The San Jose Sharks currently sit sixth in the Western Conference standings, but the team may be looking to move impending free agent Ryane Clowe and his $3.625 million contract.
Despite the team’s run at a postseason berth, Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com is reporting that a deal for the Sharks’ power forward could happen at any moment:
A source has informed CSNCalifornia.com that the Sharks have approached Clowe’s agent about the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause, and a deal could happen as soon as Sunday.
There are many teams across the league that could use a versatile power forward that can play either side of center if needed, and Clowe's offensive touch could make the difference for a team on the cusp of contending for a championship.
All of the following teams would be wise to invest in a trade for Clowe.
The Boston Bruins already boast one of the best defensive units in the NHL—third in the league, allowing just 2.2 goals per game—but the fact that the Bruins are 13th in total offense (2.8 goals per game) proves the team needs more help at the forward positions.
After Boston lost out to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes (h/t Boston.com), it was clear that the team was looking for a big body who played two-way hockey, but could also add a touch in the offensive zone.
While Clowe is not on the same level as a first-ballot Hall of Famer like Iginla, Clowe could be the scoring depth the Bruins have lacked on the second and third lines all season.
This move wouldn’t be cheap, but it would be a smart short-term answer for the team’s lack of offense at times.
The Montreal Canadiens are sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference, but hard-charging teams behind them in the standings will force the team to make a change to fill its only real weakness, the penalty kill.
Clowe would be asked to come in and be one of the best penalty killers on the team immediately, helping to bolster a unit that’s 18th best in the NHL with an 80.3 penalty-kill percentage. The defensive prowess of the physical forward would help that unit toughen up right away.
While the penalty kill hasn’t been great, the Canadiens are ranked in the top 10 in goals per game and goals allowed per game (fifth in each category) and boast the eighth-best power-play unit in the NHL (21.1 percent).
If Montreal can work out an asking price that doesn’t hurt the team in the long-term, this is the kind of move that would take Montreal to the next level and possibly to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The New York Rangers are sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, and the fact that the team is struggling to even make the postseason will force the Rangers to make a trade before the deadline.
For the right price, Clowe would be an ideal fit for New York.
Besides the stellar play of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers have been awful in almost every facet of the game. New York is ranked 30th in total offense with 2.2 goals per game, 25th on the power play and 21st on the penalty kill.
Add in the injury to defender Marc Staal (h/t New York Post), and the situation has only gotten worse.
With Clowe’s ability to contribute on the power play, on the penalty kill and at even-strength, this would be New York’s ideal trade deadline deal.
Whether the franchise has the assets to entice San Jose is the real question.