NHL Trade Rumors: These Players Could Change Sweaters Soon
It's not even Halloween yet but that hasn't stopped early speculation as to which NHL players might find themselves on the move, if not now then possibly before the end of the season.
It's a different world, today's NHL, with the salary cap swinging back and forth like a giant blade over some teams. Personnel moves are rarely made with strictly hockey as the reason—the almighty dollar finds its way in there a lot.
What follows are, in no particular order, some NHL players whose addresses could change in the either very-near or not-too-distant future.
Brian Lee, D, Ottawa Senators
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Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray is a veteran of the hockey poker game. He's been at it for well over 20 years, starting with his days in Washington.
With the Sens stumbling to a 2-5-1 start, don't be surprised if Murray is in a dealing mood.
One of those to go could be Lee whose skill set might be a good fit for a team like Anaheim, for example, which is looking to upgrade its blue-line corps.
Trouble is, Lee has been part of the Sens' problem (26 goals against already) and they've been trying to move him since the summer. But that old elixir, the "change of scenery," might be called upon in this instance.
Todd White, F, New York Rangers
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When even your coach is wondering what to do with you, that's not a good sign.
That's the situation in New York, where Rangers coach John Tortorella is at a quandary as to what to do with veteran forward Todd White.
The Rangers acquired White from Atlanta over the summer and he makes about $2.38 million.
"I don't know what to do with Todd White," Tortorella was recently quoted. "I'm not sure what he is as a player and part of that is my fault," the coach added.
Tortorella is having trouble working White into the rotation, and he may be expendable. But is there a market for a 35-year-old grinding forward who's only played in three games so far this season?
I guess we'll find out.
Alex Kovalev, RW, Ottawa Senators
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Here's another who GM Bryan Murray might want to move.
Kovalev is reportedly at odds with coach Cory Clouston. The right winger has one point (assist) in eight games and is a big, fat minus-5.
Kovalev's goal-scoring numbers have steadily declined since he netted 35 pucks for the Canadiens in 2007-08. He's never been a strong defensive presence and that's being further exposed this season.
Kevin Bieksa, D, Vancouver Canucks
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Any trade involving the puck-moving Bieksa, 29, is likely to happen later than sooner, because the Canucks' blue-line corps is rather thin now due to injuries.
Bieksa slumped to three goals and 22 points last season after a 2008-09 season which saw him score 11 goals and register 43 points. He only played in 55 games last season, but NHL observers noted that he wasn't quite the same player last season as he was in '08-09.
Bieksa has piqued Montreal's interest, among other teams. But the Canadiens have been reported most often in connection with him.
The current campaign, however, hasn't allayed any fears about Bieksa's game: he has no points in eight games so far.
Matt Gilroy, D, New York Rangers
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Gilroy, 26, is one of those players who could be traded because other teams want him, as opposed to the Rangers wanting to dump him.
There's interest in this 6'1", 201-pound defenseman who enjoyed a rock solid four-year career at Boston University. Gilroy is in the mode of Nick Lidstrom—agile defender who is best with his stick and his smarts rather than with his body. He's not a physical defenseman but he's a competent defender.
As reported by B/R's Nick Perri, Rangers featured columnist, the Broadway Blues are looking for forward depth and Gilroy is being dangled.
Any Number of Players to the Colorado Avalanche
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You know what a tornado watch is, right? When "conditions are right" for funnel cloud activity.
The Avs have been hit with injuries, notably to D Adam Foote (though it may be minor) and they have the lowest payroll in the entire NHL.
That's a combination known as a "trade watch." The conditions are right for the Avs to make some moves.
The Avs got off to a surprising start but have cooled off. They lack depth and may need to package draft picks and roster players to acquire some.
Sheldon Souray, D, Edmonton Oilers
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Get ready to hear Souray's name tied with at least half a dozen clubs from now until...forever, if the Oilers don't trade him soon.
Souray, 34, hasn't played in the NHL this season and only played in 37 games last season thanks to a concussion he suffered in the season's opening week. Any trade for him would involve the defenseman having to clear re-entry waivers, which is no slam dunk at all, though he did clear waivers over the summer.
The Rangers, Washington, Colorado and Anaheim have reportedly shown interest.
The Oilers appear in no hurry to move Souray, who has requested a trade and who is playing for the AHL's Hershey Bears currently.
But that won't stop Souray's name from being bandied about on an almost weekly basis.
Brad Richards, C, Dallas Stars
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The 30-year-old Richards will be a free agent next summer and may be the most in demand FA once he hits the open market.
The Stars' status as a franchise (a sale is imminent) clouds the future of Richards in Dallas, as GM Joe Nieuwendyk may not have the dollars at his avail to keep No. 91 in a Stars uniform.
So that means trade-rumor city!
The Rangers and Montreal have been mentioned as possible suitors in a trade involving Richards, who scored a healthy 24 goals and registered 91 points last season. Richards has scored 20+ goals six times in his career, and he's been very durable for the most part. Seven times in 10 seasons Richards has appeared in at least 80 games. His defense has been suspect at times however.