With every NHL trade deadline projection comes the caveat that anything can happen before the deadline, trades can happen earlier to shake things up, and standings can change quickly.
Take into consideration how no one wants to take on money with the flat salary cap and the upcoming expansion and this might end up a boring NHL trade deadline. But, who knows.
Out of respect for the situation in Vancouver as over half the team recovers from a Covid variant, they’re not going to be included on here. It feels unfair to be speculating about their hockey future at the moment.
For the rest, here’s one move every team should make at the 2021 NHL trade deadline.
Boston Bruins: Get a legitimate scorer: The Bruins have more than one problem but some of that can’t be helped. If they’d kept Zdeno Chara in the offseason, some of their defensive woes wouldn’t exist. Some injury returns, such as Brandon Carlo, would stabilize things for now. They can’t learn how to score, though, and they — once again — desperately need five on five scoring.
Buffalo Sabres: Move Taylor Hall for a first: This largely depends on who wants to make a move, but if the Sabres do move on from Hall, they could get a terrific return. To trade a player like Taylor Hall — sure feels like deja vu, eh? — there’s going to have to be a good return because he’ll be in demand for any team willing to take on some of his salary. Make sure it’s the best price.
Philadelphia Flyers: Get anyone who can play defense: There’s some issues with the goaltending for sure and there’s not much they can do in that department. But the defense in front of Carter Hart and co has not made life any easier. The Flyers defense has been decimated and it was already pretty weak. Adding the Blue Jackets’ David Savard could bring some life into the blue line group.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Add a depth scorer: This could have been to add a goalie, but Tristan Jarry seems close to a return. Kasperi Kapanen and Evgeni Malkin remain out, though, and the Pens could use more depth in their middle six. Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell feels like a strong fit.