Dream NHL trade deadline: Adding to the league's elite

·8 min read
A number of big names could be on the move before the NHL trade deadline. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
A number of big names could be on the move before the NHL trade deadline. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Would you look at that? The NHL's trade deadline is now just a month away. We have been mulling over potential transactions and some completed deals for some time now, but it's about that time for teams to make concrete decisions and determinations about this season. Plans are about to be put into action.

So why not lay out a dream scenario for those craving chaos and the most interesting postseason imaginable?

Now, I understand that the following is a tad unrealistic, if not fantastical. But we need to do a better job checking ourselves next time we have the urge to rule out the possibility that Player X could end up with Team Y. The Vegas Golden Knights, who have been as handcuffed as any under the weight of the salary cap, just added Jack freaking Eichel and his eight-figure salary a few months ago, and just recently slotted him into their lineup.

Fewer excuses, more solutions. If there is a will, there is a way. So figure it out, NHL GMs, because Vegas has.

With that out of the way, here's the dream deadline.

Hertl to Colorado

It's an all-in season for the Colorado Avalanche. They have three pending unrestricted free agents in their top six, including the league's fourth-leading scorer, Nazem Kadri, and both rostered netminders working on expired deals, too. More importantly, though, they are pretty clearly the best team in the league and have every reason to work to solidify that.

There has been plenty of talk over the last few weeks about Claude Giroux landing with the Avs. But if the intention is to add scoring, why not chase the more productive and less expensive offensive producer on an expiring deal? Tomas Hertl is on pace for 36 goals with the San Jose Sharks. He can play multiple forward positions and offer tremendous insurance through the middle of the ice.

Colorado would be downright terrifying with Hertl added to the mix.

Chychrun to Florida

The Florida Panthers are perhaps the story of the NHL season, and there might be an opportunity to add another feel-good marketing element to the equation by bringing in a star local product and potential impact contributor.

Jakob Chychrun is having an awful season with the Arizona Coyotes, but you have to consider the environment. It's real tough to tread water as a No. 1 defenseman on a team uninterested in winning.

A player who had generated Olympic buzz before this season (and the decision to not go), Chychrun would slot in seamlessly and inexpensively on the left side for Florida, and round out a really impressive defensive corps for maybe the top team in the Eastern Conference. Born in Boca Raton, he would also provide another carrot for the organization to continue attracting fans to FLA Live Arena.

Giroux to Pittsburgh

Blasphemous, I know, and, if we're being honest with ourselves, an impossibility. But we are allowed to dream, and wouldn't the Philadelphia Flyers captain be a perfect fit with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin in the Penguins' top six?

Pavelski to Carolina

I'm not sure the Carolina Hurricanes need more scoring. They currently rank sixth in per-game production and sixth in power-play percentage, while also limiting opponents better than any other team in the Eastern Conference. There is reason to add, though, if not to keep up with other teams intent on strengthening their roster, and Joe Pavelski makes a lot of sense.

A crafty, nuanced and versatile offensive player who can serve many functions for a head coach, Pavelski can help the Hurricanes in more ways than one. The next few weeks should decide if the Dallas Stars would be wise to move his expiring $7 million salary.

Chiarot to New York

If it's a street fight, there aren't many better candidates. Fortunately Ben Chiarot is a decent option for postseason hockey, too.

Unlike many of the trades already discussed, this one we have heard legitimate rumblings about. I'm not sure the fit is perfect, because it's likely a high price to pay for a right-shot defender destined to slot in behind Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba. But there is a need on the right side on the third pair, and Chiarot is postseason-tough and has a history of helping elite goaltenders do their jobs.

Petry to Toronto

I understand the hurdles. Jeff Petry controls his fate, and is presumably uninterested. The Toronto Maple Leafs would prefer control, but likely not that much control. These are also two teams not rushing to make deals of such significance. And yet, Petry is in many ways the square peg the Maple Leafs are looking for in the immediate term, while Toronto is a spot to allow the player to write a far better story for his season.

Petry's season draws close comparison to that of Chychrun's. He is having an awful follow-up to a superb season while going through the motions on a bad team. He's been one of the most disappointing players league-wide this season after generating Norris Trophy buzz last year.

However since the switch to Martin St. Louis behind the bench in Montreal, Petry has elevated his game, perhaps beyond any of his teammates. The talent is still there; it's the drive that's waned, and understandably so.

Petry meets the clear and obvious need in Toronto despite the addition of Ilya Lyubushkin. He's a right-shot defender with term and whose salary could be reduced to 50 percent in the event Montreal has its back scratched. He's also the sort of player who can prop up Jake Muzzin on a second pair rather than being a burden on the aging Leafs defender as a strong skater and smart puck mover.

If this was just about fit and narrative, well, it fits. Alas, it's not.

Giordano to Calgary

The performances from the shadows of Mark Giordano have been a major part of the Calgary Flames' success this season, but the former captain would provide some quality, albeit expensive, insurance for a legitimate Stanley Cup contender as a deadline reacquisition.

It would also give us a story for us sports writers to romanticize over, so that's neat.

Boeser to Minnesota

We're still waiting on that splash from Minnesota since the decision to buy out Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. Adding a capable scorer and Minnesota native in Brock Boeser would satiate that hunger.

With more and more talk about Boeser as Vancouver charts out its plan moving forward, he exists as a fascinating option for a Minnesota team that paid a high price to earn the sort of flexibility to make the sort of trade that requires a significant financial investment in the short and long term.

Matthew Boldy may have eliminated that need on the right side with his in-season emergence, but there's reason to believe that Minnesota will need more to truly compete with Colorado and Vegas in the Western Conference.

Boeser would be a power move.

Miller to Tampa

J.T. Miller was a significant part of the build, but didn't get to experience the crowning moments for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Perhaps he can jump back on the train before it's too late.

Though still highly competitive, Tampa Bay's prospects of repeating as Stanley Cup champions again this season were diminished when it was forced to part ways with all three members of its ultra-effective third line. At a reduced cost if Vancouver is willing to retain salary on a contract with two years left on it, Miller can provide many of those lost intangibles as a tough and talented scorer with Tampa-specific experience, helping extend the Lightning's window.

Klingberg to Vegas

If you're going to circumvent, circumvent big. Why wouldn't the Golden Knights find another couch cushion to shove money under and chase John Klingberg — one of the more intriguing and potentially impactful trade candidates on the board?

Vegas has failed for one reason in the playoffs: a lack of scoring. It made an attempt to address that with the Jack Eichel trade. Now maybe there's an opportunity to layer some offensive ability to the back end with a proven and disgruntled puck mover and power-play contributor from the Stars.

Fleury to Edmonton

He might have something Dave Tippett was without, but Jay Woodcroft would have to be Jay Witchcraft for the Edmonton Oilers to have quality postseason netminding in the absence of a deal.

It has been discussed by many this season. It's possible it's a proposal that's already been shot down. But Marc-Andre Fleury taking his talents to Edmonton would provide the sort of hope Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Oilers fans everywhere have been without.

Fleury deserves a chance to compete in the playoffs this season, and it would be so much fun if it were to happen in Edmonton.

More from Yahoo Sports