Tiedemann scratched from spring opener as Jays move from training to games

Blue Jays top prospect Ricky Tiedemann experienced hamstring discomfort and will be unavailable for Saturday’s spring opener.

There are only two weeks left until the March 8 trade deadline, so we need to hustle up with our mock deals before names start falling off the board.

Last week we examined potential deals for the likes of Noah Hanifin and Juuse Saros; this time out, we’ve got a Central Division focus as we cook up some ideas for a Dallas Stars team that made the final four last year and a Colorado Avalanche squad that’s trying to summit the post-season mountain for the second time in three years.

Let’s dive in.

Dallas Stars receive

Defenceman Jakob Chychrun

Ottawa Senators receive

Forward Mavrik Bourque

2025 Stars first-round pick

Defenceman Christian Kyrou

Why Dallas does it

The Stars are all in and could use another needle-mover on their first two defence pairs. Chychrun certainly fits that description and he’s under contract for one more year at the wonderful AAV of $4.6 million. Further, you’d have to believe Dallas — as a team that should have a nice window to win here — stands a very good chance to be a long-term home for Chychrun.

Surely, the defenceman — long the subject of trade rumours in Arizona before it finally happened; and still on the trade radar in Ottawa — would love to cement a relationship with a good team in a pretty desirable location for NHLers. The fact Chychrun, who doesn’t turn 26 until March 31,  would be with the Stars for at least one more year — and possibly beyond that — makes this the type of play you can push in for and would mark the first big deadline buy for this iteration of the Stars.

Why Ottawa does it

Ottawa wanted to be good this year and isn’t. Given the Sens would obviously like to improve next season, you could see them not being in a rip to move Chychrun. Still, he’s now on the countdown to a big pay raise in the summer of 2025 and Ottawa has a lot of dollars committed long-term to a bunch of core elements. Maybe there’s just not enough to go around.

The nice thing about this package is Ottawa receives, more or less, a ready-to-play guy in Bourque, who is second in AHL scoring (55 points in 47 contests) as a second-year pro. The 22-year-old could be helping the Senators win games in very short order. Kyrou is an AHL rookie who’s got some offensive chops and comes with a desired right-shot setting on the back end.

As for the 2025 first-rounder, the Sens already have two 2024 firsts this year from the Alex DeBrincat trade with Detroit and would be well positioned to usher in a new crop of prospects by making all the picks in the next two years or package a first-rounder to get more proven NHL talent into the building. (That said, the Sens do have to forfeit a first-rounder some time in the next three years because of the botched Evgenii Dadonov transaction from 2021.)


Colorado Avalanche receive

Forward Adam Henrique*

Goalie Jake Allen*

Anaheim Ducks receive

Forward Calum Ritchie

2025 Colorado first-round pick

Defenceman Sean Behrens

Forward Ryan Johansen

Montreal Canadiens receive

2026 Colorado third-round pick

*Anaheim retains 50 per cent on both Henrique and Allen

Why Colorado does it

The Avalanche are obviously all in. To put it charitably, Ryan Johansen has not worked out as  he team’s second-line centre. Adam Henrique is a sturdy, 14-year veteran who is hungry for playoff action. The 34-year-old has played just four post-season contests in his career since his rookie campaign of 2011-12, when he sent the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup Final with a Game 6 overtime winner in the Eastern Conference Final. He’s a dependable player in all areas with 20-goal touch.

As for Allen, he’s had a trying situation in a three-goalie rotation with Montreal. Sure, nobody is going to mistake him for 1997 Dominik Hasek, but with an uptick in action there’s every reason to believe he can get into a good rhythm and be a stabilizing presence in the crease. Only seven teams have a worse five-on-five save percentage than Colorado. Allen would take some pressure of Alexandar Georgiev and, basically, whoever is going better in mid-April is your Game 1 starter.

This is a big package for Colorado to surrender, but it’s also plugging not one, but two areas of need for about the least amount of salary you could hope for while also covering the tracks on the Johansen blunder.

Why Anaheim does it

Basically, the Ducks are buying themselves a tasty return by retaining on two players and absorbing Johansen. The latter’s contract ends in July 2025, so it’s a very small commitment if they have to slot him somewhere next year. The Ducks currently have all three salary retention slots available, so using one on Henrique through this season and one on Allen through next year is palatable.

For its trouble, Anaheim is getting an enticing prospect in Ritchie, a B-level guy in Behrens and a 2025 first it could put to use in any number of ways. Chances are Anaheim won’t quite be ready to contend for a playoff spot next year, but by the 2025 NHL Draft you can bet the Ducks will be making moves consistent with trying to be competitive. They could package that extra first-rounder with other items to go and get an in-his-prime player who can help them move forward on their journey to contention.

Why Montreal does it:

Essentially, to close the book on a three-goalie situation that’s become unwieldy without having to use its final retention spot on Allen. This move allows Montreal to give both Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau consistent starts for the final eight weeks of the season. The latter, in particular, still needs as many NHL reps as he can get to prove he’s worthy of the top level. Keeping a retention spot open would also allow the Canadiens to jump in as a broker themselves on a contract that ends this summer, as opposed to Allen’s, which runs through next year.

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