NHL Trade Scenarios 2012: One Mid-Level Player Each Team Would Love to Add
This summer, each NHL team will be looking to sign key free agents like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, or they will attempt to appropriate the requisite pieces to acquire a player like Rick Nash.
The above situations are good and well, but teams will have to give a lot to get a lot. This slideshow will take look at some "what if?" scenarios and some mid-level talent that each team would like to add to their roster.
Mid-level players include players in the 40-50 point area, young players in development and older players who may be on the decline but can still have an impact for a future team.
Anaheim Ducks: Derek Roy
Outside of Ryan Getzlaf, the Anaheim Ducks' depth at center is very thin. Roy is a mid-level player who has battled injury the past few seasons. He has a solid offensive upside and has proven in the past he can put up at least 60 points.
Roy would be a player who could be had for a smaller price, considering the direction Buffalo is heading and his play as of late. However, Roy could use a fresh start, and he could help Anaheim in a big way.
Boston Bruins: Ray Whitney
Ray Whitney had an above-average season for the Phoenix Coyotes, but one has to think that his numbers will slow down during the next few years. He is the ideal player to fill the void that Mark Recchi left when he retired.
Whitney is a seasoned veteran who can score in the clutch and can play in all situations. He would really thrive in Boston, considering it would be a system where he wouldn't have to be "the man."
Buffalo Sabres: Tuomo Ruutu
Tuomo Ruutu is a player with grit, skill and tenacity. He is the type of mid-level player who could fit well in Buffalo for the way he plays the game. His ability to play two-way hockey and play with an edge is something that would add to the Sabres.
At the trade deadline, the Sabres dealt away Zack Kassian, a big forward with grit and grind. Ruutu is a player who could fill that role in a similar capacity.
Calgary Flames: Derek Stepan
Derek Stepan is the type of center Jay Feaster would love to get his hands on. He is a player on the rise who is a solid passer and shooter.
He has shown so much potential so early into his NHL career. He is an ideal second-line center who will provide offense and can also play in special teams situations.
Carolina Hurricanes: Jordan Staal
Jordan Staal is a depth-chart victim in Pittsburgh. He is a talented player who just happens to play behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the depth chart, and odds are the Hurricanes would love to acquire Eric Staal's younger brother.
Staal is a 50-point player, but with more ice time, he could easily hit the 60-65-point range. This trade would give the Hurricanes a rock-solid top-six.
Chicago Blackhawks: Cory Schneider
Shaky goaltending ultimately did in the Blackhawks during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. I wouldn't be surprised if the Blackhawks went after a goaltender in the offseason, and Schneider is ready to become a full time starter.
He would be the perfect mid-level goaltender to acquire as his best days are ahead of him, and he could make the 'Hawks a top playoff contender again.
Colorado Avalanche: Derek Roy
If the Avs could add a player, it would be a guy like Derek Roy. Roy would be a great secondary player to add at a low cost, and he could compliment some of the younger forwards. It sounds crazy because he is had a down year, but Roy, when on his game, is a consistent performer.
Roy would fit into the system and place less pressure on some of the Avs' other forwards.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Tomas Vokoun
Tomas Vokoun is on the down end of his career, but he could play a huge role for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Steve Mason is currently the future in net, but he could use a mentor, and Vokoun could provide that. It is likely Vokoun will not return to Washington next year, so Columbus is definitely a possibility for him.
Dallas Stars: Carl Hagelin
Carl Hagelin is a young speedy left winger with tons of potential and upside. If the Rangers ever sought to make a big play for one of the Stars' top wingers, Hagelin is a player who could be included in a dream package.
Hagelin's speed allows him to wreak havoc offensively and defensively on special teams. He would be an ideal player to fit in on the Stars roster in a potential dream trade for a player like Loui Eriksson.
Detroit Red Wings: Alex Semin
The Detroit Red Wings are one of the top teams in the NHL and Western Conference, they never stop improving.
If the Wings look to continue this trend, they could look to add another top-six scorer.
Fans would probably clamor at the chance to add a player like Alex Semin. He is an explosive player, but he had a down regular season. Semin isn't as explosive as he once was, so in this regard I consider him a mid-level player.
Edmonton Oilers: Cory Schneider
The future of the Oilers lies in the hands of young players like Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.
The Oilers are going to have to focus on re-signing these players, so it wouldn't be logical to add any additional salary.
However, in this scenario, a player like Cory Schneider would be a perfect fit. While Nikolai Khabibulin may have been great for the majority of this season, the Oilers need a top goaltender for the future.
Schneider is ready to become a full-time starter, and he would be the perfect mid-level goaltender to acquire as his best days are ahead of him.
Florida Panthers: Frans Nielsen
The Florida Panthers did a lot of rebuilding during the offseason. They will get stronger when some young players from their system join the team next season, but one mid-level player the Panthers would benefit from adding is Frans Nielsen.
Nielsen is a bargain and a solid two-way player. He would be an upgrade in the Panthers' bottom six, while adding defensive prowess and special team skills.
Los Angeles Kings: Paul Gaustad
The Los Angeles Kings are one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, but one area they could really improve upon is grit and face-offs. Lucky for the Kings, Paul Gaustad would provide an upgrade in both of those areas.
Gaustad is a fiery player who will stick up for teammates and is a face-off ace. Adding someone like Gaustad would improve the Kings' overall depth.
Minnesota Wild: Jakub Voracek
Jakub Voracek was a great acquisition for the Philadelphia Flyers, and he is exactly the mid-level player who would be a great addition for the Minnesota Wild. Voracek is a 50-point player with upside who finally got a chance to show what he could do.
In Philadelphia, Voracek was surrounded with a winning team and adjusted well. Minnesota would certainly love to add a marquee name this offseason, but a small addition like Voracek would give the Wild some depth.
Montreal Canadiens : Sam Gagner
Sam Gagner is a 22-year-old center who could benefit in Montreal. He fell three points short of the 50-point plateau and is still young.
Adding a center like Gagner and pairing him with a solid winger like Erik Cole would be a recipe for success.
Nashville Predators: James van Riemsdyk
The Predators have two marquee defenseman that the Flyers could be interested in this summer. A return package could very well include prospects, draft picks and young mid-level players like JVR. JVR is a talented young scorer who could become a useful cog in Nashville.
The Predators need speedy forwards with offensive upside, and JVR fits that description quite nicely.
New Jersey Devils: Cory Schneider
The future of the Devils franchise is in the hands of Zach Parise. If he were to depart from the Garden State, things would not look good for New Jersey. They should do everything in their power to retain the star forward.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur is showing his age and will likely retire this year or next year.
Bringing in a young goaltender like Cory Schneider would really bridge the gap in the crease for the New Jersey Devils.
New York Islanders: Colin Greening
Colin Greening is a rookie speedster with offensive upside who the Islanders would love to add to their ranks. The Islanders have talented players like Matt Moulson, John Tavares and P.A. Parenteau, but Greening is a player who could add some offense and speed.
Can you imagine the speed and skill of a potential Greening-Tavares-Parenteau line? This would be a tough line to defend and one fans would love to watch every night.
New York Rangers: Justin Schultz
Justin Schultz is a top prospect whose rights are currently owned by the Anaheim Ducks. Schultz is a solid defenseman with an offensive upside and a solid background. He is a Wisconsin Badger and former teammate of Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh.
With Michael Sauer's future with the team uncertain, trading for Schultz would be a great move to improve the Rangers' defensive depth.
Ottawa Senators: Derek Roy
Roy is a mid-level player who has battled injury the past few seasons. He has a solid offensive upside and has proven in the past he can put up at least 60 points. He could be a huge help to Ottawa's center depth.
With Roy in a complimentary role, he would have a larger impact than his current situation in which he is relied on to be a key contributor.
Philadelphia Flyers: Antti Niemi
Ilya Bryzgalov was brought in to bring stability in net. It didn't pan out as anticipated, so don't be surprised if adding a goaltender is something the Flyers consider again. Antti Niemi won a Stanley Cup against the Flyers and has since moved to the San Jose Sharks.
Niemi could be had for a few offensive pieces that the Sharks would love to bolster their forward group with.
Phoenix Coyotes: Tomas Plekanec
The Coyotes are in the midst of a Stanley Cup run and are in the Western Conference finals. They have tons of pieces but could benefit from adding a solid two-way forward. Tomas Plekanec is a player who would really upgrade the Coyotes' top forward core.
Players like Mikkel Bøedker, Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney are top-notch scoring wingers. Adding a player like Plekanec would ultimately enhance any line he joined because of his playmaking abilities.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Paul Gaustad
The Penguins don't have many holes as a team. They have scoring, defense, goaltending and special-team success. Gaustad would be an ideal bottom-six player who could add grit, face-off strength and defensive situation prowess.
Gaustad is a big-bodied forward who will drop the gloves and grind it out, and that is an area where he could improve the Penguins' overall depth.
San Jose Sharks: Kris Versteeg
The Sharks have solid offensive depth, but the right-wing slot is an area they could improve upon. Versteeg is a 50-point player who would add offense to the Sharks' lineup. Versteeg has bounced around the league, but he does have the talent to impact a team if he is given an opportunity.
He may be pretty much committed to Florida, but with the right pieces, a trade could possibly sway Dave Talon to move him.
St.Louis Blues: Brandon Dubinsky
Brandon Dubinsky had a tough year for the Rangers, but a change of scenery could really benefit him. Ken Hitchcock employs a staunch defensive system that would benefit Dubinsky's skill set. He is a top-notch penalty killer who has hit the 50-point plateau before.
He would add some skill to the left-wing depth chart, and it would be a nice mid-level addition for the Blues.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Josh Harding
A team that has the league's top goal scorer should not finish in the bottom of the conference. If Tampa wants to climb up the ladder back into the playoff picture next season, a trade needs to be made. The bottom line is that Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon are not cutting it in net.
But who should Tampa target? Could they set their sights on a young goaltender like Cory Schneider or Jonathan Bernier?
A realistic low-cost target for the Lightning could be Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild.
Harding is a goalie who has had some success in Minnesota but wants an opportunity to be the starter. In Tampa Bay, he would have that opportunity.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Brandon Dubinsky
Brandon Dubinsky is 6'1" and 210 pounds. He is a truculent, gritty and physical forward that fits the Brian Burke mould. The Leafs need center depth and more importantly a No. 1 center. Dubinsky was a No. 2 for the Rangers, can also play left wing and has a career high of 54 points.
If paired with a dynamic player like Phil Kessel, Dubinsky's style of play could complement the Leafs. His defensive game and penalty-kill prowess would also be a huge plus.
Vancouver Canucks: James van Riemsdyk
The Vancouver Canucks have enigmatic players in the Sedins, and Alex Burrows completes the trio. Can you imagine if that line substituted Burrows with a more offensive-minded player in JVR? JVR is a young player with tons of offensive potential.
He has shown great improvement and was drafted second overall in 2007 for a reason. With players like the Sedins as his linemates, JVR could really explode offensively in Vancouver.
Washington Capitals: Dustin Brown
The Capitals would love to add a gritty offensive right winger like Dustin Brown. He is the type of player who would benefit a Capitals team that both scores and gives up a lot of goals. Brown likely wouldn't leave his L.A. Kings, but this is a trade scenario that the Capitals would salivate over.
Brown does the little things in his own zone and can provide clutch offense. He would really compliment fellow countryman Brooks Laich.
Winnipeg Jets: Derek Roy
The Winnipeg Jets are a team that made great strides during their first year back in Winnipeg, but they could use some upgrades offensively. Derek Roy could be acquired on the cheap considering how his stock has dropped.
However, Roy is a player who, when on his game, can be a perennial 20-goal scorer and 50-point player. This offense would really help the Jets as they attempt to make the playoff push next season.