The Scotia North all Canadian team division features multiple teams looking to get better for a Stanley Cup Run.
With the trade deadline approaching, the Canadian Government made changes to their quarantine rules. No longer will players have to wait for a 14-day quarantine period before being able to join new teams. Many Canadian teams need help to make a serious push to try and win the Cup. With the hopes of an entire nation resting on these teams, look to see lots of moves, if deals can be made. The four current playoff teams are Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, and Montreal Canadiens.
The North has 3 clear buyers this deadline: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and the Edmonton Oilers. Leafs fans are hoping to see the second round of the playoffs this year since they won’t have to face Boston in round 1. The Leafs will be looking to add depth at all three parts of their game. They may even add some toughness prior to the playoffs. Montreal will be buying because GM Marc Bergevin will be fired this summer if his team doesn’t make the playoffs. Habs fans should look to see some high-end scoring like maybe going after Taylor Hall from Buffalo and extra depth at the blue line.
The Edmonton Oilers have two of the most talented players in the league. We all know that means nothing if you can’t keep the puck out of your own net. Oilers fans should be looking to see the front office get a second goaltender. Perhaps going after veteran Jonathan Quick.
Quick is a two-time Stanley Cup champion and despite not having really found his game of late, he would be the ideal goalie to help carry the load. On top of providing the calming presence of someone who has been there and done that, Quick still has the potential to be a number one goaltender. Fans also shouldn’t be surprised if they go after Taylor Hall… as wild as it seems, this is a new coach and new GM who may feel different about Hall. Hall can provide the scoring depth the Oilers lack and take some of the pressure off players like McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
The Vancouver Canucks and the Ottawa Senators will most likely be looking to sell and build for the future. Vancouver never was able to get into form. They suffered multiple covid lockdowns and a lack of consistent play. They made moves to bring in Braden Holtby who sadly has underperformed to this point. Canuck fans should look to see their team try and get better this offseason and next offseason by getting draft picks in the 2021 and 2022 drafts. For some GM’s the 2021 draft is rather unappealing due to the lack of play in the Canadian junior leagues and inability to scout.
The Senators have been one of the worst teams so far in the NHL and outside of a few “untouchables” fans should be ready to see just about anybody on the way out. On top of not being able to attract many big-name free agents, the Sens have failed to truly develop drafted talent. The Sens will be looking to add rookies who show promise and draft picks. Another good way to do that would be to build an arena not so far away and make it easier for fans to come when fans are finally allowed back at games.
The North holds 2 wild cards this year with the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets. While Jets fans may hope to see their team try and make a serious run, it might not be the best idea to sell the farm. With most big-name guys being on short-term deals, Winnipeg has never been overly exciting to free agents. Even if they were “rented” for the remainder of this season. The safe bet and most likely scenario for Jets fans will be to see the Jets not make any moves or make minor moves but nothing that will be over-the-top exciting.
On the other hand, we have the Flames. With recent changes to bring in an old head coach, it’s anyone’s guess what the Flames will do. We should not be surprised to see superstar Johnny Gaudreau on the move either at the deadline or before the draft, with Philly and New Jersey being the most likely landing spots. Philly may try to see if the price is right and offer up defensemen Philippe Meyers and draft picks to bring in Johnny. Jersey may also be willing to part ways with P.K. Subban and picks to bring in Gaudreau. Recent comments when asked about his 500th career game, “…hope he has more energy than his 499th game.” said head coach Darryl Sutter. Gaudreau is not the ideal player that fits Sutter’s preferred style of play.
Brian Sutter, Darryl’s older brother, was the last coach with the Flames to have Marty St. Louis, now Hall of Famer, and was let go from Calgary because he was too small. With the desire to play a tougher, physical brand of hockey Gaudreau just doesn’t fit the bill. If there is no trade, Gaudreau will most likely be somewhere else this off-season. The North will offer a plethora of unique opportunities for all seven Canadian teams at the trade deadline.