NHL Trade Buzz: Kings deciding whether to sign or deal Iafallo

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Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There is one day remaining until the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET; Monday). Here’s a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:

 
Los Angeles Kings

Alex Iafallo and the Kings are negotiating a new contract that would keep the forward from becoming an unrestricted free agent after this season, but the 27-year-old could be traded before the deadline if they can’t reach an agreement, Sportsnet reported Saturday. 

TSN reported the Kings are similarly negotiating with forward Andreas Athanasiou, a potential restricted free agent after this season, before deciding whether to trade the 26-year-old.

But coach Todd McLellan said this trade deadline is “shaping up to be a boring one” for the Kings compared to last season when they dealt forwards Tyler Toffoli and Kyle Clifford, defensemen Alec Martinez and Derek Forbort and goalie Jack Campbell to acquire pieces for their rebuild. Los Angeles (16-8-6) is seventh in the eight-team Honda West Division, six points behind the St. Louis Blues for the fourth and final Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the division, but believes it’s moving closer toward contending.

“It’s significantly different,” McLellan said after the Kings’ 4-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. “Last year, at that point, everybody was on pins and needles. I think it was well known that our management team was going to move some players and try and recoup some assets, continue to retool the organization. This year, we’re in a much more stable situation.”

Tweet from @PierreVLeBrun: Status quo on the Alex Iafallo/Kings front. I suspect tomorrow will be an important day on that matter. Kings hope to sign the pending UFA. But obviously if they can’t do that, trade is possible.

Tweet from @DarrenDreger: Similar situation with Athanasiou. Offer made. Ongoing negotiations. https://t.co/9RZT6bwI7g

 

Columbus Blue Jackets

Nick Foligno did not play in the Blue Jackets’ 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday because of an upper-body injury, but is considered day to day and might be traded before the deadline if general manager Jarmo Kekalainen receives his asking price. Sportsnet reported the Blue Jackets want a first-round pick for Foligno, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, and that a reunion with younger brother Marcus Foligno on the Minnesota Wild is one of the possibilities. 

The Athletic also reported the Wild have interest in Nick Foligno, the 33-year-old Blue Jackets captain. Columbus (15-20-8) has fallen seven points behind the Nashville Predators for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Discover Central Division and is looking toward the future.

The Blue Jackets received a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft in a three-way trade involving the Detroit Red Wings that sent defenseman David Savard to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. The Blue Jackets also might move defenseman Michael Del Zotto, another potential unrestricted free agent, but the 30-year-old expressed his desire to stay because of the chance to play a bigger role after Savard’s departure and with defenseman Zach Werenski out for the season with a sports hernia.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here and, with the circumstances, I think it’s a great opportunity for me,” Del Zotto said. “We will see what happens by 3 p.m. Monday.”

Tweet from @FriedgeHNIC: Headlines: Hall/Foligno/Janmark/Ullmark/Laughton/Iafallo/Getzlaf/Gabriel/Gusev/Jets’ search for a D/Canucks’ return. https://t.co/qvuSDIJZ2q

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