Coyotes: Keith Yandle
Assuming the Phoenix Coyotes would not part with Mike Smith, even though they have a reputation for developing goalies, defenseman Keith Yandle is left as the Coyotes’ biggest trade chip. The 26-year old has a capacity for notching points that other teams salivate over.
A defenseman like Yandle is gold for quarterbacking power plays. Not sure what aspect of Phoenix’s well-balanced game they would like to add on, but Yandle would be the key to doing it.
Who else is there really?
San Jose Sharks: Ryan Clowe or Joe Thornton
Ryan Clowe seems like the most likely to actually be traded, but Joe Thornton is approaching free agency after six years on a team that has yet to see him to a cup. Though it would kill the Sharks to trade one of the best playmakers in the game, they might want to get something for him while they can.
The 33-year-old has not had a season with less than 70 points since joining the Sharks. Their goal-scoring talent makes the team an ideal place for a passer like Thornton.
Admittedly, trading Thornton seems unlikely. The Sharks will do what they can to keep him, making Clowe the most valuable, likely trade bait if need be.
Los Angeles Kings: Jonathan Bernier
Locking Jonathan Quick to a 10-year contract solidified Jonathan Bernier’s spot as a backup for the Los Angeles Kings. Although goaltending depth is a great thing to have on a team, the Kings should sell high while the goalie demand is in full gear.
As mentioned before, teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs are in dire need of a netminder. Goaltending in the NHL is a monopoly and the Kings have excess supply.
Bernier has not necessarily proven himself a worthy starter, but hey, he won the Stanley Cup.
Dallas Stars: Alex Goligoski
After enforcing their offense with Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy and Ray Whitney, the Dallas Stars are hoping they can become a contender. As one of the many teams who have just undergone several trades, their trade chips are limited—defenseman Alex Goligoski is the only worthy tradable player.
In six seasons in the NHL, the 27-year-old has maintained a strong career plus-minus (34). Goligoski has also notched several 30-point seasons in the process.
The Stars are hanging on to their forwards and will fight for Kari Lehtonen during the free agency. If anyone is moved, it will be Goligoski.
Anaheim Ducks: Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf
Again, this list is supposed to exclude franchise players—so here are two: Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The Anaheim Ducks may trade one (cough, Getzlaf, cough) rather than scramble to keep them both.
Perry is a solid goal scorer who led the league in goals in 2011. Though his point production plummeted, by his standards, this season, the 27-year-old still notched a solid 37 goals.
After two seasons of somewhat minor injury, Getzlaf has seen his production slip quite a bit. Anaheim’s go-to assist man was average this past year.
As the two approach free agency, it will be interesting to see where the duo ends up. Perhaps Perry and Getzlaf will join up and sign a Zach Parise and Ryan Suter-esque package deal with another team.