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NHL Trade Buzz: Lightning could seek defenseman

Canucks may not be in market for forward; Stars unsure of plan as deadline approaches

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / Staff Writer

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are 16 days remaining until the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline (Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. ET), and has all the important news, rumblings and analysis heading toward the deadline.

Here is a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:


MORE DEADLINE COVERAGE: Top trade targets | Kreider, Rangers to discuss future


Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning's need for a defenseman at the deadline may have increased with the news Saturday that Ryan McDonagh is likely several weeks away from returning from a lower-body injury.

McDonagh was injured blocking a shot early in the second period of a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and Lightning coach Jon Cooper said the injury is not season-ending. 

Defenseman Jan Rutta is week to week with a lower-body injury sustained in a 4-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

The Lightning (34-15-5) have won six straight games and are in second in the Atlantic Division, five points behind the first-place Boston Bruins and nine points ahead of the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs.


Vancouver Canucks    

Micheal Ferland, who has been out with a concussion, is nearing a return to the lineup for the Canucks, which could alter their plans to acquire a forward prior to the deadline.

Ferland, who hasn't played since Dec. 10 because of a concussion, skated in a no-contact jersey at practice Saturday. He is expected to join Utica of the American Hockey League for a conditioning assignment soon.

"I've had a few [concussions], and the style of game I play, that doesn't help. But I honestly believe once I return, I'm 100 percent," Ferland said before the Canucks played the Calgary Flames on Saturday. "I can go back to being able to play the way I need to play and not getting these little symptoms that keep coming back."

Ferland, who has 200 penalty minutes in 335 NHL games, has five points (one goal, four assists) in 14 games this season. The Canucks are in a tight race for first place in the Pacific Division with the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers.

"I just want to get back," Ferland said. "It's such an important time of the year right now, these are the games you want to be playing in. every game's a playoff game; these are the fun ones. But I need to be cautious and I think it'll pay off in the long run."


Dallas Stars

The Stars are keeping an eye on the trade market, but general manager Jim Nill said there haven't been many discussions yet.

"We're talking to teams, but it's been quiet," Nill told The Athletic on Friday. "There are so many teams in it, it's quiet. There is talk, but nothing more right now. It could change in the next two weeks."

The Stars are strong defensively but could use more scoring; they have 142 goals in 54 games, fourth fewest in the NHL behind the Detroit Red Wings (113 in 56 games), Los Angeles Kings (136 in 55 games) and Anaheim Ducks (138 in 55 games).

Nill also told The Athletic that cost will determine whether the Stars acquire someone at the deadline. The Stars were third in the Central Division.

Tweet from @seanshapiro: Stars 20/20: Goaltending proves the difference ��� but not to the Stars��� benefit this time

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