Deals done long before NHL trade deadline set stage for more

Feb 28, 2023, 7:58 PM | Updated: Mar 1, 2023, 10:49 am
Washington Capitals center Lars Eller skates with the puck against the New York Rangers during the ...

Washington Capitals center Lars Eller skates with the puck against the New York Rangers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

David Poile did not go into the final deadline of his quarter-century-long tenure as general manager of the Nashville Predators thinking he would trade longtime defenseman Mattias Ekholm or 25-year-old forward Tanner Jeannot.

But the seasoned executive started listening on offers a long time ago and has so far completed three deals. And there’s still plenty of time until 3 p.m. EST Friday.

“My phone is on,” Poile said. “We don’t have to do anything else, but why not talk to everybody and see what’s available out there or what people like about our team or our players or don’t like about them?”

His phone wasn’t the only one that was ringing Tuesday, when nearly a dozen trades were completed around the NHL. And several of those moves set the table for more action before the dealing is done.

On Wednesday, the domino effect continued with the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche acquiring center Lars Eller from the Washington Capitals for a 2025 second-round pick. Eller scored two of the biggest goals on Washington’s 2018 championship run, including the game-winner in the clinching game of the final, and can win faceoffs and kill penalties and fill a void down the middle.

Eller was expected to be traded with free agency pending. Two-time Cup-winning goaltender Jonathan Quick was not.

The stunning deal of Quick from Los Angeles to Columbus immediately made the 37-year-old a top target to get dealt again. The last-in-the-league Blue Jackets took Quick along with a first- and a third-round pick to balance out the salaries of defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and goalie Joonas Korpisalo going to L.A.

“Jonathan Quick is a two-time Stanley Cup winner who has been an outstanding goaltender in our league for a long time,” Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said. “And this deal provides us with draft capital that will be valuable as we move forward as an organization.”

It could add up to even more if they flip Quick to a contender looking for depth in net. Vegas, Toronto, Seattle and Pittsburgh are options.

Perhaps even Carolina, since the Hurricanes still have plenty of salary cap space left after acquiring winger Jesse Puljujarvi from Edmonton, which was clearing room to get Ekholm from Nashville. Goaltending injuries contributed to derailing the Hurricanes’ playoff run last year, and now in first place with a deep roster, now’s the chance to bolster the odds of coming out of a loaded Eastern Conference.

After NHL-leading Boston added size, toughness and depth by acquiring defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from Washington, the New York Rangers got elite playmakers Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko, New Jersey stocked up for now and later with big winger Timo Meier, Tampa Bay gave up the farm for Jeannot and Toronto added six new players over the past two weeks, Carolina has plenty of motivation to make another trade.

Ducks defenseman John Klingberg, who was linked to the Hurricanes at the deadline last year before Dallas opted to keep him, is an option to help the power play, even though he’s going through a rough season. Anaheim is keeping Klingberg out of game action for trade-related reasons.

Another is Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun, the 24-year-old blue liner who has been on the block for more than a year. The Oilers getting Ekholm, the Maple Leafs trading for Jake McCabe, Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson and the Kings making the move for Gavrikov dried up the landing spots for Chychrun.

But with an impetus to get something done with Chychrun before Friday, Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong could find a trade partner in an unlikely place. The Capitals have shown a willingness to buy as well as sell, giving up a first-round pick with Gustafsson to get Rasmus Sandin from Toronto, and because Chychrun is signed for two more years he’s got value beyond teams looking ahead to the playoffs.

Columbus could even be a player for Chychrun with the extra high draft picks from the Kings — and more if Quick is on the move again.


AP freelancer writer Jim Diamond in Nashville contributed.


Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at


AP NHL: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
24 days ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
24 days ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
24 days ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
24 days ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
24 days ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
24 days ago
Deals done long before NHL trade deadline set stage for more