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Trade Coverage

Panarin, Stone among players to watch before Trade Deadline

Blue Jackets forward, Senators right wing prime candidates who could be on move

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

The NHL Trade Deadline is Monday at 3 p.m. ET, and a number of players remain the subject of multiple conversations as the days tick down.

Here are a few players to watch before the deadline comes, listed in alphabetical order:


Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Columbus Blue Jackets: The two-time Vezina Trophy winner can be an unrestricted free agent July 1 and has refused to discuss a new contract. Despite Bobrovsky's struggles in the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- in 24 games the 30-year-old has five wins, a 3.49 goals-against average and .891 save percentage -- he likely gives the Blue Jackets the best chance to win their first playoff series, especially now that they've acquired center Matt Duchene in a trade from the Ottawa Senators. But will Columbus keep Bobrovsky and risk losing him for nothing after the season? Or will the Blue Jackets look to trade Bobrovsky now and place their faith in backup Joonas Korpisalo?


Derick Brassard, F, Florida Panthers: The forward was acquired by the Panthers in a trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 1, but his stay in Florida could be a short one. Brassard is a proven playoff performer. He helped the New York Rangers reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, has played in the Eastern Conference Final three times, and has reached double figures in points four times in six trips to the postseason. The 31-year-old can be a UFA after the season, and if the Panthers think the playoffs are out of reach, they could look to move Brassard.

Duncan Keith, D, Chicago Blackhawks: Keith and defenseman Brent Seabrook were the defensive bedrock of Chicago's Stanley Cup championship teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015. But the Blackhawks are stacked with young defenseman prospects who could be ready for larger roles next season, among them Henri Jokiharju and Adam Boqvist, the No. 8 pick of the 2018 NHL Draft. At 35, Keith remains productive with a plus-8 rating and is averaging 22:54 of ice time in 62 games. Seabrook, 33, is second among Chicago defensemen with five goals. It will be tough to move the contract of Keith or Seabrook; Keith has four seasons left after this one, and Seabrook is in the third season of an eight-year contract. But it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to hear their names mentioned if a contending team is looking for help at defenseman.


Ilya Kovalchuk, F, Los Angeles Kings: The 35-year-old's return to the NHL after five seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League hasn't gone how he or the Kings expected. He has 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 51 games, and the Kings have slid to the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Kovalchuk has two seasons left on the three-year, $18.75 million contract he signed July 1, and the Kings could investigate if there's a contending team willing to see if Kovalchuk can help a power play and add secondary scoring.


Artemi Panarin, F, Columbus Blue Jackets: Columbus' leading scorer with 67 points (24 goals, 43 assists) can be a UFA after the season, and like Bobrovsky, he has said he will not negotiate a new contract during the season. Much like with Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets must balance the chance to win now, especially after acquiring Duchene, with the potential risk of losing their best skater for nothing during the offseason, with trading Panarin prior to the deadline and hoping the return, combined with the Blue Jackets' other players, is enough to get them deep in the postseason.

Video: CBJ@CHI: Panarin cashes in on Bjorkstrand's nice feed


Jakob Silfverberg, F, Anaheim Ducks: The 28-year-old leads Anaheim with 16 goals and is on pace to score at least 20 for the third time in four seasons. He can be a UFA after the season, and with the Ducks looking to integrate a number of young forward prospects into the lineup, among them Sam Steel, Max Jones, Max Comtois and Troy Terry, they could look to move Silfverberg for future assets.


Mark Stone, F, Ottawa Senators: The 26-year-old leads Ottawa with 62 points (28 goals, 34 assists) and has filled much of the off-ice leadership role left open when defenseman Erik Karlsson was traded to the San Jose Sharks on Sept. 13. Sportsnet reported Friday that the Senators put the pending UFA on the trade market after a 4-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. 


Wayne Simmonds, F, Philadelphia Flyers: The 30-year-old averaged 27 goals the previous seven seasons and remains a strong net-front presence at 5-on-5 and on the power play. He's tied for fourth on the Flyers with 16 goals, including five on the power play. Simmonds' skating isn't yet where it needs to be following May surgery to repair a torn pelvis and abdominal muscle, but he feels it's gotten better as the season has gone on. He's a pending UFA, and though GM Chuck Fletcher has said he doesn't want to risk losing Simmonds for nothing, the Flyers might be hesitant to remove a key leader from a team that still hopes to make the playoffs.

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