OT: 2024 NHL trade rumor

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar and Dallas Stars centerman Joe Pavelski battle for the puck. Photo courtesy of Michael Martin/Getty Images

JULIA LORELLI | STAFF REPORTER | jlorelli@butler.edu 

Overtime, or “OT,” is an opinion column series where the Collegian takes national sports headlines and gives them a Butler-centric angle

If last year proved anything, it is that trading to get great players does not always have the results that the team wants. The New York Rangers traded to get Patrick Kane, while the Boston Bruins went big at the deadline and traded to get Tyler Bertuzzi, Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov. Both teams lost in the first round of the playoffs. While every team has an area to improve on, some teams have more glaring weaknesses than others. 

Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken 

Teams that need a right-wing that can bring experience are gonna be looking to Eberle. Eberle has struggled with scoring this season — he only has 10 goals — but there is more to a player than the stats on the board. The Kraken are in the battle for the playoffs right now, so they need to decide whether to lose a guy who is having a mediocre season on the ice or keep him to try and build a winning culture in Seattle. While there are many teams that need wingers, they need ones that can score, and he has struggled this season. 

Pavel Buchnevich, St. Louis Blues 

The Blues need to think about their future before they trade Buchnevich. They are in the hunt for a wild card spot in the West and Buchnevich is a big part of that. However, there are always two sides to a story. 

If he stays on pace, he could get to 30 goals for the second time in three seasons with the Blues. On the other hand, the Blues could trade him and his $5.8 million contract to get more tools to help build up their team. They took a huge risk trading Ryan O’Rilley and Vladimir Tarasenko, so they need a power forward and a defenseman who can take a punch. Trading Buchnevich could be a way to get at least one of these assets. If Buchnevich does get traded, the Edmonton Oilers would be the team for him. Right now, the Oilers are all relying on Connor McDavid to score the goals, so adding Buchnevich would take some pressure off of McDavid as well as add a killer sniper shot to the roster. 

First-year risk management and insurance major Jonah Miller thinks the Blues will keep Bunchnevich for the next year. 

“He’s been a high-production player for us this season,” Miller said. “While [the Blues] are not in a playoff position, I don’t think [they are] in a position to be selling any of [their] assets yet.” 

Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh Penguins 

Guentzel is the most interesting player in the trade market this year. He has played for the Penguins since 2016 and has the second most goals on the team behind Sidney Crosby. Guntzel is currently out after suffering an upper-body injury on Feb. 14, but he is expected to return on March 10, so the Penguins might have a tough time getting a trade. They are clinging onto Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson, but need to let go of some of their older players. 

Assuming Guentzel comes back healthy, he could be a key part of a Penguins team trying to make their way back to the playoffs after missing them last year for the first time in 17 seasons. Guentzel’s injury gives them time to determine if they can play their way back into the playoff mix while listening to trade proposals that come their way. If Guentzel does get traded, it will likely be to the Carolina Hurricanes because they need more scorers. 

Noah Hanifin, Calgary Flames 

Hanifin, a free agent, is the player available in this trade market who could arguably make the biggest impact. The cost to acquire Hanifin should be significant and higher if it comes with a contract extension. However, the teams that have the most interest in Hanifin, like the Tampa Bay Lightning, may not have what the Flames are hoping to acquire in a trade, like first-round picks and top prospects. 

Jakob Chychrun, Ottawa Senators 

Ottawa finally made some leadership changes and got owner Michael Andlauer. They also received Steve Staios, a new president of hockey operations and general manager, and Dave Poulin, a new senior president of hockey operations. They are taking a hard look at everything this season. Chychrun is signed through next season with a $4.6 million average annual value. He is not a player that everyone is clamoring for, but there should be enough interest to get him out of Ottawa if that’s what their new leadership thinks is best. If he does get out of Ottawa, the Boston Bruins will probably snatch him up as they are lacking on defense, despite being one of the best teams in the league. 

First-year chemistry major Ashton Lake thinks Chuchrun will get traded because he is past his prime. 

“He is not producing very well as a player,” Lake said. “He’s not expected to score goals but his plus-minus is -16, so I could see Ottawa going for a more rounded defenseman.” 

Marc-Andre Fleury, Minnesota Wild 

The long-time Pittsburgh Penguin spent a short time playing for the Las Vegas Golden Knights before being traded to Minnesota. However, Fleury might not be available if the Wild believe they can make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They’re in the hunt, so it all depends on their confidence in the rest of the season. If they make the playoffs, Fleury could be this season’s Jonathan Quick: a future hall of famer who gives advice to the goalie on the ice. Quick did that last season with Vegas and Adin Hill. Fleury definitely has enough experience to be a mentor as he has played in the NHL since 2003. If Fleury becomes available, the Colorado Avalanche would probably jump at the opportunity to get him as they could use a veteran backup goalie. 

James Reiner, Detroit Red Wings 

While this one is less of a surprise than others, Reiner has only played one season for the Red Wings. He definitely has the experience to play for a struggling team as he has played in the NHL for 14 years. He could also be a goalie whisper for a team with a younger goalie like the Panthers with Spencer Knight. While Detroit is looking to continue to add new, youthful players, there is no harm in keeping some veterans on the team to guide the new guys. 

Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators 

Saros is a Vezina Trophy-caliber goalie signed through next season. The Predators need to be blown away by a trade offer to even consider moving Saros. The 28-year-old is their goalie of the present and future. If Saros was traded, they would also have to completely believe that Yaroslav Askarov will be able to take over as the number one goalie by next season. Although trading Saros seems like a long shot, weirder trades have happened in the past, like when the Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky

Junior statistics major Hallie Nuccio has an internship with the Nashville Predators and shared her opinion based on her experience with the team. 

“I have insider information that I’m not allowed to share,” said Nuccio. “From a fan standpoint, he won’t get traded. We’re in a wild card spot so they need to be buyers over sellers. If our general manager Barry Trotz wants to make the playoffs, he needs to keep players, not sell them.” 

This will be an interesting trade to follow as general managers work around the clock to try to fix their team’s weaknesses or help their team solidify a spot in the playoffs. 

Sometimes a trade can make all the difference in the world. The NHL trade deadline is Friday, March 8 at 3 p.m.. Is there a better way to start spring break than seeing your team improve? 


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