The NHL trade deadline always makes for an interesting time in the season, as plenty of contenders want to stockpile talent for stretch playoff runs.
Last year, for example, the Tampa Bay Lightning acquired Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller before the deadline and came within one win of reaching the Stanley Cup Final.
This year's deadline—which occurs at 4 p.m. ET on Monday—may bring with it more playoff-aiding moves. It will certainly bring a flurry of activity as contenders look to buy and other teams sell off various pieces.
There is no shortage of speculation as the deadline rapidly approaches. You'll find some of the latest buzz below.
Duchene Open to Extension with New Team
It's now pretty much a foregone conclusion that the Ottawa Senators are going to part with center Matt Duchene. According to TSN's Darren Dreger, Duchene may have already played his final game as a Senator:
The only question is where Duchene lands. There has been plenty of speculation on this front, but the Nashville Predators seem to be the favorites. Elliotte Friedman of NHL Network and Sportsnet recently linked Duchene to Nashville, along with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"Those are the two teams I think are really big into it," Friedman said on NHL Tonight. "I think Nashville, in particular, they're a team that has had interest in Duchene before. Also, I think Duchene has interest in playing there."
More recently, Friedman reported that Nashville seems to be the team "working the hardest" not only to acquire Duchene but also to extend him.
This may make for a perfect pairing. According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, Duchene is open to signing an extension when and if he is traded.
"While Duchene is open to signing a new deal with whichever team he's eventually traded to, there are no guarantees an extension gets ironed out before a trade is finalized," Pagnotta wrote. "But it's my understand[ing] he's is open to multiple possibilities."
Whichever team does land Duchene may be getting him for the long haul.
Bruins Could be All-In on Stone
While Duchene is likely gone, there's at least some chance that the Senators hang on to winger Mark Stone. Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest reported that it's more likely Stone stays than either Duchene or Ryan Dzingel:
If Ottawa goes make Stone available, however, then it may have a buyer in the Boston Bruins. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that Boston will go after Stone if he doesn't soon sign a long-term deal with the Senators:
This doesn't mean that Stone will be heading to Boston if he doesn't sign an extension. The Senators could refuse to trade him while continuing to sell a long-term deal. They may also put a price tag on Stone that the Bruins shy away from.
However, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported that a non-extension would result in Stone receiving a for-sale sign:
"If he doesn't, then [general manager Pierre] Dorion, who is expected return to Ottawa Tuesday morning from Chicago to huddle with the club's scouting staff to work on deals before the deadline, will add Stone's name to the list of players he'll be trying to move to get assets that can help Ottawa down the road in return."
Garrioch added that Stone has requested time to mull over Ottawa's long-term offer.
Bruins Also Have Some Interest in Panarin
It's been difficult to peg the Columbus Blue Jackets as either sellers or buyers before the trade deadline, as the team is firmly in the playoff mix but also has some difficult roster decisions looming.
Winger Artemi Panarin, who will be a free agent in the summer, is at the top of the list of players who could be moved if Columbus decides to sell.
Panarin is also a player the Bruins are interested in acquiring, though Friedman believes they wouldn't want him long term.
"I think the teams with the best chances at signing Panarin long term are [the] Florida [Panthers], Los Angeles [Kings], [New York] Islanders and [New York] Rangers," Friedman wrote. "The only one that makes sense to take a shot at him for rental purposes is the Islanders. Boston hovers as a rental option too."
With the Bruins only "hovering" around Panarin as a rental, it likely means that he isn't their first choice of a deadline add.
It appears most likely that Stone is Boston's desired addition, but Panarin will be an option if he's available for cheap or if Stone simply isn't available.
Interest in Nyquist Could Be Building
Gustav Nyquist of the Detroit Red Wings isn't one of the hotter names on the market, though this is primarily because he has a full no-trade clause and would have to agree to be moved before the deadline.
Nyquist, who has 48 points in 60 games, is having a fine season.
The left wing recently admitted that he's discussed the idea with general manager Ken Holland, but he hasn't given any indication of whether he would give his consent on a deal.
"It has to work for either side," Nyquist said, per Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News. "That's about as much as I will say."
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, however, believes that Nyquist would be willing to waive the clause in order to land with the right contender. He also believes that Nyquist will start to generate more interest once Panarin and Stone have their situations settled.
"A lot of those teams are saying 'just make sure you call us if you do something because we're keeping an eye on the bigger guys first,' with all due respect to Nyquist, who is having a fine season in Detroit," LeBrun wrote.
LeBrun also reported that Detroit is ready to sign Nyquist if the right deal doesn't come along, so he may not be going anywhere. It's a situation to keep an eye on, though, especially if guys like Stone and Panarin are moved well ahead of the deadline.