On Sept. 16, The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported the NHL's annual trade deadline will be held on March 3. In the weeks leading up to that date, playoff-bound teams will attempt to boost their rosters while non-contenders will attempt to move unrestricted free agents they can't or won't be able to re-sign.
The 2023 crop of UFAs contains plenty of noteworthy talent. Some could extend their contracts with their current clubs before March. Those playing on postseason contenders likely won't be shopped as those clubs will wish to retain them for the playoffs.
But there will likely be several projected 2023 UFAs on bad clubs becoming trade candidates before March 3. A scorer forward such as the Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane or a puck-moving defenseman like the Anaheim Ducks' John Klingberg could be available to the highest bidder.
Here are eight players who could help contenders at the 2023 trade deadline. As we don't have any NHL standings yet for the coming season, we're using our Sept. 21 power rankings to determine which teams those players could come from.
Jake Allen, Montreal Canadiens
With Carey Price on long-term injury reserve and expected to miss the coming season, the Montreal Canadiens will turn to Jake Allen and Sam Montembeault as their goaltending tandem. Should the Canadiens be out of the playoff race by March 3, the 32-year-old Allen could become a trade candidate.
On Sept. 12, TSN's John Lu reported Allen confirmed his camp has “had communication” with Canadiens management about a contract extension but offered no further comment. He's in the final season of a two-year deal with an average annual value of $2.9 million.
The Canadiens could reach an agreement with Allen on a new contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'd be unavailable at the trade deadline. The odds he'll be moved on deadline day will increase if he remains unsigned by March 3.
An experienced goaltender with 29 postseason games on his resume, Allen was part of the St. Louis Blues' march to the 2019 Stanley Cup. He could provide invaluable and affordable goaltending depth for a contender as a starter or backup.