The NHL trade deadline is coming soon (April 3rd) and the trade rumors are starting to really heat up, especially with the recent moves done by the Pittsburgh Penguins in acquiring Brandon Morrow from Dallas and Douglas Murray from San Jose. The Penguins are making a serious push for a deep Stanley Cup playoff run. Now it is up to other playoff contending teams to do the same.
Teams like the Boston Bruins, LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks as well as the Chicago Blackhawks are all teams that have a very high possibility of being buyers before the trade deadline. While the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and the Minnesota Wild are all teams that might be trying to upgrade their team for the playoffs. Then of course you have the sellers and possible sellers at the deadline such as, the Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightening, and Dallas Stars. Of course this all depends on what the standings look like next week and which teams are fighting for the playoff spots believe they can make the final push to the post-season. Again it is all speculation and rumors, but you can get some ideas on who will buy and sell.
Some of the players who seem up for grabs/trade bait (according to TSN) are the following.
Forwards: Calgary Flames Captain Jerome Iginla, Dallas Stars Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers Thomas Fleischmann and San Jose Sharks Ryan Clowe.
Defense: Buffalo Sabres Robyn Regehr, New York Islanders Mark Streit, San Jose Sharks Dan Boyle,andCalgary Flames Jay Bouwmeester.
Goaltenders: Calgary Flames Miikka Kiprusoff, LA Jonathan Bernier and Vancouver Canucks Roberto Luongo.
I can easily see most of these players traded, but it all depends on their asking price. The past couple of seasons we have seen guys such as Bernier as “available” for trade players and nothing gets done because of the asking price for him. There are also rumors that the San Jose Sharks are asking for too much to part with Ryan Clowe and many of the players on this list might stay with their team.
San Jose for instance is still fighting for a playoff spot and although it seems they might try to rebuild or restock their team they could easily become buyers instead of sellers. The Flames on the other hand are in dire need of a rebuild with many aging stars and a team that has either made it to the first round but got eliminated, or a team that just missed making the playoffs for years now and finally seem to be preparing for a rebuild. Rebuilds are not always fun and sometimes do not work they way they want to, or are a long process, just ask the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers who still are building their team.
There are however teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks, who went through a rebuild and are both major contenders now.
As I said before it really depends how the standings look now and by April the 3rd, but expect trades to be made and teams making moves to try and improve their team for a deep playoff run. If I have to make any fearless predictions do not be surprised if most of the trades are done before the deadline day. As for the teams I think will make some noise I would say look out for Calgary, San Jose, LA Kings and maybe the Bruins and Blackhawks to make the most noise. If there is anything I can hope for is that the Flames actually make some moves to start their rebuild because it is well overdue.