This is it. The final update of trade deadline season to the NHL Trade Big Board. And it comes after one of the biggest names on the board gets removed, with Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello striking early in landing Kyle Palmieri along with Travis Zajac during Wednesday’s blockbuster with the Devils. Not only did that deal remove one of the best forwards available, but it also comes during a time in which the buyers and sellers are evolving.
“Arizona and Nashville playing well lately has changed what’s out there being offered,” said one executive on Wednesday.
And while that leaves one fewer big name to take a run at, a general manager suggested there’s a real opportunity for value deals going into Monday’s deadline.
“There may be, on Monday, a bunch of guys who say, just give me something,” said the GM. “You’ll be able to bargain shop, for sure.”
And while the recent success in Nashville and Arizona might have subtracted a couple of sellers, there’s still time to add new ones. That’s exactly what may be happening in St. Louis where Blues GM Doug Armstrong could change the dynamic of the deadline depending on how aggressive he is in his approach to Monday. History suggests he’ll be decisive. And if he’s decisively selling, it means the Blues could be the target to some of the best options on the market. Need scoring and help on the power play? Enter Mike Hoffman. Need a center? Tyler Bozak could help the cause. Vince Dunn adds depth to any defense and Jaden Schwartz is the best option of all. Contending GMs love proven playoff performers and Schwartz is exactly that — 20 points in 26 games during the Blues Stanley Cup run.
He’s a new addition to the board since the last Trade Board update (read all the previous updates here), although The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford points out that they’d likely prefer to re-sign Schwartz, which keeps him on the bottom half of the board. That said, one executive suggested that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker right now.
“They can always re-sign him in the summer if they want to,” he said of the Blues and Schwartz. “It’s like (Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald) and Kyle Palmieri. Just because (he traded) Palmieri, doesn’t mean he can’t re-sign him.”
The same could be said for Nick Foligno, who is drawing interest from Colorado, Minnesota and Toronto according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline.