Thursday, January 5, 2017

Trade Block: Players who are most likely to get traded


    On the trade deadline in the NHL (or Christmas, if you're in Canada,) we see A LOT of trades, some blockbuster, some not. And, I'd say about 30 of the 30 teams make deals on deadline day, even the ones their own fan base didn't really know. Here's who I think is the most likely player to get traded on each team.
  
     Anaheim Ducks: Cam Fowler. With the expansion draft upcoming, the Ducks have a problem with the no move clause on 36 year old defenseman Kevin Bieksa. Most likely, the Ducks will ask Bieksa to waive his NMC, but if he says no, then they'll have to retreat. They have 4 quality defenseman age 25 or younger in Fowler, Sami Vatanen, and the injury prone Simon Despres, who are all 25, and Hampus Lindholm, who is 22. The Ducks seem to rather have Vatanen and Lindholm than Cam, and if they protect 4 forwards and 4 defenseman, they'll likely lose 26 year old RW Jakub Silferberg. Though small rumors about Toronto, Fowler can nicely slot in with the Bruins, or his hometown Wings.
        Arizona Coyotes: Michael Stone. The 26 year old has always been a reliable defenseman, but he will be a UFA on July 1st, and as a rebuilding team, the Coyotes should try to do what they did a couple of years ago with Zbynek Michalek, trade him, then sign him again on July 1st. Like Fowler, the Bruins and Wings might have interest in Stone, with a defenseman being on the top of their to-do list.
          Boston Bruins: Frank Vatrano. The 22 year old winger seemed poised for a breakout season this year. But, due to an injury suffered during preseason, Vatrano missed the first 3 months of the season. Vatrano's back now, but during the 3 months he was gone, forwards Noel Acciari, Austin Czarnik, and Anton Blidh stepped up. Besides their need for a defenseman, Boston has 9 natural centers, including Vatrano, and just 1 RW (Jimmy Hayes) on their roster. They could deal Vatrano for a solid defenseman, or a natural RW. With the Coyotes' youth movement in process, they'd be interested in him and the B's could trade for Stone, or RW Ryan White.
             Buffalo Sabres: Dmitry Kulikov. Kulikov, who was acquired in a trade during the draft, and is going to be a UFA on July 1st. So far, the trade hasn't worked out well because Kulikov has been on the IR a couple times this season, and in his 20 games, he's had 1 point, an assist, and is a -10. The teams that need a defenseman have better options via trade, but Buffalo could make something work.
              Calgary Flames: Dennis Wideman. The Flames' roster is very balanced, (unlike Boston) so they don't need a certain position. They could deal a goalie, but the 33 year old d-man is an upcoming UFA, and can be dealt for some picks/prospects. Not a lot of teams need a defenseman, but Wideman, as a right handed defenseman, can slot in nicely for the NY Rangers, or Leafs.
               Carolina Hurricanes: Jay McClement. The Canes have been in a rebuild for the last few years, and have obtained young players. That leaves out room for guys like the 33 year old McClement. He provides solid depth for teams that need it, so he might fit well in the Blackhawks' lineup.
                Chicago Blackhawks: Jordin Tootoo. The Hawks' depth has decreased in skill over the years as players come and go. The 33 year old Tootoo can provide toughness for other teams, and the Hawks don't seem to be a "perfect match" for him. Dallas or Vancouver might be a better match.
                 Colorado Avalanche: John Mitchell. Currently, the Avs have just 3 forwards who are right handed. The 31 year old Mitchell is one of many lefties on the team, and is their 4th line center. If they move Mitchell, Andreas Martinsen can be his replacement.
                  Columbus Blue Jackets: Scott Hartnell. The Jackets just had a 16 game winning streak, so they're no reasons to trade somebody. But if they go south, then they could deal Hartnell, who is 34, and is owed a lot of money.  
                  Dallas Stars: Mattias Janmark. The C/LW will probably miss the rest of the season, and could be traded if other teams will bet he can bounce back. In return will be another winger, probably.
                    Detroit Red Wings: Jonathan Ericsson. The Wings have a total of 9 defensemen on their roster, and might look to deal someone, take the 32 year old Ericsson, who's the 2nd oldest on the team to Niklas Kronwall, and deal him to another team, for picks.
                    Edmonton Oilers: Zack Kassian. The 25 year old grinder doesn't have a spot on the team with younger players coming up, and could be dealt, maybe for a Ryan Reaves or Ales Hemsky.
                    Florida Panthers: Greg McKegg. On their roster, the Panthers have 11 natural centers and 5 wingers. One of those centers should be dealt, including McKegg. They could trade him for a mid round pick.
                     Los Angeles Kings: Dustin Brown. The former captain was stripped after the 2015-16 season. It looks like things between the 2 have come to an end. The only problem is that the Kings would need to eat up some salary, but they should be able to pull this off.
                     Minnesota Wild: Alex Stalock. Stalock might be the starter for the Iowa Wild, Minnesota's AHL affiliate, but with some teams needing a goalie, Stalock can be their backup.
                       Montreal Canadiens: Alexei Emelin. The 30 year old d-man is one of many Habs defensemen on the roster, and they don't really need Emelin any more, so a trade could be intact.
                       Nashville Predators: Mike Ribeiro. The 36 year old centerman has seen better days. While he's still okay at faceoffs, Nashville can deal him, but it might cause them to eat up some salary.
                        New Jersey Devils: Vernon Fiddler. The 36 year old is a 4th liner at best. The absolute highest they can trade him for is a conditional 4th rounder. They can trade him. It's not a must.
                         New York Islanders: Jaroslav Halak. The goalie has a big cap hit and is in the AHL, but he needs out. They'll have to eat up salary, but it should be fine.
                          New York Rangers: Kevin Klein. The 32 year old blueliner fits in as a top 6 d-man at most, but the rise of Brady Skjei signals that Klein needs to go.
                           Ottawa Senators: Chris Kelly. Here's another 36 year old center who can be a nice PKer, and a nice 4th line center.
                            Philadelphia Flyers: Boyd Gordon. The 33 year old C/RW is another gu
y who's great at faceoffs and PKing. Some teams might want that.
                            Pittsburgh Penguins: Chris Kunitz. Kunitz has played for the Pens since the 08-09 season, but he'll be a UFA at the end of the year so they might want to trade him.
                             San Jose Sharks: Joel Ward. The 36 year old winger has some energy left in the tank, but San Jose might want to trade him before he drops off TOO much. This could also open up space for younger guys like Timo Meier and Kevin LeBlanc.
                               St. Louis Blues: Nail Yakupov. The Blues did get Yakupov for cheap, and didn't expect him to do much this year, but injuries and illness has sidelined this year, and therefore, he hasn't been a success - yet. They could just flip him or hold on.
                                Tampa Bay Lightning: Valtteri Filppula. The 32 year old center hasn't really been loud at all this season, and might need out. He's one of the better depth centers on this list.
                                 Toronto Maple Leafs: Matt Hunwick. 31 might not seem too old, but Hunwick already seems to have taken the falling off process. Trade him before it's too late.
                                  Vancouver Canucks: Alex Burrows. It might be too late to trade the 35 year old, but the Canucks should still try to.
                                   Washington Capitals: Brooks Orpik. The 36 year old, like many on this list, is at the end of his career. The Caps might want to get some value for him before he retires.
                                    Winnipeg Jets: Chris Thorburn. I wouldn't be surprised that instead of trading him, the Jets lose the 33 year old Thorburn to waivers, but if not, they could deal him for a conditional pick.

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