CJ's NHL Trade Deadline Big Board 3.0: Timo Meier remains top asset
As a premium goal scorer who's not on an expiring contract, Timo Meier has plenty of appeal during the trade deadline season. Photo by Jeff Roberson/AP.

We’ve now got a top defenceman being scratched indefinitely for “trade-related reasons” and the Norris Trophy favourite headlining trade discussions in Edmonton.

Vladimir Tarasenko is scoring big goals for the Rangers. Bo Horvat’s career year hasn’t skipped a beat since making the move to Long Island from Vancouver.

While there hasn’t yet been a heavy volume of trades in the NHL, CJ’s Trade Deadline Big Board tells the story of a unique marketplace spilling over with big names, big resumes and big contracts.

With a little more than two weeks to go before the March 3 deadline, here’s a look at the players in play.

1. Timo Meier, San Jose Sharks
Age: 26 | Position: LW
PuckPedia contract status: $6-million cap hit, pending RFA

CJ’s take: What sets Meier apart from the other top forwards available is that he’s not a rental. At least not in the purest sense. He’s got one more RFA year remaining after this one — albeit with a $10-million qualifying offer attached to it – and a couple teams sniffing around this situation are interested in signing him to a longer-term extension as part of a potential trade. Why wouldn’t they? He’s a big strong winger in the meat of his career, and he’s scoring at a 45-goal pace this season. Potential fits include New Jersey, Carolina, Toronto and Buffalo.

2. Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes
Age: 24 | Position: LD
PuckPedia contract status: $4.6-million cap hit through 2024-25

CJ’s take: It appears that Chychrun has played his final game for Arizona. He’s now being scratched for "trade-related reasons," and head coach Andre Tourigny indicated to reporters that he would continue to be held out of the lineup "until something happens." The Coyotes have been asking for two first-round picks and a B-level prospect in exchange for a cost-controlled defender who has performed magnificently well after missing training camp and the start of the regular season due to injuries. Chychrun’s previous medical file has given potential suitors pause. Potential fits include Los Angeles and Boston.

3. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Age: 34 | Position: RW
PuckPedia contract status: $10.5-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: There was no denying Kane’s disappointment when the New York Rangers chose to acquire Vladimir Tarasenko on Feb. 9 — seemingly closing the door on any possibility they’d go after him instead. What remains to be seen is if Kane will consider waiving his no-movement clause for anyone else. He’s endured a difficult season with a nagging hip injury and his lowest rate of production since arriving in the NHL. Still, there’s an allure here because of his reputation and resume. Potential fits include Dallas and Vegas.

4. Ryan O'Reilly, St. Louis Blues
Age: 32 | Position: C
PuckPedia contract status: $7.5-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: The Conn Smythe pedigree and long track record of strong 200-foot play will alleviate concerns about his difficult campaign. O’Reilly recently returned from a six-week layoff for a broken foot, but has seen his production drop sharply this year. On the plus side, any team looking to bring him in for a long playoff run should be getting a refreshed version of the ultra-competitive forward. If St. Louis doesn’t sign him to an extension, potential fits include Minnesota, Carolina and Toronto.

5. Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks 
Age: 32 | Position: RD
PuckPedia contract status: $11.5-million cap hit through 2026-27

CJ’s take: It tells you something about the true value of cap space that there’s a possible 110-point defenceman available for trade and there’s no guarantee he’s moved. Karlsson is playing out of his mind this season, which has prompted Edmonton to re-engage with the Sharks on a potential deal. The financial hurdles are significant with four years still left at $11.5 million per year and San Jose seemingly unwilling to get anywhere close to the maximum allowable 50% retention. Still, it’s an extremely rare opportunity to acquire the top defenceman in the league.

6. Vladislav Gavrikov, Columbus Blue Jackets
Age: 27 | Position: LD
PuckPedia contract status: $2.8-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: The Blue Jackets tried to sign Gavrikov to an extension earlier in the season, but he seems more inclined to test the open market this summer. On Feb. 14, he was a healthy scratch for "trade-related reasons," per Columbus. Several teams have interest in the meat-and-potatoes defender, who will likely command a first-round pick plus another asset in return. Said one rival scout of Gavrikov: “He's a good second-pair defenceman. He’s occasionally trying to do too much without (injured partner Zach) Werenski, but I really like him.”

7. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Age: 34 | Position: C
PuckPedia contract status: $10.5-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: There are definitely contending teams who believe that Toews could improve their group with his unique mix of intangibles, experience and ability. But is there anyone willing to surrender extra assets to have his contract traded through a third-party team in order to reduce the cap hit below $3 million? And if so, is he willing to waive a no-movement clause to allow it to happen? Colorado could be an intriguing fit.

8. Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings
Age: 27 | Position: LW
PuckPedia contract status: $4.75-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: With talks of an extension in Detroit not yet producing a new deal, there’s a growing belief that Bertuzzi will instead be moved. He’s had an injury-interrupted season but carries appeal beyond the boxcar stats because his game includes a fair amount of bite. He’s yet to be part of a team that qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs, but he profiles as a playoff-type performer.

9. Ivan Barbashev, St. Louis Blues
Age: 27 | Position: LW/C
PuckPedia contract status: $2.25-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: The interest started heating up on Barbashev after the Blues traded Tarasenko. Barbashev isn't expected to be back in St. Louis next season, and although he's not quite matching last season’s 60-point pace, his versatility and cost are appealing. Not only can he fill a role on both special teams, he can also be moved comfortably up and down the lineup. Vegas is viewed as a potential fit.

10. Jake McCabe, Chicago Blackhawks
Age: 29 | Position: LD/RD
PuckPedia contract status: $4-million cap hit through 2024-25

CJ’s take: One of the bright spots to be found from a dreary season in Chicago. The team has an even goal differential with McCabe on the ice at 5-on-5 and is taking on all kinds of water when he isn’t. That’s helped put him on the radar of a couple rivals looking to load up for a playoff run. McCabe has a seven-team no-trade list, which means any Canadian-based suitors are likely going to have to convince him to waive it before pursuing a deal.

11. Luke Schenn, Vancouver Canucks
Age: 33 | Position: RD
PuckPedia contract status: $850,000 cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: Schenn is one of the last guys the Canucks would want to trade because of all the qualities that will make him easy to. You want a winner? Check. You want a steadying presence? Check. You want a pro’s pro? Check. He’s also playing on an expiring contract that every contender could comfortably make room for. There’s been some talk about an extension in Vancouver, but there’s got to be a temptation to turn Schenn into future assets now that they’ve started performing surgery on a flawed roster.

12. Sam Lafferty, Chicago Blackhawks
Age: 27 | Position: LW/C
PuckPedia contract status: $1.15-million cap hit through 2023-24

CJ’s take: A capable penalty killer, faceoff man and role player, Lafferty can be had for two playoff runs and comes with some cost certainty. Teams speaking to Chicago about other players will try to secure him as well.

13. James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers
Age: 33 | Position: LW
Contract status: $7-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: Not only has the highly respected veteran been reasonably productive since returning from a broken finger in December, he’s drawn praise from Flyers coach John Tortorella for the way he’s mentored younger teammates. JVR still has a lot to offer both on and off the ice. The size of his cap hit is a challenge, but it can be made more manageable by the Flyers eating half of the remaining deal. Minnesota could be a potential fit.

Philadelphia's van Riemsdyk, right, has 20 career playoff goals. Photo by Derik Hamilton/AP.

14. Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers
Age: 24 | Position: RW
PuckPedia contract status: $3-million cap hit, pending RFA

CJ’s take: The Oilers would love to clear some cap space for other moves and appear to be nearing the end of the road with their fourth-overall pick from 2016. Puljujarvi’s offensive game has sputtered, and his confidence has taken a hit in the process. The asset is diminished, but there are teams sniffing around a buy-low candidate who could be waiver-bound if he isn’t moved soon.

15. Joel Edmundson, Montreal Canadiens
Age: 29 | Position: LD
PuckPedia contract status: $3.5-million cap hit through 2023-24

CJ’s take: The Canadiens have the luxury of gauging the market without being forced to make a deal. There’s every chance they hold on to Edmundson and try again next year. Still, he’s among the targets on the short list of a couple teams in the market for a defenceman and Montreal will continue to explore its options to see if it can get a return that makes sense.

16. Shayne Gostisbehere, Arizona Coyotes
Age: 29 | Position: LD/RD
PuckPedia contract status: $4.5-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: The Ghost resuscitated his career after arriving in Arizona last summer as a cap dump, but he may not play another game before the deadline. He suffered an elbow injury on Jan. 24 and is out four-to-six weeks, according to the Coyotes. Gostisbehere is an option for the Oilers if things don’t pan out with their talks on Karlsson.

17. Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks
Age: 25 | Position: RW
PuckPedia contract status: $6.65-million cap hit through 2024-25

CJ’s take: Boeser’s stock has been on the rise since Rick Tocchet took over as head coach, getting reunited on a line with Elias Pettersson and putting up nearly a point per game across the last 20. That should help boost his trade value. Should the Canucks be willing to retain salary in a deal, that could get things across the finish line. Potential fits include Minnesota and New Jersey.

18. Nick Bjugstad, Arizona Coyotes
Age: 30 | Position: C
PuckPedia contract status: $900,000 cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: The Coyotes are wide open for business, and Bjugstad has played his way into being an asset for the rebuilding organization. He’s a low-maintenance veteran and a right-shot centre who's on a friendly contract. Bjugstad can be comfortably plugged into the bottom six on a playoff team.

19. Gustav Nyquist, Columbus Blue Jackets
Age: 33 | Position: RW/LW
PuckPedia contract status: $5.5-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: Another trade chip who was recently bitten by the injury bug. Nyquist is nursing a shoulder issue that won’t require surgery, but it could keep him out for the rest of the regular season. That could actually bolster his trade value for a contender already using LTIR since Nyquist could essentially be stashed there and then activated without cap considerations once the playoffs start. When healthy, he’s a reasonably productive winger who kills penalties and delivers reliable minutes.

20. Sean Monahan, Montreal Canadiens
Age: 28 | Position: C
PuckPedia contract status: $6.375-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: The longer we go without seeing Monahan return to the Canadiens lineup, the more concern grows. Especially given his injury history. Monahan had seemingly started to re-establish himself with a solid start in Montreal but hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 5. There’s still appeal here because the acquisition cost should be relatively low and the potential upside is high. Colorado is a potential fit if Monahan can prove he’s healthy.

21. Max Domi, Chicago Blackhawks
Age: 27 | Position: C/LW
PuckPedia contract status: $3-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: Don’t entirely close the book on Domi’s tenure in Chicago just yet. He’s been a great fit for the organization. With the team in a full-scale rebuild, however, management has no choice but to explore the trade market on a versatile forward carrying a more manageable cap hit than most other equivalent rentals. It’s worth noting that Domi moved to centre this season after spending most of his career on the wing and he scored a couple big playoff goals for Carolina last year after being acquired at the deadline.

22. Karel Vejmelka, Arizona Coyotes
Age: 26 | Position: G
PuckPedia contract status: $2.725-million cap hit through 2024-25

CJ’s take: A top-10 NHL goaltender this year when measured by goals saved above expected who is on a reasonable contract for two more seasons. We don’t typically see too many goalies moved at the deadline, but Vejmelka could represent a unique opportunity for a team because of the term remaining on his deal. Los Angeles could be an intriguing fit, especially if the teams wind up moving forward with a Chychrun trade.

Vejmelka has a .906 save percentage and a 3.20 GAA with the struggling Coyotes. Photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP.

23. Olli Maatta, Detroit Red Wings
Age: 28 | Position: LD
PuckPedia contract status: $2.25-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: Maatta has bounced around a bit since being part of two Stanley Cup victories in Pittsburgh, but his game is showing signs of maturity. He’s also on a reasonable contract. Said one rival executive: "He's a little like an Alex Edler. He’s a big strong heavy person that’s hard to get around. He’s one of those guys you don't love until you have him."

24. Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils
Age: 28 | Position: RD
PuckPedia contract status: $4.166-million cap hit, pending UFA

CJ’s take: There are some parallels here with the Matt Dumba situation in Minnesota. Severson is likely headed for free agency this summer and found himself scratched for a game earlier in the season. Rival teams say he’s been dangled. However, the Devils are also challenging for the Metropolitan Division and certainly can’t be considered sellers at this deadline.

25. Vitali Kravstov, New York Rangers
Age: 23 | Position: RW
PuckPedia contract status: $875,000 cap hit, pending RFA

CJ’s take: The ninth-overall pick from the 2018 draft has struggled to crack the Rangers lineup with any regularity this season and recently requested a trade. He’s seeking a bigger opportunity somewhere else. While it remains to be seen how impactful Kravtsov can be at the NHL level, he’s an excellent buy-low candidate who carries four more years of team control.

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