The Chicago Blackhawks are serious about defending the Stanley Cup. They did not even wait until the February 29 trade deadline to make moves to enhance their team.
The Blackhawks reacquired left wing Andrew Ladd on Thursday and two other players, Jay Harrison and Matt Fraser, when they sent prospect Marko Dano, a first-round draft choice in this year's draft and another conditional pick to the Winnipeg Jets.
The Blackhawks were not content with that move, as general manager Stan Bowman traded defenseman Rob Scuderi to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Christian Ehrhoff on Friday, the team reported.
There is still plenty of time for NHL teams to make many more deals.
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman would like to trade disgruntled forward Jonathan Drouin. Yzerman told ESPN's Pierre LeBrun he wants to move Drouin, but he wants to strengthen his team in the process.
"We're close to the trade deadline, we're trying to make the playoffs, if I can trade him and put a player on my team and make us better, isn't that common sense," Yzerman said.
Drouin's request for a trade from the Lightning went public in early January, and Yzerman has patiently waited for the right opportunity to present itself. He is likely to get his best offer by the trade deadline (3 p.m. ET), but if Yzerman does not deem any bid worthy, he could hold onto the 20-year-old Drouin and wait until the offseason to finally move him.
Eric Staal is another player who is apparently available on the trade market, but the Carolina Hurricanes have not asked him to waive the no-trade clause in his contract, according to Chip Alexander of the News & Observer.
However, Staal knows his name is being mentioned, and he is not averse to a trade if he believes it's in the best interests of the team and himself.
“Obviously it depends on the situation and where it would be," Staal told Alexander. "But I think we’ve got a pretty good relationship where we can talk it out and figure it out. I’m not going to be trying to hold anything back, but it’s got to be the right situation for myself, as well.”
The 31-year-old Staal is due to become a free agent at the end of the season, and Alexander's story indicated the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and the Nashville Predators are among the teams interested in acquiring his services.
Staal and the Hurricanes have not been to the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2009.
The Edmonton Oilers are struggling once again this year despite the plethora of young talent on the roster. While it is just his first year in Edmonton, general manager Peter Chiarelli is open to any deal that would strengthen his team, although he is not planning to trade phenomenal rookie Connor McDavid.
Chiarelli indicated that deals involving other young stars, such as Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, are not out of the question. Chiarelli told Edmonton Sun reporter Rob Tychkowski that while such deals are not likely, they are possible.
"For me, major deals are less likely at this time,” Chiarelli said. “There is more global planning that takes place postseason prior to the draft. Anything is possible, but I can tell you I’m not really looking at that type of deal now. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be looking at that for the spring and summer.”
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