NHL Trade Rumors: One Player Each Team Will Look to Deal During Offseason
As the NHL's unrestricted free agency market opens up on July 1, the additions will be rapid and the trades almost imminent. Certain teams would like to move players to make room for new additions, while other teams will look to simply get rid of guys that are no longer fits for their rosters.
While many big moves have been made already, there is still plenty of work to be done in the 2012 NHL offseason.
Here is a list of players that could be moved this summer. .
Bobby Ryan publicly voiced his displeasure with the constant trade rumors surrounding him, saying “Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately.”
The Ducks could get a big return on the 25-year-old that has scored more than 30 goals over the past four seasons.
Tim Thomas declared through his own Facebook page that he would not be playing in the NHL next season.
This leaves the Bruins with the last year of his contract, which carries a $5 million cap hit. Boston could dump the salary on a team that needs help reaching the salary cap floor.
Derek Roy is entering the final season of his contract.
The Sabres’ need for bigger forwards is not an ideal situation for the 5’9” Roy, who publicly criticized his coach this past season.
Roy could be traded, with Buffalo using the roster space to add a larger forward.
Jay Bouwmeester’s $6.8 million cap hit limits Calgary’s ability to make many moves.
If the team could trade him, they would be able to free space to add scoring. Calgary’s offense was 27th among NHL teams in goals scored last season.
The Flames have already had trade talks regarding Bouwmeester.
After the Hurricanes made their big trade for Jordan Staal, it is unlikely they will be moving much more.
If they look to add offense, that would make a lower line player like Patrick Dwyer more expendable.
Niklas Hjalmarsson has been disappointing for Chicago, but he could improve with a change of scenery.
Edmonton and Ottawa could be interested.
Paul Stastny is a suggested trade target for Buffalo.
If the Avalanche got Derek Roy in return, he could provide some leadership that the young Avalanche need.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Rick Nash is probably the NHL’s biggest trade asset this summer.
Columbus has a high asking price for the forward, but that may go down the deeper into the offseason the Blue Jackets get.
Steve Ott was discussed as a trade target at the deadline. He will still draw interest this offseason.
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit has plenty of players under contract, but still has the cap space to add. If they wish to dump anyone, Jonathan Ericsson and his $3.25 million cap hit could be the subject.
Sam Gagner and Magnus Paajarvi were reportedly offered in a trade at the draft. Edmonton should be expected to move a forward in any trade this summer.
Marcel Goc and Sean Bergenheim could be trade assets if the Panthers make a deal.
Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Bernier is unnecessary for Los Angeles. He could have sat in the press box during the Kings’ playoff run and it would not have made a difference.
Vezina Trophy-worthy starter Jonathan Quick will be the No. 1 goalie wherever he is, but Bernier is a quality backup who could draw interest from other teams.
Minnesota may not be willing to pay “a big price” on the trade front, so expect only minor players to be on the move.
The Wild are more likely to spend big money on a top forward through free agency.
Scott Gomez has two years left on a contract carrying a $7.36 cap hit, though he will be paid a total of $10 million over those two seasons.
He could be helpful to a team near the salary cap floor who would welcome the extra $2.36 million in cap space being taken.
Brian Burke of Toronto was reported to have talks with Nashville and Philadelphia on draft day. He later made a trade for Philadelphia’s forward James van Riemsdyk.
This is purely speculation, but it seems as though Burke would likely have been looking for something similar from Nashville.
Patric Hornqvist is a young winger averaging more than 40 points per season over the past three years. He is arguably the Predators’ best offensive option without a no-trade clause.
He may have been Burke’s target.
New Jersey Devils
The only forward New Jersey has signed beyond next season is Ilya Kovalchuk. Of the 14 forwards set to be free agents this summer or next summer, only two are restricted.
For a team with financial struggles such as New Jersey, it is going to be very tough to afford expensive unrestricted free agents.
Those free agents include key players Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac and Dainus Zubrus. On the defensive side, Marek Zidlicky will also be a UFA.
To put it simply, if New Jersey does not re-sign Zach Parise this summer, they may enter a rapid rebuilding/fire sale mode, which would make anyone not locked-in long term expendable.
New York Islanders
The Islanders should not be giving up any prospects in trades, but Marty Reasoner will be a free-agent next summer and is expendable.
New York Rangers
Brandon Dubinsky had a disappointing 34-point season in 2011-12, but his potential to deliver more than 50 could draw interest from other teams.
Ben Bishop or Robin Lehner could be on the market, since Ottawa has Craig Anderson as a starter and does not need both Bishop and Lehner behind him.
After much anticipation, the Flyers traded their two most popular assets in Sergei Bobrovsky and James van Riemsdyk.
All of the Flyers currently under contract are either core players or have joined the team in the last 13 months.
Expect the Flyers’ moves going forward to involve free agency, not trading.
Keith Yandle is drawing interest in Phoenix, but nobody has provided an offer that the Coyotes are willing to accept.
The 25-year-old has four seasons left on a contract worth $5.25 million per year.
Paul Martin is reportedly being shopped. The defenseman has three years left on his contract worth $5 million per season.
San Jose Sharks
Antti Niemi was reportedly offered to Philadelphia at this season’s trade deadline.
It is unknown if he is still on the market, but he might be a cheaper goaltending option than any team looking at Roberto Luongo or Jonathan Bernier.
Ryane Clowe, Joe Pavelski and Jason Demers are also speculated trade options.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues said they are looking to add defense.
If that involves a trade, moving an older forward like Alexander Steen might be involved. Free agency may be more likely to be a source for St. Louis.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay wants to address its inept defense, which might require trading a forward such as Teddy Purcell.
Toronto Maple Leafs
If Toronto looks to deal for Roberto Luongo, one roster player who might be involved is Clarke MacArthur, a forward with a $3.25 million cap hit on a contract that expires next summer.
Roberto Luongo did not deliver clutch play over his most recent two playoff series.
Vancouver’s back-to-back President Trophy-winning hockey team may not be able to reach success with Luongo, but has a very capable backup in Cory Schneider.
Look for a re-signing of Schneider and a trading of Luongo.
Roman Hamrlik carries a $3.5 million cap hit and is entering his final contract year.
That money could be better spent on free agents such as Mike Green and John Carlson.
Some rumors suggest that restricted free agent Evander Kane could be on the move if the young forward is not able to reach a contract agreement with the Jets, though the rumor does not hold much ground.
Still, Kane would be a valuable trade asset if that is the route Winnipeg takes.
Jason Sapunka covers the NHL and is available on Twitter for day-to-day updates, analysis and commentary.