NHL Trade Rumors: Fact or Fiction on Latest League-Wide Buzz

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2013

UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 29:  Jay Bouwmeester #4 of the Calgary Flames skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on December 29, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Flames 3-1.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The 2013 NHL trade deadline is April 3, and the rumors about which teams will be looking to make moves and which big-name stars will be the next dealt is the talk of the league.

One of the biggest pieces fell early Thursday morning when the Pittsburgh Penguins completed a trade for Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla (h/t ESPN), and the rest of the NHL will soon follow suit with its activity.

All of the following trade scenarios could come to fruition before the deadline passes, but only the rumors dubbed fact will actually happen.

Jay Bouwmeester to the Philadelphia Flyers?

On the surface, it’s easy to see that the Philadelphia Flyers need help on defense with the loss of former captain Chris Pronger (h/t NJ.com) and a lack of serious depth beyond the top four defenders.

The need for a force on the power play and the desire for a vocal leader on the blue line would make Calgary Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester a perfect fit.

That potential fit is the reason the teams have reportedly had preliminaries discussions about a deal, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

They need help on the blue line and have held talks with the Flames about defenceman Jay Bouwmeester. Many wonder if they might try to dangle centre Sean Couturier because he could fetch someone to replace injured defenceman Chris Pronger.

As tempting as this deal is for a Flyers team desperate to make the postseason, Philadelphia must look at the long-term picture in this situation. Couturier is a gifted 20-year-old two-way forward and Bouwmeester is a 29-year-old defender making $6.68 million per season (h/t CapGeek).

The Flyers are currently 14th in the Eastern Conference and will not be looking to take on more salary.

If anything, expect Philadelphia to start dumping contracts as the deadline gets closer.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction, Jay Bouwmeester stays in Calgary.

Dan Boyle to the New York Rangers?

The New York Rangers are fighting for a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs—currently situated in eighth place—and the loss of defenseman Marc Staal to a possible season-ending eye injury (h/t NY Daily News) may force the team to make a trade.

New York has been aggressive in the past getting big-name players (i.e. Rick Nash), and there has been talk about the Rangers acquiring Boyle’s contract, according to Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork.com:

A source confirmed what ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun mentioned earlier this week, that the Rangers have interest in San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle…Boyle is not a rental, either, but a source indicated to ESPNNewYork.com that the Rangers are not opposed to adding a player with years remaining on his contract if he's a good fit. Boyle, who previously played under coach John Tortorella in Tampa, has one year remaining after this season on a six-year, $40 million deal that comes with an annual cap hit of $6.66 million.

Before the injury to Staal, there was no way the Rangers would have been desperate enough to pull off a move of this magnitude. As the eighth-place team faced a long-term injury to a top defender, though, New York may be forced to pull this move off.

Add in the moves the Pittsburgh Penguins have made, and the Rangers have to do something.

Fact or Fiction: Fact, Dan Boyle will be trade to the New York Rangers.

Will the Washington Capitals Have a Full-Fledged Fire Sale?

The Washington Capitals are four points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference, and the recent hot streak from captain Alex Ovechkin (18 points over the last month) has the team fighting for a chance at a postseason berth.

Despite the feeling that the team could make a late run and get into the playoffs, the Capitals are reportedly ready to sell off the players that have expensive or expiring contracts, according to Garrioch:

This could be George McPhee’s last act after 14 years of no Cups. Not only is Ribeiro available, the Caps have tried to unload the contracts of forwards Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera and Joel Ward.

Washington has a very talented roster, but injuries and a lack of consistently have hurt the team’s nucleolus. As soon as the league counted the team out—starting with Ovechkin first and foremost—the team came alive and has proven to be a force.

Instead of being massive sellers at the deadline, don’t be surprised to see the Capitals acquire a player that can add the secondary scoring they lack at times or a defender to secure the back-end of their defense.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction, Washington Capitals make a run at the playoffs.