Trade talks intensify as NHL draft 2022 deadline approaches

Montreal – David Poile said he likes to look his fellow general manager in the eye when discussing trade, especially in the days and hours leading up to the NHL draft.

For the first time since 2019, he and 31 other GMs are getting this opportunity. And they are enjoying it.

Representatives from all 32 teams and fans will be present at the Peel Center for the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft Upstairs Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS). And to hear some GMs talk, there must be a lot of activity heading into the action now that it’s getting personal again.

“It’s great to see everyone and everyone interact,” Boyle, the GM Nashville Predators, said Wednesday. “Everything is so much better.

“It’s always a good thing, I think, when you come face-to-face with someone and say, ‘I’d like to trade you A for B,’ or something else. You can get to the point very quickly instead of a phone call. You could play video games or something and not focus. “

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 drafts were held in a remote format with teams meeting via video conference. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the first-round selections, and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly handled the next six.

[RELATED: 2022 NHL Draft not short on talent, unpredictability | Complete Draft coverage]

The general managers and other team representatives began arriving in Montreal earlier this week.

“We’ve been here for three or four days,” Dallas Stars general manager Jim Neal said. “You walk around, you go out to dinner with your crew, and you bump into someone from another team. And then you can chat and you can start from there.”

Neal said those talks were accelerated thanks to the salary cap, which will rise by $1 million to $82.5 million for the 2022-23 season. For teams facing the ceiling and looking for a break, trading established players in venture capital and/or cover space was a popular topic of conversation before the first round.

“I think there are a lot more of those kinds of conversations happening across the league than the conversations I have,” said Philadelphia Flyers manager Chuck Fletcher. “Whether that leads to more deals, we’ll see. But for sure, there are teams that are trying to create more flexibility at the cap at the moment, whether that’s using seed capital or redeeming different types of contracts.

“Everyone is trying to be creative to maximize flexibility in getting into a free agency (opens 13th July) and being willing to find players to help their team. But then saying that, we all need young players, so these draft picks are essential.”

Two deals were made on Thursday. Members of the Ottawa Senators are moving forward Alex DeBrinkat by the Chicago Blackhawks for three picks, including the No. 7 pick in the 2022 draft. The Colorado Avalanche gets a goalkeeper Alexander Georgiev from the New York Rangers for three draft picks.

The Flyers created one of the biggest spots on the trade front right before last year’s draft, gaining the man of defense Rasmus Restollinen From Buffalo Sabers to Man of Defense Robert Haagthe 2021 first-round draft pick and the 2023 NHL draft second-round pick. Other notable players traded over the course of the two-day event in 2021: St. Louis Blues frontrunner Pavel Buchnevich From the New York Rangers, the Vancouver Canucks got a defensive man Oliver Ekman Larson forward Conor Garland From Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks relegated as defender Seth Jones From Columbus Blue Jackets, Flyers Gain Forward Cam Atkinson From the blue jackets, swords were sent forward Sam Reinhart To the Florida Panthers.

One area to watch over the course of this year’s draft is potential goalkeeper movement, which is a coveted commodity for teams like the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs. Ken Holland, the oil company, said Wednesday that he would like to address their goal setting in the next 10 days. Mikko Koskinen signed a two-year contract with Swiss Elite League HC Lugano last month, aged 40. Mike Smith He has not decided if he will return next season.

Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dupas said he continues to hold talks with representatives Jack Campbell, who has started 47 games this season and could become an unrestricted free agent on July 13. Dubbas emphasized that goalkeeping remains his team’s priority.

“It’s clearly approaching decision time for everyone, especially for Jack because it’s a life-changing event,” Dubbas said. “So we will continue to talk to them here this week, over the weekend, and we will be well prepared to go next week to where we want to go.”

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