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NHL Trade Buzz: Canucks may need help at forward without Boeser

Maple Leafs evaluating defense; Blackhawks preaching patience; Flames lose Hamonic

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / Staff Writer

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are 15 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:


Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks may need to look for a forward before the trade deadline with Brock Boeser set to miss the next two games with an upper-body injury.

Boeser was injured in the third period of a 6-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

An extended absence would be tough for the Canucks (30-21-5), who lead the Pacific Division by one point over the second-place Edmonton Oilers and third-place Vegas Golden Knights. Boeser's 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) are tied for third on Vancouver with Bo Horvat.

The Canucks will soon get Micheal Ferland back in the lineup. The forward hasn't played since Dec. 10 because of a concussion. 


Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs could address their defense by the trade deadline but will first see how defensemen Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci are progressing, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported during "Hockey Night in Canada" on Saturday.

"Toronto is going to wait," Friedman said. "Morgan Rielly has a doctor's appointment next week, they still want to see what his future is, also the health of Cody Ceci, which they'll know more about probably in a couple of weeks."

Rielly has been out with a fractured foot since Jan. 12 and was projected to miss eight weeks. Ceci injured his ankle in Toronto's 5-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Feb. 5 and will be reevaluated in one month.

Video: SJS@TOR: Rielly rips shot past Jones' glove

"We could add a defenseman, but just to say that we did is not something we would do," Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said Thursday. "We would want someone to move the needle for us in the long run, not in the short run, unless it was the perfect deal. But it will all depend on Morgan and as we get more updates on him in terms of how long he's going to be out, that will dictate how much (NHL salary) cap space we will have going into the deadline."

The Maple Leafs (29-19-8) are third in the Atlantic Division, nine points behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning.


Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks will take their time heading toward the trade deadline while fighting to get back into the Stanley Cup Playoff picture, general manager Stan Bowman said this weekend.

"I've been saying for a while, we'll have a better picture as we get closer to the deadline and that's still the case," Bowman told NBC Sports Chicago. "As of today, it's hard to really draw too many conclusions, so we're going to be patient with it and take a look at how everything's going with our team and other teams. So I don't have much of an answer other than it's still a wait and see approach."

The Blackhawks (25-21-8) are three points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. They play nine of their next 11 games on the road beginning against the Jets at Bell MTS Place on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, TVAS, NBCSCH+, NHL.TV). 

Chicago is 13-9-4 away from United Center. 

"I guess patience is the word and keep evaluating and keep taking in that information and seeing what happens," Bowman said. "I can't say it's going to definitely be a certain day where we're going to sit down and have some definitive meeting and say, 'This is it.' I don't know if it'll play out that way, it'll probably be a little more organic than that."


Calgary Flames

The Flames lost another defenseman when Travis Hamonic was injured in the second period against the Canucks on Saturday.

Calgary coach Geoff Ward didn't have an update on Hamonic after the game. Depending on how long Hamonic is out, the Flames may have to look at what's available before the trade deadline. They're already without Mark Giordano, who is week to week with a hamstring injury. 

The Flames (28-22-6) hold the first wild card into the playoffs from the West and are two points behind the Golden Knights for third in the Pacific Division.

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