Ilya Lyubushkin

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are seven days remaining until the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET on March 8). Here's a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs could continue to be big players ahead of the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline, even if that includes trading a first-round pick.

The Maple Leafs have their first-round selection in the 2024 NHL Draft and the 2026 NHL Draft. Their first pick in the 2025 NHL Draft was sent to the Chicago Blackhawks last season as part of the trade for defenseman Jake McCabe.

"To me, and I know there's all sorts of talk, in the right deal ... where our team's at, you'd want to help the team," general manager Brad Treliving said Friday. "I think you've got to be careful with first-round picks for short-term help, but if it makes sense, at the end of the day when you do the final analysis, if you think it's going to have an impact, you have to look at every option."

That, of course, needs to be balanced by the long-term implications. But Treliving said the Maple Leafs would look at making moves using "any and all capital we have available."

"But," he cautioned, "it has to make sense."

Toronto acquired defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin in a three-way trade with the Anaheim Ducks and Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

That may not be their only move. Treliving noted that the Maple Leafs will try to "be creative" and see where help can be found.

"It allows us still to seek other opportunities over the course of the next week," Treliving said, noting that Lyubushkin will count less than $700,000 toward their salary cap.

Asked the likelihood of another trade, Treliving said: "Listen, we're going to try to improve our team. … Every other manager is going to say the same thing. We're going to try to improve our team. Whether it happens or not, and whether you can find the right fits and the right costs, and you need a dance partner that likes what you have, and vice versa. We’re certainly going to attempt to improve our team and we’ll see what the days bring."

Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators just keep winning.

Their 6-1 victory against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday was their seventh straight. Nashville has tied the Los Angeles Kings, who hold the first wild card in the Western Conference, and opened a seven-point lead on the teams directly behind them in the conference standings, the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues and Seattle Kraken.

Which begs the question: Could the Predators shift from sellers ahead of the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline to buyers?

General manager Barry Trotz told The Athletic earlier this week that goalie Juuse Saros likely will remain in Nashville, but he also hinted that his thinking might have shifted far enough that he could be working the phones in a different direction.

To that end, the Predators are working from a position of strength, with salary cap space, plenty of prospects and a plethora of picks in the 2024 NHL Draft, with one selection in the first round, three in the second, two in the third and three in the fourth. They also could have a second pick in the first round of the 2025 NHL Draft, having acquired a conditional selection from the Tampa Bay Lightning from the trade of forward Tanner Jeannot last season.

The Predators have three games, all at home, before the Deadline, starting against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; BSSO, ALT), followed by games against the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres, before they begin a four-game road trip. Should the Predators reel off three more wins before next Friday, it could get very interesting in Nashville.

Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers could be a key player ahead of the Deadline, given their Stanley Cup aspirations, their rollercoaster of a season, and a general manager who is not shy about making a trade.

"I can't tell you what's going to happen," Oilers GM Ken Holland told Sportsnet. "What I can tell you is, I have lots of irons in the fire. I have done lots of talking internally with my coaching staff. I've talked to Connor [McDavid] a couple times in the last couple of weeks. I talk to [Oilers CEO] Jeff Jackson every day. Every day I'm talking to other managers, on a regular basis."

The Oilers were aggressive ahead of the deadline last season, bringing in forward Nick Bjugstad and defenseman Mattias Ekholm, and there's no reason to believe they won't be this season either. The Oilers are in third place in the Pacific Division, one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights and two points ahead of the Kings after a rough start to the season.

Which is why he and his scouts are keeping close watch. They have McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, after all, and a team that still wants to be playing deep into June. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel could be a top target, along with some depth at center and at defenseman.

As for goaltending, reports are that the Oilers have backed off and that they are going to ride with Stuart Skinner in net.

"Our people are out there in the press boxes watching players who could be available as we work our way towards next Friday," Holland said. "We're going to try to do something."

New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils added size and depth at defenseman Friday when they acquired Kurtis MacDermid in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche for forward Zakhar Bardakov and a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

The 29-year-old (6-foot-5, 233 pounds) had two goals in 29 games with the Avalanche this season. He has 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) in 249 NHL games with the Kings and Avalanche.

Bardakov, 23, has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 43 games this season for SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Injuries at defenseman have been an issue for New Jersey this season; Dougie Hamilton has been out since Nov. 28 with a torn pectoral muscle, Jonas Siegenthaler returned to the lineup Feb. 20 after missing 16 games with a broken left foot, and Brendan Smith missed 10 games with a knee injury from Jan. 17-Feb. 12.