The NHL trade deadline is next week. There are of course the names that always seem to be in the trade rumors category.
Then there are the deals that no one really anticipates, surprises like Dallas Stars James Neal and Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh for Alex Goligoski. While many of the rumored players could be moved, it is just as likely that most of the trades made will include players that were not speculated over as much.
Here are nine bold predictions for the trade deadline.
The rumors have been abundant about Alexander Semin’s future in a Washington Capitals’ uniform. The latest news is that Capitals GM George McPhee is dangling Semin as trade bait.
However, Semin will stay in Washington. He’s too valuable an asset to trade for just anything and McPhee won’t find what he wants in return for the winger.
For much of the year, there has been speculation that the Ottawa Senators were going to move Chris Phillips. Now, the reports that are surfacing say that Alex Kovalev is unhappy in Ottawa.
Meanwhile, the Senators are supposedly meeting with Phillips and his agent regarding a contract extension. Expect Kovalev to be moved, most probably to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rumors have been circulating that the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to move Max Talbot. Talbot may not have a huge offensive presence on the ice, however he is a presence in the locker room.
With Crosby and Malkin out, the Penguins can’t afford to lose a morale booster and fan favorite like Max Talbot.
Atlanta Thrashers GM Rick Dudley said he doesn’t expect to move Bogosian. However, he also said “Wayne Gretzky was traded.”
Read into that what you want, I read that as no one is ever off the table for a trade. Also, why would the GM say publicly I expect to move him?
Was he hinting at something regarding Bogosian? Possibly.
The Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils are reportedly interested in him.
Sheldon Souray was brought back up to the NHL from the loan to the AHL's Hershey Bears. This probably means that a deal is imminent.
Rumors have been flying about the team he will end up with: New York Rangers? New Jersey Devils?
The Columbus Blue Jackets are back in the picture too. They were reportedly interested in Souray at the beginning of the season, but their interest waned. However, their interest in him could be back.
There have been mixed messages about Stephen Weiss in Florida. Many consider him to be untouchable, but Panthers GM Dale Tallon said that no one is untouchable.
The Los Angeles Kings sent scouts to a recent Florida game and that could have sparked an interest in Weiss.
If the Panthers can get something good in return, they are really in no position to turn down this trade.
Scottie Upshall will be a UFA after the season ends. The Phoenix Coyotes will deal him now, instead of waiting for him to go and get nothing in exchange.
The Philadelphia Flyers are reportedly seeking a winger and are interested in re-acquiring Upshall. They are also supposedly shopping Dan Carcillo and Jody Shelley.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if Scottie Upshall went back to Philadelphia in exchange for Dan Carcillo, for whom he was traded?
Zherdev could potentially be beneficial for the Washington Capitals as a linemate for Alexander Semin since he is a fellow Russian speaker.
Boudreau seems to be changing up lines a lot in the hopes of sparking offense and this could help. Plus, Zherdev will be a UFA after this season, meaning the Caps won’t be committed to him.
Wherever he ends up, Zherdev will likely not be a Flyer by next month.
Washington Capitals GM George McPhee is reportedly interested in a second-line center. His favorites are reportedly Tim Connolly of the Buffalo Sabres and Jason Arnott of the New Jersey Devils.
Another option could be Nik Antropov of the Atlanta Thrashers. Reports emerged earlier in the season that the Caps were looking for a Nik Antropov-type forward. What better than Nik Antropov himself?
The Thrashers are reportedly dangling Antropov on the market. Antropov could really excel in Washington, even helping out fellow Russian Alexander Semin, perhaps?