The 2018 NHL trade deadline is almost here! Get ready to get over hyped for what is routinely the biggest let down of the NHL calendar.

 Erik Karlsson | Ottawa Senators

Stats: 497 points, 609 games, Claim to Fame: The Second Coming of Nick Lindstrom

Why Teams Want Him?
Did you not see that claim to fame? Erik Karlsson already has two Norris Trophies in his trophy cabinet back in Ottawa. He’s also finished runner-up twice. That four times in eight seasons where he finished in the top three in his position. And he’s only 27 years old. He’s got at least another 8+ years to tear the league a new one.

Adding Erik Karlsson to a roster immediately makes it a cup contender. Well, kinda. If the team isn’t Ottawa, then yeah. Cup contender immediately.

Why He Won’t Go
Eugene Melnyk is both the reason Erik Karlsson wants to leave and the reason he stays. The Sens billionaire super-villain owner has a say in most decisions this team makes. Sure Pierre Dorion is the GM but everything goes through Melnyk.

Which makes sense when you think that any trade involving Erik Karlsson at the trade deadline has to include a team taking Bobby Ryan’s $7.25 million contract. What team has $13.75 million in cap space through the next two years? Arizona and Carolina are the only two. There’s no way Karlsson and his M-NTC are going to either.

 John Tavares | New York Islanders

Stats: 601 points, 648 games, Claim to Fame: First Effing’ “Exceptional Player”

Why Teams Want Him?

Darcy made me do this. It’s my fault. I solicited submission from the guys and this is what I get. Every team want’s John Tavares. He’s a top 10 player in the league and a top 5 center. They don’t grow on trees. If you can get your hands on one you never let it go. Of course, that means Garth Snow will do the exact opposite.

Tavares just turned 27 -years old and he’s been relatively healthy, freak Olympics accident aside. He’s going to be a 1,000 point player in the NHL. Of this I’m certain. And so are other teams. They might wait till free agency to woo him them. But some will kick the tires with ol’ Garth to see if they can get the jump on the feeding frenzy at the end of June.

Why He Won’t Go

For starters, he’s got a modified no-trade list. So Tavares is in relative control of his own future. And secondly, Tavares want’s nothing more than to stay. That doesn’t mean he cant poke around to see if there’s a better offer out there for him. Or to even gauge what his market value is.

With the Islanders on the cusp of the playoffs and Garth Snow’s job likely on the line, there’s no way John Tavares is moved at the deadline. Garth would rather take his chances in free agency. Guaran-freakin’-teed.

 Oliver Ekman-Larsson | Arizona Coyotes

Stats: 277 points, 553 games, Claim to Fame: Best Player On Crap Team

Why Teams Want Him?

Ever hear of the beauty by comparison rule? Surround yourself with a number of worse looking people and you immediately look more attractive? No? Me neither…

That’s what’s happening with OEL. He’s the best player by far on a terrible Arizona team. It’s not to say that he’s not any good. But he’s not a 9/10 that people are going on about. He’s probably like a solid 7/10.

But because he looks like a nine, and OEL’s GM act’s like he’s a nine, he’s going to get the attention of a nine. Someone is going to overpay for OEL. Now the game is “who”?

Why He Won’t Go

John Chayka has said he’s not listening to offers for OEL. All he wants is an extension from the guy. That’s going to scare off a few callers, but the determined ones won’t see that as a hurdle. So Chayka is totally going to go full Eugene Melnyk and make a trade for OEL seem so unappetizing that these other teams will be forced to stop calling.

Eugene’s tactics are good sometimes. Sometimes.

 Max Pacioretty | Montréal Canadiens

Stats: 446 points, 621 games, Claim to Fame: Scored a bajillion goals…or something

Why Teams Want Him?

If you’re an NHL GM how does a 30+ goal scorer sound to you? Pacioretty hasn’t done it just once, but over last four seasons, he’s scored from 30-39 goals. That’s a boatload of goals to add to a team.

Now factor in that Pacioretty and his boatload of goals can dock in your port for $4.5 million on the cap. (I’m done with the nautical theme).

That’s a guaranteed 30 goals and somewhere between 60-67 points. All for the cost of just under two-thirds of a Bobby Ryan. How do you not make this trade priority number one?

Why He Doesn’t Move

Because ol’ suits McPocket-Square Marc Bergevin won’t likely find what he’s looking for. Whatever that is. At this point in his tenure, there’s one thing for sure about Bergevin’s plan. No one seems to know what it is.

That uncertainty is going to leave the Habs holding onto Pacioretty after the deadline and asking themselves: “bien là?!” (That’s French slang for WTF).

 Tyson Barrie | Colorado Avalanche

Stats: 227 points, 383 games, Claim to Fame: Patrick Roy Probably Hates Him

Why Teams Want Him?

He’s a young, right-handed defenseman with the ability to move the puck, put up points 5on5 and on the power play and still has term left on his deal. What else could you want? Maybe a smaller number, but $5.5 million per year for a 50 point defenseman is a good cap hit. Look, Calvin de Haan and his 25 point production asked for $5 million in arbitration last season.

Barrie is worth it. He may not be a top pairing guy, but he’s a great second pair defenseman. Again, he can score both 5on5 with and quarterback the PP. He’s the Kevin Shattenkirk of 2018 except he has more hair and no one thinks he’s going to “go-back-home” to play for the Canucks.

Why He Won’t Move

The second you call Joe Sakic inquiring about any player I immediately imagine him sitting by the phone with the list of players he got for Matt Duchene. If you don’t come close to matching or bettering what he got in terms of quantity in that Duchene deal he’s hanging up.

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