There’s less than a week to go until the 2022 NHL trade deadline and this past weekend followed a familiar pattern. Dead quiet. Months of gridlock continued.

Usually, by this time, the trades have accelerated to the point where TSN host James Duthie can make his annual joke — that GMs need to slow down the pace of trades so his panel has something left to talk about on deadline day.

Maybe Monday’s trade that sent Josh Manson to the Avalanche will open the floodgates but it looks as if most deals will go down to the wire, for two primary reasons.

One, the longer the buyers wait, the more cap room they’ll have available to spend.

Two, some of the biggest names circulating on the trade boards for months are also pending unrestricted free agents that, ideally, their current teams would like to retain. The reality is, GMs are negotiating with agents as earnestly as they are with their peers, to see what — if anything — they can get done contractually.

This past week saw the Stars sign Joe Pavelski and the Flyers extend Rasmus Ristolainen.

Negotiations remain ongoing in San Jose with Tomas Hertl, in Nashville with Filip Forsberg and in Anaheim with Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell and Nic Deslauriers.

Ducks’ GM Pat Verbeek has said publicly what a lot of GMs think privately — that you move heaven and earth to get your pending UFAs signed but if you can’t, and it looks as if they’re moving on in the summer, then you have to extract value for them. That’s easier to do on a team that probably will miss the playoffs (such as improving Anaheim) than a team such as Nashville that’s squarely in the playoff mix.

There have been a few changes to our trade board since it was last published to reflect the moves that have already been made. Let’s see what’s still left for the taking.

 

1. Mark Giordano, Kraken

Giordano went to the Kraken in the expansion draft, knowing that this could be the outcome — that he would be their captain for the first year, but as a veteran player, could be a great rental at the trade deadline. A face-to-face meeting between Giordano and GM Ron Francis confirmed that would happen. Now, it’s just a matter of negotiating price and destination. Seattle’s ask, to Calgary, for them to keep their hands off him in the expansion draft, was a first and a third. They won’t get that for Giordano on the open market. They might get a first, if they can get two or more teams bidding for his services. If not, some combination of a prospect and a second-rounder might get it done.