During the 2021-22 season, several big-name players, such as Marc-André Fleury, Claude Giroux, Mark Giordano and Hampus Lindholm, were traded before the deadline. It’s a trend that will likely continue into 2022-23 as some star players could be moved on during the season. Here are three players who stand out.
All eyes will be on Patrick Kane in the 2022-23 season. He’s heading into a contract year and the Chicago Blackhawks are, of course, in the midst of rebuilding. With the future Hall of Famer being the Blackhawks’ most valuable player, general manager (GM) Kyle Davidson would be wise to move him for a great comeback. The 33-year-old is still a star and is one of the greatest players in franchise history, but he doesn’t fit in either. Davidson’s five-plus-year rebuilding plan.
Although it makes sense for the Blackhawks to trade Kane, the Buffalo native must approve the move as he has a no-move clause (NMC), and at the time of this writing, he has not informed Chicago that he is ready to be traded. Therefore, he is expected to start the season with the Blackhawks, but as we get closer to the 2023 trade deadline, I expect that to change. Kane is a three-time Stanley Cup winner who wants to compete for a championship every year, so don’t be surprised to see him ask for a move.
Although Kane is getting older, he is still a great player and the truth is in his stats from last season. In 78 games with a bad Blackhawks team, he scored 26 goals and recorded 92 points. It was the fourth straight season he was above a point-per-game player, and that’s a trend we should see continue into 2022-23. With all of that, the Blackhawks should be able to secure a first-round pick and better prospect for him, so keep an eye out for a star-centric blockbuster this season.
This must be the year Jakob Chyrchun is traded by the Arizona Coyotes, right? The 24-year-old was one of most talked about names at last season’s deadline, but the Coyotes have yet to move the top defenseman. With the 2016 first-round pick having a very affordable cap of $4.6 million reached through the end of the 2024-25 season, general manager Bill Armstrong needn’t rush. However, it would also be wise to take advantage of Chychrun’s trade value, which is at its highest.
Related: Bruins, Coyotes Trade Could Produce Deadline Blockbuster
The Coyotes are unlikely to be competitive for multiple seasons, and by the time they can be, Chychrun will likely be near the end of his contract. Therefore, exchanging it seems to be the best solution if it allows them to receive many assets that will help them rebuild. At a minimum, Armstrong should demand a first-round pick, top prospect and NHL-caliber player in a Chychrun-centric move. His contract is too good to get less than that, and with teams always looking for top-notch defenders, they could probably get that kind of offer for him.
Although Chychrun started the 2021-22 season disastrously, he ended the year with a solid 21 points in 47 games. As this campaign approaches, it would not be surprising to see him produce more regularly. After all, he is coming off a 41-point campaign in just 56 games during the 2020-21 season. If he can replicate that kind of season, don’t be surprised to see the Coyotes take advantage of his trade value and eventually move him.
One of general manager Don Sweeney’s biggest tasks this offseason has been signing David Pastrnak to a contract extension. As of this writing, the Boston Bruins have yet to extend their star winger, and things on that front may not change any time soon. While on NHL Network, Jim Haggerty said he thinks Pastrnak “wants to wait the season” to see what direction the Bruins are heading before agreeing to a possible extension. If that’s true and the Bruins aren’t a definite contender at the deadline, one has to wonder if Sweeney will consider trading Pastrnak.
We saw the Calgary Flames get burned this offseason when they lost Johnny Gaudreau to the Columbus Blue Jackets for nothing through free agency. That’s something the Bruins can’t let happen because they’re already an aging team with an atrocious prospect pool. So if Pastrnak still isn’t extended before the deadline and the Bruins are a marginal playoff team at best, Sweeney could decide to trade him for future assets.
Bruins fans won’t want to see Pastrnak go and they’re hoping for an extension. He’s their best sniper and he’s exactly the kind of player to build with. However, until a deal is reached, the future of Boston’s 2014 No. 1 pick will be in question. If the Bruins have no choice but to trade him this season, expect them to pick up a first-round pick, a top prospect and a young NHL-ready player at the very least. It would be a nice consolation prize, but it will be another massive mistake on Sweeney’s resume if he can’t convince Pastrnak to stay.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if these three stars will be exchanged. Of the group, Kane and Chychrun seem most likely to find new homes before the campaign is over. However, if extension talks continue to stall between Pastrnak and the Bruins, they could trade him if they’re not in contention by the 2023 trade deadline.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor covering the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he writes and edits for many websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHLTradeRumors.me, BBallRumors.com, BaseballRumors.me, FootballRumors.me and The Rat Trick.