Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are eight days remaining until the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. ET, and the buzz is picking up. Has Matt Duchene played his final game with the Ottawa Senators? Will the recent hot streak of the Boston Bruins push them to gamble on acquiring big-name scoring help up front, especially now that they're in a position to have home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference First Round? And will the upper-body injury of Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez cause interest in him to dissipate?
Here's a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:
Matt Duchene's days with the Ottawa Senators could be numbered.
TSN's Darren Dreger tweeted Sunday that the Senators plan on trading the veteran center "unless there's a last minute change." He added that a decision on forward Mark Stone likely will come in the next few days, giving the Senators some time to examine trade possibilities prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. ET if they decide to move him.
Duchene, Stone and forward Ryan Dzingel each can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The Senators (22-31-5) are last in the NHL with 49 points.
Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion, assistant GM Peter MacTavish and top pro scout Jim Clark attended the Senators' 4-3 overtime victory at the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday and remained in Winnipeg on Sunday to watch the American Hockey League game between Milwaukee and Manitoba, Winnipeg's top farm team.
It's no secret who Winnipeg fans would like to see arrive in a potential trade between the two teams. They made their feelings evident with the deadline approaching by chanting "We want Stone!" during the Jets' loss to the Senators.
Stone, a Winnipeg native who leads Ottawa with 59 points (27 goals, 32 assists) in 58 games, was cheered by his hometown crowd when he opened the scoring at 1:33 of the first period. He said he didn't hear any of the support from the stands, not even the applause for his goal.
"That was my mom, I think, probably," Stone said with a grin.
Video: OTT@WPG: Stone nets PPG to open the scoring
Dorion and Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff were seen chatting in the stands during practice Friday, fueling speculation in both cities that there might be a match for a possible trade.
The Jets (36-19-4) lead the Central Division with 76 points, three ahead of the second-place Nashville Predators. Winnipeg would like to add depth up front, much in the same way it did last season when it acquired Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues for a conditional first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, and forward prospect Erik Foley.
Dzingel, meanwhile, continues to accrue impressive numbers without much fanfare. He scored the winner at 3:55 of overtime Saturday and has 43 points (22 goals, 21 assists) in 56 games, making him an attractive commodity for teams that might consider the asking price for him more reasonable than that for Duchene and Stone.
"You're still a human being. It's tough," Dzingel said about trade speculation following practice Sunday. "But at the end of the day, you just gotta play the game. I've talked to [Duchene] a lot about it. You can't wait and not focus on your game because then two or three weeks goes by and you haven't been playing well for your teammates and for your future. So I've just been trying to play well."
-- NHL.com staff writer Tracey Myers contributed to this report
Coach Bruce Cassidy boosted speculation that the Bostson Bruins are searching for help on the wing when he referred this past week to their similar situation a season ago.
"We talk about the lineup and where is the pressing need," Cassidy said. "I'll use last season as an example, and obviously it was getting a winger for [David Krejci]. We went out and got [Rick Nash], you know."
The Bruins could use a boost up front after announcing last week that David Pastrnak had thumb surgery and would be re-evaluated in two weeks. The 22-year-old forward leads Boston with 31 goals and is second with 66 points.
What makes Cassidy's comments even more relevant is the fact that the Bruins' five-game winning streak put them in a position to land home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference First Round.
Boston (34-17-8) defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 on Saturday to move into second in the Atlantic Division with 76 points, one ahead of the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs.
Playing pivotal Stanley Cup Playoff games at the friendly confines of TD Garden has been advantageous to the Bruins in recent years, especially against the Maple Leafs, Boston's potential first-round opponent. The Bruins hosted Game 7 against the Maple Leafs in 2013 and 2018, winning each on home ice.
A year ago, the Bruins acquired Nash from the New York Rangers for forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, defenseman prospect Ryan Lindgren, a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Nash was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2018.
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings continue to be one of the more intriguing teams to monitor as the NHL Trade Deadline approaches, especially given the injury situations involving 34-year-old forward Jeff Carter and 31-year-old defenseman Alec Martinez.
Carter, who missed the Kings' previous five games with a lower-body injury, returned to the lineup against the Bruins on Saturday. Martinez, on the other hand, will be out 1-2 weeks with an upper-body injury.
Each has been at the heart of trade speculation in Los Angeles for several weeks. The Kings (23-29-6) are last in the Western Conference with 52 points, eight behind the Minnesota Wild, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the West.
Carter, who is signed through the 2021-22 season, has 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in 52 games this season. Martinez, who is signed through 2020-21, has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 43 games.
Teams interested in Martinez might not get to see him play again before the deadline, so they may have to take a calculated gamble in pulling off a trade. However, interested parties know what they are getting in the two-time Stanley Cup champion, and given that he is not being listed as out long term, teams are unlikely to be scared off by his injury.
Video: VAN@LAK: Martinez blasts one-timer from blue line
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