Kucherov Matthews McDavid split for 2nd half story

TORONTO -- NHL All-Star Weekend is over, and the unofficial second half of the regular season has officially begun.

Between Sunday and March 8, the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline, there will be buyers and sellers who emerge, rumors to follow, reports to confirm, big events to be at, a winning streak that might become historic, a scoring race to follow, a goal-scoring pace to keep, milestones reached, jersey numbers retired and more.

Here is a look at what's ahead between now and the trade deadline of the 2023-24 NHL season.

Moving out

Elias Lindholm was traded from the Calgary Flames to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, the team in the Pacific Northwest loading up with another center.

That sparked the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens to make a deal Friday, when center Sean Monahan moved west from the province of Quebec to the province of Manitoba.

There will be more movement in the coming days and weeks, a lot of it with pending unrestricted free agents, rentals, if you will.

The Flames still have defensemen Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev that they could trade as they retool for next season. It's possible they re-sign one or both too.

The Anaheim Ducks are expected to trade center Adam Henrique.

The Philadelphia Flyers, who have lost five straight games, might become sellers soon enough and attempt to trade defensemen Sean Walker and Nick Seeler, among others, to continue their rebuild.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will have to decide what to do with forward Jake Guentzel, who is a pending UFA. Re-sign him? Trade him? It's a tough decision in Pittsburgh.

Forwards Vladimir Tarasenko (Ottawa Senators), Anthony Duclair (San Jose Sharks), Pat Maroon (Minnesota Wild), Jack Roslovic (Columbus Blue Jackets), Anthony Mantha (Washington Capitals) and Nic Dowd (Capitals), and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (Wild) could also be moved to a potential Stanley Cup contender.

Among players who are signed beyond this season that could be traded are goalies Jake Allen (Montreal) and Jacob Markstrom (Calgary), defenseman Jakob Chychrun (Ottawa) and forward Trevor Zegras (Anaheim).

Any move involving Chychrun, Zegras or Markstrom would be of the blockbuster variety.

Buyers and sellers

The New York Rangers want to be buyers, and they're likely searching for a center with the news that Filip Chytil (upper body) will not return this season. They're not alone because the Colorado Avalanche are also likely searching for a middle-six center.

There are two fewer available with Lindholm and Monahan off the board.

The Avalanche could also look to bolster their goaltending depth behind Alexandar Georgiev.

Look for the Edmonton Oilers, winners of 16 straight games, to try to beef up the middle of their forward group or potentially add a top-four defenseman. The Dallas Stars are also likely in the market for a top-four defenseman.

The New Jersey Devils could try to improve their goaltending and defense too, but they're currently stuck in the NHL's murky middle this season along with the Flyers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Arizona Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings and Seattle Kraken.

New Jersey’s play in the next few weeks will determine if they're going to try to buy, sell or just hang around and stand pat before the trade deadline.

'NHL Tonight' crew talks about the rest of the Oilers' season

Oilers' run at history

The Oilers will tie the NHL's longest winning streak if they defeat the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; Hulu, ESPN+, SN1, SN, TVAS).

Edmonton has won 16 straight games since Dec. 21. The NHL record for longest winning streak belongs to the 1992-93 Penguins, who won 17 straight from March 9-April 10, 1993.

The Blue Jackets won 16 straight games in the 2016-17 season (Nov. 29-Jan. 3).

In the streak, the Oilers are plus-37 in goal differential (61-24), averaging 3.81 goals per game and 1.50 goals against per game, and center Connor McDavid has 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists).

If they win in Vegas, the Oilers could set a new NHL record for the longest winning streak by defeating the Ducks at Honda Center on Friday.

MacKinnon has 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in an active 13-game point streak since Dec. 31. He has 64 points (25 goals, 39 assists) in 33 games since Nov. 20, with a point in all but one game.

Matthews shooting for 70

Auston Matthews has 40 goals in 46 games, putting him on a 70-goal pace, even though the Toronto Maple Leafs' forward missed one game.

He has seven goals in the past six games and 26 in 25 games since Dec. 2.

If Matthews can do it, he would be the first player in the NHL to reach 70 goals since Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny each scored 76 in 1992-93.

The 70-goal plateau has been reached 14 times by eight players, with Wayne Gretzky doing it four times, Brett Hull three times and Mario Lemieux twice.

Scoring race heating up

Nathan MacKinnon and Nikita Kucherov look like they're going to have a scoring race for the ages.

Kucherov, the Tampa Bay Lightning forward, leads the NHL with 85 points (32 goals, 53 assists) in 49 games. MacKinnon, the Avalanche center, has 84 points (31 goals, 53 assists) in 49 games.

One goal is all that separates them with 33 games to play.

The next closest in the race is Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, who has 72 points (33 goals, 39 assists) in 49 games.

Stadium Series

The 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series will feature two games played in the shadows of New York City, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home to the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets, and next door to the former home of the Devils.

The Devils and Flyers take the ice at MetLife on Feb. 17 (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, TVAS-D, SN1). They'll turn the stadium over overnight, and the Rangers and Islanders will play on Feb. 18 (3 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).

This will be the second time the NHL will include four teams playing two outdoor games on consecutive days after doing it in the 2021 NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe (Feb. 20 and 21) with the Flyers, Bruins, Avalanche and Golden Knights.

But it's the first time the NHL is doing it with fans in the stadium and the need to create unique environments for both games.

The League takes over MetLife Stadium with the arrival of the ice truck on Monday.

Jersey number retirements and a welcome return

There are three scheduled jersey number retirements in the NHL over the next month.

The Penguins will retire Jaromir Jagr's No. 68 in a pregame ceremony before a game against the Kings at PPG Paints Arena on Feb. 18.

Jagr, selected by the Penguins with the No. 5 pick in the 1990 NHL Draft, spent the first 11 seasons of his NHL career in Pittsburgh, playing in 806 games with 1,079 points (439 goals, 640 assists) and winning the Stanley Cup twice (1990, 1991).

The Chicago Blackhawks will retire Chris Chelios' No. 7 before they play the Detroit Red Wings at United Center on Feb. 25.

Chelios ranks fourth in Blackhawks history among defensemen in assists (395) and points (487), and fifth in goals (92) and games played (664) with Chicago.

That is also the night forward Patrick Kane is scheduled to play his first game in Chicago as a visiting player.

Kane, who signed with the Red Wings earlier this season, is second in Blackhawks' history with 779 assists and 1,225 points, and third in goals (446) and games played (1,161). He won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Finally, the Flames will retire Miikka Kiprusoff's No. 34 before they play the Penguins at Scotiabank Saddledome on March 2.

Kiprusoff is the Flames' all-time leader in wins (305), shutouts (41), goals-against average (2.46), save percentage (.913) and games played by a goalie (576).

1,000 games

Alex Pietrangelo and Brad Marchand each is scheduled to reach the 1,000 games played milestone before Valentine's Day.

Pietrangelo is three away and could get there as soon as Feb. 12, when the Golden Knights host the Wild. Marchand is four away and can get there as soon as Feb. 13, when the Bruins play the Lightning at TD Garden.

T.J. Oshie can also get to 1,000 games before the trade deadline on March 8. The Capitals forward is 12 away and can get there as soon as March 1.

In addition, Red Wings forward David Perron is one away from 1,100 games played, and Kane's next game will be his 1,200th.

Joe Pavelski's next game will be the 1,300th for the Stars forward. Alex Ovechkin can reach 1,400 games at the Florida Panthers on Feb. 24. He is nine away.