NHL Trade Rumors: Reviewing Latest Reports Before 2021 Deadline Passes

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2021

NHL Trade Rumors: Reviewing Latest Reports Before 2021 Deadline Passes

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The 2021 NHL trade deadline is rapidly approaching. In a matter of hours—3 p.m. ET, to be exact—the deadline will arrive, cutting off the option of in-season deals for contenders and rebuilding franchises alike.

    Unsurprisingly, trade activity picked up over the weekend.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three-team trade that also involved the San Jose Sharks. The Boston Bruins then acquired Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators dealt Mike Reilly to the Bruins and sent Braydon Coburn to the New York Islanders.

    More deals are likely to come in before the deadline, especially with teams with cap space eager to use it as an asset.

    As TSN's Darren Dreger pointed out, the New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings and San Jose have each acted "as a broker" to help resolve the cap issues involved in trades.

    With multi-team trades being a viable option, expect at least another big trade or two to come in. Here we'll examine the latest pre-deadline buzz.

Mattias Janmark Drawing Interest from 'Handful of Teams'

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    One name to watch is Chicago Blackhawks center Mattias Janmark. The Blackhawks made the 28-year-old a healthy scratch over the weekend, often a sign that a trade is potentially in the works.

    If the Blackhawks are eager to move Janmark, they will have suitors.

    "Handful of teams in on Chicago's Mattias Janmark," ESPN's Emily Kaplan tweeted."Could be a sneaky good pickup."

    According to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, the Colorado Avalanche are among the contenders that could be interested in acquiring Janmark. As Johnston pointed out, Janmark has shown himself to be a big asset when surrounded by playoff-caliber talent.

    "What's interesting about him is he's a player, in the past, who's played well with high-end linemates," Johnston said during the Saturday Headline Report.

    Janmark has appeared in 41 games this season with 10 goals and nine assists.

Teams Calling About Conor Garland?

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Arizona Coyotes winger Conor Garland has been mentioned in trade speculation this season. However, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, this has more to do with teams' interest in the 25-year-old than Arizona's desire to move him.

    "There's buzz about Coyotes forward Conor Garland (25, RFA) and rightfully so, because he's quite good," Wyshynski tweeted. "His availability earlier this season was greatly overstated—more about teams calling about him than being shopped. Intrigued to see if that's changed as deadline arrives."

    Garland, who has 31 points in 41 games this season, is indeed an intriguing potential trade target. The Coyotes have little reason to seek a trade, though. Garland will only be a restricted free agent in the offseason and isn't guaranteed to depart like some UFAs around the league.

    Sitting in fifth place in the West Division, Arizona is not out of the playoff mix, either. If Garland does end up being moved, it will only be because some other contender swoops in at the eleventh hour with a deal Arizona cannot refuse.

    While that appears unlikely, it isn't impossible.

Vegas a Team to Watch at the Deadline

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    The Vegas Golden Knights reside in second place in the West Division and could be interested in adding talent ahead of the playoff push.

    While Vegas doesn't have much cap space with which to play, it was reportedly in on a couple of players who were dealt.

    "They were in on Hall, in on Foligno," ESPN's Emily Kaplan tweeted. "Not sure they end up adding —they have no cap space, so it would have to be creative —but GM Kelly McCrimmon is a wild card to watch. Vegas has acted aggressively lately."

    Creativity could be key here, as Vegas has less than $1 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. However, the Golden Knights did free up roughly $800,000 by placing Patrick Brown on injured reserve—according to CapFriendly—and as previously mentioned, a multi-team trade could be on the proverbial table.

    While Vegas isn't an obvious candidate to be a deadline buyer, ruling out the Golden Knights making a move would be a mistake.