10 Centres Who Should Be Traded
Locking down a solid centre is a difficult thing to do in the NHL these days.
Just ask the Calgary Flames.
Find yourself a great centre (Datsyuk, Crosby) and he'll make everyone around him a better player.
Some teams have some great centres to offer, others really just need to dump some contracts and seek a legitimate top-line centre.
This list mixes a little of both.
10. Patrick Marleau: San Jose Sharks
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I know that it's pretty unlikely that this will happen, but I think the San Jose Sharks could benefit from a trade.
Famous for fantastic regular seasons but poor playoff performances, the Sharks may need to make a change in order to finally make the Stanley Cup Finals.
Patrick Marleau's recent troubles are somewhat concerning, but he doesn't have too bad of a contract and poses good trade value.
9. Chris Drury: New York Rangers
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It's not that Chris Drury doesn't provide great leadership and isn't a great component of the New York Rangers, but is he really worth his contract?
The answer is no.
However, with recent injury troubles, Drury's trade value is decreasing, and it's most likely that the Rangers will keep him until the end of his contract.
8. Mike Fisher: Ottawa Senators
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The Ottawa Senators are currently having a pretty terrible season and should shop Mike Fisher around while he still has some value.
This is not to say that Fisher isn't a good player, but so far he isn't having too great of a season.
Fisher is a good forechecker with not too bad of a contract, expiring in 2013. There are a few teams that could use a guy like him.
7. Marc Savard: Boston Bruins
Concerns about the salary cap and Marc Savard's post-concussion symptoms, the Bruins may be forced to make a trade involving Savard. Though the rumours have cooled-off since the summer, Boston has to make some decisions regarding their cap, especially with some big extensions kicking in next year.
Some consider a trade necessary for Boston, but Savard has made it clear he seeks to stay in Boston for the remainder of his career.
6. Scott Gomez: Montreal Canadiens
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With faltering numbers and a pretty big contract, Scott Gomez is one to consider for trade. Though the Montreal Canadiens were under some scrutiny for acquiring the centre after a few less-than-stellar seasons with the Rangers, Gomez hasn't been too bad for Montreal, with a decent 2010 playoff performance.
But considering Gomez is in the top 10 for salary cap hits for centremen this season, his numbers need to be a lot better.
Who would want to take on that contract though? Well, maybe Brian Burke would consider it.
5. Vincent Lecavalier: Tampa Bay Lightning
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Steve Yzerman walked into a dream team when he accepted the GM position for Tampa Bay. A young team with a ton of potential and loads of cap space to go with it, the Lightning have a bright future.
However, the burden of Lecavalier's contract has been a topic of controversy for a while now, and the Lightning should try to get something for him, considering he's been underachieving the past few seasons now. They're definitely going to want to make some room in order to keep Steven Stamkos for a while.
4. Matt Stajan: Calgary Flames
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Matt Stajan has been taking the heat in Calgary since the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster trade, and Darryl Sutter's shotgun decision to give him a four-year contract before hitting free agency didn't help matters.
Fact is is that Stajan was supposedly acquired to help the Flames' scoring troubles, and pretty much everyone knew that it wasn't going to happen when trading with the bottom-feeding teams of the league (Maple Leafs).
Don't get me wrong; out of that deal, I quite like Niklas Hagman and I think Matt Stajan is a decent all-around player, but the Flames were/are in desperate need of a top-line centreman. Stajan isn't that.
As for the contract, I think it would be hard to trade away, and the Flames could have really used that cap space. But that's Sutter's fault far more than anyone else.
3. Jason Spezza: Ottawa Senators
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As said previously, the Sens are having a rough season. Jason Spezza has been at the centre of trade rumours since the summer, but it seems as though Bryan Murray could possibly be asking too much for the centre.
Spezza has a wicked shot and would be a great addition to any team, but, yet again, he has a bit of a hefty contract to take on.
2. Brad Richards: Dallas Stars
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Unfortunately for the Dallas Stars, the lack of a new owner means that Joe Nieuwendyk will have to trade Brad Richards before the deadline, since he's unable to sign him.
I doubt that either party wants to part with Dallas, but it may be better to trade Richards away and get something for him rather than lose him to free agency.
1. Olli Jokinen: Calgary Flames
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You have no idea how many Flames fans would love this.
If it was possible.
Over the summer, Flames fans heard rumours of Spezza and Savard... only to have Jokinen re-signed.
Wait, what? Did I just have a stroke? No, Darryl Sutter did.
So not only were the Flames stuck with Ales Kotalik from that Jokinen trade, they are also again stuck with Jokinen. For two years, $6 million.
The cherry on top? A no-movement clause.
Once upon a time, Jokinen was known as an elite player, but apparently he has decided to come to Calgary and let his career die.
Well, it'd be nice if he proved me wrong.