NHL Trade Rumors: Reviewing Latest Reports Before 2018 Deadline Passes

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2018

Rangers' defenseman Ryan McDonagh could be moved prior to the trade deadline.
Rangers' defenseman Ryan McDonagh could be moved prior to the trade deadline.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

With the trade deadline hours away, there are still a number of trades that are yet to be made in the NHL. The Boston Bruins landed a big-time forward when they acquired Rick Nash from the New York Rangers Sunday.

Nash's former teammate, defenseman Ryan McDonagh, appears to be one of the big targets on trade deadline day. 

A number of teams have been associated with potential trades for McDonagh, and TSN insider Bob McKenzie tweeted that the Florida Panthers are among the teams that have an interest. McDonagh has the ability to block trades to 10 teams that are on his no-trade list.

The Rangers' captain has scored two goals and 24 assists this season along with a plus-7 rating.

John Tavares is unlikely to sign a new contract with the New York Islanders before the end of the season. He has said that he will wait until the end of the season before meeting with owner Scott Malkin to discuss a new contract.

John Shannon of Sportsnet reported that Josh Bailey's decision to sign a new contract with the Islanders is not likely to have any impact on Tavares and his decision.

That means Tavares will be a free agent at the end of the season, and while he made a positive statement about the Islanders' prospects at the All-Star break, he has never offered any guarantees.

"Obviously I want to play for a team that's doing everything it can to win, and the Islanders are certainly doing that," Tavares said, per Brandon Schlager of The Sporting News. "You can see a lot of potential in the young talent we have. A lot of the guys have been there for a while, guys like Josh (Bailey), Anders (Lee), Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk, we lean on them heavily. We've got a solid foundation. I really enjoy being there."

While the Islanders are on the outside of the playoffs, they are just two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. Since they are still in playoff contention, it seems unlikely that the Islanders will move Tavares, but Islanders general manager Garth Snow and Malkin could have a decision to make before the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Tavares has scored 30 goals, 34 assists and is averaging 20:13 minutes of playing time per game.

High-scoring Erik Karlsson could turn out to be the biggest catch on trade-deadline day.
High-scoring Erik Karlsson could turn out to be the biggest catch on trade-deadline day.Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Defenseman Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks. Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion was in his office Sunday trying to move a deal along, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.

The Senators have had "serious" talks with a number of teams, and the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators are thought to be involved in trade discussion with the Sens.

Karlsson, perhaps the best offensive defenseman in the league, is under contract through the 2018-19 season and is not merely a rental. As a result, the Senators are looking for a combination of elite draft picks and excellent front-line players in exchange for Karlsson.

It seems more likely that Karlsson is more likely to remain in Ottawa than move to another team, according to OddsShark. The handicapping website posted odds of plus-170 that the stellar defenseman will be traded, while it's minus-250 that he remains with the Senators.

Karlsson has scored five goals and 37 assists this season, but he has a minus-30 rating.

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