Roundtable: Creating NHL trades; second half predictions

Create an NHL trade for the April 12 deadline

James O’Brien, NHL writer:

To Bruins: Taylor Hall
To Sabres: David Krejci, 2021 third-rounder, 2022 second-rounder, 2023 first-rounder

From the Bruins’ perspective, they get the supporting cast member the Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak line can really use. Hall and Krejci carry similar cap hits, too, to the point that Buffalo could easily retain the difference between the two (or more). Boston’s window isn’t going to be open forever. Theoretically, the Bruins could make other additions on top of this trade.

The Sabres gain a few things. Frankly, extending Taylor Hall doesn’t solve their problems. Getting a nice package (the specifics of those picks can obviously change) would give fans some hope. By asking for future first-rounders, the Sabres can bet on the Bruins’ window closing faster than Buffalo expects. If the Bruins drop like the Sharks did, then maybe they’d get the sort of pick Ottawa received from the Sharks when the Erik Karlsson trade backfired? Essentially, Buffalo receives those returns a) for Hall and b) to absorb Krejci’s cap hit.

Sean Leahy, NHL writer:

To Islanders: Taylor Hall
To Sabres: 2021 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, Michael Dal Colle

With the draft being a big unknown considering the state of our world, why wouldn’t Lou Lamoriello give up a No. 1 for the second straight deadline to add? The pick will help the Sabres rebuild from however you want to describe their mess and Dal Colle — a pending RFA — could probably use the change of scenery at this point.

Marisa Ingemi, NHL writer:

To Bruins: Rickard Rakell
To Ducks: Jake DeBrusk, second-round pick

Just for the chaos factor. I’m not sure the Bruins will actually give up on DeBrusk, but it sure feels like he is getting the Danton Heinen/Reilly Smith/Ryan Donato/Frank Vatrano/Blake Wheeler treatment in Boston. Notice a trend? It would be kind of on brand to trade one of their former future goal scoring sensation when he starts to trend downward.

The Bruins also have history with the Ducks; just a year ago they sent David Backes and Heinen there, in different trades, and added Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase from them. Rackell has been sort of connected to the Bruins for a bit, and ironically enough he might help while they figure out if Kase is ever going to string some games together in Boston. Rackell has scored 30 goals in a season and they can handle his $3.9 million cap hit.

They also love to just trade all of their draft picks so tough to imagine a deadline where they don’t do that.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer: 

To Boston: Mattias Ekholm, Erik Haula
To Nashville: John Beecher, Urho Vaakanainen, first-round pick

The Bruins get a top-four defender that is signed through next season and some forward depth, while Nashville kicks off its inevitable rebuild with two young players and a first-round pick. The Bruins farm system is not great, but Beecher and Vaakanainen both have potential to be NHL players, with Beecher potentially being a very good player. He would bring some speed and strength to Nashville’s farm system.

The key for Boston would be getting Ekholm. I know scoring depth is a big concern for them, but they also never adequately replaced Torey Krug or Zdeno Chara from this offseason and Ekholm would be around for another full season at a very affordable number against the salary cap. They should also have enough salary cap space to make another move to address the forward spot.

Michael Finewax, Rotoworld Senior Hockey Writer/Editor: 

To Bruins: Taylor Hall
To Sabres: Jake DeBrusk, 2021 first-round pick

Hall isn’t likely to sign in Buffalo again (who would want to) and the Sabres might as well get something for the $8 million they signed him for on a one-year deal. He could star on the second line with David Krejci setting him up as he wouldn’t be facing the opponents top line, that being reserved for the Pastrnak, Marchand and Bergeron line. The Sabres get a young player in DeBrusk who has shown in the past he can score as well as a first round pick. I think the money will work as the Bruins have enough space under the cap by April 12.

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content:

To Flyers: Mattias Ekholm
To Predators: First-round pick, second-round pick, Nolan Patrick or Oskar Lindblom

The Flyers are missing Matt Niskanen and need to solidify their leaky defense. Plus, they have more young forwards than they can protect in the expansion draft. For the Predators, this would jumpstart a rebuild and give them a useful roster player in return.

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Two predictions for the second half

James O’Brien, NHL writer:

1. We’ll see a few teams operate at full capacity, at least by the playoffs. No, that’s not the greatest idea.
2. The Penguins not only make the playoffs, they also end up getting through the East bracket.

Sean Leahy, NHL writer:

1. This may not happen until summer, but Rikard Gronborg will finally get his shot as an NHL head coach … in Vancouver.
2. There will be playoff hockey in Buffalo … but only because that’s where the North Division champion will be based during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Final (if they make it to Round 4).

Marisa Ingemi, NHL writer:

1. The Blue Jackets rebound to be a playoff team.
2. Winnipeg has at least one dramatic playoff upset.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer:

1. Minnesota upsets somebody in the First Round of the West Division playoffs.
2. Connor McDavid tops Auston Matthews in the goal scoring race.

Michael Finewax, Rotoworld Senior Hockey Writer/Editor: I was going to say there would be more snow cancelations in the United States for games than all games in Canada but that is already true so I predict…

1. Connor McDavid will reach 100 points.
2. Alex Ovechkin will not be in the top-20 among goal scorers this season

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content:

1. Darryl Sutter leads the Calgary Flames into the postseason.
2. The Boston Bruins miss the postseason.