It’s so early in the season for a TSN Trade Bait board that it’s scary. But it is Halloween - and we do like handing out little trade treats to mark the occasion.
The Trade Bait board will undoubtedly take different shape as we move closer to the Feb. 24 trade deadline (117 days away!) One thing will probably remain consistent: Some of the marquee pending free agents, who in past years would almost definitely become bait, will be expected to remain with their clubs for a playoff run - even without the guarantee of a future contract.
Those players include Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo and Bruins blueliner Torey Krug.
After that, the status of many of the players in the final year of their contracts will be dependent on team performance.
That’s why perhaps the biggest name, New Jersey’s Taylor Hall, debuts at the bottom of the latest Trade Bait list. While it’s believed talks between the Devils and Hall’s camp have been generally positive, the Devils (2-5-3) are 15th in the East – and Hall made some interesting comments about the Devils’ fans on Wednesday night that probably won’t soon be forgotten in North Jersey.
Across the river, the Rangers are still feeling the pains of their rebuild. It might not be all that premature to fire up the Chris Kreider chatter. Could Kreider’s speed, skill and contract help a team like the St. Louis Blues on the wing with Vladimir Tarasenko out for five months?