NHL trade deadline red flags

With less than a month before the NHL trade deadline, the Zone Time crew discuss the players on this year's market that teams should be wary of, and lessons learned about overpaying for playoff-type players.

Video Transcript

JULIAN MCKENZIE: There are some guys out there, we know, last year, a couple of years ago, guys like Ben Chiarot were getting offloaded for first-round picks. I'm sure people in Toronto are hoping they get someone like Ryan O'Reilly, or-- Is Vladimir Tarasenko someone you would want? I don't know if you'd want Vladimir Tarasenko. Maybe Ryan O'Reilly, for sure.

But is there, like, a player out there who is getting a lot of attention that maybe you're like, well, I don't know if I want my team to be getting that player, or I don't know if people should be offloading first-round picks for this guy? We want to go through some red flags. Like, we know how people are like, hey, you spot a green flag or a red flag in a person? What about for the trade deadline?

OMAR: So, the Steve Dangle podcast has talked about this--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Who's that guy?

OMAR: Ha! And I strongly agree, because I'm seeing a lot of Leafs fans talk about it, Ryan O'Reilly would be cool in theory, but you can't ignore the context, and that is, coming off a foot injury. Now, I have a very short-term memory. No, I don't have a short-term memory. I remember a lot of things.

And I also remember that, no, the Leafs traded for Nick Foligno to help toughen the team and all that type of stuff. And he was injured, or he got hurt, or I don't know, he aggravated a back injury or whatever, and then he wasn't good, unplayable even, or if you didn't play him, it wasn't noticeable.

And I know what Ryan Ryan O'Reilly has done. He won the Conn Smythe the year that the Blues won the Cup. Like, he knows how to do it.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: He's a really good center. One the best two-way forwards in the game, or 200-foot forwards in the game.

OMAR: Yeah. I don't know if that's the dude, man. And I really don't know-- I don't know what the price is going to be. I know a lot of people are saying that, like, oh, that teams are going to use the Bo Horvat price to compare. I don't believe that for a second. I think they're gonna say, OK, well, cool, that's them, but it's March 2, so let's change things up.

So I don't know. I'm just very weary of who we give up the first and the prospects for, and I'm not sure if I want to do that for Ryan O'Reilly, so that would be my red flag. Nothing against him as a player, but just the context of what's going on, I would be nervous about it. I could completely see the scenario of, like, he comes back, I don't know, like, the foot didn't heal properly, or maybe there's some discomfort. It impacts his skating, it impacts his ability, and then, OK, well, then I'm here in April, crying again, so that's my worst fear.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I feel like you're coming from a place of fear, Omar.

OMAR: Oh, what gives you that idea?


JULIAN MCKENZIE: Man, my flag is first-round picks, and this year of all year, man, look, not everyone is Julien BriseBois, not everyone is the Tampa Bay Lightning, you don't need to throw in that unprotected first-round pick if you don't have to. This draft is supposed to be deep. This draft is supposed to have a lot of high-quality players.

I'm totally cool if teams say, you know what, you're not worth that first-round pick, especially if you find yourself in a position where you're sort of trying to figure out if you're a playoff team or not. If you have to ask that question if you are, I don't know if it's worth throwing up that first-round pick.

I get it, you know, maybe you're not in a position where you can truly tank for Connor Bedard and anyone else in that kind of threshold, like an Adam Fantilli or a Leo Carlsson. But if this draft is as deep as everyone says it's going to be, hold on to that first-round pick, man. Or at the very least, if you really feel you've gotta do it, protect it. Protect yourself before you wreck yourself. Don't be like the Florida Panthers.

OMAR: I was literally just about to bring them up. Like, there are teams where it's like, are we a playoff team or are we not, but it's also are we a win a couple of rounds playoff team, or we are an, oh, we're going all the way to the final. And Florida, man, they went nuts. They traded everything, and now Montreal might get Bedard because of frickin' Florida.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I mean, if anything, if they were to get Bedard, they might not get it with the Panthers' pick, in all fairness. So, if they get Bedard, they could get Bedard in, like, another top-15 pick, if it works out that way. They might also just miss out on him completely, and maybe their picks are, like, seven, eight next to each other.

OMAR: Who knows?

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Two top-10 picks ain't bad.

OMAR: Don't lie to yourself. Just know who you are. Avry, you know what I'm talking about, right?

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Know yourself. Do we have any more red flags that teams should look out for ahead of next month's trade deadline?

SAM CHANG: Yeah, if you're trading for Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews at 10 and a half million.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Sheesh. Sheesh. If you're taking on that whole salary, man, you must have cap space. You have to. I mean, Carolina has a little over 10 mil in cap space, actually.

OMAR: Oh my god!

OMAR: Yeah, Cap Friendly says so.

OMAR: That's not what I thought of. Talk amongst yourselves, because--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Wait, what were you thinking of?

AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: What did you find, Omar?

OMAR: Because when you said "cap space"-- Oh, OK. OK. OK. Because I always hear people say, like--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: What were you thinking?

OMAR: Because I always hear people say, like, oh, the Seattle Kraken has so much cap space, and I was like, wait, they have cap space, but they're good this year. Oh my God! Are they gonna, like, make a huge deal out of nowhere? But, no, according to Cap Friendly, they have 2.3 right now in current cap space, and they'll have about 3.6 at the deadline. Cap Friendly is your best friend, now and also around the trade deadline. Don't screengrab. Don't screenshot Cap Friendly. Actually give them credit. They're a great site. We'd be lost without them.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I also want to shout out Hart Levine from PuckPedia as well. They're very helpful. I've asked them for help a lot of times. I've gotta shoutout Hart. Cap Friendly deserves a lot of praise, but, you know, I've also gotta shout out PuckPedia too. Basically anyone who takes the time to help people out in these internet streets, especially on hockey Twitter with regards to salary cap and CBA stuff, green flags for them. Those people deserve all the green flags.

OMAR: Green flags, for sure.


AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: I know you're mentioning red flags. I want to mention a red flag here. It's Joel Edmundson. I've seen a lot of teams interested, or rumors around Joel Edmundson.


AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: I've said before, if he came to the Oilers, the guy is not your guy. That is not your guy! Jakob Chychrun is your guy. You want to win now? You want to tell people you're serious about winning this year? Go and get Jakoc Chychrun. That is your guy. Do what you've gotta do-- as Omar's house falls on him. Do what you've gotta do today!


AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: Like Michael Irvin once said, what are you gonna do to win today? Don't let people take food off your table, Ken. Go and get Chychrun today!

OMAR: With your chest! Yes, Avry!

JULIAN MCKENZIE: You should have finished the whole rant and been like, nobody believes in you!