Local Trade Deadline Preview


Semyon Varlamov is a player who could find himself on the move before the March trade deadline. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Monday, March 21, marks the trade deadline in the National Hockey League. While a lot can certainly change in the next six weeks, the local teams seem pretty entrenched in where they stand in the playoff race. Let’s take a look at all three teams: who’s headed out, who’s coming in and what would be considered a success for each team. 


The Devils are putting together another disappointing season, with coach Lindy Ruff in the hot seat after higher expectations coming into the season. General manager Tom Fitzgerald should be ready to sell off some pieces to increase draft capital while trying to build around the team’s young stars. 

It is important to note that the Devils retained a little bit of salary on the Will Butcher trade this past offseason, so they can only retain salary on one more contract. For me, that player should be P.K. Subban. His $9 million cap hit is a terrible overpay, but it is over after this season. If the Devils retain 50% of the cap hit, they might be able to ship him out to a contender for a second-round pick and maybe a prospect as well. If I were a general manager, I wouldn’t touch Subban with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole, but the same could be said about Duncan Keith.

The Devils have three key pending restricted free agents in Miles Wood, Pavel Zacha and Jesper Bratt. Wood is 26 years old and has been injured for the entire season thus far. He is an alternate captain and has the veteran presence that is important in the locker room, so I see them keeping him. Bratt was an All-Star snub, leading the team with 43 points in 44 games at the age of 23. This guy is a star in the making and a great third option behind Hughes and Hischier. If they are going to trade anyone, it will be Zacha, but he is a strong player, and that would be a huge loss. They could get a haul but if there isn’t a first-rounder attached, I’d keep Zacha.


This disappointing season for the Islanders should end in as much of a fire-sale as possible at the deadline. The one player who has to go is Semyon Varlamov. He was crucial to the past two playoff runs, but it’s been a rough season and he has a ton of trade value. With another year under contract at a reasonable $5 million cap hit, I could see them getting a first-round pick from Edmonton to fix their goaltending situation. 

With Varly gone, they need to look elsewhere to clear space for young players to develop and grab a few mid-round picks. Zach Parise has been putting together a nice season without the scoring to back it up. It would be great for all parties involved if they were able to get a third- or fourth-round pick for him to try and win a cup. Same goes for Cal Clutterbuck who could certainly come back to the Island in the offseason to finish his career with Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin. Zdeno Chara or Andy Greene would be candidates if they weren’t proving themselves to be dead weight by this point in their careers. 

Toronto media-types are trying to drum up support for Scott Mayfield to head to the Leafs. I don’t see Lou Lamoriello trading the young Mayfield, especially with another year under $1.5 million. If Toronto were to overpay for him, the Isles should field that call, but otherwise, they need that depth. 

Other than that, there are a lot of long-term deals that are essentially untradable. Trading Josh Bailey would be great, but no one is taking three years of him at this scoring rate. This is still the core that went to the Conference Finals twice, so they can’t go too crazy, but getting some draft capital would be ideal.


An easy buy here as a team with below-average 5v5 metrics has rallied behind their goalie to an incredible first half. A depth forward like Max Domi or Jack Roslovic from Columbus or Reilly Smith from Vegas would be great, but if they’re willing to pay up, Tomas Hertl fits a lot of Eastern Conference teams and they could be the winners of the deadline by picking his $5.6 million cap hit up for the remainder of this season from San Jose. 

Georgiev has played his way into the backup goalie role for the remainder of the season after a rough start, so they can take their name out of the highly competitive goalie market for this deadline.