Interest in veteran forward Brian Boyle is increasing and the New Jersey Devils may be forced to move the respected two-way veteran. Boyle, 34, is an impending free agent and the Devils have expressed a desire to re-sign him, but with the postseason out of reach they could feel pressured to capitalize on his trade value. Boyle is not without protection, though. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports that the specifics of Boyle’s Limited No-Trade Clause are that he may submit a list of eight teams that he may not be traded to. That would hypothetically leave New Jersey with 23 other suitors, but if Boyle’s list includes mostly deadline buyers, the options could be much more limited. Seravalli adds that Boyle’s preference is also to remain in New Jersey, so he could seek to make it difficult for the Devils to move him. Boyle is currently on pace for 22 goals and 32 points on the year, which would rival his 2010-11 season for the best offensive campaign of his career. Meanwhile, he continues to excel as a defensive forward, leading all Devils forwards in blocked shots and trailing only Blake Coleman for the team lead in hits. The all-around impact on the ice coupled with the experience and locker room leadership that Boyle brings will continue to make him a talked-about deadline target.
- Brent Seabrook may be immovable for a number of reasons, but the Chicago Blackhawks are going to do their best. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Blackhawks have asked Seabrook to waive his No-Movement Clause. Friedman then adds that, so far, Seabrook has declined. The veteran defenseman is in a steep decline, but apparently is content to ride it out in the city and with the teammates that he has played his entire career, rather than trying to rejuvenate his game with a change of scenery. That’s Seabrook’s prerogative, but meanwhile his cap hit of $6.875MM will continue to cripple Chicago’s attempts to improve and it will likely only get worse each year. For that reason, it comes as little surprise that Friedman notes the Blackhawks plan to keep shopping Seabrook despite the trade protection in hopes that they can find a taker in the market that Seabrook would accept a trade to. It’s a lofty expectation, but if any GM has proven that he can find someone to take expensive contracts off his hands, it’s Chicago’s Stan Bowman.
- There are no guarantees at the NHL Trade Deadline, but the one player who is looking almost certain to be on the move is young Winnipeg Jets forward Nic Petan. Petan, 23, was a highly-touted second-round pick back in 2013, but has been unable to carve out a full-time role for himself in Winnipeg. Petan played a career-high 54 games in 2016-17, recording 13 points, but that number dropped to just 15 games last year and 13 games so far this year. The jury is still out when it comes to whether or not Petan can be an impact player at the NHL level, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to get the chance to prove it with the Jets anyway. As such, Winnipeg is shopping Petan in their pursuit of help up front, writes Jason Bell of the Winnipeg Free Press. Bell goes so far as to say that the team will not play Petan, in fear of injury or simply because he is not trusted, until after the deadline or longer. The Jets are all-out buyers this season and selling off a young depth forward is not something that they will rule out if it helps to land a top-six forward. However, Bell says that the team is not keen to move Jack Roslovic, rejecting several offers including the budding forward so far; Petan appears to be the go-to “young roster player” that the Jets are willing to give up. For his part, Petan did a good job of treading carefully around questions from The Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe about his frustrating season and needing a fresh start, but did admit that he’s looking forward to his “next opportunity”. Reading between the lines, it seems pretty clear that Petan is as eager to get out of Winnipeg as the Jets are to trade him.