The NHL trade deadline is March 8. Most teams have four or five games from now until then. What happens in those games could determine which teams add or subtract, who stays and who goes at the deadline.
That’s how close the standings are in the NHL — not just around the wild-card bubble, but among those teams that believe the Stanley Cup is within their grasp.
Some teams got ahead of the deadline chaos, with the Vancouver Canucks acquiring Elias Lindholm and the Winnipeg Jets trading for Sean Monahan in January. For other teams, it’ll go down to the wire, riding the waves of market forces.
Remember: Sometimes deals that aren’t made at the deadline are the ones that are eventually made in the offseason.
“At the deadline, it’s about moving money in and moving money out. I do think that restricts things, where that opens up a little more in the summer,” one NHL general manager said. “In the summer, you have more flexibility with expiring contracts off your team. You know your standing in the draft order, too.”
So just because someone doesn’t move now doesn’t mean they can’t move later.
Here is our Big Board for the 2024 NHL trade deadline, ranking the top 50 players who could be available in terms of impact and quality. It was compiled through conversations with sources and media reports from around the NHL.
It’s a list that assumes everyone rumored may be available, although where teams end up in the standings before the deadline could ultimately determine that. And we’re a little more pessimistic about the availability of some players than others.
We start with a star winger from the East: