2010 NHL Draft: Top Five Tradable Players
That’s really all that there is to say about the couple days leading up to the draft.
So far, we’ve seen Jaroslav Halak moved to the Blues, Dan Hamhuis to the Flyers and Jason Arnott traded to the Devils.
Not to mention the two players that were previously on this list prior to their trades in the last couple days, Dustin Byfuglien and Nathan Horton (which is a cautionary tale as to why you shouldn’t write an article two days before it’s due).
Exciting stuff, huh?
But this could just be the precursor to a very, very active couple of days in Los Angeles.
Just think about it. 30 General Managers, all itching to improve their team and all in the same building.
Kinda exciting, huh?
With a lot of teams pressed up against the cap, there could be some big names moving on draft day, but who could they be?
Well, let’s take a look, shall we?
Jeff Carter, Philadelphia Flyers
Here’s the deal. Jeff Carter probably wants to move just about as much as the Flyers want to move him. This isn't saying much, but the Philadelphia Flyers might have little choice, especially with the recent trade for Hamhuis.
So, what does that leave?
Unfortunately for Paul Holmgren, he doesn't have a whole lot of options.
It certainly could be Simon Gagne or Daniel Briere on the move, maybe even playoff hero Scott Hartnell, but Carter’s youth and his contract make it much more likely that he would be the one on to go.
If he is offered up, let’s just say that a group of piranhas with blood in the water will be more civil.
Patrick Sharp/Kris Versteeg, Chicago Blackhawks
In all honesty, we could probably fill a slide show with just the players on Chicago that could be cap casualties.
Realistically, the only players that wear Blackhawks sweaters that are safe are Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Antti Niemi. Even the great Marian Hossa may not be safe from trades.
But the duo (now that Dustin Byfuglien has been moved to Atlanta) of Sharp and Versteeg may be the most likely to be moved.
Each player is relatively young (Sharp is the oldest at 28 years old), and each have very palatable contracts (Sharp makes the most at $3.9 million). Both of their stocks are sky high after the Stanley Cup victory.
Sharp might be the player that is coveted the most, but Versteeg has proven that he can be a solid contributor in the right situation and his youth could be very tempting for teams in need.
Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild
Goaltending is going to be at the core of any strong team and there are plenty of teams out there that have that need.
The Sharks have informed Evgeni Nabakov that he is going to be let go to free agency, the Flyers have their perpetual need in net, and the Lightning need to decide if Mike Smith is their guy. In other words, there are some teams that have needs in net and, when you think about it, Harding could be that plug.
Proven starter? Well, semi-check.
The bottom line is that, yes, he hasn’t proved that he is capable of starting a full load in the NHL, but he’ll be cheaper than a veteran and has shown the talent and the ability to start in the NHL and, on top of all of that, General Manager Chuck Fletcher has flat out said that he is available.
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators
It was reported today that Spezza mentioned that he “wouldn’t object” to a trade.
All of the speculation and the less than warm reception to the “Save Spezza” rally was received and has led Spezza to believe that it might be time to move on.
The Ottawa Senators have a lot of needs and Spezza’s contract is eating up a good portion of their cap room.
There are no signs that a trade is imminent, but there have been a lot of rumblings and even a rumored trade proposal of Spezza being sent to Columbus for Derick Brassard, Kristian Huselius and the fourth overall pick in the NHL Draft.
Those rumors were quickly squashed, but the fact that specifics were released could mean that where there's smoke, there’s fire.
Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Penguins
Darren Dreger of TSN reported that the Pittsburgh Penguins have been considering trading Gonchar’s negotiating rights.
A report in and of itself would not be much cause to assume that Gonchar will be moved, but a report by Dreger speaks a lot more to the truth of things than a report by other Internet sources.
The fact of the matter is that talks with Gonchar have been less than productive and there is a very good chance that the veteran defender will hit the open market come July 1.
If that is the case, it is very possible that Gonchar will be asked to waive his no-trade clause and be moved at the NHL Draft, especially if there is the possibility that the Pens could move up with the trade.
After a less than stellar post season, the Pens may feel the need to shake things up and make a splash on draft day and Gonchar could be a huge bargaining chip if that is true.