The Carolina Hurricanes are undoubtedly going to finish the season as Metropolitan Division champions, and they’re making a challenge for the Eastern Conference title and President’s Trophy as well. But unlike most contenders, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun says that the Hurricanes aren’t willing to deal their 2023 first-round selection at the deadline for a rental player. The Hurricanes have already surrendered their 2022 choice as compensation for signing Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an offer sheet last summer. While Carolina, based on the language of the tweet, is willing to move it for a player under contract, this likely takes them out of the conversation for rental defensemen such as Mark Giordano and Hampus Lindholm, who are sure to command first-round selections after Montreal received one in return for Ben Chiarot.
More trade rumors on this Saturday morning:
- The Athletic’s Arthur Staple names Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell as “the most logical piece” for the New York Rangers to acquire at the deadline. Rakell, who has 16 goals and 12 assists in 51 games this season, wouldn’t fix the Rangers’ defensive issues in the slightest. But he would provide a more established scoring option for the Rangers to insert on the wing in the top six, and would help create better depth matchups for the third and fourth lines. While Alexis Lafreniere is performing solidly by most advanced metrics, the points aren’t coming for him despite playing alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. If acquired, Rakell could likely slot in there, allowing Lafreniere and Frank Vatrano to slot in on the third line when fully healthy.
- While the Washington Capitals are still interested in goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir notes that general manager Brian McLellan is unwilling to move top prospects Connor McMichael, Hendrix Lapierre, or the team’s first-round selection in 2022 in any trade. It’s likely a smart move for Washington, who faces an already impossible path through the Eastern Conference playoff gauntlet, and it’s hard to imagine that acquiring Fleury would change that meaningfully. It’s a smarter bet to play on house money with this roster and retain the pick to help reload the team’s prospect pool.