be the same.