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Tomas Hertl acquired by Golden Knights among NHL trade deadline news, rumors

NHL: New York Rangers at San Jose Sharks
Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Although several massive trades have taken place already, there’s bound to be plenty of action Friday, before the NHL trade deadline arrives at 3 p.m. ET.

In previous days, the Vegas Golden Knights landed defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Anthony Mantha; the Pittsburgh Penguins traded premier rental Jake Guentzel to the Carolina Hurricanes; the New York Rangers acquired Alex Wennberg from the Seattle Kraken; and Vladimir Tarasenko was shipped to the Florida Panthers by the Ottawa Senators.

The clock is ticking. And the deadline looms. Check back often for the latest news and rumors.

Related: Thursday NHL trade deadline news and rumors, including Joel Edmundson deal

Friday NHL trade deadline news, rumors

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Nashville Predators
Feb 13, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) takes a shot on goal against the Nashville Predators during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Golden Knights strike again, acquire Tomas Hertl from Sharks

The Vegas Golden Knights don’t quit. Despite being up against the salary cap, the Golden Knights acquired Tomas Hertl from the San Jose Sharks right at the deadline Friday. 

That deal comes after the defending Stanley Cup champions traded for forward Anthony Mantha and defenseman Noah Hanifin earlier in the week.

Each of these three moves came after Vegas placed captain Mark Stone on long-term injured reserve with an upper-body injury. Doing so saved the Golden Knights $9.5 million against the cap.

Hertl is currently on injured reserve and hasn’t played since Jan. 27 because of a knee procedure. He, too, could land on LTIR. Players can be activated off LTIR during the playoffs with no concern about going over the salary cap.

The 30-year-old forward is a five-time 20-goal scorer. He has 15 goals and 34 points in 48 games this season.

It will be Hertl’s first time playing for a team other than San Jose. He played 11 seasons and 712 games with the Sharks and was a big part of their teams that reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2016 and Western Conference Final in 2019.

The Golden Knights are the second wild card into the playoffs from the West. They have a six point lead on the Calgary Flames, Seattle Kraken and St. Louis Blues.

Hurricanes add second big name, acquire Evgeny Kuznetsov

The Carolina Hurricanes continue to add big-name forwards ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

Less than 24 hours after landing Jake Guentzel in a mega-trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Hurricanes acquired Evgeny Kuznetsov in a trade with the Washington Capitals.

For those counting at home, that’s a combined 1,034 career points, 145 Stanley Cup playoff games and three Stanley Cup championships added to the Hurricanes roster the past two days.

The Capitals will retain 50 percent of Kuznetsov’s $7.8M salary, which runs through next season. That was a difference maker in getting this deal done, one Washington wanted badly to complete after Kuznetsov cleared waivers earlier in the week.

Kuznetsov is having a down year with just six goals and 17 points in 43 games. He entered in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program last month. He reported to AHL Hershey after the team waived him.

The 2010 first-round pick had 568 points in 723 games with the Capitals and helped them win their first Stanley Cup title in 2018.

For the Hurricanes, this is another indication they’re all-in on a championship. Thursday night, they acquired Guentzel from the Penguins for a package that included forward Michael Bunting, three prospects and two draft choices. They’re currently second in the Metropolitan Division, six points behind the New York Rangers.

Jets make their move, acquire Tyler Toffoli from Devils

The Winnipeg Jets made their move before the trade deadline winds down Friday, acquiring forward Tyler Toffoli from the New Jersey Devils for two draft choices.  

New Jersey received a 2025 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick. In addition, and will retain 50 percent of Toffoli’s $4.25 million salary cap hit. 

The move comes at a rough time for the Devils, who in the last week fired their coach, Lindy Ruff, and now traded one of their best players in Toffoli. 

Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said Tuesday that they were “not shopping” Toffoli, though he acknowledged the 2014 Stanley Cup champion could be moved since he’s a pending UFA and with New Jersey falling out of playoff contention.

The 31-year-old forward registered 44 points, including a team-high 26 goals in 61 games for the Devils in what has been a disappointing season for the club. They currently sit six points out of a wild card spot. 

For Winnipeg, the move provides a nice offensive addition to their already powerful lineup that could put them into true contender status. The Jets are currently two points behind the Dallas Stars for the Central Division lead and are third in the Western Conference. After adding Sean Monahan in a trade with the Calgary Flames last month, the Jets now have another boost in scoring with Toffoli and must be considered serious Stanley Cup contenders.

Devils land 2 goalies, neither is Jacob Markstrom

After recently coming close to acquiring Jacob Markstrom from the Calgary Flames, the Devils dacquired not one, but two goalies Friday. However, neither is elite No. 1 goalie like Markstrom. Instead they acquired Jake Allen from the Montreal Canadiens and Kaapo Kahkonen from the Sharks.

Allen was part of a three-goalie situation in Montreal this season with Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau. He has another season left on his contract with a $3.85 million AAV and was acquired for a conditional third-round pick in the 2025 draft. Montreal also retains half of Allen’s salary.

The 33-year-old is 6-12-3 with a 3.65 goals-against average and .892 save percentage in 21 starts this season. He helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup in 2019, serving as the backup to Jordan Binnington.

Kahkonen is 6-20-3 with a 3.81 GAA and .895 save percentage for the miserable Sharks. The 27-year-old is a pending UFA and was acquired for goalie Vitek Vanecek, who’s currently injured.

The Devils are allowing 3.63 goals against per game this season, tied for sixth most in the NHL.

Jason Zucker heads to Predators after trade with Coyotes

The red-hot Nashville Predators added a potentially big scoring threat to their lineup, acquiring Jason Zucker from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2024. The move continued to bolster Nashville’s depth after it acquired forward Anthony Beauvillier from the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. 

The Predators are 8-0-1 in their past nine games and hold the second wild card in the Western Conference, six points ahead of the St. Louis Blues and Seattle Kraken. Nashville will take on all of Zucker’s $5.3 million cap hit in the deal as Arizona did not retain any salary. 

Zucker has just nine goals and 25 points in 51 games this season. However, the 32-year-old forward is a six-time 20-goal scorer and had 27 goals with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.

Rangers fills holes with Jack Roslovic and Chad Ruhwedel acquisitions

The Rangers acquired versatile forward Jack Roslovic from the Columbus Blue Jackets and bolstered their defense corps by acquiring Chad Ruhwedel from the Pittsburgh Penguins for future draft picks.

The Blueshirts are set in their top six now after the Roslovic addition. The 27-year-old can play center or right wing, and will likely play the latter to start on a line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider.

Ruhwedel gives them a 12-year NHL veteran, who helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2017. The 33-year-old is a stay-at-home defenseman, who’s a right shot and can play either side.

The Rangers also picked up center Nic Petan in a minor-league trade with the Minnesota Wild on Friday. Petan has nearly 200 games of NHL experience and provides depth down the middle for New York.

Sabres trade captain Kyle Okposo to Panthers

The Florida Panthers have added more depth to their roster acquiring Kyle Okposo from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenseman Calle Sjalin and a conditional 2024 seventh-round pick. 

The 35-year-old forward brings a veteran presence and experience to the Panthers locker room. He was the Sabres captain and has played 1,045 games in the NHL. Okposo has 12 goals and 22 assists in 61 games this season. 

The move comes just days after the Panthers acquired Vladimir Tarasenko from the Ottawa Senators. Florida appears to be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference as they have added depth to an already high-powered offense. They currently sit atop the league standings with 90 points and are poised to make a run for the Stanley Cup, one year after losing in the Cup Final to the Golden Knights.

Buchnevich likely staying with Blues

A report from The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford indicate Pavel Buchnevich will remain with the St. Louis Blues barring an unforeseen development before the deadline.

There were rumblings St. Louis could move the 28-year-old, who has one year remaining on his contract that carries a $5.8M AAV. Rumors swirled after general manager Doug Armstrong said the Blues could get “creative’ to facilitate a trade. That likely meant a willingness to retain half of the high-scoring forward’s salary in return for a massive haul.

It’s been an up and down season for the Blues, who fired Stanley Cup-winning coach Craig Berube. They’re currently one the outside looking in on the playoffs out West, six points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the second Wild Card spot.

Buchnevich is having his third straight strong season with the Blues, who acquired him from the New York Rangers in 2021. He’s scored 24 goals and 48 points in 61 games this season, and has 191 points in 197 games total as a Blue.

Armstrong could revisit a Buchnevich trade at the NHL Draft in June, but for now, it appears he’ll remain in the Gateway City.

Sportsnaut NHL managing editor Jim Cerny and NHL contributor Dane Walsh contributed to this article

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