NHL Trade Rumors: Will Arnott, Richards be dealt by the deadline?
As the NHL trade deadline approaches, we're seeing more and more trade rumors rocketing across the hockey world, and we're seeing some pretty big names being mentioned across the league.
What's true? What's just speculation? Who'll get dealt, and who's staying put?
We're bringing you the latest news on 10 of the biggest names at the trade deadline, from who's interested to whether they'll actually get dealt.
Let's get rolling, shall we?
Mike Fisher has been popping up on the trade radar quite a bit in recent weeks, particularly given the Ottawa Senators' lack of postseason chances this season.
The 30-year-old center is enjoying yet another solid, if unspectacular season, racking up 13 goals and 22 points on the year. His plus-minus rating isn't all that good, at minus-12, but no one in Ottawa has a good one.
While there aren't a ton of suitors out there, thanks in large part to general manager Bryan Murray's high price tag, there are a couple teams still interested.
Both the Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings could use a center with Fisher's skills, and either one could make a play before the deadline.
It's not that Beauchemin has disappointed in Toronto; his 11 points on the year are about right for his typical pace. Instead, the Maple Leafs have fallen off the face of the Earth after a strong start, and are trying to deal as many veteran cogs as they can, as they try to acquire draft picks and prospects.
Given Beauchemin's relatively reasonable contract, he may be the most likely Leaf dealt before the deadline, given many teams' need for a reliable blue-liner or two. Los Angeles and San Jose could both use a veteran presence like the 30-year-old Beauchemin, given their defensive struggles this season.
Stephen Weiss has looked pretty solid for the Florida Panthers this season. The 27-year-old center is leading the team with 33 points, and is definitely one of the best trade chips the Panthers, who could well be out of the playoff race very shortly, have to work with.
Add to that a market that includes both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens (although, the Habs' interest has lagged in recent weeks) and you've got a recipe for the Panthers to get the draft picks they'll need to build a contender.
Like most of the Sabres this season, Connolly's year has not gone according to plan. He's battled ineffectiveness all year, tallying just 20 points and a minus-12 rating.
But, that doesn't make him untradable; in fact, many teams are wiling to give the 29-year-old center a change of scenery to see what happens.
One team mentioned in conjunction with the struggling center were the Columbus Blue Jackets, but they feel more like sellers than buyers at this point.
That leaves teams like Montreal, Los Angeles or even Phoenix (who are in the market for some scoring) as potential landing points for Connolly.
The Maple Leafs have a number of defensemen up for grabs this season, and the most talented of the bunch is without a doubt Tomas Kaberle. The 32-year-old blue-liner has racked up a team-best 28 assists this season, even if his plus-minus isn't all that good.
The Leafs are anxious to deal their talented, if inconsistent defenseman, but Kaberle's got a no-trade clause that could make it difficult.
There aren't any teams in the running right now, but surely someone like San Jose could use someone with Kaberle's skills on the blue line.
Speaking of Toronto veterans on the block, we've got another one in underperforming goalkeeper Jean-Sebastien Giguere!
Jiggy came to Toronto with much fanfare, as a veteran presence to teach youngsters Jonas Gustavsson and James Reimer. Instead, the Leafs have gotten a 9-9-3 record, a 3.28 goals against average and a .896 save percentage.
Sounds like someone tough to trade, right?
The good news is, there are plenty of teams looking for goaltending help, including Colorado (who can't keep Craig Anderson productive), Atlanta (who could use a reliable backup for Ondrej Pavelec) and San Jose.
So don't be shocked to see Giguere in a new uniform again before the end of the month.
Unlike Fisher and several other Senators, defenseman Sergei Gonchar is a recent arrival to the trading block. He arrived in Ottawa thanks to a three-year, $16.5 million deal signed last July, and has under-performed expectations, producing just six goals, 15 points and an anemic minus-17 rating.
But don't expect that to stop general manager Bryan Murray from trying to deal the 36-year-old somewhere, even if he has to take on another albatross contract in the process.
It's hard to say how seriously the Senators are looking into dealing their offensive defenseman, because he just joined the party. In other words, stay tuned.
Feels a bit like deja vu, doesn't it? We've been talking about the Panthers dealing their veteran netminder almost from the moment he arrived from Nashville, and nothing has come of it yet.
But that doesn't mean there isn't interest. After all, Vokoun is well worth the hefty price tag the Panthers have attached to him, given his non-win based stats. He's been just outside of the top tier of keepers his whole career, and doesn't show signs of slowing down.
Look for someone like Washington or Colorado to make serious inquiries into Vokoun's availability in the coming days.
Arnott's been on the block from the moment New Jersey realized its season was a bust. The 36-year-old center is a leader, and still fairly capable of filling a stat sheet, having totalled 22 points this year.
Several teams are reportedly in on the Arnott sweepstakes, but the team most interested in him is the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs need a big, physical forward, and Arnott happens to fit the bill to perfection.
Now, the question becomes, will the deal get done, or will someone get cold feet and back out?
Richards might be the biggest name on the block, and believe me, it's not because the Stars want to trade him. After all, Richards is leading the team in points and assists, and is just a goal behind Brenden Morrow for the team lead in that category as well.
Plus, at just 30 years old, the center is fully capable of having another five or six productive years, and teams don't like giving that up.
So why is Richards up for grabs for teams like Montreal and the New York Rangers, both of whom could use a top-shelf offensive forward?
Because he's set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and Dallas fears it won't be able to re-sign him. So better to trade him now and get some stellar young prospects back than to lose him for free come summer, right?
There's a very good chance the Stars sit on Richards and hope he likes playing in Dallas, but at this point, there are serious offers on the table from the Rangers and Habs, as well as other teams looking to get the kind of player who never pops up on the trade radar. Stay tuned on this one, for sure.