NHL Rumour Report: Trade chatter intensifies as NHL season winds down

Offseason gameplans are beginning to take shape as the NHL regular season comes to a close.

- Looking back while looking ahead: the Bruins surprised the hockey world with a late trade deadline play for Red Wings' Tyler Bertuzzi after receiving unexpected LTIR cap space from injuries to Nick Foligno and Taylor Hall. That coincided with the equally unexpected decision by the Red Wings to sell off their prized pending UFA winger. While Boston will likely try to keep the Bertuzzi, they will have fierce competition in the offseason. Among the teams believed to have kicked tires at the deadline and are expected to circle back in the offseason are the Dallas Stars.

- There's a growing sense that Jets centerman Mark Scheifele will be traded this offseason, with both sides now appearing ready to move on. Last summer Scheifele was the one speaking out loud about needing a change of scenery, but it now appears Jets management, initially hesitant, are ready to make the move. With Winnipeg looking to reshape their core and Schiefele slated to hit free agency in 2024, this was likely headed towards a breakup one way or another. As was the case with the Calgary Flames last offseason, the Jets may look to flip as many assets as possible in order to complete a retool on the fly.

- Another team to watch this offseason are the Blues, who will likely try again to find a taker for Jordan Binnington whose onerous contract may prove hard to shed. With Joel Hofer likely ready to take one of the team's two NHL goalies jobs, one or both of Jordan Binnington and Thomas Greiss are likely on the way out. Although they have likely moved on from Binnington, the Maple Leafs were among the teams that inquired last summer.

- Draft trade buzz is already starting to pick up, with reports that the Blue Jackets, Blues and Canadiens are among the teams that would like to trade some of their excess first round picks acquired at the trade deadline in order to land immediate help.

- Many eyes will be on star with RFA rights this summer, Timo Meier and Alex DeBrincat chief among them. While Meier is expected to end up signing long term with the Devils, DeBrincat may be a more difficult situation for the Senators to come to grips with. If (and it's still a big if) it becomes clear he won't extend long term, there is a real chance he is flipped sometime around the NHL draft. Something to keep tabs on.

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References: 1, 2, 3

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