As NHL teams look to improve heading into next season, there are quite a few options for these squads to get better in a hurry.
While the draft was a way to bring in long-term prospects that will help in the near future, teams will also have the opportunity to grab established players through trades in the coming days and weeks. There are certainly players available who can help get a contender over the top towards winning a championship.
The offseason is still just getting started, but here is a look at some big names who could be dealt.
Tomas Fleischmann, Florida Panthers
When you have the worst record in the NHL, sometimes you have to give up veteran talent to help rebuild.
That appears to be the case with Tomas Fleischmann, who has produced two solid years for the Florida Panthers but could be on his way out of town, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald:
Keep hearing the #FlaPanthers are offering up Tomas Fleischmann but team source says no. We'll see. Makes $4.5m for next 2 years.— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) June 30, 2013
The 29-year-old center is one of the better passers in hockey, although he did not have much help around him to finish the opportunities created. This held him to 23 assists to go with his 12 goals scored.
Fleischmann was even better offensively in the 2011-12 season, totaling 27 goals with 34 assists while playing all 82 games.
There is not much more that he can do to help Florida, but any team looking for offensive help should give the veteran a serious look heading into next season.
Braydon Coburn, Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia was close to making the playoffs last season, but the team was held back by one of the worst defenses in the league. Interestingly, the squad is looking to remedy this by trading one of its more experienced players on the back line.
According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the Flyers are considering a trade that would send Braydon Coburn to the Edmonton Oilers:
Sources say the Oilers are still hammering away at the Flyers with Coburn the primary target.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 30, 2013
This would help another team with a solid offense but below average defense, as Edmonton would get a veteran defender who plays a lot of minutes every game.
On the other hand, it would further signal that the Flyers are in full rebuilding mode. The organization also drafted long-term prospect Sam Morin in the first round, who will need plenty of seasoning before he contributes at a high level.
While fans would probably be upset at whatever deal is made for Coburn, it will hopefully lead to better days in the future.
Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins
Few players in the NHL have a brighter future than Tyler Seguin. The 21-year-old forward has shown the ability to seemingly score at will at times, and he has an impressive 121 points in three years of play.
However, he regressed from his second to this third season and struggled mightily in the postseason with only one goal and seven assists in 22 games.
As a result, Boston put the young player on the trading block, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN:
Not 100 per cent yet but looks like Nathan Horton will NOT be back with BOS. B's talking trade and Tyler Seguin's name has been discussed.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 29, 2013
When asked about the potential deal, general manager Peter Chiarelli said that he hoped it would become a wake-up call to Seguin. According to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, the GM was very blunt in his assessment:
He’s got to commit his mind and focus on the one task at hand. He’s got to become more of a professional...He’s an elite young player who had an average year. He’s 21 and I expect big things from him. I wasn’t satisfied with his year. He wasn’t either. So we move on. He’s a [heck] of a player and will be a [heck] of a player.
It is unlikely that the young player will actually be dealt this offseason, as the threat should be enough to accomplish the goal. Still, it is something to monitor going forward.
If Seguin gets off to another poor start next year, do not be surprised if Chiarelli once again considers a trade.
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