I was having a conversation with a manager a couple of weeks ago who mentioned to me that more than a few teams were looking to do deals just before the Olympic break. They were almost treating the next few weeks here as a mini trade deadline before the actual halting of trades on March 21. Teams wanted to get things done before the players split for Beijing.

And while that may no longer be a thing, there is still plenty of trade chatter around the league.

I’ll go over 10 of the more likely bigger candidates we expect to be on the move.

But before we get to the names, there’s something I’ve been thinking about the past month or so as the Florida Panthers position themselves for a Stanley Cup run.

As anyone who’s listened to the podcast or radio show knows, I’m forever fascinated by the alternative NHL universe by way of trades that never happened, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the Cats.

I go back to the day the fortunes of this franchise changed – June 30, 2013. The day of the NHL draft in New Jersey when the Panthers selected Aleksander Barkov second overall.

It was a great pick, it was the right pick and it set the Panthers up with an elite cornerstone player for this generation.

But they had offers from a couple of teams to switch picks.

The Flyers were picking 11th and offered the Panthers Brayden Schenn to switch positions. Philly ended up taking Samuel Morin of the Rimouski Oceanic.

Nashville was picking fourth and tried to get to the second position, but no dice (I still don’t know what they offered and the Preds ended up selecting Seth Jones from the Portland Winter Hawks).