The 2021 NHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. ET on Monday. The New York Islanders kicked off trade season on Wednesday night, acquiring veteran forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils.
But there are many more mutually beneficial deals out there to be made as contenders look to bolster their rosters for a run at the Stanley Cup this summer, while rebuilding teams look to add prospects to their pipelines or draft picks to their caches.
Here are six trades we'd like to see before Monday's deadline:
Note: Red Wings have annouced Bobby Ryan will be out for the rest of the season
Boston Bruins get: RW Bobby Ryan
Detroit Red Wings get: 2021 second-round pick
Sure, the Bruins could opt for defensive help, but their biggest need is getting more 5-on-5 scoring. Through 36 games, Boston has the fifth-worst 5-on-5 rate in goals per 60 minutes in the league, per Natural Stat Trick data (only the Sabres, Red Wings, Predators and Stars are worse).
Boston was thinking about Kyle Palmieri before he was traded to the Islanders, and the Bruins have done some recon on Taylor Hall. But after trading away first-round picks in 2018 and 2020, I don't think they can afford to lose another one this season. That's why Ryan, whose trade return won't be as high, makes more sense. I think he'd fit in really well with the Bruins' culture. He has cooled off considerably since scoring four goals in Detroit's first three games, but add the 34-year-old in a lesser role, on a much more talented team, and -- voila -- you have the same effect you're seeing with Blake Griffin on the Brooklyn Nets.
This deal only gets done if Ryan is healthy (he hasn't played since March 28), so keep that in mind. -- Kaplan
St. Louis Blues get: LW Taylor Hall (50% salary retained by Buffalo)
Buffalo Sabres get: RW Mike Hoffman, 2021 first-round pick
The Blues still seem like a team that could use a shock to the system, and acquiring Hall would provide one.
They're 19th in goals per game (2.69) through 39 games. They could slide Hall on Ryan O'Reilly's wing or use him to energize a line anchored by Robert Thomas. Hall hasn't gotten anything close to satisfactory results this season, but it hasn't been for lack of effort; he has an expected goals percentage of 52.8% at 5-on-5. This would very much be a "hope a change of scenery sparks him" move, but I like the fit. I think he plays the kind of hockey the Blues look for in their forwards.