As free agency continues to grab headlines, those teams that have been unable to attract talent on the open market will now look to the trade market to find stars to fill the holes on their rosters.
Players move fluidly in the NHL, and that means there will be some big trades before the end of this offseason. It was just a few weeks ago that the Los Angeles Kings were crowned Stanley Cup champions, but the league has already flipped the calendar to a new season. It's time to focus on the future.
Teams are certainly focusing on the future, as the following trade rumors all have major implications on the upcoming season.
Crunched for cap space, the Philadelphia Flyers could move Vincent Lecavalier to make some room, reports TSN:
The Flyers, technically over the cap by a couple hundred thousand dollars, have some room with defenceman Chris Pronger bound for long-term injured reserve. But they're still reportedly shopping Vincent Lecavalier to rid themselves of at least part of his $4.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons.
TSN's Darren Dreger tweeted that it may be easier to move Lecavalier now that teams won't have to assume his bonus as well:
Vincent Lecavalier received his $2 mil bonus today. Perhaps, a trade easier to facilitate now with that detail out of the way.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 2, 2014
The 34-year-old is a former 50-goal scorer, but he hasn't been that effective when on the ice in recent years. He has scored just 52 goals in the past three years, the same number he scored in 2006-07 when he led the NHL.
That said, Lecavalier still brings veteran leadership to the ice and is a solid guy on a third line for most NHL teams.
Despite the trade rumors, Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports hears that the center won't be on the move:
Hextall said nothing imminent on Lecavalier. "As far as I’m concerned right now, Vinny Lecavalier could be in a Flyer uniform in September."— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) July 2, 2014
This situation could resolve itself either way, but I think the Flyers will be forced to deal him in order to create more financial flexibility. Now that his bonus is out of the way, teams should start calling about his services.
Mike Green has been involved in multiple talks recently, but TSN's Aaron Ward tweeted that he likely won't be on the move this offseason:
Amid the speculation, indications are the Washington Capitals are not looking to move Mike Green at this time. #TSN— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) July 3, 2014
The speculation had frothed since the season ended, wondering whether Mike Green would remain part of his team’s plans, no louder than after the Capitals left free agency with $69 million committed to two new defensemen. Green’s status, as an unrestricted free agent next summer with a hefty $6,083,333 cap hit (and a limited no-trade clause), could provide enticing trade bait. But General Manager Brian MacLellan continued to back the 28-year-old, as he has done since arriving on the job one month ago.
'He’s a good player,' MacLellan said. 'He had a little bit of struggles with injuries last year. He had an okay year. But we’re hoping to get him back on track, yes.'
The 28-year-old was a bit off last year, playing in 70 games and finishing with a plus-minus of minus-16. Green is just four years removed from being one of the top defensemen in the NHL, however, after a two-year span where he posted a plus-63 mark.
Trading Green now wouldn't be wise for the Capitals. Sure, clearing up the cap space would be nice, but the return likely wouldn't be too high after the season Green just posted.
Washington is in a position to allow him to get back to form this offseason. The team can look to deal him during the season if he regains his value and it doesn't appear like they'll have a shot at re-signing him.
That's the best course of action, as a midseason trade would give the Capitals a very nice return if it is executed with a team on the cusp of the playoffs.
While I wouldn't be surprised if Green goes in the coming months, it just makes too much sense for him to stay right now.
The Boston Bruins have a problem every NHL team would love to have—they have too many capable defensemen.
General manager Peter Chiarelli spoke about the excess of defenders, via Nicholas Goss of NESN.com:
As I said, we have nine (D-men), so I’ve got to do something. I can do it now. I can do it during the summer. … You saw what (free agent) prices were today for defensemen. I’m happy with the (D-men) that we have. We have more than enough. I’ve had guys call me for our (D-men) from the moment we lost (to Montreal). They want our (D-men). They’re coached well, they’ve developed well, so I’m pretty comfortable with that we have. (We have) to figure out the right formula; that’s what our jobs are.
There would obviously be no shortage of teams lining up to pluck a defender off the hands of the Bruins, but which guys should we expect to be involved in talks?
David Warsofsky, Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid will likely be the names floated around, as none of them are guarantees to fill the eight defensive spots available.
Having lost Jarome Iginla to free agency, the Bruins might need to pair a top defender with a lower-level one to acquire a forward to replace his production. In that case, guys like Johnny Boychuk or Torey Krug might be tossed about.
The Bruins are in a great position and don't have to make a deal this offseason. That said, they would be dealing from a strength.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR