As the lockout-shortened 2013 NHL regular season continues to speed along, the trade rumors surrounding some of the biggest franchises in the league are buzzing through the hockey world.
Organizations like the Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild are all reportedly looking to make deals, and the intense nature of the short season has the NHL ready for what could be a very busy trade deadline.
All of the following moves have already been rumored, and the kinds of deals being discussed could change the entire landscape of the NHL.
Avalanche Leaning Toward Moving Ryan O’Reilly?
The Colorado Avalanche need serious help scoring the puck this season (25th in the NHL), but the ongoing contract talks with young star Ryan O’Reilly have continued to drag on and it looks like the team will have to consider dealing the center.
According to Adrian Dater of The Denver Post, O’Reilly’s camp spoke about the likelihood that the young star would be dealt and who they blame for the contract issues:
Most people around O’Reilly expect the Avs to trade him now. I’ll tell you this: when/if O’Reilly plays for another team, expect a good healthy rivalry between him and Matt Duchene every time they play. Plenty of people around O’Reilly are blaming Duchene for taking “short money” on a two-year deal, which effectively set the bar for O’Reilly, one the Avs won’t go over.
Colorado desperately needs depth at center, and the solution is right in front of them. The Avalanche must pay the young star what he wants and get O’Reilly on the ice as soon as possible to start rebuilding the chemistry and trust lost during this process.
O’Reilly is a long-term answer for the team if they agree to pay him, but if a contract can’t be agreed upon by the time the deadline closes in, Colorado must cut its losses and get as much return for the young star as possible via trade.
Wild Looking to Deal Devin Setoguchi?
The Minnesota Wild looked to revamp their team this offseason by signing big-name free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, but the supporting cast—including young forward Devin Setoguchi—has not lived up to expectations this season.
Despite trading for the services of the young star just last season, Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun is reporting that the Wild could already be looking to move Setoguchi:
Acquiring RW Devin Setoguchi from the Sharks before hasn’t worked out as planned and he could be moved. The 26-year-old was moved to the club’s fourth line last week because he hasn’t been living up to coach Mike Yeo’s expectations. There is talk Setoguchi is available, but he does have one year left at $3 million. Many believe part of the issue is the Wild overhyped the signings of LW Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter.
At this point of the season, Minnesota and its 27th-ranked offensive unit must be looking for any way they can improve the anemic goal-scoring units. If there is a great offer on the table that requires the organization to deal Setoguchi, the Wild must make the move.
Perry or Getzlaf; That is the Question
The Anaheim Ducks are facing a serious dilemma as two of the team’s most talented forwards—center Ryan Getzlaf and winger Corey Perry—are both heading towards new contracts. Both will be expecting huge new deals, and the Ducks may not be able to swing both.
Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun breaks down what the belief is in Anaheim about the contract situations and the likelihood that Getzlaf will be moved:
The belief is to keep Perry and Getzlaf, Murray is going to have to ante up with big, front-loaded contracts for both. You know, the ones that were a “hill to die on” during the CBA negotiations before the league decided it couldn’t afford to lose the season.
Many don’t believe—of the two—Getzlaf is going anywhere because he’s settled into Anaheim. There was talk before the lockout the two sides were close to a long-term agreement in the $60-million range. That hasn’t materialized yet.
There is no question that both men are immensely talented, but Getzlaf is a center and one of the best in the league. Centers are always in demand and are usually the most versatile players on the team.
As great as Perry is, trading him before his deal runs out should be a no-brainer for the Ducks if they don’t plan on re-signing him. Keeping both is ideal, but most likely unrealistic.