Happy New Year. Welcome to 2023, where now on the other side of the holiday roster freeze, the NHL’s 32 general managers are officially on the clock – as Tuesday marks exactly two months until the 2023 trade deadline on March 3.
What a deadline this could shape into. In a season where cap space is ultra scarce, the Trade Targets board is a veritable smorgasbord of big names and big impact players potentially on the move.
2023 Trade Deadline Countdown: 60 Days
We’ve got you covered over the next two months at Daily Faceoff with one trade deadline-focused story each day. First up is our first Trade Targets board of the calendar year, which always seeks to blend a player’s prominence with his likelihood of a trade:
1. Bo Horvat
Center, Vancouver Canucks
Stats: 36 GP, 26 G, 14 A, 40 Pts
Contract: Pending UFA, $5.5 million AAV
Scoop: Contract talks between the Canucks and Horvat’s camp have gone cold again after word leaked that Horvat rejected an increased offer in December. There’s no official confirmation, but some believe that offer was in the neighborhood of 8 years x $7-7.5 million, which is a big step up from where Vancouver was previously. Will the Canucks take another run at re-signing their captain before the deadline? It feels like the stage has been set ever since Canucks president Jim Rutherford told Sportsnet 650: “The better he plays, the better return we can get for him.”
2. Jakob Chychrun
Left Defense, Arizona Coyotes
Stats: 19 GP, 4 G, 13 A, 17 Pts
Contract: 2 more seasons, $4.6 million AAV
Scoop: Give him credit: After this saga has dragged on for more than a calendar year, Chychrun has knocked it out of the park with his play since returning on Nov. 21. His point production has been outstanding, on track for a 70-plus point season over a full campaign, and he’s been mobile and defended well. He’s living up to a top-pair defenseman, and there were questions about that. That would seem to justify Arizona’s asking price of essentially two first-round picks (or equivalents) plus a prospect. The common sense thinking is a team will step up now having seen it (again), but how imminent is that?