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These Five Promise To Be The Deadline's Top Targets

August 25, 2023, 9:13 PM ET [19 Comments]
With the Toronto Maple Leafs signing Auston Matthews earlier this week, next year’s trade deadline is minus one of the biggest pending free agents, but there are still a number of big names that could be shopped as rentals if their current clubs cannot get them locked up on new deals.

Here are five names that we could be bandying about from now until next March:

William Nylander – The Leafs and Nylander remain far apart on a new deal, and while Toronto GM Brad Treliving wants to make a deeper playoff run than his predecessor, it is possible that he will move Nylander before the season if he can make a hockey deal.

Sam Reinhart – After two 30+ goal seasons in Florida, Reinhart can potentially hit free agency at 28 years old, but the Panthers cap situation will be much clearer after this season, so they can pay him if they want to lock him up long-term.

Mark Scheifele / Connor Hellebuyck – Only one of the trio of Winnipeg contract dilemmas got clarified over the summer with the trade of Pierre-Luc Dubois to LA. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff needs to one or both of this franchise cornerstones signed at some point or get assets back, since it is a tough task to get free agents to come to Manitoba.

Jake Guentzel – The 28-year-old is in the final year of his deal making $6 million and is coming off 40 and 36 goal seasons. The Pens have the cap space to get Sidney Crosby’s longtime linemate re-signed, but term and AAV could be factors.
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