NHL Trade Rumors: Tomas Vokoun and a Player From Each Team in Need of a New Home
We've all had that time when our team signs a player who we think will be a great addition—and either they don't live up to expectations, or they simply don't adapt well to the new team.
When it comes to some of the players, including the next 30, sometimes a change of scenery and a new home can do both the team and the individual a lot of good. The following players either are on the hunt for a new home or have a justifiable reason to be.
So when it comes to players who haven't meshed well with a new team, or have outgrown an old team, here's my list of 30 players who are on the hunt for a new city to play for.
Anaheim Ducks: Aaron Voros
In regards to playing style, Anaheim is notorious for signing the gritty, hard-nosed, aggressive type of player.
in Voros' case, he tried to fill shoes that were already taken.
Voros hasn't been a consistent player on the Ducks' roster every night mainly because he contributes only one one statistic: penalty minutes.
When it comes to fighting, Voros can fill that spot for another team. For Anaheim—who already has George Parros and his 4 points this year—Parros gets the nod every time over Voros.
I expect Voros to either be traded before the deadline, or just let go after this year's contract expires. He can do better on another team who can use his size and grit.
Atlanta Thrashers: Freddy Modin
This 36-year-old left wing has the potential to be a strong, reliable forward. He just isn't reaching that potential in Atlanta.
Modin's 14-year NHL career has been spent in five different cities, starting in Toronto, and Tampa Bay, the two cities where he had the best years. He was then sent to Columbus for a few seasons where he was a steady contributor, even if he wasn't a steady player on the ice every night.
He ended up spending half of last season with the Kings where his productivity started to slip. This year, in Atlanta, he hasn't blossomed back to the player he once was.
This big-bodied forward could be a great contribution for a team where he feels comfortable and gets into his rhythm again.
Boston Bruins: Mark Stuart
When you have a healthy defense man who has been scratched for several consecutive games as a "healthy scratch," that's usually an indicator that he could be spending the next season in a different city.
Mark Stuart is one such case of a healthy scratch—and as for Boston's defense, the other key defenders really stepped their game up in Stuart's absence. Now he could be seen as an odd man out.
Stuart is a defender who has spent his entire NHL career in Boston, but maybe a change of scenery and a new group of teammates could help him grow and mature into a stronger defense man.
Buffalo Sabres: Craig Rivet
As gutsy as it may be to claim that a team's Captain might need to look for a new home, Buffalo's Craig Rivet has had his name thrown around a lot this year in terms of possible trades.
Rivet has had a rough year including a few game absences due to injuries and illnesses, as well as a string of games in which he was a healthy scratch. Any key player who is a healthy scratch for any length of time, especially an 11-game absence, is usually surrounded by trade rumors.
This veteran blue-liner could really help lead another team, and he could grow back into the defender he was earlier in his career.
Calgary Flames: Jay Bouwmeester
Jay Bouwmeester is currently enveloped in a big, lengthy contract with Calgary. If they can, they'll try to dump him and his salary as soon as they can.
Bouwmeester has been a disappointment since he slipped on the Flames sweater. He has not had the same production in terms of points, and has not had the same look to his playtime that he did when he was in a Panthers jersey. Bouwmeester might benefit greatly from a change—and a new home.
If Calgary can ship Bouwmeester and his contract elsewhere, both the team and the blue-liner can benefit.
Carolina Hurricanes: Ryan Carter
Ryan Carter is one of the two players that Carolina picked up from Anaheim's roster this year, but neither he nor Troy Bodie have meshed as well as anticipated in the Hurricane's lineup.
In 27 games played with Carolina, Carter has just 3 assists and 18 penalty minutes. In the first 19 games of the season with Anaheim, he had one goal and two assists.
Carter has a lot of potential to shine, but he needs to be with a team that will somehow "be right" and help him grow. Apparently Carolina isn't that.
Carter could be good trade bait for another team—and a new home could serve both player and franchise.
Chicago Blackhawks: Nick Boynton
For any player who doesn't have the opportunity to play in every game possible, their talents can really be stifled and their growth can be limited. One such example is Chicago's blue liner Nick Boynton.
Boynton is one of those players who—when he plays every night—gets plenty of chances to showcase his talent. However, he's played in only 39 out of a possible 50.
Boynton hasn't had the chance to develop a steady rythm or playing style that allows him to truly excel in his position.
He would make a great fit on a team who needs a defender.
Colorado Avalanche: Brandon Yip
Brandon Yip is another forward who has a lot of potential. He isn't fulfilling that promise with the Colorado Avalanche.
The young forward has some good starting statistics for an NHL career just beginning. He could add to a team willing to give him a regular position on their lineup—and keep him there every night.
Yip could benefit from finding a new home with a team that needs a cheap but promising young forward.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Mike Commodore
Mike Commodore has had a rough year in Columbus, playing only 20 games up in the NHL. He spent the remainder of the time with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL.
Commodore hasn't played a full season in the NHL since the 2008-2009 season—and it has to be absolutely frustrating to be a 31-year-old dancing between minors and the NHL.
The veteran would love a new team to play with: one that won't send him dump from the pros.
Dallas Stars: Matt Niskanen
Matt Niskanen has played all four of his seasons in the NHL with the Dallas Stars. After growth during the first two seasons, he's dropped steadily in productivity since.
Niskanen has hit a low-point this season with just 6 assists and a -1 rating in 40 games played. He doesn't seem to mesh with the Dallas system like he did a few years ago.
Detroit Red Wings: Chris Osgood
The first goalie on our list is Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings. Jimmy Howard has clearly snatched the number one goalie job in Detroit.
Over the past two seasons, Osgood played in fewer games combined than in either the 2007-2008 or the 2008-2009 season. He has a better goals-against average than Howard this year, but a worse save percentage. And Osgood is a veteran goalie who isn't happy backing up another goalie.
Osgood could seriously help out a team who needs some veteran experience. For now, he could just benefit by getting out of Detroit.
Edmonton Oilers: Sheldon Souray
Sheldon Souray needs a new home. He deserves to be playing on a team that utilizes his defensive talents.
Souray has shown he can be a strong defender—and one that a team could use as a strong building block. The Edmonton Oilers have him playing in the minor leagues, even though he's definitely good enough to be in the NHL.
When it comes to the Oilers, we see a man who deserves to play with a better team surrounding them.
Florida Panthers: Tomas Vokoun
With a team outside the playoffs, looking in, the Florida Panthers could be looking to move a player who they might not resign once his contract expires this summer. That's goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
Vokoun is a veteran goaltender and could add some experience and leadership to any young or inexperienced team in need of help between the pipes.
Los Angeles Kings: Michal Handzus
When a player looks for a possible new home, it isn't necessarily because he needs it right away. Rather, a player might be looking for a place where he can build a stable future. One such example is Los Angeles's Michal Handzus.
With the LA Kings facing some cap-space limits—and having a lot of players who need to be resigned in the off-season—Handzus might be overlooked and let go. It would benefit him to look elsewhere before the trade deadline, instead of waiting for summer's contract expiration.
Minnesota Wild: Chuck Kobasew
For Chuck Kobasew—who divided up eight NHL seasons between three different cities—playing for the Minnesota Wild has found his productivity drop.
During his time in Boston, Kobasew had some very impressive seasons, including a career milestone of over 40 points in one season in the 2008-2009 year. However, after splitting last year between Boston and Minnesota, he has been surprisingly ineffective in terms of points and statistics.
For this seasoned right winger, he could pursue opportunities elsewhere, where his style of play might produce better results.
Montreal Canadiens: Scott Gomez
Gomez has never really reached his full potential in Montreal.
He played aggressively in New Jersey, and even as a New York Ranger. As a Canadien, he's tallying up more assists than goals—though with his stature, he ought to be a goal-scorer.
He doesn't fit the mold of Montreal—and he doesn't fill the gap that he could on another team.
Nashville Predators: JP Dumont
Sometimes a player has an off-season—sometimes he has two. This and last season, Predator forward J.P Dumont hasn't lived up to the talent he showed in years past.
Dumont has struggled to approach his previous point totals this year. He currently holds just 17 points in 51 games, making him on track to a 27 point season.
Previously, he had four seasons with at least 45 points on the Predators, three of which saw point totals upward of 65 each. He no longer seems part of the cohesion of Nashville's roster.
New Jersey Devils: Henrik Tallinder
For a player who was a key component in the Buffalo Sabres lineup, his move to the New Jersey Devils has been quite disappointing.
For a defender like Tallinder to put on a Devils' jersey, there were high expectations. But this season has shown that this was not a good move for New Jersey. Tallinder's numbers aren't terrible, but they're far from those of previous years. To make matters worse, he's clashed with other Devils blue liners.
This move has clearly been one that did not work for either the team or the individual.
New York Islanders: Zenon Konopka
Zenon Konopka, at 30 years of age, is one of the older Islanders in a lineup characterized by young talent.
Even though Konopka has met expected point totals, he's looked over in favor of younger talent producing the same numbers and contributing more aggressively. He has the second most fighting majors in the league—but two younger wings, Matt Martin and Trevor Gillies, have started to step up and drop gloves as well.
With all the young talent in New York, Konopka could look for a new home elsewhere where a more stable future lies.
New York Rangers: Alexander Frolov
One of the Rangers pick-ups from the summer was former-King Alexander Frolov—hoping he would help soothe their offensive troubles.
Frolov, who was a recognizable name on the LA Kings lineup as a consistent contributor, has tanked since moving cross-country to New York. The Rangers have a pretty different style of play than Los Angeles. As a result, Frolov has struggled to keep his numbers up.
In Frolov's best interest, he needs to be looking into a new home with a team who he can blend with better.
Ottawa Senators: Sergei Gonchar
For a struggling Ottawa team on the far outskirts of playoff discussion, a restructuring of their team dynamics could be in the near future. One player who could benefit from change is Sergei Gonchar.
Gonchar, with lower production numbers than when he played in Pittsburgh, is ranked second among Senator defenders in points, goals, and assists. At 36, Gonchar could be seen as past his prime—but he still has enough pep in his step to contribute to the game.
Ottawa's signing of Gonchar, though a good idea in theory, fell apart when Gonchar tried to fit into their lineup.
Philadelphia Flyers: Michael Leighton
After Leighton gained some notoriety in the post-season last year, he might be a surprise for my pick with the Flyers. But let's remember that young Sergei Bobrovsky has really stolen the spotlight this season.
Once Boucher was injured in the playoffs last year, Leighton essentially carried the Flyers into the Finals, and although they came up short in the series, no one can deny that Leighton really proved himself in that post-season run.
However, now that Boucher is healthy—and rookie Bobrovsky has stolen the nod for most of the games— Leighton has started just one game this year.
Leighton has proved that he has talent. He just needs a place to show what he can really do—a place without the other goaltenders in Philly.
Phoenix Coyotes: Michal Rozsival
It looks like every player on the Phoenix roster has their role, so this team was especially difficult to decide. But here's what I'm thinking.
With Phoenix barely outside the playoff cut, they could be looking to make minor changes to their roster in the home stretch. One player who could be looking for a new home is Michal Rozsival.
Although the trade seemed to be a good move, Rozsival's once-impressive stats have slid downward. After having 15 points in 32 games with the Rangers, Rozsival has since been held at zero points in four games and a -3 rating. Rozsival might not be adapting well in Phoenix.
He could be out sooner than expected.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Brent Johnson
When a team's got a franchise goalie, like Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury, his backups don't get much of a chance.
However, Brent Johnson has shown lately that he may be ready for the nod as another team's number one goalie. This season he's posted some very impressive numbers with a 9-4-2 record, a .929 save percentage and a 1.90 goals against average—his best year yet in his 11-season NHL career.
With Fleury in net, the Penguins overlook how good Johnson can be. He's earned the opportunity to be the team's number one goalie, night after night.
San Jose Sharks: Antero Nittymaki
Here's another goaltender who could possibly be the number one goalie on another team.
Antero Nittymaki of the San Jose sharks has had a solid year, and now that he approaches his 8th season, his experience will help him grow into better performances yet.
Nittymaki does have talent: no one can deny that. Could he be a number one goalie? Maybe, but he won't be getting that consideration unless he finds a new home.
St. Louis Blues: Eric Brewer
When it comes to St. Louis, there is really no one player who stands out as unhappy or really in need of a new home. Yet, when it comes down to it, there are trade rumors surrounding Eric Brewer.
Brewer has spent his 12-year NHL career in three different jerseys. He was the most productive when contributing to the Edmonton Oilers jersey from 2000-2004. After the lockout, Brewer was sent to St. Louis, where he has started to become a bit of an odd man out on the blue line roster.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Mattias Ohlund
Tampa Bay has not been friendly to Mattias Ohlund, who is playing in the Lightning jersey for his second consecutive season.
Ohlund, who was picked up after 11 seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, did not live up to expectations from his time as a Canuck. This year has been Ohlund's worst in the NHL to date, with just 5 points in 44 games played. Ohlund was clearly not worth the big contract that Tampa Bay gave him.
Ohlund is talented, but he needs to find a team that's a good fit—because the Lightning is anything but.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Tomas Kaberle
After 12 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tomas Kaberle might be in search of a new home. Honestly, he's no longer happy there.
Kaberle's numbers are still strong, and he is still contributing. But he upset Toronto with an excessive, 2-year, 8.5 million dollar contract. And he's been unwilling to break his No Trade Clause, making any possible trades a nightmare.
Between uncertainties and unappreciative fans, Kaberle could look to settle elsewhere and find a new start.
Vancouver Canucks: Kevin Bieksa
The Vancouver Canucks have had one of the best seasons in franchise history. But some players have missed out on playing time opportunities—and one such player is Kevin Bieksa.
Bieksa has spent all six of his NHL seasons in Vancouver. Lately, the young talent there has forced one of the better Canucks defenders to the bottom of their lineup.
Bieksa can be a top two or three defender on another team. He's earned a spotlight Vancouver can't provide.
Washington Capitals: Scott Hannan
Hannan has split the season between Colorado and Washington. The move hasn't been all that kind to this blue liner.
In the 23 games he played with the Avalanche, he had 6 points and a +1 rating. However, since his move to Washington, he has played 26 games and had 1 point and a -4 rating. This is a clear step in the wrong direction.
Maybe Washington wasn't the right place for Scott Hannan after all.