The 2021-22 NHL season kicks off Tuesday, but it’s Monday that all the fun happened.
The rosters were due to the league at 5 p.m. ET, as teams were to narrow down to 23 players. While Monday’s list cropping doesn’t have an immediate impact on management and distribution, on its own, it does provide some useful insight into how teams approach systems, styles, people, and functionality. global list.
By the trade deadline of March 21, buyers and sellers will emerge and a number of players will don new jerseys.
MORE: Watch the 2021-22 NHL Season on ESPN +
Sporting News does not have a crystal ball. But the rumor mill never stops, so we scoured the league from top to bottom in search of five top contenders who could pack their bags and ship them to a new zip code by 3 p.m. ET on March 21st.
Five players who could be traded in 2021-22
Jack Eichel, C, Sabers
Thank you, Captain Obvious.
Maybe one day, when we are all old and gray, it will have been understood. A Brief Summary: Eichel needs surgery to fix a herniated disc in his neck and he and the Sabers can’t agree on the type of surgery. For reference, according to the collective agreement, the team has the last word.
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The rumor mill has continued to turn on the tenure of the now ex-captain in western New York. Even before he got hurt in March, there were growls and growls that he was about to come out. The former No. 2 overall pick would have asked to go out during the offseason, but there are a few wrinkles. One major hurdle is that he comes with a big hat trick (five years left at $ 10 million AAV), and now he needs surgery that could keep him from coming out for weeks (the procedure he wants) months (the procedure the Sabers want).
Injury aside, the Hart Trophy contenders, 24, are not growing on trees and the market for his services would surely be strong. A few teams that could be in the mix include the Flames (maybe a trade for another player on this list?), The Ducks, and the Blue Jackets. One team that has been talked about for a long time is the Rangers; however, they can be released now after granting Mika Zibanejad an eight-year extension at AAV $ 8.5 million.
Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Flames
Johnny Hockey is another skater whose name has long crossed the list of commercial rumors. Between the last two offseason alone, there was great speculation that he would be sent south of the border. Now, the time may be nigh for CEO Brad Treliving to take a step; the New Jersey-born product is in the final year of its six-year, $ 40.5 million contract.
The Flames have a number of players looking for new deals in the summer of 22, including Gaudreau (no-compensation free agent), Matthew Tkachuk (restricted free agent), Andrew Mangiapane (RFA) and a group of leagues. minors who should wear the “Flaming C” in the coming seasons.
Despite a certain slowdown in his game, Gaudreau is a fairly solid commercial token (494 points in 520 career games). If the Flames are out of the playoff photo by the trade deadline, expect the 28-year-old to be sent off from Cowtown. Anyone can guess where he might go, but he has a modified no-trade clause this season. A team surely on his business list: his hometown Flyers.
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Mark Giordano, D, Kraken
After 15 years in Calgary, Giordano was left exposed and then selected by the Kraken in the July expansion draft. Unsurprisingly, he was named the very first captain in Seattle history on October 11.
During the 2021 season, the defenseman was one of the top players on a struggling Flames team and the franchise’s first-ever Clayton H. Riddell Award winner (best defenseman). One of eight players who have played at least 25 games and had a positive plus-minus (+5), he finished third on the team in shots (142) and had a 51.9 Corsi percentage. For. So why is he on this list?
So you’re probably wondering: why the hell would the Kraken trade in its captain? Like his Gaudreau, Giordano is in the final year of his contract (he also has a modified no-trade clause), so he could be one and done in the Pacific Northwest. If the Kraken are out of the playoffs – and who can really, really assess what will be going on for a brand new franchise right now – they could be a prime business target for a team looking to consolidate their blue line for a Stanley Cup race.
Tomas Hertl, C, Sharks
The Sharks are set to be one of the worst teams in the NHL in 2021-22 and Hertl is in the final year of his contract. At just 27 (he’ll be 28 in November), he’s a talented forward who has scored 43 points in 50 games in 2021, but has also suffered knee injuries in recent years.
Right now, Hertl is at an AAV of $ 5.625 million. He said last week that although his agent and Sharks general manager Doug Wilson had spoken, they had not discussed the terms. Translation: Hertl’s retention in the Bay Area is far from certain. Another potential target of maturity, Hertl would be a brand recovery in March.
SN PREDICTIONS: Stanley Cup | Calder | Vézina | Norris | Stag
Joonas Korpisalo, G, Blue jackets
Another pending unrestricted free agent, Korpisalo could be the intruder in Columbus as the Blue Jackets just signed their other goaltender, Elvis Merzlikins, for a five-year $ 27 million extension.
“It was great, because I had no idea,” said Korpisalo, by Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch. “It’s business. But frankly, I do not give (expletive) what happened. I will still do myself. It’s still the same team, the same guys. It’s good to be here and I’ll push with whatever I can. It won’t change anything for me. “
Korpisalo and Merzlinkins will be spending some time between the pipes, but it looks like they are expecting this last masked man to take on the heaviest workload. Goalies are always a hot commodity on the home stretch and there could be a number of teams in need of an upgrade in this department – I’m looking at you, Oilers GM Ken Holland ! The 27-year-old has a somewhat achievable cap of $ 2.8 million.
Fasten your seat belt because once the puck falls off the rumors will only heat up.