According to Chris Johnston of NorthStar Bets, the NHL sent out a memo this morning to teams explaining that they would “closely scrutinize” any trades of injured players with the express intent of keeping them on long-term injured reserve until the playoffs. Gustav Nyquist is a perfect example of this kind of trade chip, as he is not expected back in the regular season.
Scrutiny is one thing, but it’s hard to believe that the league would put a complete stop to these moves. In 2021, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Riley Nash, knowing he wouldn’t be ready before the playoffs, only to activate him for game one. It might mean a closer look at situations like Adam Henrique, as the Anaheim Ducks forward is not expected to miss the rest of the season, but is still on the shelf for another few weeks. Any acquiring team would likely be expected to activate him (and have the room to do so) well ahead of the playoffs, instead of waiting for the salary cap to disappear on day one of the postseason.
- More smoke is rising from the Arizona Coyotes, who have one of the biggest trade chips in Jakob Chychrun sitting in the press box. Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia reports that the Los Angeles Kings, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Edmonton Oilers are all pursuing the Coyotes defender. Chychrun hasn’t played since February 10 as he awaits his new destination.
- Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet points out that the New York Rangers don’t actually have to wait until tomorrow to acquire Patrick Kane, only past today’s salary cap threshold. The cap is calculated on the active roster at 4pm CT every day, meaning the Rangers could land Kane a few minutes later and have him applied to Wednesday’s number instead. All signs continue to point to Kane joining the Rangers this week, potentially even in time to take on the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow night.