Markstrom waived NMC, Saros linked to Hurricanes & Rangers/Ducks blockbuster coming? TLN Rumour Recap

Photo credit:Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
2 months ago
The NHL is heading down a trade frenzy in the coming weeks as conversations around the league are ongoing on a daily basis as GM’s try to figure out exactly what path they’ll lead their team down. Buyers? Sellers? Re-toolers? Open to anything? Lots of options on the table when it comes to direction and lots of trade candidates to consider as talks have picked up in a major way across the National league.
Here’s the very latest from rumour recap, with just a few weeks left before the March 8 trade deadline:

Jakob Markstrom Open to Trade

Reports have surfaced stating Calgary Flames netminder Jakob Markstrom was informed about a potential deal to the New Jersey Devils and decided to waive his no-movement clause. Markstrom has two seasons left on his contract at $6 million average annual value (AAV). The Devils are looking for a #1 netminder and Markstrom checks a lot of boxes being a veteran, who has experience in big games and is having a stellar campaign, posting a 2.50 GAA and .916 Sv.%.
Frank Seravalli was recently on the Morning Cuppa Hockey podcast and had this to say on the conversations:
I think the Devils and Flames were pretty far down the track on Markstrom’s deal. I think it did get to his level to approve it, I think there were no issues there, and I think somehow, somewhere along the way, that trade was scuttled. Don’t know how, don’t know why, but they were pretty close to nailing it down. You would’ve seen Jacob Markstrom become a New Jersey Devil I think at some point last week.
There’s speculation brewing that it was salary retention that held things from getting finalized, meanwhile there’s also a theory that Noah Hanifin was also involved, which would have sent shockwaves across the entire league. Don’t close the book on Markstrom to the Devils just yet. The likes of Nico Daws and Alexander Holtz are two names Flames GM Craig Conroy is likely to be interested in. Worth noting Conroy and Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald pulled off a trade last June, involving Tyler Toffoli and Yegor Sharangovich.

Juuse Saros Continues to be Prime Trade Candidate

The Nashville Predators will need to be blown away to trade number one goalie Juuse Saros, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibilities. GM Barry Trotz has essentially admitted he’s not shopping the Finnish netminder, but he’s open to at least getting a sense of how much other team’s value his trade asset.
One team to watch out for, the Carolina Hurricanes. The ‘Canes continue to have consistency issues in net and can’t seem to keep anyone healthy these days. Saros would give them a Vezina candidate on a very reasonable contract at $5 million this season and next and it’s worth pointing out he doesn’t hold any trade protection and can be moved at will. He’s not necessarily having his best season statistically, however that’s mostly due with the Predators lack of high-end talent over being the sole cause. Saros has a career .917 Sv.% in 328 career games, which is above league average.
There’s been some speculation brewing from Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek regarding Saros’ future and the likes of the Devils and Hurricanes seem to be at the forefront. Martin Necas of the Hurricanes is a name that’s been linked, meanwhile Dawson Mercer could be someone the Predators ask for. Of course, it’s likely two first-rounders are also going to Nashville in any Saros deal.

Ducks/Rangers Prime for Blockbuster?

Two teams to watch ahead of the March 8 deadline are the Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers. While they couldn’t be headed in more polar-opposite directions, their trade needs could align perfectly for Pat Verbeek and Chris Drury to pull off some serious business.
Two forwards to keep an eye on here would be Frank Vatrano and Adam Henrique of the Ducks, two forwards who the Rangers are very familiar with. Vatrano 22 games on Broadway a couple of seasons ago, recording 13 points in 22 games before eventually signing with the Ducks, meanwhile the veteran Henrique spent close to a decade with the Rangers rivals, New Jersey Devils.
New York appears set in net, they have some nice depth on defense, so it’s upfront Drury is expected to upgrade. The Rangers enter Thursday’s action with a Metropolitan Division-leading 34-16-3 record and just over $5.1 million in projected deadline cap space.
Good, because Drury is going to need it as Henrique, a pending free agent, is owed $5.8 million and holds a 10-team modified no-trade clause, meanwhile Vatrano is on the books for this season and next at $3.6 million, and enters trade season without any trade protection. He’s recently voiced his desire to stay with the franchise and become a part of the solution, however Verbeek may have other ideas if the right deal presents itself.
Seravalli recently linked the two clubs in a matchmaking piece, and had Henrique and Vatrano heading to the blue shirts for Kaapo Kakko and a second-round pick. Kakko’s certainly out there on the trade market after voicing his displeasure about playing time.

Quick Hits from Around the League:

Seravalli also named Noah Hanifin to the Maple Leafs in a recent trade matchmaking article, in a blockbuster deal that involved multiple picks, Nick Robertson and top defensive prospect Topi Niemela.
Chris Tanev continues to be linked to the Dallas Stars, Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks and Leafs have been on the radar since the start of the season, meanwhile the Stars are gaining steam of late.
One trade scenario that has made it’s rounds online of late is the Ducks sending Trevor Zegras to the Predators for top goalie prospect Yaroslav Askarov.
If the Pittsburgh Penguins end up trading Jake Guentzel ahead of the deadline, which appears to be more and more likely the further the Pens fall down the standings, expect to see Oilers GM Ken Holland send Kyle Dubas an offer he can’t refuse including at least one first-rounder and Dylan Holloway.
Marc-Andre Fleury is less likely to get trade the more the Wild stay in the playoff hunt in the West. Minnesota enters Thursday’s action just three points back of the St Louis Blues and won’t likely deal Fleury if there’s a shot at making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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