Ramblings: Players on the Block, thoughts on Gourde, Eller and lots more … (Feb 14)




Monday, Tom Collins nailed a pretty solid Top 10 list that covered the 10 hottest names on the block leading up to the NHL’s Trade Deadline on February 26. So I won’t get into those players, but I’ll add a few of my own to that list, in no particular order. Some names I’ve mentioned before…

Jordan Schmaltz – He still hasn’t played since an injury in early January, but he’s a restricted free agent this summer and he’s also no longer exempt from waivers in the fall. The Blues are deep on defense so he is definitely a chip they can play to land a winger. If he goes to a rebuilding team, and of course if he returns to full health soon, then he could contribute to a fantasy squad right away.

J-G Pageau – I think Pageau will go. I also, as I mentioned before, think he’s a fit for the Penguins and is totally GM Jim Rutherford’s M.O. If they acquire him, he’ll be the third-line center which is a huge upgrade in terms of fit and an upgrade to last year’s Nick Bonino. It would also allow Jake Guentzel to go back to the wing in the top six, providing his owners with solid end-of-season production.

Mats Zuccarello – I kind of like the St. Louis Blues for this, or perhaps the Sharks or Stars. Dark Horse team would be the Flames. But I think Zuke goes to a Western team if he gets moved.

Michael Grabner – The Blues are another fit in terms of Grabner’s speed, but also the Flames. However, wherever he goes I believe his production will drop off a cliff. I think the Rangers were the best fit for him in terms of putting points on the board. But in my opinion he’s as good as gone.

Ryan McDonagh – McDonagh is probably the most expensive trade chip in the league and frankly I don’t think the Rangers should trade him. Hell, trade Kevin Shattenkirk before McDonagh! But much like Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson, McDonagh is a free agent after 2018-19 so his name has been mentioned in hockey trade circles.

Tomas Plekanec – There are no shortage of teams in need of Plekanec’s experience, and most NHL GM’s tend to place a lot of value in reputation and historical skill sets. So they’ll overrate the defensive and offensive aspect that he brings to the table based on the Plekanec of two years ago, and as such will overpay.

Josh Leivo &