NHL Trade Deadline 2018: Date, End Time, Top Rumors and Speculation

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2018

Erik Karlsson continues to be one of the top names discussed prior to the NHL's trade deadline.
Erik Karlsson continues to be one of the top names discussed prior to the NHL's trade deadline.Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The NHL trade deadline is often a time for furious activity, and the 31 teams in the league have been scouting, assessing, planning and making moves over the past month. However, the trade deadline will be at hand Monday at 3 p.m. ET, so the time for general managers to complete player trades and movement is now.

The New York Rangers completed a trade with the Boston Bruins Sunday that sent left wing Rick Nash to the Bruins for forwards Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey and defenseman Ryan Lindgren, along with a 2018 first-round draft pick and a seventh-round selection in 2019.

Nash has 18 goals and 10 assists with the Rangers this season, but the 33-year-old has scored 30 goals or more eight times in his career.

Nash has size (6'4" and 211 pounds), speed and good hands, and he appears to be a good fit on the Bruins' second line that is centered by David Krejci.

The acquisition of Nash will presumably help the Bruins' offensive productivity as they attempt to make a run at first place in the Atlantic Division and, more importantly, in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

While Nash is a big name, an even bigger one in defenseman Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators could be moved prior to the deadline.

Bobby Ryan (left) could be included in an Erik Karlsson trade.
Bobby Ryan (left) could be included in an Erik Karlsson trade.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted that a trade involving Karlsson could be complicated because the Senators would like high-priced forward Bobby Ryan to be included in that deal.

That may drive out a number of teams from completing that deal because Ryan has four years remaining on his contract at $7.25 million per year. Ryan has struggled to score at the expected level in each of the past two years, but he did perform well in last year's playoffs.

Ryan scored 13 goals last year in Ottawa, and he has found the back of the net just seven times this year. The 30-year-old scored six goals and nine assists in last year's postseason for the Senators.

While Karlsson is regularly viewed as the top offensive defenseman in the NHL, he has not been at his best this year. He has five goals and 37 assists this season, but his minus-30 rating is alarming. Karlsson had foot surgery after last season's postseason run, and that may be having an impact on his season.

Joel Ward has had previous postseason success.
Joel Ward has had previous postseason success.Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Veteran winger Joel Ward could be on the move from the San Jose Sharks, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

The Sharks have asked Ward for his list of six teams that he does not want to be traded to, and the team could be ready to move him at that point.

The 37-year-old winger has been a solid playoff performer in previous years. He scored seven goals and six assists when the Sharks made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016, and he also had those same numbers during a 2011 postseason run with the Nashville Predators.

Ward has five goals and six assists with the Sharks this season, so he may be slowing down. But his past playoff success makes him somewhat intriguing to contending teams.

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