As the season moves along, many factors will start to affect the judgment of front office officials in the NHL.
Injuries, standings and pressure from every direction will start to wear on people and a move will have to be made.
Many of these defenders are getting older and are becoming unrestricted free agents at the conclusion of the season, so teams may be looking to get whatever they can in return so that the player doesn’t walk without the team getting compensation.
Each one of these players faces the potential of a scenery change and in most cases, it would be good for all parties involved.
As we begin this New Year, let’s see how many defenders are the centerpieces of big time trades.
Happy New Year and enjoy the slideshow.
Possible Destinations: Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks
Ed Jovanovski will be a highly-sought defender and I don’t think Phoenix will try to re-sign him. They should re-sign him.
If the upper management decides to move in another direction, Jovanovski will be a hot commodity.
Jovanovski is a stay-at-home defender who could help solidify a team’s defense that is just a piece or two away. He will be a force on the PK and adds experience and consistency to a defensive group.
Possible Destinations: Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers
After being benched earlier in the season, trade rumors have swirled.
Rivet will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and the Buffalo Sabres are in dire need of help on offense.
Leading scorer Derek Roy tore his quad and it may be time for the Sabres to start rebuilding from the ground up.
Buffalo could get some young prospects or picks from a playoff contending team that is looking to add depth to their defense.
Possible Destinations: Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings
Ian White is a good defender who has been moving his belongings a lot lately.
After three teams in two years, White will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and Carolina might be shopping him if they don’t have intentions of signing him.
Wherever he goes, you can be sure he will be looking for a long-term deal!
Possible Destinations: New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins
With Sami Salo coming back from injury, it will soon be necessary for Vancouver to shed salary, and that means bye-bye Bieksa.
There have been rumors with the Canadiens since the summer, and it’s always for prospects and picks.
It would be wise for Vancouver to get young players so that they can keep their prospect system full of talent.
Bieksa would be a solid addition to any defensive group.
Possible Destinations: Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, Detroit Red Wings
Eric Brewer is a good leader and a solid defender, so why would the Blues move him?
Brewer will be 32 next year and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. If the Blues fall out of contention, moves may become necessary, and Brewer could be a casualty.
His value as a great defender and a good voice in the locker room will be exactly what a lot of teams on the cusp of a Cup are looking for.
Possible Destinations: Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers
Joni Pitkanen will be an unrestricted free agent and Carolina doesn’t seem to want to keep him around that badly. If they decide to move on, they should move Pitkanen out of the conference.
Pitkanen found his niche in Carolina but his contract is expiring at the end of this season and the Hurricanes may be looking to unload him.
Keep your eyes open for a trade sending Pitkanen north of the border to a team in need of defensive depth.
Possible Destinations: San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars
I believe that the Islanders will be smart enough to lock up this young defender for a long time but if they don’t, he could be a huge pickup for a team.
Wisniewki is a solid two-way defender who is especially good on the point offensively. His presence could be a great addition to a strong powerplay.
The Islanders have really struggled this year, but Wisniewski has played through the ugly and has been a bright spot on the team.
Possible Destinations: unknown
This would be the definition of high-risk, high-reward.
Don’t think the Canadiens will get much in return if they try to move him.
I think it might be worth it for a team to go after Markov for the future. The team would have to come to an agreement with Markov on a long term extension when he was traded but it might not be out of the realm of possibility.
Markov has been injury plagued and it might be in Montreal’s best interest to cut ties with the veteran defender.
Possible Destinations: New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets
It doesn’t look like McCabe is coming back to the Panthers at the end of the season so there might be a shot they shop him to the league.
McCabe is a good leader on the ice and has a powerful point presence. He would be a good addition to an already strong team.
Along with his versatility, his awareness would be a big addition to a team looking for a deep run into the playoffs.
Possible Destinations: New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks
Tomas Kaberle is a perennial trade rumor mainstay.
The Maple Leafs may be looking to move him, again, when they are completely out of contention. He would be a good fit on a team looking for a presence on the point offensively.
Since he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, the compensation may not be what Toronto is looking for.
Kaberle will probably want to test the market if a team doesn’t step up, try to trade for him and lock him up with a long-term extension.
My thought would be to move him to San Jose for some young talent (Devin Setoguchi, etc.).
With an improved defense, San Jose would be a bigger threat in the Western Conference.