The move may break the dam on a plethora of trades around the league. With teams like Florida, Buffalo and Edmonton perhaps approaching fire-sale sell signals and other bubble teams such as Winnipeg, Carolina and Columbus looking to make a change, the remainder of November may be quite busy off the ice.
Which players might be on the trade block? Which teams might be looking to buy or sell? A breakdown and analysis of the league’s latest expert-verified rumors falls on the coming slides.
Just seven months after Columbus’ Marian Gaborik acquisition sent shock waves around the NHL, the Blue Jackets have apparently decided that the 31-year-old winger is no longer worth the price.
Per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch:
Barring a dramatic change, I see no chance #CBJ even attempt to re-sign Marian Gaborik, will look to move him at trade deadline or sooner.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) November 14, 2013
Gaborik has 11 points and a plus-one rating in 17 games, but the struggling Jackets (6-10-2) are discontent with that level of production for his $7.5 million price tag. They’ll look to get some value out of the star Slovak before his contract expires next summer.
Struggling bubble teams with flexible cap space (such as the Islanders, Senators or Predators) could soon come calling, but such specific targets are mere speculation at the moment.
Seemingly hoping to shed some cap space that they can then spend on their woeful offense, the Philadelphia Flyers are looking to move several blueliners.
Per Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:
The Flyers are vigorously shopping defenceman Luke Schenn (foot speed issues) and fellow blueliner Andrej Meszaros but both make too much money. Schenn, who came from Toronto for James van Riemsdyk, sports a $3.6-million cap hit for three more years, and Meszaros is $4 million, but he’s an unrestricted free agent in July.
Shenn and Meszaros each have just one point in 15 and nine appearances, respectively, so far this season. Luke's brother Brayden currently leads the Flyers with 12 points, but the brotherly combination has not gone quite as well as the Sedins in Vancouver or the Staals in Carolina.
With Philadelphia's offense ranked 29th in the league but their defense spotted a surprising 13h, it's little surprise that the club may look to transfer some salary onto the goal-scoring end of its roster.
The Maple Leafs' fast start has fizzled into .500 hockey over past few weeks, leading GM Dave Nonis to look for a spark he could add to the lineup.
Per Darren Dreger on TSN Wednesday:
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of those teams that have had discussions with Dallas about Fiddler. Toronto's a little bit concerned about his age and the money, but the Leafs are looking for something.
Dreger's remarks came after TSN's Bob McKenzie described how Fiddler "went to the Dallas Stars and said he wants more ice time and wants a bigger role."
The 33-year-old center has recorded just five points and a minus-four rating in 19 games, causing his ice time to drop below 11 minutes in nine of his last 15 appearances. He'd bring a large dose of experience and grit to a young and flashy Leafs team.
After missing half of 2012-13 recovering from a January hip surgery and then missing much of Hurricanes training camp with a preseason injury, hard-hitting Finn Tuomo Ruutu may be wearing out his welcome in Raleigh.
Per Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, prior to Colorado's game against Carolina last Tuesday:
The Lightning obviously could use another forward, at least for a while. The under .500 Hurricanes, I've heard, are offering Tuomo Ruutu around the league. They would desperately love to move him and his $4.75 million cap hit.
Dater also reported that the Lightning, now in a major offensive debacle after Steven Stamkos suffered a broken leg Monday, had a scout at Tuesday's contest.
Ruutu, 30, has only two points and a minus-seven rating in 13 appearances. Health concerns seem to have eliminated all aggression from his game; however, he's still just two years removed from a 151-hit campaign in 2011-12.
Winnipeg has felt the difficulty of the Western Conference this fall; the Jets are currently 11th in the standings and five points out of a playoff spot.
Talented but inconsistent forward Evander Kane could soon be a victim of the need for change. Per The Fourth Period magazine:
With whispers of head coach Claude Noel being on the hot seat, there has been banter over possible roster moves coming from GM Kevin Cheveldayoff's office.
As Cheveldayoff scours the market, some teams have inquired about the availability of sniper Evander Kane, who is in the second-year of a six-year, $31.5 million contract.
Kane, 22, and a former fourth overall pick, has 11 points and a plus-two rating in 18 games. He's long been the subject of trade rumors, but there's always the chance that the Jets might actually pull the trigger this time.