NHL: 6 Biggest Potential Trades Early in the Shortened 2013 Season
Granted, the lockout and late start to the 2012-13 season is not quite finished percolating angst among puckheads who are eager for this aspect of the game to pick up substantial traction. The excitement and intrigue of the final days and weeks before the trading deadline will be pushed off this year as that deadline shall pass on April 3, more than a full month later than normal.
Fanbases hoping for a momentous import and export or even the reported prospect of such an occurrence will more than likely need to wait on that. However, all is not fully mute on the transactions front as the NHL rounds out its first week of game action in 2013.
The top teams and players who are drawing trade talk at the moment are as follows.
Jonathan Bernier Swapped for a Defenseman?
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Recent reports of a protracted injury to Matt Greene have spawned speculation that the Los Angeles Kings’ desire to fill the ensuing void on the blue line may mean placing their backup goalie on the market.
The Kings may just as soon keep Bernier for the balance of this season. In a column from last week, guru Lyle Richardson of The Hockey News concludes, "If the Kings are planning to shop him later this season, it would be a good idea to ensure they've got a suitable replacement who can spell Quick when necessary. Most likely, the Kings will retain Bernier for the season and then peddle him in the summer."
Then again, Richardson's report was published before the Greene injury, therefore the speculation that has been running since last summer is unlikely to have much reason to come to a complete halt.
Ben Bishop Coming to Calgary? Edmonton?
Calgary Sun reporter Eric Francis has mentioned the Ottawa Senators backup as a possible import to spell workhorse Miikka Kiprusoff as needed. Francis’ rationale is a combination of Calgary recently dealing Henrik Karlsson to Chicago and that the Sens have a potential rising gem in Robin Lehner.
Bob McKenzie of TSN and the NHL Network has also cited the other Alberta franchise, the Edmonton Oilers, as a possible Bishop buyer. He says as much in the video above.
Buffalo Sabres Dealing A Defenseman?
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When asked about his surplus supply of defensemen by John Vogl of the Buffalo News prior to training camp, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier responded, “You’d prefer trade versus waivers for the individual…If the player can’t play here, you’d hope that they’d have an opportunity elsewhere and you can get something in return for that as well.”
Buffalo currently has nine blueliners with appreciable quantities of NHL seasoning. That along with Regier’s words suggest that if they feel the need to shore up in another department, whether that is up front on the current roster or storing up for the future, someone could be jettisoned to make that happen.
Cody Franson to Detroit?
Since then, Detroit has at least temporarily lost a pair of blueliners in Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl while two others in Carlo Colaiacovo and Ian White are on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Franson has dressed for only two of Toronto’s first four games.
Depending on how long and to what extent the Detroit defense is depleted and how Franson projects to be incorporated among the Maple Leafs, the Wings and the fourth-year NHLer could be a symbiotic solution for one another.
Canucks Finding A Buyer For Roberto Luongo?
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Exact word of a “potential deal” was attributed to Canucks general manager Mike Gillis by Vancouver Sun reporter Cam Cole this past Monday. In a notes column, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun subsequently wrote that “Gillis confirmed the same in an email to ESPN.com Tuesday.”
Near the end of Cole’s column in the Sun, Gillis is quoted as follows:
“We have a potential deal in place with one team that has to do something with another player that they have — and it’s not who anybody thinks it is — and so we have to wait. (But) we’ve been offered packages that don’t fit what our plan is, what we need.”
Whether or not that deal goes down, let alone how soon, is difficult to project, especially when Gillis is not naming names as to the other party.
Regardless, some trades that never happen are as big as those that do, especially when the chatter has been going on for as long as it has around Luongo. Whether Luongo is in new attire next week or still with Vancouver after April 3, it will easily one of the most momentous transactions or non-transactions in the NHL’s 2013 season.
PK Subban Parting With Montreal?
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As was recently transcribed on TSN’s website, McKenzie said of Subban and the Habs higher-ups, “They’re just too far apart on the term of the contract - P.K. wants long, the Canadiens want two years - and they're probably at least $2.5 to $3 million per year apart on where they want to be. Ultimately I think this ends up in a trade.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette published a column of over 2,000 words detailing the young defenseman’s current holdout. In the article, Subban asserts that he would prefer to stay in Montreal, but the fulfillment of that wish can only be certain if and when a new pact is made.