NHL: Five Players Likely to Be Traded in the Offseason
This season, the trade deadline came and went without much action. Fans were left disappointed at the lack of movement on a day that is usually one of the more exciting for the people. The week prior saw many big names such as Tomas Kaberle, Erik Johnson and Chris Stewart move.
The big name on the market around the deadline was Dallas Stars superstar center Brad Richards, as many rumors saw him going to the New York Rangers, but Richards remained in Dallas and will have a decision to make on his future in the off season, as he is a free agent.
Many other names who are still contracted through next season and beyond who were rumored to be traded will remain with their current teams through the rest of the season.
Here are the five players who could still be moved during the summer.
The 24 year old goaltender has been in the Vancouver Canucks system since he was drafted 26th overall in 2004. He was drafted with the idea that he would one day be groomed into the Canucks' franchise goaltender.
Schneider spent three years at Boston College and became one of the best goaltenders in the entire NCAA. However, before his last season at BC, the Canucks acquired Roberto Luongo from the Florida Panthers. Schneider played in the AHL for the next three seasons, earning brief and unspectacular call ups during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.
When Luongo eventually signed a 12 year extension with the Canucks, Schneider's fate with the team was all but sealed. He became Luongo's full time backup this season and has performed extremely well, posting a 12-3-2 record, a 2.14 GAA and a .928 save percentage through 19 games.
Teams who miss out on prime free agent goaltender Tomas Vokoun could look to take a gamble on Schneider, who has one year left on his deal.
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Stephen Weiss was a name heard all day on February 28th, as the Florida Panthers center was heavily rumored to be traded. There were even reports prior to deadline day that he had been traded.
He has a no movement clause, but I do not believe he would hesitate to waive it, especially due to the fact that Florida is in a rebuilding mode. Weiss was drafted in 2001 with huge expectations as the fourth overall pick.
Since that point, he was been productive, with a pair of 60 point seasons and a 28 goal year under his belt, but has not put up numbers worthy of his lofty draft position. He only has two 20 goal seasons in seven years, and his career high in points is 61.
With a reasonable $3.1 million cap hit, teams looking for a number two center may be able to look to Weiss, as the free agent market among centers is thin outside of Brad Richards.
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The talented offensive defenseman was rumored to be on the block around the deadline, but was not moved and remains with the Avalanche. After a surprising playoff run last season, the Avs have come back down to earth, and with the trade of starting goaltender Craig Anderson to Ottawa, appear to have started their house cleaning.
Liles is a talented puck moving defenseman, and though he lacks a lockdown defensive game, he will be attractive to teams looking for a big shot from the point and a quarterback on the powerplay.
The only thing that could hold up a potential move is his $4.2 million cap hit, though he is only under contract for one more season.
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With the Edmonton Oilers set to finish close to last place once again, they began their cleaning process by sending Dustin Penner to the Los Angeles Kings for a very lucrative return at the trade deadline.
Hemsky though, remained in an Oilers uniform due to Edmonton's rumored high asking price. However, there is a chance that Hemsky is worth that price. Hemsky is one of those players who is always described with the words "untapped potential."
Though he has never put up any gaudy numbers in his carer, he has scored 70 points twice and has approached the point per game mark numerous times.
Hemsky is 27 years old and the Oilers appear to be going in the direction of youth, so his time in Edmonton may finally be coming to an end. If combined with another star player, something Hemsky has never had, he has the ability to be a game breaking talent.
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This is the long shot of the list. That photo pretty much sums up Gonchar's season in Ottawa.
After an absolutely brilliant five year stretch in Pittsburgh that saw him top 50 points four times (60 twice) and win the Stanley Cup, Gonchar signed a fat contract with the Ottawa Senators which carries a $5.5 million cap hit for two more seasons.
Gonchar's play has been absolutely miserable in Ottawa. He was brought on to be the power play quartback, and was expected to be one of the team's offensive leaders, something he has excelled at in the past.
Instead, what Ottawa got has been only 24 points through 61 games this season and a deplorable -16 rating. Still, despite his struggles and massive salary, the market is there for Gonchar. Teams hoping this was just a bump in the road could look to trade for him in the hopes that he could rediscover his elite game.