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NHL Trade Buzz: Panthers mull deadline future


Florida Panthers

Will the Florida Panthers flip centers Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan before the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. ET?

General manager Dale Tallon declined to comment in an interview with Sirius XM NHL Network Radio on Monday.

“I’m not in the speculation business,” Tallon said.

Reading between the lines, though, it might depend on how the Panthers play.

The Panthers acquired Brassard and Sheahan in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann on Friday. They also received a second-round pick and two fourth-round picks in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Video: The guys take a look at the Derick Brassard trade

“I felt that we were getting a little stale,” Tallon said. “I think that we have a talented team that was kind of underachieving this year, and I wanted to send a message to our team.”

Tallon made it clear he was not giving up on the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Panthers (21-21-8) are nine points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference.

“It’s just a matter of the commitment,” Tallon said. “The next three weeks will tell.”

Starting with their game against the St. Louis Blues at BB&T Center on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-MW, NHL.TV), nine of the Panthers’ 10 games before the deadline are at home. If they play well and make up ground, maybe they hold onto Brassard and Sheahan. If not, maybe they flip them.

Whatever happens, the Panthers will have added assets for the future and cleared salary-cap space. Brassard and Sheahan can each become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Tallon acknowledged the Panthers put themselves in position to be aggressive in free agency. But he did not bite when asked about bolstering his goaltending in the offseason.

“I understand where you’re going with this,” Tallon said. “I think I’m one step ahead of you here. I think you’re thinking something I’m not going to discuss.”

The Panthers are 30th in 5-on-5 save percentage (.905), and goalie Roberto Luongo turns 40 on April 4. Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, a two-time Vezina Trophy winner, can become a UFA July 1.


Chicago Blackhawks

Brent Seabrook has not been approached by the Chicago Blackhawks to waive his no-move clause, the defenseman said after practice at MB Ice Arena on Monday.

Sportsnet reported Saturday that the Blackhawks asked Seabrook to waive his no-move clause and that Seabrook said he would not.

“I haven’t been approached by anybody,” the 33-year-old defenseman said. “So, I don’t know where the reports are coming from. I mean, I guess I’m the last guy to know. I haven’t been approached or talked to about anything, so it’s news to me.”

Asked what his answer would be if the Blackhawks did ask him to waive the clause, Seabrook said, “I haven’t thought about it. I guess I’ll deal with that when that day comes. But my focus right now is to try to help this team get into the playoffs. That’s what I’m thinking about.”

Seabrook, signed through the 2023-24 season, has spent his entire 14-year career with the Blackhawks. He has 20 points (five goals 15 assists) in 52 games this season and 452 points (100 goals, 352 assists) in 1,056 games with the Blackhawks, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

The Blackhawks (20-24-9, 49 points) have won four straight games and are five points behind the Vancouver Canucks (24-22-6, 54 points) for the second wild card spot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

The Blackhawks play the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, WGN, NHL.TV). –Tracey Myers, staff writer

Washington Capitals

Andre Burakovsky does not want to leave the Washington Capitals.

“Of course I want to stay here,” Burakovsky told The Athletic. “I love D.C., I love my teammates, I love the coaches, trainers, the organization, the fans, everything. For me, I have no plans to move.”

Video: SJS@WSH: Burakovsky rips high shot past Jones

But general manager Brian MacLellan said on Monday that he is listeningto any offers that might help his team, which has lost eight of its past nine games.

McLellan acknowledged that Burakovsky has struggled this season and that the Capitals would like to see more from him.

“I think everybody’s working at it with him trying to help him find it,” MacLellan said Monday. “Sometimes confidence comes in, sometimes ice time comes in, and it makes it more difficult to for him to find his game.”

Asked if he had to talk to Burakovsky about trade rumors, MacLellan said: “Not necessarily, no. I want him to do well. He’s a good young player. He’s got upside. We’ve all seen it where he’s played in the playoffs in a top-six role and played well.”

Burakovsky had six points in 13 playoff games each of the past two seasons — three goals and three assists in 2017, two goals and four assists in 2018.

“That’s the player we want to have here,” MacLellan said. “We still have two more years of rights on him, and we’re hoping that he gets back to that level as soon as we can get him there.”

Buraskovsky also wants it to work.

“It’s not something you can think about,” Burakovsky said. “It’s out of your control. I’m here right now, and I’m doing everything I can to help the team win. It’s out of my hands. The only thing I can do is play good hockey, and then we’ll see what happens.”

Burakovsky, selected in the first round (No. 23) of the 2013 NHL Draft, had 38 points (17 goals, 21 assists) in 79 games in 2015-16.

But he hasn’t reached that level since. He has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 46 games this season, including four points (one goal, three assists) in his past 18 games. He has moved up and down and in and out of the lineup.

He is eligible to become a restricted free agent July 1.

The defending Stanley Cup champions (28-18-6) are third in the Metropolitan Division and play the Vancouver Canucks at Capital One Arena on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, NBCSWA, NHL.TV).

Ottawa Senators

Matt Duchene‘s agent, Pat Brisson, was in Ottawa on Monday to discuss a contract extension with the Ottawa Senators, TSN reported.

Senators assistant general manager Peter MacTavish went to see Duchene as he was leaving the ice after practice Monday, the Ottawa Sun reported.

Tweet from @SunGarrioch: Assistant GM Peter MacTavish went to see Duchene to have a chat with him after skate when he was leaving the ice. #Sens

Duchene can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, and the Senators (19-28-5, 43 points) are last in the NHL standings. Teams are watching to see whether he will stay in Ottawa or be traded before the deadline.

The 28-year-old center has 48 points (21 goals, 27 assists) in 43 games this season.

The Senators play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, SN360, TVAS, NHL.TV).

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