Trade Deadline Specualtion
As the trade deadline gets closer speculation always ramps up in the rumor world. Players are linked to one team, in exchange for another. Anything from incredibly lopsided deals and fantasy rumors to really good and fair trades get tossed around. Now many will say that rumors are pointless and almost 99% of the time are wrong (which is true, rarely have i ever seen a single rumor that comes true with the exception of the lucky person who guesses that Boumeester is going wherever he goes) but I see the deadline in a different light. It is Christmas for fans everywhere and rumors make things that more exciting. Today im not here to suggest that Montreal is gonna get Vinny or Kaberle is going to bring back a first, a prospect and a good RFA, or to suggest that the Penguins are going to grab a first line winger (like Havlat) to play with Crosby but rather to suggest players that could be moved or teams that will likely make trades to shore up issues they have. Speculation or correction that comes from this article would be great but this article is not rumor but rather an educated look at possible moves.
1. The Penguins
It has long been known that the Penguins are looking to bring in an elite winger to play with crosby much like they did last year with Hossa. Look for Jordan Staal and maybe Ryan Whitney to be traded in exchange for that winger they seek. For those that say “Oh but Staal was just signed to an extension, he isnt going to be moved” its extremely likey he will be traded. Not many teams sign a 3rd line center to a 4 million a year cap hit, especially a team that boasts Crosby and Malkin (in no particular order) as there first two centers. The extension will only make Staal more valuable especially with the potential he has to be a top line center (likely a second line but still very valuable). Look for the Penguins to target Hejduk, Kovy (a long shot but not out of the picture), Havlat, Gaborik (yes he is injured but teams are allowed to trade for an injured player if they both agree), Ponikorovski.
Expect the Boston to grab some experience and depth on both the wing and defense. The team has an excess of centers and could use prospects or even one of Kessel or Krejci to get the player they need. Yes these two may be great players but do not expect Boston to keep them past the July 1st as they are both RFA’s and they already have Bergeron and Savard at Center, need to resign Thomas or Fernadez (who could also be used as traid bait). Possible players they could target are Erik Cole, Ponikorovski, Tkachuk, Van Ryn, Kuba.
Columbus has great talent and potential but the biggest thing they need is size and leadership. If they want to get into the playoffs they need to get some size to help Nash. They can get Antropov to help center Nash as they have lost Brassard. They could also use some defense to stregthen there core and Kubina, Kuba, Hamhuis, Koistinen, or Schneider. The team could also do with insurance in net though they will likely choose to stick with Mason and Dubielewicz. They could use Novotny, draft picks or Filatov.
4. Other teams who will need to improve things
Vancouver – Needs more scoring, and maybe a big change to kickstart the team that is in freefall mode.
Phoexnix – Getting Jokinene has not seemed to help Phoenix’s scoring and they could use another veteran left winger to help score more and anyone really is better then true left wingers Carcillo and Fedoruk.
New York Rangers – For a team that Boasts Drury, Zherdev, Naslund, Dubinsky and Gomez they are finding it hard to score and there powerplay is pitiful. They need a change and could bring a puck moving defensmen or lesser know forward to help kickstart the scoring.
Edmonton – If this team wants to get into the playoffs they need to address there dreadful penalty kill as they sit third last in front of only Atlanta and Toronto. They could attempt to trade Cole plus a pick or prospect for penalty killer Staal which would help a lot (and get the Penguins a winger for Crosby)
Anaheim – Needs to make a move to help scoring. They don’t need anyone big but rather a second or third liner with good scoring potential.
Dallas – Need to adress defensive needs if they plan on making the playoffs.
Calgary – Playing really well, but they need insurance in net if Kipper goes down and they need to bring in a 4th or 5th defensive defenseman that can handle himself if they plan to go far in the playoffs.