Analyzing the notable deals and other happenings in the month leading up to the Feb. 25 NHL trade deadline:
Feb. 15: Philadelphia Flyers acquire goalie Cam Talbot from the Edmonton Oilers for goalie Anthony Stolarz.
Analysis: Talbot is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, while Stolarz is a restricted free agent. Thus, it appears the Flyers will aim to rebuild his value (.893 SV%) as he serves as a veteran mentor for Carter Hart. For the Oilers, it’s a cost-cutting move.
Feb. 6: Nashville Predators acquire forward Brian Boyle from the New Jersey Devils for a 2019 second-round pick.
Analysis: Boyle, 34, gives the Predators an experienced, playoff-tested bottom-six center who can kill penalties. He provides a big body who can weather the physical nature of a Western Conference playoff series. The big worry with him is he isn’t a great skater.
Feb. 1: Pittsburgh Penguins acquire forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann from the Florida Panthers for forwards Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan, plus a second-round pick and two fourth-rounders.
Analysis: Brassard was the Penguins’ big acquisition last year as they tried for a three-peat, but he didn’t turn out. Both Brassard and Sheahan will be unrestricted free agents after this season while Bjugstad (two years) and McCann (one years) still have term. Bjugstad has struggled on offense this season, but he did have 19 goals and 49 points last season. The Panthers could choose to trade Brassard again before the
Jan. 28: Toronto Maple Leafs acquire defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings for forward Carl Grundstrom, the rights to unsigned defenseman Sean Durzi and a first-round pick.
Analysis: The versatile Muzzin will assume a top-four role on the Maple Leafs defense, which had been an area of weakness. He averages more than 21 minutes a night and can kill penalties and play on the power play. An added bonus: He has a year left on his contract. The older Kings need an infusion of youth. Durzi has offensive potential and is averaging more than a point a game in the Ontario Hockey League the past two seasons.
Jan. 28: Artemi Panarin’s agent says the star forward won’t discuss a contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets until after the season.
Analysis: His stand hasn’t changed since before the season. This just reinforces it. The Blue Jackets could end up losing him for nothing in the offseason, but they really can’t trade him either. Their best bet is to persuade him to stay by having a big postseason run.
Jan. 28: Dallas Stars acquire defenseman Jamie Oleksiak for a fourth-round pick.
Analysis: The Stars needed a defenseman with Marc Methot having season-ending surgery. They know Oleksiak from his time with them before he was dealt to the Penguins in December 2017 for a fourth-round pick.