Taylor Hall has been sitting for just over a week now while waiting to see where he’ll be traded to. It appears his new team may soon be known as TSN’s Darren Dreger reports (Twitter links) that the Sabres have made progress on the trade front today and there are believed to just be three teams left in the mix for his services. Buffalo will undoubtedly need to retain a sizable chunk of his $8MM cap hit (they can hold up to half) and as we’ve seen with recent notable moves, a third-party facilitator could also be in play. While the 29-year-old is having quite a rough season with just two goals in 37 games, he could be an intriguing wild card for whoever gets him down the stretch.
Elsewhere around the NHL:
- The Blackhawks and Nikita Zadorov have held talks on a new deal, report Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus of The Athletic (subscription link). Chicago is interested in keeping the defenseman in the fold but with Zadorov holding arbitration rights, there is some risk to tendering him a $3.2MM qualifying offer. Chicago’s initial offer is believed to be around $3.5MM while Zadorov’s camp is looking for something starting with a four so there is a bit of ground to be made up. As Zadorov’s not a pending UFA, this isn’t a situation that necessarily has to be resolved by tomorrow’s trade deadline.
- Devils defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was held out of tonight’s lineup as a precaution heading into the trade deadline, Corey Masisak of The Athletic was among those to note (Twitter link). The 30-year-old has two assists in 38 games this season while logging 19:33 per night. With a $1.15MM cap hit, Kulikov is an affordable depth option that is quite likely to move by Monday.
- The Penguins welcomed back Teddy Blueger to the lineup against New Jersey as the team announced that he was activated off injured reserve. The 26-year-old has been quietly effective this season with 15 points in 28 games. Meanwhile, the Pens also transferred winger Brandon Tanev to LTIR retroactive to April 3rd. For the time being, that gives them another $3.5MM in cap room to work with and if they believe that he’ll miss the rest of the season, that could give them some more flexibility to try to make a splash at the deadline.