Trade bait: 10 players who could move before Feb. 28

Colorado and Boston have made a few trades since the start of the season, and the Avalanche are the big winners so far (Tomas Fleischmann is on fire for them).

But otherwise, it’s been predictably quiet. The salary cap and parity in the standings are forcing teams to wait until closer to the deadline to make their moves. Keep in mind there’s also a holiday NHL trade freeze from Dec. 19-27 (starts Sunday).

Let’s take a look at 10 players who could possibly move before Feb. 28. Repeat could; this doesn’t mean they will move.

Brad Richards, Dallas Stars

The Stars’ leading scorer has been dynamite so far this season and is an unrestricted free agent July 1. Tough call for Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. His team sat third in the Western Conference as of Thursday morning, although only three points clear of ninth. Where he sits in the days leading up to Feb. 28 will have some bearing on his decision.

Nieuwendyk wants to re-sign Richards and remove that tough trade decision come Feb. 28. The young GM is hoping to sit down with Tony Tavares at some point after he’s named Dallas’ new team president to convince him to keep Richards past this season. Keep in mind Richards has a no-movement clause, so he controls his fate.

Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers

It’s about saving money now in Florida, and there’s little chance the rebuilding Panthers will be re-signing the veteran goalie. He has a $5.7 million cap hit this season, which is an easier pill to swallow come Feb. 28 because most of the salary has been paid. Look for GM Dale Tallon to see what’s out there, but keep in mind Vokoun has a no-movement clause. He would be a big-time addition to a playoff-bound team looking for an upgrade in goal.

Tomas Kaberle, Toronto Maple Leafs

Kaberle’s agent, Rick Curran, told last week that his client wasn’t looking to go anywhere this season. Kaberle has a no-trade clause. He’s also UFA on July 1 and clearly doesn’t seem to fit in Toronto’s future plans. Unless Kaberle and Curran have a change of heart (which is possible closer to the deadline), the Leafs may their asset for nothing after the season. Best chance for Toronto is a big-time contender calls just before Feb. 28 and entices Kaberle into a Cup run.
Joffrey Lupul, Anaheim Ducks

Lupul has looked good since his return from a long-term injury. That’s good news for the Ducks, who could possibly try to move him in exchange for help on defense. The Ducks have nice depth up front and can afford to lose a solid forward like Lupul. But he’s not UFA and he has two more seasons left on his deal that pays him $4.25 million per season, so teams may shy away.

Alexei Kovalev, Ottawa Senators

Set to become UFA on July 1, the veteran, mercurial winger will be 38 years old once the trade deadline rolls around. His days in Ottawa won’t extend past this season, that’s almost for sure. GM Bryan Murray insists he’s not shopping Kovalev, despite the player’s public feud with coach Cory Clouston. But if the Sens are out of it come February, Kovalev (earning $5 million) might be moved, although he’s in control with a no-movement clause.
Tim Connolly, Buffalo Sabres

Again, this depends greatly on whether the Sabres will have worked themselves back into the playoff bubble come the last week of February. Connolly, earning $4.5 million, is UFA on July 1, and given his inconsistent performance this season (13 points in 23 games) the Sabres likely aren’t interested in bringing him back. He could be a nice addition for a playoff-bound team needing a power-play boost.

Jason Arnott, New Jersey Devils

The 36-year-old center, earning $4.5 million, has a no-movement clause, but given how things are going in Newark these days we can’t imagine that being much of an issue. UFA on July 1, Arnott has Stanley Cup-winning experience and could be a valuable commodity for teams looking for another key ingredient.
Jamie Langenbrunner, New Jersey Devils

The 35-year-old Devils captain is earning $2.8 million this season and will be UFA on July 1. Does he want to go down with the sinking ship or re-energize with a playoff-bound team? Up to him. The Team USA captain would be a big-time addition in the grit and character department for a playoff-bound team. I love him as a fit on teams such as Los Angeles, Montreal or Vancouver. He could help any playoff team. But would Devils GM Lou Lamoriello move one of his favorite players?
Devin Setoguchi, San Jose Sharks

Two years removed from a career-high 31 goals, the 23-year-old winger has disappointed and frustrated the coaching staff in San Jose. He has two goals in 22 games this season, having also missed time with injury. He’s earning $1.8 million this season and is a restricted free agent come July 1. The Sharks could target a top-four blueliner before the deadline. Could they move Setoguchi to make room for such a move? They don’t have to trade him, since they have all their 2011 draft picks in hand and some terrific prospects in the minors. But we know other teams covet Setoguchi.

31 Responses to Trade bait: 10 players who could move before Feb. 28

  1. leafslunch says:

    Good article, thank you

  2. 93killer93 says:

    Bortuzzo, Pierro-Zabotel, 2nd 2011
    Eminger, Frolov

    Rangers get cap space to go after Richards.

    Frolov, Talbot

    Goloubef, 3rd 2011

    Dupuis, 3rd 2011(Clb)



  3. hockey_lover says:

    Really? Kovalev?  

    So lets see … we move out two prospects and 3 draft pics to bring back Kovalev and Eminger?

    Im really glad you arent the GM of the Pens man, no offense.

  4. reinjosh says:

    Does anyone know why the Vancouver have no last names on them?

  5. reinjosh says:

    Thats supposed to be…
    Does anyone know why the Vancouver jerseys have no names on them?

  6. reinjosh says:

    If Nabokov doesn't sign with Tampa and Kaberle is willing to waive his NTC would Tampa be interested in Giguere and Kaberle? Both are enticing assets for a playoff run and neither are signed long term, so Yzerman wouldn't be compromising cap space needed for Stamkos but would have the chance to sign both should he want to. Improving defense and goaltending would go a long way to making Tampa a legit cup contender this year.

    I would be interested in Ashton and maybe a pick.

  7. coyotes_bettman says:

    It's part of the Throwback jersey idea to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Canucks.

    Not reaaaaaaaaaaaallly sure though how they got around the league rule.
  8. 93killer93 says:

    Zabotel and Bortuzzo are not huge losses. When do you honestly see either of the two playing a full season for the pens.  Goloubef more than makes up for losing them. And the pens would only lose their 2nd rounder. The 3rd that goes to Ottawa is the one we get for Columbus. I'm not a fan of Kovalev but he does have skill and if he can be had for cheap what is there to lose. 

  9. 93killer93 says:

    It would definatley be a hard trae to work out, since they both have NTC but i think Tampa would do it.  They have the cap space to do it and like you said both contracts are up at the end of the season. 


    Pretty good top four.

    Kaberle, Giguere, Holzer, Mikus, Stefanovich
    1st, Wishart, Witkowski, Ashton

    Trade up and use that first to Draft Dougie Hamilton

    Trade Beauchemin and/or Komisarek for young forwards.


    Schenn  6'2''
    Gunnarsson  6'2''
    Aulie  6'5''
    Hamilton 6'4''
    Wishart  6'4''
    Witkowski 6'2''
    Blacker  6'1''


  10. reinjosh says:

    Trading away Mikus and Holzer doesn't make a lot of sense. Wishart is never going to make the NHL so I'd rather keep one of the two aforementioned players. I would deal Holzer but not both.

  11. hockey_lover says:

    What is there to lose?   I wouldnt give up a water bottle to get Kovalev. Id rather get Jagr back (and thats not saying much).

    Living in Ottawa, I get to see Kovalev play pretty often (and before, when he was in Montreal). He hasnt had a good season since '08. He is almost 38. Plays with absolutely not heart. Gets paid an obscene amount of money for SO little production. On another thread, I was railing on Gomez about how much suck he has. Kovalev isnt much better.

    I cant honestly see one positive to getting him.

    I like what you are trying to do though .. mix things up, get some movement for the Pens. Thats great. But man .. not Kovalev.

  12. Kramer says:

    The Dec 19-27 trade freeze is a commie plot to control the west economies.

  13. Georgeblues says:

    st louis isnt giving up cole

  14. reinjosh says:

    So according to Pierre Lebrun via Hot Stove last night Nic Bergfors is available or being shopped

  15. 93killer93 says:

    I completely understand your point. Like i said i do not like Kovalev I was just thinking a way they could get a good winger for Crosby without having to move out alot.

  16. futurebruin says:

    The Bruins need a legitimate scoring threat and a big top 4 blueliner who can get the puck up into the center ice area to really create scoring chances if they want to get anywhere this year.  I'm also of the belief that the Bruins need a coaching change.  Julien is a good coach, but he's the guy that can only get you so far.  He's gotten the team to this level, and unless they get rid of him, they'll be stuck at this level until he's gone.  My thinking:

    To DAL: Marc Savard, Maxime Sauve, Tyler Randell, 1st in 2011 (TOR)
    To BOS: Brad Richards

    To SJS: Blake Wheeler, Rights to Alexander Fallstrom, 2nd in 2011 (BOS)
    To BOS: Devin Setoguchi

    To CAR: Mark Stuart, Andrew Bodnarchuk, 4th in 2011 (BOS)
    To BOS: Joni Pitkanen

    Cam Neely: Claude, I hate to do this to you, but you're fired. *Picks up phone* Hey, Rob, I'd like to offer you the head coach position here in Boston.  Don't worry, I've got your replacement lined up already.  I'm sure you know who Ron Francis is.

    I'm a huge Savard supporter, and as much as I like him and like the chemistry he's got with Seguin (supposedly), I think it could be the right time to move him, especially if it's for a guy like Richards.  The guy can flat out play.  He had 67 assists last year (that's a hell of alot better than Savard could ever do), not to mention his 24 goals.  San Jose is shopping around Setoguchi, and I'm sure a change of scenery could benefit him.  He could play on the second line with Krejci, which could really help his game, and poassibly regain his status as a legitimate scoring threat.  I'm sure not many of you guys know about Pitkanen.  The guy's big.  He's 6'3 and 213.  Plus, he's on the right side of 30 (27 years old).  He's a guy who can really get the puck out of the zone, and he's a great PP QB, the kind that's is typically in demand at every single trade deadline.  His stats last year for Carolina were 6 G 40 A.  We could definitely use a guy like that.  My projected lineup under new head coach Rob Murray:

    Lucic – Richards – Horton
    Setoguchi – Krejci – Seguin
    Caron – Bergeron – Recchi/Marchand*
    Marchand/Recchi – Campbell – McGratton

    Chara – Boychuk
    Pitkanen – Seidenberg
    McQuaid – Kampfer


    * – If and when Recchi gets his legs back underneath him, he can have full time duties back.  Until then, he splits time between third and fourth line with Marchand.
    ** – The obvious, Thomas and Rask split time based on who's hot and who's not. 

  17. hockey_lover says:

    I definitely think Boston has the prospects/picks to be able to pull off a blockbuster trade.  However, I think you are shooting the moon on trying to pull off 3 big trades.

    Its so very rare that teams make ANY trades now a days, let alone a blockbuster. And you want Chiarelli to pull of 3 big trades in the same season?  Sorry man .. isnt gonna happen.

    Also, reports have come out that Richards has a very select few teams he'd be willing to go to, since he has a NTC or NMC (not sure which). Boston wasnt on his list. Unless Chia gives him some verbal bl*wjob, he isnt going to Boston.

    The other two trades look decent from the Boston perspective and I didnt bother looking at the other sides of the trades.

  18. leafy says:

    Brett Lebda will play left wing tonight. Holy crap Burke, get some forwards!

  19. Boston_Bruins says:

    I'd like to leave the team how it is, at least for right now. I want to see how Savard rounds back into form.

    There was always a question about landing a PMD but I think they found it in their own system with Kampfer. My God has this guy ever looked fantastic so far. And he tore it up in Providence as well. Looks like he's gained CJ's confidence as well as he's seen over 20 minutes a game. Heads up move by Chiarelli getting him for a 4th round pick. Hopefully we see the trend of a defenceman coming out of nowhere every year continue (Hunwick, Boychuk, Kampfer, Alexandrov/Bartkowski?). The question is what todo when Stuart is back. He has not played well this year and McQuaid has played well. Maybe you look for a deal for Stuart.

    I've completely lost faith in Julien though. The way he's handling Seguin is atrocious. He's clearly improving yet Julien is slowly cutting back his minutes. Dude's played over 15 minutes once this year, and that was over a month and a half ago. And since then he's played over 14 minutes only once.

    His "defensive system" is a fraud. The whole art of defending a lead for him consists of the team turtling and hoping Thomas can repeatedly save the Bruins' asses. Outshot 26-2 by the Caps in the 3rd period? That's a joke and should never happen at the NHL level.

    And for God's sake, RYDER in the shootout every friggin' time?! Has this guy ever scored?

    I know there's no chance he'll get canned, especially considering the Bruins have a pretty good record, but he is really holding this team back IMO.

  20. DannyLeafs says:

    I am pretty sure the rule from way back still stands and the Home team is not actually required to wear their names. Not positive, but that is the way it is in most sports, and used to be in hockey, so it probably wasn't a rule change, just a change in common practice.

  21. futurebruin says:

    I don't know BB.  It sounds to me like Neely has his hand hovering over the eject button, just waiting to press it and get Julien outta here. 

    I can't stand Julien's system either. Don't get me wrong, he's a good coach, but he's only going to get you so far.  He's perfect for a team like Phoenix, Edmonton, or Toronto because he can get them back into the playoff conversation, but after that he gets kinda redundant.  The guy's got a giant mancrush on Ryder, too.  It's unbelievable.  And it's not just Ryder.  It's his whole "Everyone plays" philosophy.  Take last year for example.  Us fans have to witness Wideman sucking for about 18 minutes of every game night after night after night after night after night, and eventually, julien says "If he doesn't pick it up his ice time will have to come down."  That gives us a good warm feeling, right?  No, because he INCREASES his ice time.  It's awful to watch.  Rolling 4 lines out is good and all, but for God's sake why do you have to play the fourth line with 1:30 left in a 1 goal game when you need to tie it?! 

    Kampfer has been amazing.  The kid's making no obvious mistakes and he doesn't stick out when he plays.  I can't wait for this kid to start playing full time.

    Cam: "Hey, Fraud, I mean Claude, can you come into my office for a minute?"
    Julien: "What's up?"
    Cam: "Listen, the team's play has been really, really poor as of late.  I hate for this to be a knock on you, but they come out uninspired pretty much every game.  You're a good coach, and we wish you the best of luck in your future positions.  You're dismissed from your duties as head coach, effective immediately." *Picks up Phone* "Hey, Mike, cam here.  listen, i want to ask you something.  How would you like to be the head coach of the Bruins?"
    Mike: "Cam, it's an honor."

    *The Next Day at Ristuccia*

    Cam: "Mike, you ready for this?"
    Mike: "Cam, it's been a long time coming."
    Cam: "Alright, show 'em what you got."
    Mike: "It's time for these ladies to take off their skirts and start wearing suits."
    Peter: "Now, mike, go easy on them."
    Mike: "Alright ladies, listen up!!!!  $%^&#* @!#$&^%### ^*&&#$!!!!!!!!!"

  22. reinjosh says:

    Hey Bruins, what would you give up to get Suter? Getting him would instantly make the Bruins into one of the strongest teams in the league. You would get the PMD you need and while Kampfer has been good, getting Suter allows him to grow with a mentor.

    I saw a trade proposed on HFBoards that I liked as a Preds fan but I decided to fix it up. Originally it was Krejci and TOR's 1st for Suter.

    Would you do Krejci and TOR's 1st for Suter and NSH's 1st?

    The reason I included TOR's 1st over BOS is that I would imagine the only way Suter moves if that is included. I would imagine they would be fine with giving up a 2nd tier prospect to get it done if you wanted one or taking Wheeler off your hands if you wanted to get rid of him.

  23. Boston_Bruins says:

    Theone word I can describe Julien in is… frustrating. I love rolling the lines but after a time, when it's not working, why not play your top scorers?

    Huuuuuge fan of Kampfer. Not only does he not make any realmistakes (the only one I've seen so far is when one of his blocked shots was taken the other way) but the style of game he plays should result in more turnovers because he loves to carry the puck up the ice, but he never turns it over.

  24. Boston_Bruins says:

    I love Suter and any trade for him would have to start with Krejci or Bergeron, but I don't think I'd give up the TOR 1st with one of them, at least not right now. If the Leafs pick it up closer to the trade deadline I'd definitely consider it and would probably lean towards doing it though.

    I don't think this is a trade that would ever be made mid-season though. Both teams have been pretty good and this would be a major change for both. Maybe they can address it in the offseason?

    But yeah, there's 3 defencemen in the NHL right now that I covet the most, given the Bruins lack of a PMD (I remember arguing with you that it wouldn't be that big of a deal before the season started but it's been more of a problem than I thought it would be, or at least it has been lately). Those 3 are Suter, Burns and Yandle. All focal points of their team and all likely near impossible to get. But Nashville's never-ending string of defencemen coming through and Boston's centers might create a deal.

  25. hockey_lover says:

    "But Nashville's never-ending string of defencemen coming through …. "

    Let us not forget the ridiculous goaltenders that come out of there.

  26. reinjosh says:

    I figured you wouldn't have a problem with the Suter-Krejci swap but I expected the apprehension with the pick.

    Really a deal between both teams makes a lot of sense. The center-defense swap works well, they are in opposing conferences so no need to see the other parts of the trade all that often, and the salaries are similar, cap hits almost identical and length of contract up at at the same time. The only real difference is age and FA status. Really the age difference is negligible (I actually saw a Bruins fan arguing they would trade Krejci for Suter straight up because Suter was too old and effectively closed the chance the Bruins had to win a cup by years) at a years difference but I could see the FA being a minor trip up. However you have all this season and next to negotiate and I don't really see any problem with that happening seeing as no real major player outside of Kessel has left yet and that was because of extenuating cir*****stances.

    The reason I added the 1st rounder was because I doubt he would be moved without it. They have more than enough success with the way the team is built now and getting a playmaker like Krejci is a move that really doesn't make them a whole lot better. They could live without him. Suter is a little more of a loss at this point because they haven't had Blum or Ellis come up yet. Getting that pick would make it a sure thing to trade him because they would get the chance to get a nice forward to build around. A guy like Landeskog would be perfect. I would imagine they would even trade their own pick to facilitate it.

    However I completely understand the desire to keep it. However this draft, at least to me, seems like a draft with a lot of players who may not step in right away, more so than other years. Really I don't exactly see any pick you get helping the team win for at least two or three years. Now I could understand if you have a shot at Larsson. Then trading that pick wouldn't make much sense. Even Murphy but say at the draft both get picked in the top 3 or 4 and yours is the 5th pick. Would you make the deal then?

  27. LeafsFTW17 says:

    no offence but why do you want dougie hamilton soo bad?
    In all of your trades that you make for the leafs it includes trading up for dougie hamilton.
    Im just curious but he isnt that special and toronto doesnt need him

  28. guinsfan4life says:

    I don't see the penguins going after Frolov, and I wouldn't see them giving up so much for eminger and frolov. I think that Talbot is about as untouchable as is on our current roster.
    I think what you'll see is the penguins using lovejoy, or goglioski as bait to land a top 6 winger.
    Kovalev will not be a penguin-that ship has sailed.
    Comrie has a pretty severe hip injury and probably will require surgery and be out for the season.
    That being said I could see them move Tyler Kennedy in a package…

  29. Boston_Bruins says:

    I do think Suter possesses more trade value than Krejci (LOL at the people talking about age difference) but not as much as what is right now a top 5 pick.

    When I look at this draft I love the top 5. After that it drops off dramatically. Still some good players there but not near the level of the top 5 IMO.

    I'd rank them like this for who I'd like to see in a Bruins uniform:

    1. Larsson – LOVE this guy. How can an underager lead the SEL in +/-? While he's not producing offensively this season, the potential is definitely there. I can see him becoming a top flight two-way defenseman.

    2. Couturier – Pretty rare to see this well-rounded of a top porspect forward at this age. When I look at him I see Eric Staal. Not as much offensive potential but much more defensive potential I think. He can play any position too.

    3. Nugent-Hopkins – This would be redundant. He's basically the same player as Seguin (although I dont think he'll be as good). That being said I think he's clearly the number 3 in this draft and you NEVER draft on need this high.

    4. Landeskog – He's just screams Bruin. A big brute of a power forward with offensive upside would be great to add to Lucic, Horton and Caron in the coming years.

    5. Murphy – I'm going to use Skinner as the example for all the naysayers. He's way too smart to not make it in the big leagues. I said I'd never draft for need but it's nice that it would solve one of the Bruins biggest holes if he pans out. There are some concerns about defensive play but I'm sure Julien would fix that. I take solace in the fact that his hip checks are a thing of beauty, even with how small he is. 

    If the pick falls outside of the top 5 I'd definitely consider involving it in a deal for Suter, but I'd still be a bit reluctant.

  30. Boston_Bruins says:

    Yeah no kidding. They just keep churning them out.

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