The NHL trade deadline is inching closer and closer, and with that, the trade talk is heating up. We take a look at some of the latest NHL rumours and analyze what they mean going forward. Today we look into the latest on Ottawa Senators forward Derick Brassard, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk, and the Nashville Predators as buyers.
Derick Brassard, Justin Faulk, and the Nashville Predators in Today’s NHL Rumours
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman looked at the possibility of the Senators moving centre Derick Brassard during the Hockey Night in Canada Hockey Headlines segment on Saturday. Freidman noted Brassard is due for a new contract after the 2018-19 season. He mentioned that several teams have inquired about Brassard. Freidman also notes that the San Jose Sharks need a centre with Joe Thornton injured. He also noted the availability of Montreal Canadiens centre Tomas Plekanec.
Analysis: The Senators face a budget crunch after the 2018-19 season. Star forward Mark Stone is due for a big raise this summer. Defenceman Erik Karlsson, and centre Matt Duchene also need new deals after the 2018-19 season. Those contracts already have the Senators rumoured to be seeking to shed Mike Hoffman‘s salary, and have raised questions about Karlsson’s future in Ottawa. If the Sens can get a good return of prospects and draft picks for Brassard, they should take it, even if it weakens their centre depth in the short term. Jean-Gabriel Pageau would take the second line centre spot in the interim, with Colin White, Filip Chlapik, and Logan Brown as candidates to fill the role as they develop.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek suggests the Hurricanes could use captain Justin Faulk as a possible trade piece to acquire forward help. Faulk has two years left on his contract at $4.8 million per season after this year. His offensive numbers are down, and Jacob Slavin, Brett Pesce, and Noah Hanifin have emerged on the Hurricanes depth chart.
Analysis: The Hurricanes biggest strength is the depth of their blue line. If they can use that strength in order to get a premium forward, they should make the move. Faulk has just four goals this season after scoring 15, 16, and 17 goals in the last three seasons respectively. He is just 25-years-old, so there is time for him to return to form and his contract should give him premium value on the market.
Analysis: The Predators have arguably the best defence in the NHL. They also have the fifth best power play in the league. Mike Green will likely garner a big return at the deadline and seems to be an unnecessary luxury for the team. He doesn’t really address their current needs.
On the other hand, the Predators could really use another top-six winger. Rick Nash is available. He can score, plays a heavy game and is good in both ends of the ice. He should not be the Predators only target though. Mike Hoffman, Max Pacioretty, Gustav Nyquist, and Tomas Tatar have all reportedly received interest from the Predators as well.
Main Photo: OTTAWA, ON – DECEMBER 29: Derick Brassard #19 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his first-period goal against the Detroit Red Wings at Canadian Tire Centre on December 29, 2016, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)