Trade Deadline Rumours: Metropolitan Division

The NHL Rumour Report will be breaking down trade deadline rumours and speculation by Division in the lead up to February 29th. Today, we look at the Metropolitan Division.

The Eastern Conference is starting to produce Cup contenders again, and many of them are in the Metro. Expect the Capitals, Rangers, Islanders and Penguins to get into some heavy bidding this deadline.

Check out our other trade deadline previews: Atlantic Division / Central Division / Pacific Division

Deadline status: Seller

The Blue Jackets would like to continue to bolster their blueline and find a replacement for Ryan Johansen at center, trades which might be better suited for the summer. For now, expect the team to ship off some of its veteran assets for picks and prospects.

Rumoured to have interest in:

Kevin Shattenkirk - D - STL - UFA in 2017

Blue Jackets rumoured to be in play:

Scott Hartnell - W - UFA in 2019 - The veteran winger's name has only recently popped up in trade talks. The Jackets are flush with talent on the wing, and Hartnell is a piece they could sacrifice for help elsewhere. The Predators, the team that drafted Hartnell in 2000, are rumoured to have interest.

Kerby Rychel - W - RFA in 2019 - The young winger has asked for a trade due to lack of opportunity. If the Jackets move out lots of players at the deadline, Rychel might get the opportunity in Columbus he's been looking for. Otherwise, the Habs, Ducks and Flames have been rumoured as potential suitors.

Cam Atkinson - W - UFA in 2019 - Despite signing an extension with Columbus through 2019, the Jackets continue to receive calls on Atkinson. The Bruins and Rangers are amongst the teams with interest.

Fedor Tyutin - D - UFA in 2018 - Tyutin is seeing his name pop up the odd time in trade rumour. But with three years left at $4.5 million, Tyutin only moves if a big contract comes back the other way. The Red Wings and Blackhawks are rumoured to have kicked tires.

Rene Bourque - W - Pending UFA - Bourque has struggled to deliver on his promise as a power forward, but as a pending UFA, he might be of interest to a playoff bound team with cap space.

Darkhorse trade candidates:

Jack Johnson - D - UFA in 2018 - Johnson's name has popped up in rumours this year. Certainly, the Jackets expect more out of JJ, but it would be difficult for the team to replace his minutes.

Deadline status: To be determined

The Hurricanes franchise is for sale and its ownership wants to trim down the payroll, but they remain in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. If they fall out of it, expect them to go into full out sell mode.

Rumoured to have interest in:

Jonathan Drouin - W - ELC
Nazem Kadri - C - TOR - Pending RFA
Jake Gardiner - D - TOR - UFA in 2018

Hurricanes rumoured to be in play:

Eric Staal - C - Pending UFA - The face of the franchise has yet to be extended amidst ownership uncertainty in Raleigh. The Rangers, Canadiens and Wild are amongst those interested.

Cam Ward - G - Pending UFA - Ward has played decently well this year, but hasn't been an elite goalie for several seasons. The Flames and Oilers have had interest at times.

Jeff Skinner - W - UFA in 2019 - The injury-prone winger has been in rumours for several years now. The Penguins, Coyotes, Leafs, Flames and Blackhawks have been rumoured destinations.

Kris Versteeg - W - Pending UFA - If the Canes are out of the playoffs, it only makes sense Versteeg retains his usual role as deadline tradebait. Any team missing out on the big name wingers will look at Versteeg as a backup option. The Blackhawks have been rumoured.

John-Michael Liles - D - Pending UFA - Not the player he once was, but Liles can add some depth and powerplay time for a contender.

Nathan Gerbe - W - Pending UFA
Ron Hainsey - D - UFA in 2017
Riley Nash - C - Pending UFA

Darkhorse trade candidates:

Jordan Staal - C - UFA in 2022 (NTC) - Staal's name has come up in speculation for a few years, but his massive salary and middling production won't have GMs calling off the hook. The Penguins keep coming up as a possible destination (bizarrely and illogically).

Deadline status: To be determined

The Devils continue to be the surprise of the Eastern Conference, but have several teams chasing them down for their wildcard position. Their status appears to be buyer, but they are still a team in the middle of a rebuild.

Rumoured to have interest in:

Tyler Bozak - C - TOR - UFA in 2018
Jonathan Drouin - W - TB - ELC

Devils rumoured to be in play:

Lee Stempniak - W - Pending UFA - Stempniak has made the most of his opportunity in New Jersey, and would be highly sought after as a low price pending UFA.

Jiri Tlusty - W - Pending UFA - Injury notwithstanding, Tlusty is another low price rental for a contender needing some scoring.

David Schlemko - D - Pending UFA - Schlemko has shown a bit of offensive touch in a mini-breakout season. His low cap hit will make him interesting come deadline time.

Darkhorse trade candidates:

Travis Zajac - C - UFA in 2021 - Zajac is a big part of what the Devils are doing, but there's interest around the league. Speculation that the Leafs were interested surfaced, but it's hard to see how he would fit into the Leafs rebuild plans.

Patrik Elias - W - Pending UFA - The long time Devil finally hits the market this summer. If he consents to it, he could be moved to chase one final Cup.

Deadline status: Buyer

The Isles will be a team to watch this deadline. Despite the fact that they are buyers this deadline, they have a player who wants to be traded in Travis Hamonic and a pending UFA winger who they can't seem to resign in Kyle Okposo. They're going to be in on the rental market, but they might be swapping players in and out at the same time.

Rumoured to have interest in:

Jacob Trouba - D - WPG - Pending RFA
Tyler Myers - D - WPG - UFA in 2019
Jonas Brodin - D - MIN - UFA in 2021
Marco Scandella - D - MIN - UFA in 2020

Islanders rumoured to be in play:

Travis Hamonic - D - Hamonic's request to be traded to Western Canada went public several months ago, and the Islanders continue to examine the trade market. The Islanders don't want to make this deal in-season, but that won't stop teams from calling. The Jets, Oilers, Flames, Canucks, Avalanche, Wild and Blackhawks are seen as possibilities.

Darkhorse trade candidates:

Kyle Okposo - W - Pending UFA - The Isles have made it pretty clear to other teams that they're intent on keeping Okposo for the playoffs, but never say never.

Deadline status: Buyer

The Rangers are once again all in. Though not having one particular area of weakness, the blueshirts would like to add another centerman to an already impressive group.

Rumoured to have interest in:

Eric Staal - C - CAR - Pending UFA
Kevin Shattenkirk - D - STL - RFA in 2017
Patrick Marleau - W - SJ - UFA in 2017

Rangers rumoured to be in play:

Keith Yandle - D - Pending UFA - Yandle would cash in big on the open market, and the Rangers aren't sure they can resign him. If he's dealt, expect it to be for something that helps the team win this season. The Hurricanes, Bruins, Oilers, Kings and Sharks are interested.

Tanner Glass - W - UFA in 2017 - The Rangers tried and failed to move Glass in the summer. The team continues to work the phones.

Darkhorse trade candidates:

Rick Nash - W - UFA in 2018 - Nash's name entered the rumour mill late last season. The Red Wings, Sabres and Panthers have been rumoured as having interest.

Dan Girardi - D - UFA in 2020 - Girardi's massive deal and underperformance has had him in the rumour mill for at least a year now.

Marc Staal - D - UFA in 2021 - As with Girardi, Staal has a gigantic deal that the Rangers will eventually look to move. It may just not be that time yet.

Deadline status: To be determined

There have been a lot of Flyers rumours this season. Loads. Seems like half of my rumour updates have included the Flyers in some form. The Flyers continue to fight for a playoff spot, making their deadline status a tossup.

Rumoured to have interest in:

Kevin Shattenkirk - D - STL - RFA in 2017

Flyers rumoured to be in play:

Sam Gagner - W - Pending UFA - Gagner is having a rough time staying in the lineup and comes with a big pricetag, but he could be of service to a team desperate for scoring.

Mark Streit - D - UFA in 2017 - These rumours seem to be gaining momentum by the day. With the emergence of Shayne Gostisbehere, Streit has become expendable.

Matt Read - W - UFA in 2018 - The Flyers aren't shopping Read, but his name has come up in a number of rumours this season. His contract and unproductiveness will turn most teams off.

Evgeny Medvedev - D - Pending UFA - The KHL veteran turned NHL rookie is generating a bit of buzz ahead of the deadline. The Flyers will only keep him if they're still in the playoff hunt closer to the deadline.

Andrew MacDonald - D - UFA in 2020 - The Flyers would love to get this albatross of a contract off the books, but it likely doesn't happen unless it's a stroke of genius Clarkson-like trade.

Darkhorse trade candidates:

Brayden Schenn - W - Pending RFA - Schenn's name is seemingly always in the rumour mill, but his recent good play likely keeps him in town for now. The Blues and Sens are the only known teams with interest, but there are surely many others.

Michael Raffl - W - Pending UFA - If the Flyers fall out of it, Raffl is a cheap depth option for someone.

Michael Del Zotto - D - UFA in 2017 - Only moves if the Flyers are well out of the playoff mix, but MDZ generated trade buzz in the offseason. UPDATE: MDZ has gone down to injury, likely keeping him in Philly for now.

Deadline status: Buyer

No team is as desperate to win the Cup more than the Penguins, and no team seems more willing to mortgage the future to do so. Upgrades on defense and on the wings are likely to come via rentals.

Rumoured to have interest in:
Dan Hamhuis - D - VAN - Pending UFA
Radim Vrbata - W - VAN - Pending UFA
JT Miller - W - NYR - Pending RFA
Justin Schultz - D - PIT - Pending RFA
Sami Vatanen - D - ANA - Pending RFA
Hampus Lindholm - D -ANA - Pending RFA
Roman Polak - D - TOR - Pending UFA
Mikkel Boedker - W - AZ - Pending UFA
Jiri Hudler - W - CGY - Pending UFA
Jonathan Drouin - W - TB - ELC

Penguins rumoured to be in play:

Derrick Pouliot - D - ELC - It's all about the now for the surging Penguins, and Pouliot could be moved for a more seasoned defenseman. The Leafs were reportedly interested in the summer.

Darkhorse trade candidates:

Matt Murray - G - ELC - The Leafs are believed to have kicked tires on the blue chip netminder who had a cup of coffee in the NHL while Marc-Andre Fleury was injured.

Chris Kunitz - W - UFA in 2017 - The Pens aren't likely to trade away one of Sid's wingers in-season given their goal of making a deep playoff run, but Kunitz' name has been in rumours for quite some time. If the Pens get an offer that helps them in-season, they might just do it.

Washington Capitals
Deadline status: Buyer

The Capitals look like a team that's ready to roll into the playoffs if it started today. Expect the Caps to stock up on depth to ensure injuries don't stand in the way of a deep playoff run.

Rumoured to have interest in:

Dan Hamhuis - D - VAN - Pending UFA
Roman Polak - D - TOR - Pending UFA

Capitals rumoured to be in play:

There isn't much out there right now, which shouldn't be a surprise considering how well the team is playing.

Darkhorse trade candidates:

Marcus Johansson - W - Pending RFA - The Capitals were barely able to hold onto Johansson during the offseason due to cap constraints, and they'll have the same problem this summer. He could be moved if they can get someone who helps them now.

Check out our other trade deadline previews: Atlantic Division / Central Division / Pacific Division

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