Saturday, June 22, 2019

One player from every NHL team that will be traded this offseason



         It's finally offseason time. And with that, it means there will be many, many trades, There already have been some deals, including Jacob Trouba to the Rangers, Justin Braun and Matt Niskanen to the Flyers, and Radko Gudas to the Capitals. But there will certainly be more deals, most likely including all 31 teams. Some teams might not actually trade away a player, but here are 31 candidates to be dealt, one from each team.

         Anaheim Ducks: Patrick Eaves
The Ducks have a decent amount of cap space, not many free agents, and even less hope. I don't think the Ducks will trade a defenseman after trading Brandon Montour to Buffalo last February. Rickard Rakell could net a lot, but his stock has fallen a lot after a tough season. He did have 67 goals from 2016-17 to 2017-18, including 120 points. Eaves scored 11 goals in 20 games with the Ducks as a rental in 2016-17, then re-signed to a three year deal. He has played a combined nine games in the first two years of the contract. If the Ducks take on a team's bad contract, such as Nikita Zaitsev or Patrick Marleau from the Leafs, Eaves could be sent to the other way. He could be placed on LTIR, and one year left at $3.15 million isn't a terrible burden. But that is the only way they'd deal him. They can't get any value for him without taking a contract back.

         Arizona Coyotes: Alex Goligoski
Arizona has to sign RFAs Nick Cousins, Lawson Crouse and Josh Archibald, and Richard Panik is a UFA. The Coyotes will have under $7 million in cap space, and they also would like to buff their offense, either through free agency or trade. After re-signing Ilya Lyubushkin, the team has nine defensemen, though Kyle Capobianco could go to the AHL. Both Goligoski and Niklas Hjalmarsson are getting up there in age, Goligoski will be 34 and Hjalmarsson just turned 32. Both have two years left, with a cap hit around $5 million. Goligoski is better offensively, and Hjalmarsson is a defensive defenseman. I think Goligoski could be moved for a middle six forward that costs less than Goligoski's $5.475 million cap hit. He has 98 points in 235 games over three seasons in the desert.

           Boston Bruins: David Backes
The Bruins have a big cap crunch that has gone pretty much unnoticed. They have just over $13 million in cap space, and they'll need to sign RFAs Charlie MacAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Danton Heinen. They'd also love to re-sign UFA Marcus Johansson. Backes' five year, $30 million deal has been a huge disappointment, with just 38 goals over three years. That includes seven this past year, and he was a healthy scratch in the last three games of the Stanley Cup. To free up cap space for Johansson, the Bruins could package Backes with a pick and/or a prospect like Zach Senyshyn to clear up $6 million in space.

           Buffalo Sabres: Rasmus Ristolainen
There has been Ristolainen trade rumors for nearly six months now. He scored 43 points last year, his 4th straight over 40. But every year in his six season NHL career he has been a minus. He had a league worst -41 rating this year. That could improve on a better team. His $5.4 million cap hit for three more years is manageable. The team seemingly traded for his replacement in February, Brandon Montour. The one issue is that only Ristolainen and last year's first overall pick, Rasmus Dahlin, are signed past next year. Jake McCabe is an RFA this year, Montour next year, and after next year Zach Bogosian, Marco Scandella and Casey Nelson are UFAs. The team is expecting big roles from Lawrence Pilut and maybe even William Borgen this upcoming season. Ristolainen, despite his bad rating, can still get a haul for the Sabres.

            Calgary Flames: Travis Hamonic
There has been rumors that the Flames are looking to move on from either Hamonic or T.J. Brodie this offseason. Hamonic has 30 points over two seasons in Calgary, and all the picks they gave up for him are going to hurt them, as the 1st they gave up ended up being Noah Dobson, one of the top defensive prospects in the league. Both of them have one year left on their contract, and Hamonic's $3.85 million cap hit is very affordable. They wouldn't get a turn like the Islanders did for Hamonic, but they could get a first for him, if the Islanders got a first and two second for Hamonic after playing 49 games and was a -21 in 2016-17.

             Carolina Hurricanes: Justin Faulk
There have been rumors that Faulk and his camp had a meeting with the Canes that didn't go well. The Canes have three good righty shot defensemen in Faulk, Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce. At least one of them will probably be traded. They also have a decent bottom pairing defenseman in Trevor van Riemsdyk. The significance of the meeting mentioned before is that Faulk will be entering free agency after 2019-20. He has a $4.83 cap hit. He could be moved for a forward. They only have seven forwards under contract. Sebastian Aho and Brock McGinn will be back, they are RFAs. But Michael Ferland and captain Justin Williams may not be back. They could use a boost there. Faulk scored 11 goals this year, and has double digits goals in four of the last five years.

              Chicago Blackhawks: Artem Anisimov
If the Blackhawks can find a taker for Anisimov, they'll look into it. Anisimov's streak of three straight 20 goal seasons was broken this year, when he scored 15. He'll be 31, and has two more years left at $4.55 million. They have good center depth, with Jonathan Toews and 3rd overall pick Kirby Dach. They could use Anisimov, but he is their most notable tradeable piece.
   
              Colorado Avalanche: Tyson Barrie
Barrie could be traded very soon. There are rumors that the Canucks are interested. Barrie, a defenseman, scored 14 goals with 59 points this year, his third 50 point season. The Canucks are a team rumored to be interested, and Bo Horvat or Jake Virtanen could be going Colorado's way. Barrie is a year away from unrestricted free agency, with a $5.5 million cap hit.

               Columbus Blue Jackets: Alex Wennberg
This is a big hypothetical. If the Blue Jackets lose all of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Sergei Bobrovsky and Ryan Dzingel, then they could look to blow it up. Wennberg scored just two goals with 23 assists, but he is just 24, and scored 59 points two year prior. He has four more years left at $4.9 million. It would be interesting to see what a return for Wennberg would look like.

               Dallas Stars: Denis Gurianov
The Stars are a good candidate for a team to not make any trades where they give up a player, and just deal either picks or improve through free agency. They could really use a defenseman. There haven't been rumors surrounding Gurianov like other players on this list, but the team might be looking to move on from him, or throw him in a big role. He was drafted 12th overall in 2015, a star studded draft. The team passed on players like Mikko Rantanen, Mat Barzal, Brock Boeser, Kyle Connor and Sebastian Aho to pick Gurianov. He has played in just 22 career games, with a goal and three assists. They could trade him in a package for a defenseman, likely a righty to play behind John Klingberg, as on the left side they have Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell and Jamie Oleksiak.

                Detroit Red Wings: Jimmy Howard
It seems like Jimmy Howard trade rumors have gone on forever. Howard has one more year left at $4 million. He won't be a starter on a contender, but he'd be a very good backup, and because of his term, and age (35), they won't get too much for him. But they would need another goalie. Jonathan Bernier can't be the starter, and the next goalie is 20 year old Kaden Fulcher. Howard was an all-star despite a 3.07 GAA. 

                Edmonton Oilers: Jesse Puljujarvi
There is almost no way the Oilers don't trade Puljujarvi. Puljujarvi has been rumored to want out of Edmonton, and another rumor says if he isn't traded, he'll play in Europe. Yes, that should be easy to call bluff on for new GM Ken Holland. With a new coaching staff, maybe Puljujarvi gives it one more shot. The 2016 4th overall pick has just 17 goals and 20 assists in 139 career games over three years. He is just 21, so the reported asking price of a second rounder is a good bargain for a pursuing team.
         
                Florida Panthers: Mike Hoffman
There were Mike Hoffman trade rumors at the trade deadline. He now has one more year left at over $5 million. He scored a career high 36 goals and 70 points last year, his first in Florida. He could get a haul, especially if dealt before the season starts. His downside is that he is a -44 over the last two years.

                Los Angeles Kings: Trevor Lewis
The Kings have too many centers. Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter will definitely be there. Adrian Kempe and/or Alex Iafallo could be too. Blake Lizotte could play center as well, and 5th overall pick Alex Turcotte could make the team. Lewis scored just 12 points in 44 games last year, but scored a career high 14 the year before. He has a $2 million cap hit for one more season, then he is a UFA.

                 Minnesota Wild: Jason Zucker
A Zucker deal has been waiting for about six months. There have reportedly been two deals including Zucker that have fallen apart at the finish line. One to Calgary at the trade deadline, and one to Pittsburgh for Phil Kessel this offseason. He could still potentially go to Calgary. He has a very good deal, four more years left at $5.5 million. Zucker scored 21 goals last year, and scored 33 the year before.

                  Montreal Canadiens: Phillip Danault
This is a little bit of a reach. The Canadiens have 17 forwards (three, Joel Armia, Charles Hudon and Artturi Lehkonen are RFAs). But with Jonathan Drouin, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Nate Thompson, and maybe Ryan Poehling down the middle, Danault could become expandable. But, there are a lot of flaws with that idea. Will Poehling be a third line NHL center. Is Thompspon even good enough to be  fifth line center. It is a ballsy move, but they are selling high. Danault has two more years left at $3 million, and just had a 53 point season. Montreal fans, feel free to yell at me.

                    Nashville Predators: PK Subban
There have been rumors that Subban could be on the move as the Predators look to free cap space to either sign Matt Duchene or extend Roman Josi on July 1. Subban has three more years left at $9 million, which is too much for Subban. Subban played in just 63 games this year, with 31 points. He scored 16 goals with 59 points two years ago. He can still get a haul.
UPDATE: Subban has been traded to New Jersey.
                    New Jersey Devils: Pavel Zacha
Zacha is currently an RFA, and the former 6th overall pick has been a disappointment. Zacha scored a career high 13 goals and tied his career high in points with 25. That's really bad for a 6th overall pick five years ago. He's an RFA and destined to be their 4th line center, behind 1st overalls Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes, plus veteran Travis Zajac. Zacha could use a change of scenery badly.

                    New York Islanders: Nick Leddy
The Islanders have been rumored to be shopping Leddy and fellow defenseman Thomas Hickey. Leddy can net them a scorer that they really need. Either that, or picks or prospects they can use down the line. Leddy has three more years left at $5.5 million.  Leddy's four goals and 26 points were his lowest in a full season since he was 20 in 2011-12. Before that, he had three consecutive, 40 point seasons.

                     New York Rangers: Chris Kreider
Kreider, along with Jimmy Vesey and Vladislav Namestnikov, might be traded because they will be free agents after next year. Kreider is the best of the group. He tied his career high in goals with 28, and also had 24 assists. He is also the oldest of the group, and probably the least likely to re-sign as the team looks to get younger. He could command a first round pick.


                     Ottawa Senators: Mikkel Boedker
The Senators will need to get over the minimum salary cap, and trading away Boedker won't help. He'll be a free agent after this next year, with a current $4 million cap hit. Boedker's seven goals was his lowest since 2010-11, but he was on an awful Ottawa team. On a better team he could score 15 goals. That isn't bad for a third liner.

                      Philadelphia Flyers: Shayne Gostisbehere
There have been a lot of Gostisbehere rumors recently, and with the team acquiring Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun, and the team has Ivan Provorov, Robert Hagg and Sam Morin on the left side. Gostisbehere is still young and is on a very good deal. He will command a good amount of picks, prospects or roster players, depending on what Philly wants, and who their trade partner is. Gostisbehere has four more years left at $4.5 million. He scored 37 points this year, and had 65 points in 78 games the year before.

                       Pittsburgh Penguins: Jack Johnson
Right as this deal was signed, everyone knew it was bad. After one season, it is even worse. Johnson has four more years left at $3.25 million, and the Penguins are actively looking to get rid of it. He did have a career high 233 hits, but was a defensive liability, had just 13 points, and was a minus for the 13th time in his 14 year NHL career. The Penguins would need to add a sweetener with Johnson.

                       San Jose Sharks: Kevin LaBanc
The Sharks badly want to keep LaBanc, who is an RFA. But they won't have much cap space and they want to sign Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, and Timo Meier will also be an RFA. LaBanc isn't their priority, and they might not have cap space to sign him. He scored 17 goals with 56 points this past year.

                        St. Louis Blues: Robby Fabbri
The team that wins the Stanley Cup doesn't really trade away many players the following offseason. Fabbri is an RFA, and was a healthy scratch throughout the playoffs. Fabbri scored just six points in 32 games after missing all of 2017-18. He didn't return like the player he was his first two seasons. It could be time for the Blues to move on. Another team will want to take Fabbri, hoping that he can become the player he was when he was 20 and 21. He is currently 23.

                          Tampa Bay Lightning: JT Miller
The Lightning will have about $10.5 million in cap space, as they can put Ryan Callahan on LTIR as he can't play again due to a degenerative back disease. They need to sign RFA Brayden Point, and Cedric Paquette and Adam Erne are RFAs as well. Erne is a winger on a team with Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Matheiu Joseph, Erne, Yanni Gourde and Tyler Johnson. Miller still will have a spot, but has a $5.25 million cap hit for four more years. Miller might be moved since they won't have cap room for their RFAs. They could use a backup defenseman. Miller scored 13 goals with 47 points in 75 games, his first full year in Tampa.
UPDATE: Miller has been traded to Vancouver.

                           Toronto Maple Leafs: Nikita Zaitsev
The team already traded Patrick Marleau to free cap space. Zaitsev has a $4.5 million cap hit for five more seasons. They have $14 million in cap space to sign RFAs Mitch Marner, Andreas Johnson and Kasperi Kapanen, the latter reportedly having signed a three year deal over $3 million per year. Zaitsev might need to include a sweetener. Zaitsev had 14 points in 81 games this year. His ice time was down nearly two minutes a game this year.

                            Vancouver Canucks: Chris Tanev
The Canucks didn't trade Alex Edler when he was a pending UFA, so they might not deal Tanev. He has a year left at $4.45 million. He is a righty shot and is 29, so he can net a first rounder potentially. Tanev scored 12 points in 55 games this year, and is a career +39, despite playing on a lot of bad teams. Not a bad defensive defenseman.

                             Vegas Golden Knights: Jonathan Marchessault
I wouldn't trade Marchessault if I'm the Knights. But they have been rumored to be shopping him, as they need to sign RFA William Karlsson. Tomas Nosek and Nikita Gusev are also RFAs, and Brandon Pirri, Ryan Carpenter, Pierre-Edouard Bellmare and Deryk Engelland are UFAs. They are projected to have literally no cap space. Marchessault has five more years left at $5 million. He wouldn't be the only player they'd need to deal. Marchessault scored 25 goals with 34 assists for 59 points this year, and 82 goals over the last three seasons.

                              Washington Capitals: Andre Burakovksy
Burakovsky has yet to improve on his age 20 season. He is now 24 coming off back-to-back 25 point seasons. He is an arbitration eligible RFA, and the Caps may want to move on, though that is purely speculation. He is still fairly young, so they could receive something decent for him. He has 62 goals in 328 career games.
UPDATE: Burakovsky has been traded to Colorado.

                                Winnipeg Jets: Dmitry Kulikov
The Jets could use some cap space, and some forwards. They have seven forwards under contract, with RFAs Patrick Laine, Kyle Connor and Andrew Copp, and UFA Brandon Tanev. They would still need a forward, though a player like Mason Appleton could get a chance. They need to free up cap space to sign their forwards or another UFA. Kulikov has one year left at $4.3 million, which is not a good contract. They would need to add a sweetener in as well. Kulikov is coming off his first career no goal season, and had six assists in 57 games.

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