As the lockout-shortened NHL season continues to roll on, the talk of trades and rumors surrounding some of the biggest names and teams in the sport has started to boil over.
Last year’s playoff-caliber teams like Vancouver, Los Angeles and Philadelphia are not doing as well as they’d like, and a possible trade to add talent and depth is what these organizations are looking for.
All of the following teams will be looking to make moves as the season progresses.
The Vancouver Canucks were looking to bounce back after a stunning loss in the playoffs last year, but a 2-2-2 start to the season may be forcing the hand of the organization.
Vancouver has already admitted that they are willing to deal star goalie Roberto Luongo (h/t Vancouver Sun), but the team has yet to pull a trigger on a potential deal. With a need for depth at the forward position, the Canucks could be close to making a trade
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, three primary teams are interested in Vancouver’s veteran netminder:
The Florida Panthers have shown interest — and, ultimately, that’s where Luongo wants to end up when this drama ends — but sources say GM Dale Tallon is going to have to sweeten the pot a lot more if that’s going to happen.
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis hasn’t been as aggressive as many thought he would be in pursuing Luongo. The Leafs know what it takes to get a deal done: Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak and a second-round pick.
The Chicago Blackhawks could also be a landing spot for Luongo if they struggle out of the gate. Whether you like Gillis’ strategy or not, he’s dealing from a position of strength on this one. Luongo is hardly a diminishing asset.
The Canucks will have many options, but the fact that the team isn’t going anywhere in the Western Conference proves the franchise must make a move sooner rather than later.
Luongo can fetch too much value on the trade market to have him rot away as a backup goaltender; it’s time for Vancouver management to push the tempo of the trade talks and get a deal done.
Los Angeles Kings
After winning the Stanley Cup, most experts picked the Los Angeles Kings to repeat during the shortened season.
The Kings had so much chemistry to end 2011-12 that no one could have seen the slow start to the season coming.
Los Angeles is 2-2-1 so far in 2013, and sits in eighth place in the Western Conference. With injuries starting to pile up, the Kings may be forced to make a move to alleviate the pressure on their defense.
According to TheFourthPeriod.com, LA’s need for defenders is getting too drastic to ignore and a trade may be closer than expected:
Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi has intensified his hunt for a defenseman, especially in the wake of Matt Greene's recent injury. TFP first reported last week that the Kings were in the market for a defenseman, and Greene's latest injury has pushed the search into high-gear. According to a team source, the Kings are looking for a solid two-way defenseman with a left-handed shot to play alongside Drew Doughty or Slava Voynov as one of the club's top two defensive pairings.
A team can never predict injuries, but to have a lack of defensive depth the way the Kings currently do is a bad omen. The team was built for the perfect run, and injuries are not part of that plan.
Los Angeles needs defensive help, but the fact that they don’t have the elite farm system they once did will limit exactly what kind of deal the organization can make.
The Philadelphia Flyers have stumbled out of the starting gate and are struggling to make everything work with the current lineup. Injuries have ravaged the roster, and the Flyers have fallen to 2-4 this season.
While goaltending and defense could be better, the lack of goal scoring—13 goals in six games (seven goals came in one game)—has been the main root of the team’s issues.
According to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Flyers could be considering a move for a young forward like Bobby Ryan if the team’s offense doesn’t blossom into a more consistent unit:
Which is why a bold move could be in the works, and why a player such as Anaheim winger Bobby Ryan, a South Jersey native who would love to return to his roots, could appear on the Flyers' radar. Ryan, who has scored 30-plus goals in each of his four full seasons, is just the type of sniper the Flyers need.
The signing of a veteran forward Mike Knuble is a solid addition in the short-term, but Bobby Ryan is the kind of player that could form a bond with a star like Claude Giroux and develop a chemistry for a long-term relationship.
With Ryan’s abilities to get the puck in the back of the net and Giroux’s willingness to make the perfect passes, this is a move that Philadelphia must consider following through on.