Believe it or not, the NHL’s trade deadline is less than two months away. This year’s cutoff date is March 5, less than two weeks after the gold-medal game in Sochi on Feb. 23.
Unfortunately for fans (and purveyors) of trade speculation, at least one general manager, Mike Gillis of the Vancouver Canucks, is skeptical that much of anything will happen this year.
“I can tell you there is very little trade discussion going on anywhere,” Gillis said today on TEAM 1040 radio (audio). “It’s difficult to make trades when you have the cap lowered and teams’ financial resources under the cap have been used up.
“It’s tough to find trades that you can make that are going to improve your team. It’s tough to find anything but lateral moves and changing the deck chairs.
“But we’ll see. We’re trying. We’re always trying to improve and we’ll see if we can.”
While the Canucks have expressed strong disinterest in acquiring rental players at the deadline (Derek Roy and Samuel Pahlsson didn’t exactly pan out for them in recent years), the list of pending unrestricted free agents isn’t without some compelling names for those teams looking to bolster their rosters for a playoff run.
Thomas Vanek, Marian Gaborik, Mike Cammalleri, Ryan Miller, Matt Moulson, Steve Ott, David Legwand, Ales Hemsky, Dan Girardi, and Tom Gilbert are a few that come to mind.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?