NHL Rumors: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and the Tampa Bay Lightning
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau aren't thinking about the trade deadline.
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Trade deadline options for Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton?

Kevin Kurz of The Athletic:   Father Time remains undefeated. As the two iconic forwards head towards the inevitable retirement, there is one question. Will either Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton get traded?

Several players expect to be traded before the two icons. However, Marleau and Thornton represent more intriguing options. The first thing is this. Thornton possesses a no-movement clause so the center would have to waive it. Marleau only would play for San Jose and refused Carolina’s offers to play for them. Carolina bought the winger out which facilitated his return to the Sharks.

Thornton slipping into a bottom-six role with teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs make too much sense. His salary becomes reasonable for these teams and the cost would not be substantial. The Vegas Golden Knights and Boston Bruins are out there but very fringe options at best.

As for Marleau, a few choices appear. The Colorado Avalanche makes some sense as the left-winger could keep up with Nathan MacKinnon. It would allow the Avalanche to balance their lineup. The Dallas Stars need a cheap solution as they are right against the salary cap. Also, there is the Vancouver Canucks and Washington Capitals on the fringes.

Tampa Bay Lightning and the injury bug

Joe Smith of The Athletic:  Injuries rearing their ugly head at the worst time hurts Tampa Bay a bit. Now, they ponder the possibility of making moves before the trade deadline.

With Jan Rutta and Ryan McDonagh now out, Tampa Bay searches for a depth solution on the blueline. Rutta enjoyed excellent chemistry with Victor Hedman which helped Tampa go on their recent 15-2-1 run.

Mikhail Sergachev‘s emergence stemmed from being placed on his natural left side. Playing with Kevin Shattenkirk helped his play grow. His physicality with offensive talents makes Sergachev a force especially come April.

Tampa sorting this out internally is possible if the injuries are not long-term. They could go to the minors or make a depth trade. Dylan DeMelo and Alec Martinez look like targets. The Lightning could use a bottom-six forward too. Names like Nate Thompson and Joe Thornton popped up recently.

Julian Brisebois faces an interesting challenge. Who may he acquire at this deadline for a possible deep playoff run?