It’s time for another round of NHL Rumours for you. We’re just over a week away from the trade deadline and teams are trying to get things in place. Some general managers are looking for a big move while others are going to the bargain basement like others that look for Valentine’s Day candy just days after the holiday. Today’s NHL Rumours focus on the Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Mark Lazerus of The Athletic (subscription required) speculated on if Duncan Keith would be willing to waive his no-trade clause. Keith pretty much says that he wants to stay in Chicago and try to win another Stanley Cup.
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) February 15, 2020
Analysis: Trade talk is fine, however, Keith doesn’t want to be part of any long-term rebuild. A ready-made contender would likely be the only place he’d go to if he did want to move at all.
It was thought last season that general manager Stan Bowman would ask the veteran defenceman to waive his no-trade clause so the team replenish its prospect pool. However, the Blackhawks turned things around and hung around the playoff race last season.
Keith has all the power in his relationship with Bowman, as he wants to stay on the club. He’s carved out a lasting legacy with the team and wants to see the latest free agency speculations.
The main problem would be the big contract that Keith carries. He currently makes nearly $6 million per season and is under contract until the end of 2022-23 season. That and Brent Seabrook‘s contracts hang over Bowman and prevent a true rebuild.
Keith is also 36 and some fan bases may not like taking on an ageing veteran with such a big cap hit.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Rumour: Joe Smith of The Athletic looked into what the Lightning may need at the upcoming trade deadline. One of the needs that jumped out was on the bottom six.
#tblightning on the kind of tremendous roll where you think it’d make sense to stand pat. But as brass looks through options to bolster lineup, here’s our TB trade deadline primer: 10 targets to watch in next 10 days, top trade chips, cap analysis + more https://t.co/jpbLtHNcRp
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) February 14, 2020
Analysis: Smith said the Lightning could and should look at a veteran forward with size and some jam in his game. Tampa Bay carries $11 million in deadline day cap space for the end of the season, but have virtually no room for the summer and beyond.
The Lightning only have 12 skaters with deals after this season. General manager Julien BriseBois will likely have to dip into the rental market if he wants to bolster his squad.
Tampa Bay knows the importance of depth scoring and physical play after what happened in last year’s shocking playoff exit at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Lightning are going to do all they can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. A forward with some girt and the occasional goal would help that cause.
Rumour: During the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman said that Vincent Trocheck could be someone the Panthers deal in order to add some defensive help.
Headlines: Weber timeline/Muzzin/Trocheck/Bogosian/Karlsson/Little/Kane/Outdoor Games/CBA — https://t.co/Yb8sdZG2nC
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 16, 2020
Analysis: The 26-year-old has eight goals and 32 points this season for Florida. However, the team also needs defensive help in front of Sergei Bobrovsky in the worst way. The Panthers have been inconsistent at times on the back end and Trocheck is a nice chip that would help.
Trocheck carries a cap hit of $4.75 million a season until the end of the 2022-23 season. Many teams could likely handle that number as the Panthers struggle to keep up with their lofty expectations.
The Pittsburgh native is two seasons removed from a 31-goal campaign and would get some interest at the deadline. Teams also could use a scorer of his order, but are they willing to depart with a quality defenceman to make that happen?