The 10 NHL Players Most Likely to Be Moved as the 2014 Trade Deadline Looms
The NHL's March 5 trade deadline is only days away. Anticipation is growing among fans and pundits over which players could be on the move by the 3 p.m. ET deadline. Friday's trade that sent Ryan Miller to the St. Louis Blues, per the Associated Press (via CBC Sports) indicates some stars could be dealt leading up to March 5.
As the deadline approaches, a number of notable players are appearing in trade rumors. Most are eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer. There's increasing speculation over possible destinations for these stars.
A number of factors will determine where these players could land. Contracts, no-trade clauses, salary-cap space and roster needs will all come into play. Not every player mentioned as a trade candidate will be dealt.
Here's a look at 10 players who are most likely to be on the move by the trade deadline.
10. David Legwand
Legwand is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. The Tennessean's Josh Cooper reports the long-time Predator says there's been no contract talks with management. Cooper notes Legwand must agree to waive his no-movement clause to approve a trade.
TSN's Darren Dreger reported several weeks ago the Predators were shopping Legwand, seeking a first- or second-round draft pick. The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa believes the 33-year-old center would be a good fit with the Chicago Blackhawks or St. Louis Blues. Legwand's fate could be determined by the Predators' performance leading up to the trade deadline.
9. Marian Gaborik
Gaborik missed most of the season with various injuries and only recently returned to the Blue Jackets lineup. He's eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer and might not have a future in Columbus. Despite his injury history, Gaborik is a proven NHL sniper. He's reached the 30-goal mark seven times, including three seasons with 40-plus goals.
ESPN.com's Craig Custance (subscription required) believes Gaborik could be a good alternative for teams that lose out in the bidding for Thomas Vanek. Suitors could include the Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils. It's possible the Blue Jackets could retain Gaborik hoping he'll bolster their playoff hopes.
8. Martin Brodeur
It's almost inconceivable picturing Brodeur playing for another NHL team, but it could happen. The Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti reported in late January that Brodeur would consider waiving his no-trade clause if requested by GM Lou Lamoriello. Gulitti reports Brodeur has not requested a trade or spoken with Lamoriello about his future.
With Ryan Miller off the trade market, teams seeking goaltending depth could set their sights upon Brodeur. The New York Post's Larry Brooks believes the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators could be among them. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo suggested Brodeur would be an affordable option for the Wild. Russo reports the Wild have inquired about him.
7. Sam Gagner
Before the Olympic break, the Oilers attempted to trade Gagner to the Los Angeles Kings. The Los Angeles Times' Lisa Dillman reports the Kings are unlikely to resume those trade talks. The Oilers must move Gagner before July when his no-movement clause goes into effect. Only 24, Gagner has reached the 40-point mark five times. His best seasons could still be ahead of him.
Gagner is under contract through 2015-16 at an annual cap hit of $4.8 million. He could be attractive to teams seeking more than a playoff rental player. SI.com's Allan Muir reports the Nashville Predators are in need of scoring depth and could pursue Gagner.
6. Mike Cammalleri
TSN reports Calgary Flames acting general manager Brian Burke made a contract offer to Cammalleri and is awaiting a response. Burke also admits he's fielding trade offers for the 31-year-old winger. Burke's asking price is a player who can help the Flames right away or one ready to make the jump to the NHL next season.
ESPN.com's Tim Kavanagh suggests (subscription required) the Pittsburgh Penguins could be a logical destination for Cammalleri. They have depth in young defensemen to draw upon as trade bait. The Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti reports the New Jersey Devils also have interest in Cammalleri.
5. Ales Hemsky
Hemsky has frequently been the target of trade rumors over the past three years. This season, however, is expected to be his last with the Oilers. Last summer, The Edmonton Sun's Derek Van Diest reported they unsuccessfully attempted to trade him. He's an unrestricted free agent in July and doesn't have a future in Edmonton. Despite his injury history, Hemsky could prove attractive to teams in need of depth at right wing.
ESPN.com's Tim Kavanagh lists (subscription required) the Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes as possible destinations for Hemsky. The Oilers need help throughout their roster. Their asking price could be a good young roster player.
4. Matt Moulson
The Buffalo News' Amy Moritz reports Moulson could be playing his final games with the Sabres leading up to the trade deadline.The 30-year-old left winger is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. He's reached the 30-goal plateau three times and is on pace this season for over 20 goals.
Moulson will be an affordable option for clubs in need of scoring depth on the wing. Potential suitors could include the Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Sabres could seek a first-round pick for Moulson.
3. Andrew MacDonald
The New York Post's Brett Cyrgalis reports MacDonald rejected a four-year, $16 million offer from the Islanders. General manager Garth Snow is unwilling to offer more. He has no choice but to trade MacDonald or lose him for nothing this summer to free agency.
MacDonald will be attractive to teams pursuing an affordable rental defenseman, but the Islanders' asking price is expensive. The New York Times' Chris Botta (via NBC Sports) claims they will seek a first-round pick. CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty reports the Boston Bruins are interested in MacDonald but are unwilling to part with a first-rounder to get him.
2. Ryan Callahan
The New York Post's Larry Brooks reports contract talks between the Rangers and Callahan have stalled. General manager Glen Sather is prepared to trade Callahan rather than lose him to free agency. If Callahan isn't re-signed by deadline day, TSN's Darren Dreger reports it's 99 percent certain the 28-year-old winger will be dealt.
The Rangers could seek a first-round pick and a young roster player in return for Callahan. Brooks recently reported the Rangers attempted to trade him for Tampa Bay Lightning winger Martin St. Louis, but the Lightning rejected the offer. The Columbus Blue Jackets could also have interest.
1. Thomas Vanek
The New York Post's Brett Cyrgalis reports Vanek rejected a seven-year, $50-million offer from the Islanders. The 30-year-old left winger is determined to test this summer's unrestricted free-agent market. Cyrgalis claims the Islanders want a return of a first-round pick and either a second-round pick or a top prospect.
Vanek is on pace to score over 20 goals for the ninth consecutive season. ESPN.com's Tim Kavanagh reports (subscription required) the Los Angeles Kings could pursue him. Vanek's also been linked to the Minnesota Wild. TSN's Pierre LeBrun suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins could also have interest.