As expected, a pair of veteran wingers have been made healthy scratches tonight in order to ensure they will be healthy to be dealt. Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy was first to report (via Twitter) that Canucks winger Thomas Vanek is being held out of the lineup although News 1130’s Rick Dhaliwal adds (Twitter link) that this merely precautionary and that this should be interpreted that a trade is getting closer to being worked out. Meanwhile, Oilers winger Patrick Maroon has also been held out of their lineup tonight against Anaheim. Interest in him has picked up considerably as the day has progressed and he is expected to be dealt before the deadline.
Other notes from around the league:
- Although the Penguins have committed more money on their payroll for next season with the acquisition of Derick Brassard earlier this week, GM Jim Rutherford told Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the trade will not impact their attempts to sign winger Patric Hornqvist to a contract extension. Mackey speculates that the 31-year-old could land $6MM on his next deal and Pittsburgh already has more than $64MM tied up in 15 players for next season, per CapFriendly. Even with a projected bump in the salary cap, that doesn’t leave much wiggle room to work with.
- Still with the Penguins, they are still showing interest in Wild center Matt Cullen, reports Josh Yohe of The Athletic (subscription required). Where he would fit in isn’t as obvious now with Brassard’s addition but Pittsburgh is certainly familiar with him with the 41-year-old having played there the last two seasons. On the surface, Riley Sheahan could potentially shift to the wing to make room. However, the Wild have yet to indicate that Cullen is available and instead, plan to use the savings from losing Chris Stewart to waivers (or from sending him to the minors if he clears) to free up some salary cap flexibility.
- The Senators are seeking a third-round pick in exchange for recently-acquired defenseman Ian Cole, reports Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. Cole was acquired as part of the Derick Brassard swap earlier in the week but with Ottawa in full sell mode, expectations were that he was included in the trade solely to be flipped before the deadline.