Identifying early-season trade candidates

During the first few weeks of the season, most general managers will be in full evaluation mode. Once November hits, the most aggressive teams will start addressing early-season issues. Last November, Ryan O’Byrne, Ian White, Anton Babchuk, Matt Hunwick, Tomas Fleischmann and Scott Hannan were among the notable players involved in a fall trade.

In the parity-filled NHL where every point counts, some teams just can’t wait until the trade deadline to make a move. With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 players who might not end the season on the team with which they began it.

1. Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils — Being named the captain is a nice first step in keeping Parise in New Jersey long term, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. Parise is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and if he doesn’t sign an extension before the trade deadline, Lou Lamoriello will get calls for the talented winger. That still doesn’t mean a trade is probable.

“I don’t think so,” one NHL source said. “When was the last time a franchise player was traded? I would think New Jersey would do everything possible to keep Zach in New Jersey long term.”
If the Devils can’t, there will be no shortage of interested teams. Parise looks completely recovered from last year’s knee injury, scoring twice on Monday in New Jersey’s 4-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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