After seeing the Matt Duchene deal, let’s predict three other deadline stars and where they might go:
WHERE WILL MARK STONE GO & WHAT’S THE RETURN?
IAN SHEPPARD: The Winnipeg Jets. Most people see Stone fitting in with his hometown team and so do I! Nestling Stone into one of the top-6 RW spots would be the perfect piece for Winnipeg to finely get over the hump and potentially into the Cup Final. The only issue becomes cap with Winnipeg currently a few million under what Stone’s contract requires. They have to move a piece back like Brandon Tanev or Mathieu Perreault.
In return, the Jets would almost certainly give up the first round pick that they’ve announced is available. One other team that could make a move for Stone is the Bruins. They’ve already expressed an interest to go after him in the offseason but are in worse cap shape than the Jets.
WYATT ZIEGER: Duchene, the best centre available is already gone and now it comes down to a bidding war between 3 teams (Nashville, Boston, and Winnipeg) for 2 players (Stone and Panarin). Mark Stone is a fun one for me, he’s probably my favourite chip in play this deadline. I think he’s Winnipeg’s favourite too.
The 26 y/o Winnipeg native is a free agent after this season and a lengthy push with the Jets could keep him around for the future as well. The Jets seem content with making a big splash after last years defeat to the Preds. They like Little enough down the middle as a number 2 to make a move for a top 6 winger instead.
Ottawa – 1st-RD, Vesalainen, Stanley
Winnipeg – Mark Stone
TYLER YAREMCHUK: I think Stone is going to the Winnipeg Jets as well. The Jackets and Bruins are done, so it really comes down to the Preds or Jets. I think Winnipeg will offer Kristian Vesalainen, one of Sami Niku or Tucker Poolman, a first round pick, and another first round pick if Stone resigns in Ottawa.
WHERE WILL ARTEMI PANARIN GO & WHAT’S THE RETURN?
IAN SHEPPARD: Where will the Bread Man land? Perhaps somewhere with an abundance of pants stores? Okay jokes aside I think Nashville will ultimately land Panarin. The Press are in the same boat as the Jets. They’re searching for that one piece that will finally land them a date in the Cup Final. Panarin could be that piece as a top-scoring winger. His cap number fits tightly into what Nashville is working with.
In terms of the return for Columbus, I don’t think Nashville will be scared to send back one of their many defensive prospects with the first round pick. They most certainly are approaching a win-now mentality.
WYATT ZIEGER: Last and certainly not least, the Bread-man, Artemi Panarin. Panarin leads all trade bait with 67 points in just 56 games and has the purest offensive skill of the players available. A team wanting his services would put themselves over the top but would have to pay a fairly large ticket price.
With their 2nd-RD-pick already gone this year, I don’t believe Nashville is going to try and mortgage any more of their future and that Boston is the favourite to acquire Panarins services. Boston has a plethora of young prospects to deal as well as all their first 3 round picks for the next 3 years. If bean town wants to survive a playoff matchup against the likes of Tampa they’ll need all the firepower they can get.
Columbus – 1st-RD, DeBrusk, Andersson
Boston – Artemi Panarin
TYLER YAREMCHUK: First off, I don’t think Panarin will go anywhere. Columbus is clearly loading up. But I think Jarmo Kekalainen should consider a move with Florida. There are rumours that Florida is willing to move on from Mike Hoffman so how does this sound: Mike Hoffman, a prospect, and a first round pick for Artemi Panarin. Columbus recoups an asset they used for Duchene and still get a player they can use for the playoff run. A good way to balance their bet. Again, I think CBJ is going all in so I don’t believe Panarin goes anywhere.
WHERE WILL WAYNE SIMMONDS GO & WHAT’S THE RETURN?
IAN SHEPPARD: Montreal! That’s right! I see the Canadiens going out and making a splash at the deadline as they hover around the two Wild Card spots. Simmonds’ three and a half million dollar salary would be no issue for Montreal with over nine in cap space plus adding him next to Max Domi on the second line could give them the boost they need.
In terms of return, Montreal has a bevy of picks including two-second rounders and three in the fifth this year. It wouldn’t be out of the question to see them send one of those seconds and maybe one from next year or a prospect to get this deal done.
WYATT ZIEGER: First of all I’m 0/1 because we had originally had Duchene as this question and I had Nashville as my top destination (thanks CBJ).
Now for Simmonds though … and the best landing spot for him I think is the Toronto Maple Leafs, obviously they have created a 5-6 year window for themselves and have already acquired Muzzin but now they need some grit to solidify their top 9. Unless Philly can hold out for a 1st-RD-pick, I think TML wins his services.
Philadelphia – 2nd-RD, 5th-RD, C- Prospect
Toronto – Wayne Simmonds, 7th-RD
TYLER YAREMCHUK: If an extension doesn’t get done in Philly, which it might, I think Nashville might go after him. They want to get big and they want offense. Simmonds can do both. Nashville might be very mad about missing out on Duchene and potentially Stone. They could overpay and offer Elli Tolvanen.