Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux acknowledges the crowd after playing in his 1,000th NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Philadelphia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Matt Slocum

NHL trade deadline: Most big names already off the board ahead of Monday cutoff

A look at what still might happen as teams try to load up for the playoff push

Claude Giroux is off the board. Same goes for Hampus Lindholm.

Now add Mark Giordano to the list.

Three of the biggest names available heading into Monday’s NHL trade deadline were snapped up over the weekend as the Philadelphia Flyers shipped Giroux – their captain – to the Florida Panthers on Saturday, while the Boston Bruins acquired Lindholm from the Anaheim Ducks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs then dealt for Seattle Kraken captain and veteran blue-liner Mark Giordano on Sunday.

While those players finding new homes long before Monday’s 3 p.m. ET cutoff removes a lot of the drama, there’s still intrigue as the clock continues to tick.

The Canadian Press takes a look at some of the storylines and players who could be on the move:

CHYCHRUN DECISION

With pending unrestricted free agents Lindholm and Giordano already headed to new teams, Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes is another defenceman whose name has made the rounds in rumour mills for months.

But unlike the other two blue-liners, the 23-year-old still has three seasons left on a team-friendly contract that carries an annual average value of US$4.6 million.

And because of that, the price for Chychrun, if he does indeed get moved, could be massive.

Another pending UFA blue-liner getting attention is John Klingberg of the Dallas Stars.

RENTAL FORWARDS

Among the pending UFAs potentially on the move up front are Anaheim winger Rickard Rakell, Winnipeg Jets counterpart Andrew Copp and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi.

Domi comes with the highest salary cap hit of $5.3 million.

And if a team is interested in looking at a restricted free agent forward, Boston’s Jack DeBrusk remains an option after he requested a trade earlier this season.

HABS’ HUGHES

Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has already made two significant trades ahead of the deadline, sending winger Tyler Toffoli to the Calgary Flames last month before shipping defenceman Ben Chiarot to Florida as the club pivots to a rebuild.

Montreal’s first-year GM said following the Chiarot swap he isn’t looking for a fire sale of his roster, but there are no doubt other names potentially available, including blue-liners Jeff Petry and Brett Kulak.

Another angle to watch from a Canadiens’ perspective is if they’re able to trade captain Shea Weber’s contract to a team looking to get to the salary cap floor.

The 36-year-old defenceman has been on long-term injured reserve all season and is unlikely to resume his playing career.

ROOKIE GMS

Apart from Hughes, three other rookie general managers will be navigating their first deadlines in the big chair.

Anaheim Ducks GM Pat Verbeek, like Hughes, got in on the action early when he traded defenceman Josh Manson to the Colorado Avalanche and Lindholm to Boston, while Chicago Blackhawks counterpart Kyle Davidson sent winger Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Davidson also has Marc-Andre Fleury on an expiring contract, but there’s no guarantee the veteran goaltender will be moved.

Canucks GM Patrik Alvin is in a slightly different position with his team still in the mix for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Vancouver centre J.T. Miller, as well as wingers Brock Boeser and Conor Garland, have all been mentioned in trade speculation.

Alvin did make two deals Sunday, sending Travis Hamonic to Ottawa for a third-round pick and then acquiring fellow defenceman Travis Dermott from Toronto for a separate third-rounder.

ATLANTIC ARMS RACE

The Panthers, Bruins, Lightning and Leafs all made significant trades in the days leading up to the deadline.

Will the Atlantic Division arms race continue as teams manoeuvre both the trade market and salary cap or are these heavyweights done dealing?

FANNING FLAMES

Calgary made a big splash with the trade for Toffoli from Montreal before securing fellow winger Calle Jarnkrok from Seattle.

The Flames sit comfortably in first place in the Pacific Division and look primed to make a run this spring.

Does Flames GM Brad Treliving stand pat, tinker with his roster or attempt to make another splash Monday?

—Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

RELATED: NHL Notebook: A look at how some NHL coaches navigate the looming trade deadline

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