A year ago, the NHL’s seven Canadian teams were involved in 16 deals in the five weeks leading up to the March 5 trade deadline.
Edmonton and Montreal led the way with five moves apiece, with Thomas Vanek the most notable player changing uniforms when he was dealt to the Canadiens from the New York Islanders.
Almost a year later, could Montreal and Edmonton make noise again, this time hooking up with each other for a trade?
Well, there was a rumour in November that the Canadiens were prepared to send centre Lars Eller and defenceman Nathan Beaulieu to the Oilers for forward Nail Yakupov and blue-liner Jeff Petry.
Such a trade could still be consummated since the names of Yakupov, Petry and Eller have been bandied about as possible trade bait at various times this season.
Entering play Wednesday, Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg were in playoff positions.
Below, we list a player from each Canadian squad who could join a new team ahead of the 3 p.m. ET deadline on March 2.
Calgary: Left-winger Curtis Glencross — The 32-year-old soon-to-be unrestricted free agent has been a disappointment since the start of last season with 12 goals in 82 games after scoring 24 and 26 goals in 2010-11 and 2011-12, respectively. Flames GM Brad Treliving can probably find a younger and cheaper replacement going forward.
Edmonton: Defenceman Jeff Petry — Could he be traded in return for a much-needed centre? A capable puck mover, the fifth-year NHLer is a steady defender entering the prime of his career at age 27 and affordable, making a little north of $3 million US this season.
Montreal: Centre Lars Eller — Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin reportedly didn’t want to move the 25-year-old in the fall but might need to now to upgrade the third line. Eller signed a four-year deal last July but is having a disappointing season with eight goals and 15 points in 41 games.
Ottawa: Defenceman Marc Methot — An unrestricted free agent at season’s end, he probably would have been signed earlier in the season if a lingering back injury hadn’t wiped out Methot’s training camp and pre-season. With two assists in only nine games, Methot will probably be moved if he can’t work out a new deal with Senators GM Bryan Murray.
Toronto: Defenceman Cody Franson — Blue-liners with Franson’s size (six-foot-five, 213 pounds), offensive capability (29 points in 46 games this season) and right-handed shot are always attractive, especially for a playoff-bound team. Teams might also find Franson’s $3.3 million US salary attractive.
Vancouver: Right-winger Zack Kassian — Kassian was acquired from Buffalo just before the 2012 trade deadline for fellow forward Cody Hodgson but has provided little offence since, including two goals and five points in 24 games this season, while being a healthy scratch at times. However, teams might be drawn to Kassian’s potential, the fact he’s only 24 and his six-foot-three, 214-pound frame.
Winnipeg: Defenceman Adam Pardy — The Jets came out of the all-star break with nine healthy defencemen, so GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has to do something. Pardy, 30, hasn’t played since Jan. 8, is a minus-5 in his past five starts and has four assists in 29 games this season.