6 Players Teams Should Avoid at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline
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We’ve already seen a few high-profile trades ahead of the March 3 NHL trade deadline (Bo Horvat, Vladimir Tarasenko), and there will be more in the next two weeks as the league’s contenders look to solidify their rosters.
There are many good players who could be available, including San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
But there are also some that are not worth the hype and should be avoided.
Let’s look at some of those names.
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews
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Let’s jump right in with the hottest one, shall we?
Maybe in a few months this will seem like a lousy opinion. Maybe one of Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews will be on a better team, with better players around him, and recapture some of his past glory and help put him over the top as a Stanley Cup contender.
In a wilder way things happened.
But there is a strong possibility that these two former stars have reached a well-made stage in their respective careers.
Let’s start with Kane.
He is someone who should theoretically be the biggest name available at the moment. He recorded 92 points as little as a year ago and was one of the most prolific offensive players of his era.
But he’s also dealing with a nagging hip injury, and that has helped transform an already poor defensive player. terrible defensive player. If you’re going to be as allergic to defense as Kane is, you better be a 92 point player to make up for it.
It’s not at that level right now.
How much would a team be willing to give up for a player like that with a peak salary of $10.5 million? How much is he really going to help a playoff team for the cost he might need in terms of assets?
Take those assets and look elsewhere.
It’s a similar story to Toews, though maybe not to the same degree. The issue is again about salary cap space and the cost it would take to get it. Toews is still a decent defensive player and is strong in the faceoff circle. But his offensive game has declined significantly in recent years, and he has the same significant salary cap hit as Kane.
He also hasn’t played in weeks.
Any team with plenty of salary cap space and trade assets should risk looking at adding Timo Meier or another high-end forward who could still be a game changer.
If Chicago retains a significant portion of either player’s salary, it would make Kane or Toews more attractive, but any team that trades for them and hopes to get anything close to the players they were a few years ago will be sorely disappointed. .
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This is a tricky one because Vladislav Gavrikov could be a strong addition. He is a solid defender, has some upside and offers a respectable amount of mobility at the back. He also has a relatively affordable salary cap ($2.8 million) for this season.
The problem is that some teams may give up more than they should.
The Columbus Blue Jackets clearly think they can deal Gavrikov as he is already being held out of the lineup as a trade precaution.
The team is said to have put a significant price tag on Gavrikov – one that produced “sticker shock” among potential buyers, according to TSN – and is seeking three assets in return. In a league where players like David Savard and Ben Chiarot go for multiple assets, including first-round picks, there’s no doubt the Blue Jackets can get a similar deal.
Is Gavrikov worth that? Could those assets be used to acquire a better player, before the trade deadline or in the offseason?
This could be a case of a fine player at the wrong price.
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If you’re a general manager thinking about acquiring John Klingberg at the deadline, you need to ask yourself these questions.
Why would you be willing to give up assets to get him in a trade when you could sign him for the cost of zero assets in free agency?
What has changed for the better in the last six months?
It’s not his production, as his 20 points in 46 games puts him on track for the worst offensive performance of his career.
His defense already showed signs of slowing down a year ago in Dallas, and that course hasn’t reversed in Anaheim.
Perhaps a team that is not near the bottom of the league and in a hopeless situation will be surrounded by better players to solve some of its problems.
But Klingberg was the best defenseman on the unrestricted free agent market, and he remained unsigned for a long time. Then again, why give up something now for a player you didn’t want to sign in free agency when nothing seems to have improved about his game since then?
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If Vladislav Gavrikov is the right player at the wrong price, Luke Schenn may be the wrong player at the right price.
Schenne probably won’t have a large return on assets.
Maybe a few mid-round picks? Maybe a low-level prospect? Certainly nothing to dismantle the team’s future or cause any long-term regrets.
But Schenn doesn’t move the needle much.
He’s the type of defensive back general managers love this time of year because he’s a rugged veteran with great size (6’2″, 225 lbs) and plays the type of physical style teams definitely need in time. playoff.
But when he’s on the ice, his teams tend to get pinned in their own zone even though it doesn’t really help create surprises. He could be fine as a sixth or seventh defenseman used sparingly, but the reality is that his size and physical play will probably get him too many big minutes without making things better .
For most playoff teams, upgrading him probably won’t be enough to justify the move.
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The Montreal Canadiens made the smart decision to acquire Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames before the 2022-23 regular season.
His reward for taking on the remainder of his contract: a conditional first-round pick.
It was a no-risk, high-reward situation where they acquired a valuable asset for the future and took a chance that Monaghan could bounce back, create additional trade value and possibly give them another moveable asset at the trade deadline.
For the first two months of the season, everything seemed to be going according to plan.
Monaghan had a strong start with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in his first 25 games and looked to be an obvious trade candidate for a team in dire need of him.
The problem: He’s been sidelined since Dec. 5 with a lower-body injury, and there’s no word yet on when he’ll be back.
Even if Montreal retains some salary in a potential trade, any team that acquires him is still gambling on his health and what he will have to offer. That might be a good gamble to take for a team that needs help in the offseason. But it’s not what a Stanley Cup contender needs when trying to piece together a championship puzzle.