The Tampa Bay Lightning are one of the best teams in the NHL this season and are looking to round out their roster ahead of Monday’s deadline. In fact, it has been rumored that the Bolts might be looking to do more than just add depth, as they’ve been connected to some of the bigger names on the market, such as star defensemen Erik Karlsson and Ryan McDonagh. However, in speaking to GM Steve Yzerman, the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith is not so sure they’re willing to pay the price for players of that caliber at this point in time. Smith indicates that it could be a much quieter deadline for Tampa, as Yzerman is not interested in dealing any of his young roster players, such as Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev. “We’re trying to keep this team together with the hope of improving it”, Yzerman said, though he also added that there have been very few “fits” in his trade discussions thus far. Smith suggests that the Lightning could still get their major blue line addition without losing top young talent if they target the Detroit Red Wings’ Mike Green. However, there are few who would argue that Tampa can’t win the Cup this year without making a move and Yzerman seems willing to test that hypothesis is the market doesn’t meet his expectations over these next few days.
- Another contender that could be somewhat reluctant to make a move are the Nashville Predators. Predators staffer Thomas Willis spoke with GM David Poile today, and the long-time executive sounded less than thrilled about the prices on his trade targets. “Every team we talk to asks for Eeli Tolvanen“, Poile told Willis. Tolvanen, the Preds’ 2017 first-rounder unexpectedly fell in the draft last year and already has teams regretting that, as he has dominated the KHL, World Juniors, and now the Winter Olympics in an epic age-18 campaign. Of course, Tolvanen is untouchable and it was recently reported that he could even join Nashville this season, so Poile is understandably upset by that unreasonable trade request. Poile also said to Willis that he would prefer not to give up the Predators’ first-round pick this year in a trade, unless he absolutely had to. After watching Tolvanen slide right into their hands at #30 last year, no one can blame Poile for being protective of his top pick again, although it could handicap his ability to make a splash at the deadline.
- After trading Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers and announcing that Anders Bjork would be out long-term following shoulder surgery in a matter of hours today, it’s clear that the Boston Bruins will be on the hunt for an addition or two to their forward corps. However, they may be able to do so without even making a trade. Though there has been nothing official as of yet, there is speculation that one of the Olympics’ top scorers, Ryan Donato, could sign with the Bruins in a matter of time. The Hobey Baker candidate is likely to stay with Harvard through the end of their season, WEEI’s Ty Anderson believes, but could then join the team for the playoffs much like Charlie McAvoy did last season. Another option right in their back yard could be old friend Jarome Iginla. Iginla skated again with the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Providence today and told The Providence Journal’s Mark Divver that the Bruins were one of his preferred destinations for one last run at the Stanley Cup. Iginla added that he’s not sure that an offer will come, but it sound like if one did, he would accept it.