Every team, whether in the playoff race or not, has a player that will more than likely be traded. The bad teams try to unload their UFA’s for picks and their veterans for prospects. While the good teams trade away the under performers to make room for rental players.
Chicago – Bryan Smolinski – Chicago will soon have to accept the fact they aren’t making the playoffs. When that time comes, Smolinski will find himself elsewhere. He’s put up respectable numbers for the team he’s on but won’t be staying in Chicago due to his age (35) and UFA status.
Columbus – Nikolai Zherdev – He almost played in Russia this season but Columbus folded and offered him a big pay raise. So far he has had a very disappointing season and management is probably wishing they let him go back to Russia. He’s only 22 and can play a lot better than what he has been. He’ll cost too much for a lot of teams. Detroit – Kirk Maltby – Yes he’s been with the wings for a long time, but I think their going to let him go. He hasn’t been the same since the new NHL started. Now I don’t think they want to trade him but they probably will to get some more scoring up front.
Nashville – Joseph Vasicek – Due to hip flexors and back spasms Vasicek has not had his ‘A’ game. He’s a good asset but Nashville will want to clear some more cap space so they can make some big additions and make a huge push for the cup.
St. Louis – Bill Guerin – Of all the UFA’s St. Louis has, he’s the best. Especially will his low 2 M salary. He will be one of the most sought after deadline players.
Calgary – Jeff Friesen – I couldn’t believe Calgary signed him. Thankfully he’s a UFA so another team would be willing to take on what’s left of his insane contract. With the freed up cap space they should get a physical defenseman. Kipper hasn’t been his usual great self and their blue line hasn’t been as feared, with Iginla injured the offense has showed they can step up.
Colorado – Patrice Brisbois – He’s been terrible this year but packaged with a draft pick they should be able to ship him out to free up cap room. I’d like to think Theo’s on his way out but that’s wishful thinking.
Edmonton – Raffi Torres – Although they don’t want to let him go, they are in desperate need of a #1 defenseman. Could they make a pitch of Rob Blake? I’m positive he would be able to return to his dominating self on a team that has a goaltender.
Minnesota – Martin Skoula – They need offense bad. There defense and goaltending has been very good and Skoula, the UFA, looks like the odd man out.
Vancouver – Sami Salo – With Luongo and their great defensive play, the offensive Salo should be traded for some offense. Yes they have been scoring lately, but what happens if they get into a scoring slump? In that division two points can mean you go from 1st to 4th.
Anaheim – Bobby Ryan – With Pronger gone, the void on defense his very obvious. They need to add a good defenseman incase he were to go down again. I don’t see them trading away Getzlaf or Perry, but Brian Burke has shown that he doesn’t care about the future, it’s all about the present (see Vancouver).
Dallas – Jaroslav Modry – With injuries to Modano, Morrow and Zubov, the Stars are desperate for offense. With new information though I don’t know if it will help, I don’t know if you saw the All Star game but Modano was interviewed and he said he was preparing for next season. Without Modano, I don’t see this team going anywhere. If they start a big losing streak they could be big sellers.
Los Angeles – Aaron Miller – Very reliable defensive defenseman and should have no trouble finding a new team. He’s not going to cost much either.
Phoenix – Ladislav Nagy – He’s never been in the Coyotes good books because he’s constantly getting injured and accused of underperforming. He’s been offered a new contract with Phoenix I don’t think he wants to there any longer. They’ll have to trade him soon while his value is high.
San Jose – Evengi Nabokov – He has really good trade value and there were talks he would go for Forsberg, but if they throw in a 1st rdp I think they could get Gagne. If they then package Malakov with a 2nd rdp they could get a good back up, say Legace. Can you say unstoppable?
New Jersey – Depends on if Matvichuk or Wiemer return before the deadline. Who ever comes back should be traded for nothing to make sure they stay under the cap.
New York I – Sean Hill – His stellar play should be able to get them a good prospect in return for the 36 year old rental player.
New York R – Petr Prucha – There going to have to give him up if they want that second line centre to play with Shanahan. Wherever this kid goes he’ll be a star if given some ice time.
Philadelphia – Alexei Zhitnik – Nor Forsberg will not be the hot commodity out of Phili; there’s a good chance his NHL career is over. Plus teams would have to be stupid to give up prospects and draft picks for a player that has publicly said he blames himself for what happened this year and feels he owes them; in other w
ords he’ll be back in Phili if he doesn’t retire. Zhitnik is a good offensive threat, but his contract with 2 more years at 3.5 M will scare away a lot of teams.
Pittsburgh – Ryan Malone – His underachieving year will most definitely get him shipped out. Teams in need of a power forward may be willing to take a chance on him, but it will probably cost them a solid stay at home defenseman.
Boston – Brad Stuart – He and Sturm are due for the biggest pay raises on the team, but Boston needs all the wingers they can get so I think they’ll resign Sturm. Stuart has an overall good game and could bring in the best value of the two.
Buffalo – Jochen Hecht – Is having an average year, on pace for 44 pts, but Buffalo needs another defenseman. They could offer up Biron, but I think they’d prefer to keep a reliable backup. Their offense certainly wouldn’t miss Hecht and the cap space, provided the defenseman is only a rental, would provide enough room to resign both Briere and Drury. If you want to know more about this just ask and I’ll explain in detail.
Montreal – Sergei Samsonov – Big surprise. He’s had a horrible year, but teams will be willing to take him, but not for the 2nd line centre they’re looking for. That will have to be a separate team. Don’t count on Boston taking him back; they simply don’t have the cap room.
Ottawa – Joe Corvo – Corvo hasn’t lived up to Ottawa’s expectations of him, but maybe they should have realized what kind of player he is. He’s very offensive but not great in his own zone. His value isn’t very high, but they’ll be looking to get a defensive defenseman coming the other way.
Toronto – Bryan McCabe – Of the 3 players I think they should trade (Tucker, McCabe, Kubina) McCabe has the highest value right now. I believe they could get Miroslav Satan and Chris Campoli. McCabe has a no trade clause but NYI is the one team everyone thinks he would wave it for.
Atlanta – Vitally Vishnevski – He throws a ton of hits and blocks a good amount of shots. With him gone they would have about 4 M in cap space, enough to get a very good defenseman (ie Norstrom).
Carolina – David Tanabe – They just got too many defensemen with Wesley, Gleason and Kaberle coming back. Tanabe is the odd man out but he won’t fetch them a lot in return. He was thought to have a lot of offensive threat (1st rdp in 99) but it hasn’t shown it yet.
Florida – Martin Gelinas – This guy is awesome on any team. He thrives in the playoffs and is a leader in the locker room. At 35 this may be his last chance to add to his 89 cup with Edmonton.
Tampa Bay – Marc Denis – He, according to Tortorella, has been terrible this year and is the most likely player to be traded. Few teams will take him and it’s not going to be for much. If by some chance they do pass him off then they could use the cap room to get a defensive defenseman.
Washington – Sasha Pokulok – The Capitals don’t have anything to offer besides their picks and prospects. They’re still not out of the playoff race, but they’re going to have to trade their youth for players who can make a big difference today. I don’t see it happening but it’s their only option. Ovechkin isn’t going to be happy about missing the playoffs.