We are officially on the eve of every die-hard hockey fan's unofficial holiday, the NHL trade deadline! While we are still a way away from the 3 p.m. ET deadline on Monday, some of the big names that have been rumored for a while finally got traded last night. These moves may be huge for the teams involved, but they also have huge ramifications in fantasy hockey, and that's what I would like to look at this week. So with further ado, let's take a look at the players who were traded and those who may be affected as a result.
Panthers Acquire Chiarot and Giroux
The Panthers made a pair of acquisitions this week to really reinforce the fact that they are all in as a Cup contender this season. They were already a very solid team, and going out and getting a player up front plus a player on the blueline makes them even more scary. Let's start with the Ben Chiarot trade, since it was the first move to be made.
The only real player of consequence here is Chiarot himself as the Panthers gave up a prospect and a couple of picks to secure the gritty defender. Chiarot is set to join the Panthers early next week and he might be getting a bigger role than previously anticipated depending on how bad the injury to Aaron Ekblad ends up being. For now, though, I'd slot Chiarot in as a middle-pair defenseman who probably will see time on the penalty kill. I doubt he gets a whiff of either power-play unit, but he is a great source of hits and blocks. Playing on a contender should help bring out the best in him. I think he could bump down Gustav Forsling or maybe even Radko Gudas to the bottom pair, so if you own either of those guys, you could see a slight down tick in minutes and deployment, so keep an eye out for that.
Moving on to the big trade made last night. The Flyers send over the heart and soul of their franchise, the aging Claude Giroux and in exchange the Panthers deal Owen Tippett and draft picks. Giroux spent all 15 seasons of his career in Philadelphia, but clearly it was time for a changing of the guard in the City of Brotherly Love. The Flyers will look to rebuild or "retool" depending on how you want to look at it. Tippett is just barely 23 years of age and should have a chance to play a more prominent role in Philly.
Meanwhile in Florida, it's looking like Giroux will land on a line with Aleksander Barkov. It makes sense for them not to mess up any of the good juju they have going with Jonathan Huberdeau this season, but there are a few things to keep in mind here. First off, if Giroux does indeed pair up with Barkov on a line together, who is playing center? Either way, the two will cannibalize each other's faceoff production, so if you are in a league that tracks faceoffs, this is something to keep in mind. Both players are pretty high-end faceoff guys so it'll be interesting to see which way t