The 2012 NHL Draft will be here quicker than fans realize it, and there are general managers all over the NHL that are already evaluating their roster and planning for free agency. Even without a new CBA, teams must plan for a 2012-13 season.
What follows are seven trades we would love to see happen at the 2012 NHL Draft.
With two years left on his deal at a $6.6 million cap hit, Paul Stastny is a talented player who might find himself playing somewhere new next year. Colorado has to re-sign most of their roster this summer, and he has the biggest veteran cap hit on the team.
If the Coyotes don't end up sticking in Glendale and follow the assumed path to Quebec City, it would be appropriate that someone named Stastny is leading the rebirth of the NHL in that city 31 years after Peter Stastny won the Calder Trophy with the Nordiques.
There are two parts to this trade.
First, the Pens have two primary players on their roster who will be unrestricted free agents in 2013: Staal and Sidney Crosby. They'll need to give Evgeni Malkin a new deal not long after that as well. Which means one of those three might have to leave town...which means Staal might have to leave town.
Secondly, we're concerned about the travel habits of the Staal parents. If Jordan joined brother Marc in New York or Eric in Carolina, his parents could save a lot of money.
The Caps have received a few nice performances in net this postseason, but haven't committed to a goalie in far too long. They thought Tomas Vokoun would fix things, but he's now out with an injury.
The Bruins might look to get value for Thomas with a year left on his deal and re-sign Tuukka Rask this summer.
And what better scenario than Thomas playing in DC, where he clearly doesn't even like to visit?
In spite of his $7 million cap hit, Thornton is still only 32 years old and has two more seasons on his current deal. And, after moving Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi last summer, it appears there isn't a player on the Sharks roster that isn't available for Doug Wilson.
Chicago has shown since winning the Stanley Cup that they haven't added enough toughness to their roster. Thornton could effectively end the Patrick Kane At Center Experiment in Chicago while providing the physical play the Hawks have desperately lacked.
The Hawks will have some cap space to work with this summer, and have plenty of good prospects to deal if the Sharks were interested.
The Flames might look to move Iginla this summer with only one year left on his deal, and could have a long list of teams willing to make a deal in spite of his $7 million cap hit.
Iginla, who hasn't spent much/any time in his Hall of Fame career with a top-tier center, could find a home in the top six in Detroit and would be a great rental in what might be a final season for Nicklas Lidstrom.
The Red Wings will have some cap space to work with this summer, and have plenty of good prospects to deal if the Flames were interested.
Tampa needs a goalie.
Vancouver appears to prefer Cory Schneider.
Roberto Luongo has played in Florida before.
If Steve Yzerman can't get Schneider out of Vancouver, would he take Luongo?
The Maple Leafs are looking to add size this summer and could use a top-end scorer to help carry the team's scoring burden with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupol.
Rick Nash is an Ontario kid who has given the Columbus organization the green light to move him as part of their start-over.
Sending Nash, listed at 6'4" and 220 pounds, to the Leafs would effectively be a homecoming for Nash and fit the needs in Toronto. And Brian Burke might have the stones to pull the trigger on a deal this big.