What to look for at the trade deadline (and beyond)
As the march to Lord Stanley’s Cup continues, this is what you can look for.
(Photo Credit: Michael Miller)
It is on the horizon. With the NHL deadline just around the corner, the fans, media, and more importantly, the players are whipped into a frenzy. Who is going where? How much will he be paid? Do I have to keep refreshing twitter now?
So here are some things to look out for both before and after the deadline at Monday at 3 PM.
Where ya goin’ Erik?
It has been speculated for the last six months. Erik Karlsson will move on from Ottawa. It was just a matter of time before he goes. Some thought it would be at the draft, but reports coming out of Ottawa are saying he has probably played his last game for the Sens.
Where does he go? Ottawa is going to have to keep some salary if he goes to several teams. Tampa Bay and Stevie Y seem like a favorite among pundits to land the all-world defenseman. It would not shock me if he was sent somewhere like Arizona as a punishment as management has reportedly soured of Karlsson here as of late.
It is a shame how one injury has sparked such regression in a proud hockey city. Simply put, Chicago is not a good hockey team without Corey Crawford in goal. Fans of the Blackhawks have called for everything from a clean sweep of the front office, to the trading of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
One man who might be the guy who gets blamed for this is Joel Quenneville. He is widely regarded as the best coach in hockey. Coach Q had an uphill battle this season, with father time and injuries creeping up on the Hawks. Quenneville did not adapt his team enough, and Chicago will miss the playoffs for the first time in what seems like ever.
Take the crown from the King
One of the biggest understatements about Henrik Lundqvist is that all he wants to do is play. He has been sat down lately in favor of younger talent. Given that the Rangers organization has come out and said everyone is on the market, how long will King Henrik put up with this?
Lundqvist wants to be a Ranger for life. He thrives in New York. He single-handedly took the Rangers to a Stanley Cup Finals. However, he makes a large amount of money, age is creeping up on him, and the fact he is missing a ring will catch up to him. Is it time for Henrik to move on?
Mutiny in St. Louis
My how the mighty have fallen. Remember back in November when the Blues could score a goal and they were the tops in the NHL as far as points?
Those days seem long gone now, as the Blues have fallen to ninth in the West, and sit four points behind the third place seed in the Central. Fans are screaming for the heads of Mike Yeo, and unless Doug Armstrong pulls off something epic for a deadline deal, he will be public enemy number one.
Jake Allen has been vilified by the fans. The once-beloved Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Pietrangelo are getting booed at home, and fans are incensed that Nikita Soshnikov might be the big name the Blues get at the deadline.
The decision in Seattle
When it looked like Houston might be the next city to get an NHL club, Seattle has officially submitted their application and begun a season ticket drive. With the expansion fee increased by a cool $100,000,000 to $600,000,000, the fans in Seattle are inching closer and closer to a new team. Quebec City looks like it could be a home to the Senators or Flames if they move, and Houston is in the market for relocation.
The puck is now in Bettman and the Owners’ zone. Seattle has the means, the opportunity, the money, and the geographical location to make this a real thing. It would balance the league and make things right and justified in the NHL. It would make sense, but that has never meant a thing to the NHL.
What else should we look forward to as the deadline comes and goes? Let us know in the comments.