Quick Shifts: 4 buyers set up to make a trade deadline splash

A quick mix of the things we gleaned from the week of hockey, serious and less so, and rolling four lines deep. We’re under 60 hours till deadline. LTIR you ready?

1. “It’s all on the table for us at this point,” Kyle Dubas declared during a Maple Leafs TV broadcast last week.

If the NHL’s trade deadline is akin to playing poker, as Oilers GM Ken Holland said Friday, Toronto’s general manager is the guy raising triple the big blind pre-flop.

Not only has Dubas been upfront for weeks about his desire to add to the best team in the North, his pre-deadline manoeuvres all hint at the big push into the middle. The exec has gathered cap space by letting useful depth forwards Jimmy Vesey and Travis Boyd walk the waiver wire. And now squeezed the cap rules for a wee more juice by acquiring injured UFA Riley Nash from Columbus and sliding him onto LTIR.

“It is no secret that we are going to be a team that is going to be looking to acquire players at the deadline,” Dubas said.

Players. Plural.

At this point, he’s pot committed. Eager to see how things unfold.

Dubas isn’t the only exec we’ll be watching for tells this weekend. Three other buyers of high interest:

• The surprise Florida Panthers are still winning without Aaron Ekblad. Their recent salary-clearing move has opened up more cap space than any other…

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