4 Moves We Would Love to See Happen Before the NHL Trading Deadline
Last summer’s NHL trade winds delivered a multitude of attention-getting deals, two of which had a common human interest thread.
At the 2012 draft almost exactly nine months ago, the Carolina Hurricanes made a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins to unite the brother combination of Eric Staal and Jordan Staal. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers imported Luke Schenn from the Toronto Maple Leafs, thus letting the defenseman join forces with brother Brayden Schenn.
Those two moves constitute one brand of an intriguing type of transaction that is bound to bolster publicity for the team in question and the league.
Unless you are a fan of the team giving up the player at hand, who does not love that kind of a move? The kind that literally brings a family together or the kind that matches a big-name player with a big-name market or the kind that percolates nostalgia for a given fanbase?
A trade of any of those types is perfectly plausible in advance of the 2013 deadline on April 3. Based on recent happenings, who has been mentioned in the mill and who can be deemed the likeliest buyers and sellers, here are four dream deadline deals that stand at least a fighting chance.
Jarome Iginla to Los Angeles
One of the sparse blessings of the NHL lockout was the notion that an extended offseason would give the champion Kings a better chance to make a convincing bid for a repeat.
One of the many curses, though, has been an evaporation of puck prominence in the L.A. market. That has not been helped by a relatively slow start to the Kings’ title defense (they were 5-6-2 through their first 13 games).
Then again, this franchise is living proof that as long as a team is among the top eight in its conference at the end of the regular season, it has a chance to emerge victorious in the playoffs. Inserting a hungry and useful Iginla into their lineup would give the Kings a better chance to peak at the right time yet again.
Even if they do not win this season, Iginla can stay and keep them competitive for multiple seasons afterward. That would ensure sustained attention for the NHL within the largest media market in the southern portion of the United States.
For that reason, of the teams who are reportedly on Iginla’s list of acceptable new employers, the Kings would work best from an NHL publicity standpoint.
Jaromir Jagr to Boston
Whilst assessing rumors that the Bruins have their eyes on Jagr, among other seasoned strikers, Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com noted that “Czech Republic center David Krejci grew up idolizing Jagr, and acquiring the future Hall of Famer could provide a big boost for their No. 1 center.”
Besides that, though, Jagr’s longtime former employer, the Pittsburgh Penguins, already appears to have collected their fill of acquisitions. They just pried Brenden Morrow from Jagr’s current employer, the Dallas Stars, who are implicitly in selling mode if they just jettisoned their captain.
Could you imagine a battle of black and gold in either the second or third round of the playoffs with Jagr facing the Penguins again―like he did as a Flyer last year―and facing Morrow so soon after they were temporary teammates?
Jordan Leopold to Minnesota
One of two prominent University of Minnesota alumni on the Buffalo Sabres roster—the other being Thomas Vanek—Leopold is the more realistic trade candidate. Virtually everybody has been mentioned in rumors and chatter, but the journeyman defenseman is clearly calling for a change of scenery whereas Vanek clearly ought to be retained as Buffalo rebuilds.
Going to his hometown Wild and back to where he sculpted several memories as a Gopher could be the best possible change for Leopold. In turn, he could lend a little more depth to the blue line on a team that is rising to Cup contention.
Paul Stastny to New Jersey or St. Louis
Denver Post columnist Adrian Dater holds that if the Colorado Avalanche are to shed their surplus of upper-echelon centers, Stastny would be the ideal export.
Dater rationalizes this claim by writing of Stastny, “He seems tired with this team, a guy who looks like he could use a fresh start somewhere else. The Avs have missed the playoffs four of the last six seasons with him as one of their top two centers.”
Besides the points Dater makes, there are two logical reasons for either the Devils or the Blues in particular to make an inquiry to Colorado about Stastny. The first is that, even with a hefty $6.6 million cap hit, adding him is perfectly affordable for both teams, who are each trying to build on a progressive playoff run from 2012.