NHL Trade Deadline 2020: Breaking Down Latest League Buzz

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2020

MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 08:  Tyson Barrie #94 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at the Bell Centre on February 8, 2020 in Montreal, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The NHL trade market has already started to heat up with several moves already made by championship contenders to bolster their rosters ahead of Monday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Although the NHL deadline has seen a limited number of high-impact deals in recent years, there's a good chance that trend is reversed this season. A growing number of teams have already faded from the playoff race, which should make them definitive sellers in the coming days.

Let's check out some of the latest rumors from around the league and analyze what a move could mean for the players and teams involved.

         

Four Teams Interested in Tyson Barrie

Barrie arrived at the Toronto Maple Leafs amid much fanfare in July as part of a blockbuster deal with the Colorado Avalanche. The offensive-minded defenseman has struggled to reach expectations, however, with 33 points (five goals and 28 assists) in 62 appearances.

The 28-year-old Canadian is on pace to finish with seven goals after scoring at least 12 in five of his final six years with the Avs. He's also going to come up well short of the 59 points he recorded last season, barring a scoring barrage in the regular season's final 20 games.

His drop in production apparently isn't scaring off other teams, though. TSN's Frank Seravalli reported four clubs—the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights—have reached out to Toronto about the blueliner.

One offer previously floated that could be revisited ahead of the deadline is a one-for-one swap with Barrie heading to Calgary in exchange for T.J. Brodie, per Seravalli.

Barrie, who's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, showed signs of a rebound with nine points in 10 January games. He's entered another slide in February with no goals and three assists in 11 contests, though.

The Leafs' expectations of return must be kept in check since he'll likely only be a short-term rental for the acquiring team.

             

Vincent Trocheck May Be Florida Panthers' Key Trade Chip

Trocheck's numbers have dropped off since he tallied a career-high 75 points during the 2017-18 season. That said, he's remained a reliable secondary offensive asset for the Panthers with 10 goals and 25 assists in 54 appearances this season.

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported the panthers aren't "shopping" the 26-year-old winger ahead of the deadline, but they've received calls about him and may have "no choice but to listen" given their clear need for a top-four defenseman.

While the Panthers rank fifth in the NHL in goals per game, they are 28th in goals allowed per game. It's created a fast-paced, exciting brand of hockey, but it's also left the team two points behind the Leafs in the Atlantic Division and three points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets in the wild-card race.

LeBrun noted the Buffalo Sabres have checked in on Trocheck, and it's a match on paper. Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has been speculated as a trade candidate for the last few years, and with Buffalo falling out of the playoff picture once again, he may finally be moved.

Ristolainen has endured some rough stretches in Buffalo, but he's a tough, physical blueliner who's also proved himself as an effective power-play quarterback. He wouldn't be the first player to leave the Sabres, one of the league's worst teams over the past decade, and find success. See: Ryan O'Reilly.

Trades between division rivals are always a little more complicated since teams are concerned about the deal coming back to haunt them, but the fit may be too good for either side to pass up.

        

Max Domi Rumors Called "Fake News"

Domi, 24, hasn't been able to match his tremendous first season with the Montreal Canadiens, when he recorded 28 goals and 44 assists for a career-best 72 points in 2018-19. It was still a surprise to see his name pop up in the rumor mill ahead of the deadline, though.

The forward ranks fourth on the team with 38 points (13 goals and 25 assists). His drop in goals can be in part attributed to some poor luck, as his shooting percentage has dropped to 8.4, which is 5.4 points below last year (13.8) and 1.6 points below his career average (10.0).

It sounds like any Habs fans concerned about the team moving one of its top young players can rest easy. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported a source called the Domi rumors "fake news."

The 12th overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft is set to become a restricted free agent at season's end, and he'll probably be looking for a substantial raise over the $3.15 million he's making this year. But the RFA status ensures Montreal gets the right of first refusal, so it shouldn't be a major concern.

All told, the Domi speculation never made a ton of sense on the surface. Talented two-way forwards in the prime of their career with a 72-point season already under their belt aren't exactly an easy commodity to find. The Canadiens should be trying to lock him into a long-term deal.

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