The 2021-22 NHL season is coming down the home stretch and teams will begin gearing up for the postseason. Many of the division races are closely contested, so teams will be looking to make moves to increase their standing in the playoff race.
With that in mind, the league's trade deadline is set for Monday, March 21 at 3 p.m. ET.
There are be several big names that could be on the move as the deadline draws closer. Here's a look at what players could be changing addresses for the remainder of the season and beyond.
One of the biggest names that could be available is going to be Philadelphia Flyers star Claude Giroux. Giroux has spent his entire 15-year career in Philadelphia and he played his 1,000th career game on Thursday. Now that Giroux has reached that milestone, it's likely that he'd welcome a trade as the Flyers have one of their worst seasons in quite some time. Giroux will likely carry a hefty price tag, but expect the Panthers to be among several teams interested. Top prospect Owen Tippett might be someone that the Flyers can build around if they can get a deal done.
Marc-Andre Fleury will likely be the top goaltender available in the trade market. After spending the previous four seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury was traded to the Blackhawks this past offseason. Since arriving in Chicago, it's been a season to forget for Fleury, but he is starting to turn the corner. Even with his struggles, Fleury would still be a welcome addition for a contending team that is in need of goaltending. With the Blackhawks in rebuild mode and Fleury set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, he'll likely be on the move.
The Arizona Coyotes have struggled throughout the season and sit at the bottom of the Central Division. Considering their issues, it's not going to come as a surprise that multiple players could be on the move at the deadline. Defenseman Jakob Chychrun will certainly be a hot commodity for contending teams. He has blossomed into one of the league's more talented defensemen and the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings are among the teams interested, according to The Athletic. With the Kings sitting in second place in the Pacific Division, a package centered around former No. 2 pick Quinton Byfield would definitely entice the Coyotes.
While the Bruins are in the market for a defenseman, the team also could be looking to deal winger Jake DeBrusk. Earlier this season, DeBrusk asked the Bruins for a trade, but his wish hasn't been granted. DeBrusk is still young at just 25 and would provide depth to any Stanley Cup-contending team. With DeBrusk playing on Boston's top line, it's unlikely that the Bruins would deal him unless they're getting an impact forward in return.
Nashville Predators center Filip Forsberg has been the focal point of the franchise's success in recent years. Forsberg is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, so a trade could make sense for both parties. However, Predators general manager David Poile recently revealed that the team is trying to re-sign Forsberg rather than trade him. If Nashville can make significant progress on a deal, they'll probably hang onto Forsberg, who is just one goal from tying David Legwand for the most goals in team history. Still, it's worth keeping an eye on Forsberg leading up to Monday's deadline.
As I mentioned above, the Coyotes aren't competing for a Stanley Cup anytime soon, so they'll likely sell multiple assets at the trade deadline. In addition to Jakob Chychrun, Phil Kessel is also expected to be on the move. The veteran winger may be 34, but Kessel would provide a solid playmaking punch for a contending team. In addition, Kessel will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so the Coyotes will likely take whatever they can get for him.
The Blackhawks are in rebuild mode under new general manager Kyle Davidson. Chicago will likely deal goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury at the deadline, but it's unknown what the franchise will do beyond that. Patrick Kane is one player that would make sense to move, considering he's 33. The team has maintained that they're not going to trade Kane or teammate Jonathan Toews prior to the deadline, but you can't ever rule anything out. If Chicago gets a substantial offer for Kane, it may be hard for the front office to say no.
Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg was negotiating with the team on a potential contract extension earlier this season, but was unhappy with the offers that he received. The Stars still aren't calling teams attempting to dangle Klingberg, but general manager Jim Nill did say that the team would entertain offers if anything blew them away. Klingberg will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, so perhaps the Stars don't want to risk losing the veteran defenseman and decide to deal him.
The Seattle Kraken haven't exactly had the most productive inaugural season. The team currently sits in last place and has already begun selling some of their assets as they dealt forward Calle Jarnkrok to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. Veteran defenseman Mark Giordano is also likely to be one of the Seattle players that is expected to be on the move. Giordano is 38 and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The 2019 Norris Trophy winner still would be a welcome addition to any Stanley Cup contender. Giordano may not be an offensive savant at this point in his career, but his value at the defensive end will make him an attractive commodity.
The New York Rangers have been blessed with potential Vezina Trophy frontrunner Igor Shesterkin in between the pipes. With Shesterkin having such a sensational campaign this season, that could make backup goaltender Alexandar Georgiev expendable. After all, Georgiev is still relatively young and another team may be willing to take a chance that they can make him a franchise netminder. The Rangers can extend Georgiev a $2.65 million qualifying offer this summer, but the team is unlikely to do so. Since he'll likely end up being an unrestricted free agent, perhaps the Rangers cut their losses and deal Georgiev if a suitor comes along.