With just under two hours to the 3 pm ET trade deadline, there hasn't been much action around the NHL. A couple of playoff contenders are still looking to add some strength to their roster and prepare for a long playoff push come April. The Edmonton Oilers are expected to be busy today, potentially moving two key forwards off their roster -- Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner -- to a playoff contender.
The Los Angeles Kings remain the front runner in the Hemsky sweepstakes, while Penner remains a high priority for the Minnesota Wild. The Kings currently sit fifth in the Western Conference and a player of Hemsky's stature alongside Anze Kopitar could form a dynamic duo. The asking price is said to be high for Hemsky, and the Kings are not willing to move top prospect Brayden Schenn or Wayne Simmonds for that matter. Hemsky has one more year at $4 million on his contract, which could interest the Nashville Predators who may be interested in acquiring the forward as a rental for their playoff push, and then try to trade him at this summer's entry draft.
Penner would be a good fit in Minnesota, a team that lack a big gritty forward on their top six, but the Wild are a team that lacks a really good prospect (something the Oilers want to go with their young core of players) unless they would be willing to give up some draft picks.
The Toronto Maple Leafs don't appear to be any closer to signing Clarke MacArthur to a contract extension and you have to wonder, are they really going to trade this guy? 19 goals and 29 assists for 48 points so far this season...he's just playing too good, not to re-sign him and help build this team for the future. Not to mention, the chemistry he has made with linemates Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin would be an even greater reason to keep MacArthur in Toronto. Nashville is a team that MacArthur could be traded to, as there have been rumours that a top pick, plus young prospect Ryan Ellis and veteran forward J.P. Dumont could be going the other way back to the Leafs.
There have been a lot of key moves in the weeks leading up to today, but nothing significant so far. Stay tuned.