NHL Trade Rumors: Who's Moving and Who's Staying Put This Summer?

Franklin SteeleAnalyst IIJuly 11, 2013

NHL Trade Rumors: Who's Moving and Who's Staying Put This Summer?

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    There are some predictable components when it comes to the NHL offseason. The draft is on a set day, and there's usually at least a mild consensus about who the top 30 or 45 players are—at least until the Calgary Flames take to the stage to make their pick.

    Free agency is typically a two-day storm that blows up off of the shores of the draft, consuming all logic and sensibility for a 48-hour (or so) period.

    The wild card is, and always has been, trades. They're always surprising, and they rarely happen the way we expect. A great example of this is the sudden Bobby Ryan-to-Ottawa trade at the recent draft. This, of course, after the Philadelphia Flyers courted the Anaheim Ducks for the better part of two years to land the sniper.

    Rumors swirl year round, and deals usually take upwards of six or seven months to finally pan out. Some players will be moved before the puck drops on the 2014 NHL season. It's just a matter of who, and to where.

    All salary cap information appears courtesy of Capgeek.com.

Ryan Miller

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    The Rumor: Pierre LeBrun of ESPN recently tweeted that the Buffalo Sabres are still very much interested in moving Ryan Miller.

    The Reason: Rumors have been abound about Miller being on the outs in Buffalo for the better part of a year. In April, he played in what many believe was his last game in a Sabres sweater, so it's no surprise that the 32-year-old is still on the block.

    It's rumored that his rash demeanor has fallen out of favor with Buffalo's brass and that they'd like to move the franchise in a different direction. They're rebuilding, and Miller (along with Thomas Vanek) is the top trade chip they could play.

    Will He Stay or Will He Go: He'll go.

    The writing has been on the wall for too long for the Sabres to all of a sudden hang on to Miller now. The team seems like it wants to move on. Miller seems ready to move on.

    No reason for this to turn into a Roberto Luongo-like mess in Buffalo.

Jaroslav Halak

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    The Rumor: Various teams, including the Philadelphia Flyers, are in the hunt for Jaroslav Halak. Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly recently tweeted about the Flyers' possible interest in the St. Blues' netminder.

    The Reason: The Blues have a pretty crowded crease. They still need to re-up Jake Allen, and there's roughly no chance that St. Louis moves forward without him. That makes either Brian Elliott or Halak expendable.

    At this point, most of the chatter has surrounded the latter.

    Will He Stay or Will He Go: He'll Go.

    The Blues have a whole bunch of cap space, but that doesn't mean it makes sense for them to carry three goalies on the roster. Halak is still a solid goaltender—he's just the victim of a numbers game at this point.

    Halak is set to make $4.5 million this season. Elliott will make $1.9 million. Both are affordable, but if the Blues can jettison either, it'll be Halak.

Dan Boyle

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    The Rumor: Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun reported earlier this month that Dan Boyle could be on the move and that the Ottawa Senators would be interested in acquiring him if the San Jose Sharks would be willing to absorb some salary.

    The Reason: Boyle is in the final year of his contract with the Sharks and is set to make $6.66 million. With the salary cap ceiling sinking, the Sharks—like everyone else—could use an extra million or two in cap space.

    There's never a shortage of teams looking to upgrade their blue line with an offensive defenseman, and Boyle may be the best one available on the trade market this year. If San Jose can get a decent return and is willing to retain some salary, moving Boyle could make sense.

    Will He Stay or Will He Go: Push.

    The Sharks are only $406,667 over the cap right now, so dealing Boyle and his salary may be a bit of overkill. There are other cap-shedding options available to San Jose, so there likely isn't a rush to move him.

    After all, guys that can put up 40 points from the back end don't come along all too often.

Braydon Coburn

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    The Rumor: The Edmonton Oilers have been desperately trying to secure the services of Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn. Tim Panaccio of CSN Sportsnet Philly tweeted that the two teams were trying to pound out a deal at the draft.

    The Reason: This makes sense from Edmonton's standpoint. It could use another solid defenseman despite retooling its blue line a bit this offseason. A guy like Coburn could put it over the top.

    Philadelphia is also desperately seeking a defenseman, though, so envisioning a scenario where the Flyers decide to deal Coburn is tough.

    Will He Stay or Will He Go: He'll stay.

    Barring an insane overpayment from the Oilers (think Darnell Nurse plus a draft pick and a prospect), it just wouldn't make sense for the Flyers to move their best defensive defenseman. Would they receive some much-needed cap space? Sure, but is it worth missing the playoffs for?

    They just don't have enough depth on the blue line to make this kind of move with Coburn.

Jonathon Blum

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    The Rumor: The Vancouver Canucks were gunning for Jonathon Blum, according to News 1130. They are now out of the proverbial race, but Blum could still be had for the right price.

    The Reason: Seth Jones. It's a simple situation of trading from a position of strength for the Nashville Predators. After Jones landed in their laps at the draft, they are stocked up and stacked with young, talented defensemen.

    Roman Josi blew all expectations away last season with his outstanding play, and the Preds still have the promising Ryan Ellis in the fold. The addition of Jones and the presence of Shea Weber means that Nashville could look to move a defenseman for some goal-scoring help.

    Will He Stay or Will He Go: He'll go.

    Blum may no longer be the apple of Vancouver's eye, but that doesn't mean half the teams in the NHL wouldn't at least kick tires on the kid.

    He's a promising player and would be a sound addition to a top-four elsewhere. There just isn't room for him in Nashville, and his contract will be up at the end of the year. Blum would get a shot to prove that he's a top-end defenseman prior to his deal expiring, and the Predators could add a top-six scoring option.

    It's win-win for both sides here.

Brad Richards

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    The Rumor: It's just speculation at this point, but Brian Costello of The Hockey News recently checked out the cap situation of the New York Rangers and decided things don't quite add up.

    Just because Brad Richards wasn't bought out doesn't mean that he's safe in a Rangers sweater.

    The Reason: Does a new coach equal a much-needed new beginning for Richards? Perhaps, but what happens if Richards goes goalless through his first 15 games? Then what?

    It's not hard to think up scenarios in which New York moves him, especially if it is willing to hang on to a little bit of his salary. Richards has an NMC and is locked up through the 2019-20 season, so he's in control of his fate to some degree, but it's likely that he'd turn down a change of scenery if the right team came knocking.

    Will He Stay or Will He Go: He'll stay.

    Given the fact that the Vancouver Canucks couldn't find a taker for Roberto Luongo and his deal that runs through 2022, it's unlikely New York could find a trade partner to take on Richards.

    Glen Sather did manage to trade Scott Gomez, though, so anything is possible. 

Tomas Fleischmann

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    The Rumor: Teams looking for a scoring punch and some help on the power play may want to give the Florida Panthers a call. George Richards of the Miami Herald recently tweeted that the team was shopping Tomas Fleischmann at the draft.

    The Reason: While Richards went on to clarify that the Panthers were just "listening" to offers for the consistent and underrated Fleischmann, it's curious that a team that didn't score enough goals before losing Stephen Weiss to the Detroit Red Wings wouldn't slam the door on conversations revolving around Fleischmann.

    He's arguably been Florida's most dangerous player since signing on for the 2011 season and is the motor that makes the power play run for the Panthers.

    Will He Stay or Will He Go: He'll stay.

    Florida just watched Weiss walk. There's little chance that it'll deal another blow to its ailing offense by trading Fleischmann. His $4.5 million cap hit is rock solid for the production, and there's still another two years on that deal.