As if it wasn’t complicated enough when Lias Andersson, the New York Rangers first-round pick at No. 7 overall in 2017, demanded a trade from the team last month, TSN’s Darren Dreger states that as the situation continues to unravel, things are getting “messy”. Andersson, who was suspended by the Rangers after leaving the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, has returned to his native Sweden for the time being. In the meantime, rumors have swirled that the 21-year-old is dealing with mental health issues, a sentiment that Andersson’s camp is now fighting back against. Where there is some documented injury is in his foot, and Andersson is set to undergo surgery shortly that will keep him sidelined for multiple weeks.
Yet, teams are still not shying away from kicking the tires on the young forward. Despite his discontent with his role in the Rangers organization and his lack of production in the NHL and AHL, Andersson’s history of strong work ethic, good teamwork, and immense skill persists, and NHL clubs will continue to keep tabs on him. Dreger’s colleague Bob McKenzie believes that the Rangers are ready to move on and preparing to trade Andersson before the NHL Trade Deadline if they can get “the right prospect” in return. McKenzie does warn though that New York is cognizant of the message that this could send to other prospects in their system and want to be careful with how they deal with the Andersson situation.
- When the New York Islanders lost stalwart defenseman Adam Pelech for the season due to injury, GM Lou Lamoriello was quick to note that “You don’t replace an Adam Pelech at the trade deadline”. The shutdown defender is relied upon for big minutes and competent defensive play that is not easy to replicate. The Islanders’ plan is to handle the loss internally for the time being, mixing their defensive pairs until they find the right fit. Thus far, the results on the back end are “encouraging”, writes The Athletic’s Arthur Staple. However, that doesn’t mean that the Islanders won’t be on the lookout for defensive help ahead of the trade deadline. Yet, Staple believes that the team’s current scoring doubt shows that offense is still a greater concern than defense, even with the absence of Pelech, and that the team should devote more of their trade capital to improving up front rather than on the blue line.
- For much of the season, the Colorado Avalanche have been talked about as one of the biggest suitors on the trade market. A legitimate Stanley Cup contender with considerable cap space, it makes sense that the Avs could choose this year to load up for a run. However, Colorado did not land Taylor Hall despite rumored interest and now Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater reports that they are no longer pursuing another top option. Dater writes that Los Angeles Kings forward Tyler Toffoli will likely not be landing in Denver this season, as the Avs have apparently falling out of the running for the two-way winger. Dater is beginning to doubt if Colorado makes any big moves this season in an uninspiring trade market.