Four attractive GMs to oversee the NHL trade deadline


A little more than a month from the trade deadline, the market is still trying to sort out the actual buyers and sellers. We know people like Tampa Bay, Toronto, Winnipeg and Nashville will be looking to make a few additions and that Los Angeles and Philadelphia will trade components, but when the playoff picture in the West gets tighter, there may be fewer teams that sell than expected at first.

Aside from the playoff picture, specific situations from some GMs have them in places of interest ahead of trade deadlines – will they buy? Sell? Will the impact on the market be large? How much work security plays a role?

Here are four GMs that will be very interesting to watch work in this trading season.

Ryan Dixon and Rory Boylen play with various facts and fun, relying on various hockey sound groups to give their views on the most beloved game in the country.


Sitting three points from the playoffs, Oilers are forced to become buyers at the deadline. They have been trading, then releasing, Ryan Spooner this season and recently took on defenders Brandon Manning and Alex Petrovic. That won't make the difference that Oilers need. Despite the lack of depth and the fact that they are outside the playoffs now, this team is all-in.

"They realize that skipping the playoffs this year will have a very negative impact on their business and they will do it," Elliotte Friedman said last week on Prime Time Sports. "I think they want to add. They caught Klefbom, their best defender, right back. He became a big player for them this year. So they thought they could handle the blue line. But now they have to handle getting a score again.

"I think they have made it very clear that skipping playoffs this year is not an option."

Prime Time Sports

January 15: Boo birds come out in Toronto

January 15, 2019

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But because they are nothing more than a playoff bubble team, and thin on the NHL list, finding trade that makes Edmonton what they need can be difficult. You have to believe that Evan Bouchard is outdated, but their first round selection and Jesse Puljujarvi regularly appear in trade rumors and both risk giving up at the moment.

Above all, the man who will do this movement is also in the hot seat. Peter Chiarelli was unable to make progress in four years with Connor McDavid on the list, and his belief was that if his team missed the playoffs again, he could be replaced at the front office.

If you have no interest in rooting here, it makes the theater potentially interesting, but if this is the team where you live and die, that is a worrying time.

"Peter Chiarelli's trade record makes everyone in this city, a team fan, very nervous he will come out and try to do big trade," said Mark Spector of Sportsnet recently at Jeff Blair Show FAN 590. "The trade is very bad.

"The people here are wondering, does Bob Nicholson have a strap on this, will he approve the trade? What about the owner Daryl Katz?"


First CEO Jim Lites calls on his team's two biggest stars. Then, coach Jim Montgomery vented his frustration at not being able to change the "culture of Dallas mediocrity". Jamie Benn was frank about the lackluster game of power in the Stars last week. Alexander Radulov sat for half a period.

There is a lot of drama going on in Texas and, sitting in a playoff place with just one point, the acquisition of the Stars trade won't stop at Andrew Cogliano.

Jim Nill has been a GM in Dallas since 2013 and signed a contract extension in 2016. The interesting thing about it is that the contract was extended to not end until this season so he actually entered through 2022-23. Does it provide security for GMs who have played twice in the five seasons that have finished?

"I think he's on a hot seat," said Sean Shapiro from Athletics to Tape to Tape Podcast. "I think he is in a situation where you can't miss the playoffs again. I really think this is a situation where if Stars miss the playoffs, I have a big possibility in my mind, I will cover other GM searches.

Tapes to Tapes

January 18: Drama in progress in Dallas

January 18, 2019

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"The stars need people who fall for this and they try to put it on Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are two of the most untouched people in the organization."

This team has joined John Tavares and even connected with Erik Karlsson, but left last summer with Blake Comeau as the most famous free agent acquisition. Valeri Nichushkin, the 10th overall pick in Nill's first draft as GM, returned from two years at KHL and has become a non-factor with zero goals.

There are not many differences where Stars and Oilers find themselves. They have star power above, but do not have depth beyond the first super-loaded line. Only this month Dallas has been held with one goal or less in regulation six of nine matches. Since December 1, their total of 54 goals in 23 matches ranks 30th in the league.

"I think they are in a place where it can be something before the deadline, but I think they have to make this move faster because they have to go forward and really get themselves to a place where anyone they carry, they can interlocked and they were not in the place where the Stars last year when they had just been destroyed at the end. "


Much has changed in a short time for Armstrong and the Blues. On December 1 they sat last in the Central Division and nine points from wildcards. Since then they have played 12-9-2 and in the last two weeks they have won a consecutive victory in their first three matches of the season.

One and a half months ago the Blues were regarded as sellers and people like Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo were the most important for the rumor. Now what is the situation like?

What's interesting here is that being in a playoff race doesn't stop Armstrong from becoming a previous seller. In 2017 he sent UFA Kevin Shattenkirk who was delayed to Washington at the deadline, one day St. Louis really holds the place of the second wild card. They finished third in their division and reached the second round. Last season they sold UFA Paul Stastny who was delayed to the Jets and missed one playoff point.

This year the Blues do not have UFAs at both levels – Pat Maroon and Jay Bouwmeester are down in this category and may be in new places after the deadline. They are five points ahead of the playoffs, but have played fewer matches than each team in front of them and with Jordan Binnington on the net, now it seems to be turning a corner. Even Tarasenko has five goals in his last eight matches.

Can the Blues move from sellers who have the potential to become best-selling sellers to at least small buyers at the deadline? Will Armstrong still move one of his high-cost players? After an aggressive off-season acquisition to sustain depth in the middle position, hopes are clear to make the playoffs this season, but how is that reflected in the lead up to February 25?

31 Thoughts: Podcast

January 17, 2019: It's Never Too Early To Chase Trading Deadlines

January 17, 2019

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At Fenton's introductory press conference last summer, Wild owner Craig Leipold noted that there was one thing about his team agreed upon by the new GM and the others interviewed for the job: They were good.

"The goal remains to bring the Stanley Cup to State Of Hockey," Leipold said at a press conference, smiling and looking at Fenton. "There is no pressure, Paul."

Despite this expectation from the summit, on Monday Wild sits one point from the playoffs and has scored the fewest goals in the league since December 1. For this list, it can only be described as a disappointment. Still in a position to potentially buy and shake everything, what makes Wild so attractive around the deadline is that they can theoretically trade NHL players and do "hockey trading."

When looking at buyers and sellers in the season, you often expect one team to give up a pick or prospect, but if Wild adds something, their market should not be limited to teams looking for the future. There is no doubt they have good depth with people like Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle currently in the third row – they are almost have to swap players list to take other important players.

Therefore, Minnesota can be a trading partner for almost everyone.

Closing at the all-star break in Fenton's first season as GM, there were only minor changes to Chuck Fletcher's list. In fact, Fenton's biggest trade to date is what he did last Thursday, sending Nino to the 2010 fifth overall pick-up to Carolina for Victor Rask. Far from repairing slam dunk, this seems like a risky step Wild will be lucky to come out on top. Niederreiter might struggle, but he has pedigree and history, while Rask only has six points at the time of the deal.

But this is the kind of agreement that sets the tone for the next four weeks.

"We are looking for consistency," Fenton told reporters after trading. "For me, when you make changes like this, it shows the players that nothing is forever and that gives them a warning that if they want to be here they have to play and play the way we want them to play and be successful . "


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