As the 2013 NHL trade deadline approaches (April 3), the rumors about if and where the biggest names on the block will be moved has the hockey world buzzing.
Add in the recent flurry of trades, including long-time Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla being moved to the Pittsburgh Penguins (h/t ESPN), and the dominoes are starting to fall.
The chaos has officially begun!
All of the following names have been rumored to be on the move, and where each falls will help depict how the 2013 postseason shakes out.
Dan Boyle, D, San Jose Sharks
Now that Jarome Iginla has been dealt, arguably the biggest name left on the market is San Jose Sharks defender Dan Boyle.
Boyle is one of the few defenders in the NHL that plays smart, fundamental defense in his own zone yet has the passing ability and a powerful shot from the point to be a threat in the offensive zone at even strength and on the power play.
Despite his success in San Jose, Boyle is due $6.66 million next year (h/t CapGeek), and the Sharks will be looking to save money and build for the future with their team currently faltering in the Western Conference standings.
Of all the teams that have been speculated to have interest in Boyle, Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that the New York Rangers are very interested in trading for the offensive defender.
This rumored deal makes perfect sense for the Rangers, especially after losing defender Marc Staal to an eye injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season (h/t The Bergen Record).
Not only does Boyle bring his offensive prowess—five goals, 10 assists and 10 power-play points—the fact that he is logging a team-high 23:02 minutes per game makes him the kind of workhorse New York needs.
Miikka Kiprusoff, G, Calgary Flames
Now that the Calgary Flames have acknowledged that the team isn’t going anywhere this season by trading captain Jarome Iginla, the next step should be to move the rest of the overpriced veterans holding back the rebuilding process.
Miikka Kiprusoff has an annual cap hit of $5.83 million (h/t CapGeek) that runs through the end of next season, but at 36 years old, the Flames must consider moving the goaltender in order to get the picks and players the franchise needs to rebuild.
While the goalie doesn’t have a no-movement clause, trading Kiprusoff will be very tough.
According to Nick Kypreos of SportsNet, the goalie will reportedly not report to his new team if traded before the deadline.
Not only do the Flames have to work out the details of a potential deal with their potential trade partners and convince them that Kiprusoff will show up, the organization must get the long-time Calgary netminder to agree to play for his potential new team.
With another year on his contract, Kiprusoff could become a major headache for the Flames at this year’s deadline as well as next year’s.
Ryan Whitney, D, Edmonton Oilers
There are plenty of big names on the market this year, but one of the more underrated talents being passed over is Edmonton Oilers defender Ryan Whitney.
The 30-year-old two-way defender has spent seven years in the league, and while he’s had issues with the Oilers’ organization (h/t ProHockeyTalk), there is little doubt that he is still skilled enough at both ends of the rink to continue to a playoff team’s postseason chase.
Joe Haggerty of CSN New England is reporting that the Boston Bruins are already in the hunt for Whitney.
The Bruins were in on the Iginla sweepstakes (h/t Boston.com), but the loss to the Penguins on that front could open the door for a trade with Edmonton instead. With offense and defensive depth being the team’s main issues, Boston would be wise to add a puck-moving defender like Whitney.
While Whitney hasn’t been at his offense best with the Oilers (not all his fault with such an inexperienced team around him), the veteran defender has over 250 points in his career and would be a great addition to the Bruins’ power play and offense in general.
Add in the depth Whitney would help provide, and this Boston team should be all-in for the defender.