NHL Trade Scenarios: 15 Deals We'd Like to See Made

Erik PaulCorrespondent IApril 8, 2011

NHL Trade Scenarios: 15 Deals We'd Like to See Made

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    NHL fans regularly dream about blockbuster trades they'd like to see, but rarely do they actually happen.

    It sure is fun to think about, though, especially with all of the marquee players who have been speculated to be available at the right price.

    Here are 15 deals that we'd love to see, with varying degrees of realistic-ness. I've rated them from one to 10, 10 being most realistic and one being just a dream.

    The deals are in no particular order, and some use the same pieces as others.

John-Michael Liles to Columbus for Nikita Filatov

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    To Columbus: John-Michael Liles

    To Colorado: Nikita Filatov

    Why: Columbus would finally get the puck-moving defenseman that they've coveted since joining the league in 2000. The Blue Jackets desperately need a smooth-skating defenseman who can make a good first pass on the breakout. With Fedor Tyutin and Jan Hejda forming a shutdown pair, Liles wouldn't have to play that role, which would free him up offensively.

    Colorado would receive Filatov, who would likely be given a chance to play beside talented young center Matt Duchene. The two would form a line that would be difficult to defend against because of their skill and speed. The fresh start could be just what Filatov, a previously highly-rated prospect, needs.

    Realistic Rating: Eight

    Liles has a no trade clause, and might not waive it to go to Columbus. Colorado may also view Filatov as a bust, and not want to risk acquiring him.

Ales Hemsky, Andrew Cogliano to Toronto for Mikhail Grabovski, Jussi Rynnas

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    To Toronto: Ales Hemsky and Andrew Cogliano

    To Edmonton: Mikhail Grabovski and Jussi Rynnas

    Why: Edmonton would strengthen their skill at center, which would be extremely helpful given their young talent on the wings—Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi and Linus Omark. They would also receive Rynnas, who is a goaltending prospect with a bright future. The Oilers goaltending situation is uncertain, with Nikolai Khabibulin getting old quickly and Devan Dubnyk yet to really prove himself as an NHL-level starter.

    Toronto would receive the sublimely skilled Hemsky, who's superb passing should significantly benefit sniper Phil Kessel on the top line. The Maple Leafs would also get Andrew Cogliano to fill the second or third line center position, depending on how quickly Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak develop.

    Realistic Rating: Seven

    This deal makes sense for both sides, but Grabovski's breakout season and Hemsky's proneness to injury could slow things on Toronto's side.

Shane Doan to Pittsburgh for a First-Round Pick, Next Trade Deadline

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    To Pittsburgh: Shane Doan

    To Phoenix: Pittsburgh's first-round pick

    Why: Pittsburgh would get a physical, skilled forward who has been around the league for a long time, and is an upcoming unrestricted free agent. Doan would be a great fit in Pittsburgh and would likely play beside Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.

    Phoenix would get a first-round draft pick and salary relief. With the Coyotes currently lacking an owner, and losing millions each year, shedding Doan's salary could be a necessary part of budget control.

    Doan would get a very good chance to win a Stanley Cup. He'll be 35 in October, and he's running out of chances to win.

    Realistic Rating: Five

    Doan is the heart and soul of the Coyotes team and is very involved in the Phoenix community. He might not want to leave Phoenix, and Phoenix might not want to lose him.

    Pittsburgh would almost certainly do this deal, as long as they could fit Doan's salary under the cap.

Dustin Byfuglien to Anaheim for Luca Sbisa, Peter Holland and Jason Blake

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    To Anaheim: Dustin Byfuglien

    To Atlanta: Luca Sbisa, Peter Holland and Jason Blake

    Why: Atlanta receives a blossoming young defenseman in Luca Sbisa, who can form a formidable pair with fellow 21-year-old defenseman Zach Bogosian. The two together could be the core of Atlanta's defense for the next decade. The Thrashers also get Peter Holland, a potential top line center who's lighting up the Ontario Hockey League this season. Finally, the Thrashers would get veteran winger Jason Blake, who can still put up about 20 goals per season.

    The Anaheim Ducks would get another offensive defenseman, who would make them even less fun to play against than they already are. Dustin Byfuglien is a physical force who can score, hit, fight and play defense. With Lubomir Visnovsky and Cam Fowler on the Ducks, they could use Byfuglien in front of the net on power plays, which was his bread-and-butter in the playoffs last year. Who wouldn't want to see Byfuglien driving Roberto Luongo crazy on a regular basis?

    Realistic Rating: Four

    The Thrashers just signed Byfuglien to a five-year, $26 million contract, so they aren't all that likely to ship him out any time soon.

Matt Cooke to Russia for a Bag of Pucks

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    To Russia: Matt Cooke

    To Pittsburgh: A bag of pucks

    Why: Matt Cooke has been suspended again and is widely considered the dirtiest player in the NHL. If he crosses the line again, the Pittsburgh Penguins may decide to exile him to Siberia until he figures out that he can't hit people the way he does.

    Realistic Rating: Six

    The Penguins may well decide to get rid of Cooke, but it's almost guaranteed that one of the teams who complains about him constantly will give him a chance, because he is an effective player when he's not being stupid.

Jason Spezza to Columbus for Jakub Voracek, John Moore and a 2nd-Round Pick

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    To Columbus: Jason Spezza

    To Ottawa: Jakub Voracek, John Moore and a second-round pick

    Why: Columbus would finally have a top line playmaking center to play with superstar winger Rick Nash. Spezza's skilled passing game would blend very nicely with Nash's power forward, goal-scoring style. Also, it would take a lot of pressure of Derrick Brassard to carry the Blue Jackets' top line.

    Ottawa would kick-start their rebuild in a big way. Jakub Voracek is an ultra-speedy 21-year-old, who's got tremendous skill, but hasn't quite broken out in the NHL yet. John Moore is adjusting well to the pro game in the AHL and should be an NHL regular in the next two year.

    Realistic Rating: Six

    This deal makes sense for both clubs. It would likely need some tweaking to actually happen, but Columbus covets a top center and is willing to pay a hefty price to get one. Ottawa has been speculated to be shopping Spezza for almost a year, and an offer like this might be too good to refuse.

Jarome Iginla to Los Angeles for Brayden Schenn and Thomas Hickey

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    To Los Angeles: Jarome Iginla

    To Calgary: Brayden Schenn and Thomas Hickey

    Why: Los Angeles would have to be considered a Stanley Cup favorite if they acquire Jarome Iginla. They have a great, young core built around Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, but a bonafide superstar like Iginla could put them over the top. Iginla is the 10th player in NHL history to score 30 goals in 10 straight seasons. He currently sits third in the league in goals and sixth in points.

    Calgary would get a great kick-start to a necessary rebuild. The Flames have very few prospects and very little hope for the future right now. Brayden Schenn is a superstar in the making. He dominated the World Junior Hockey Championships despite playing with a separated shoulder. Thomas Hickey was the fourth overall pick in 2007, but hasn't developed quickly and is now stuck behind many players on LA's depth chart. He's from Calgary and would likely fit well in the Flames system.

    Realistic Rating: Eight

    The Flames upper management should realize that the team needs to be rebuilt, and Iginla is by far the most valuable player the Flames could move. Los Angeles has been speculated to be very interested in acquiring Iginla, but the Flames would require Brayden Schenn.

Zach Parise to Minnesota for Guillame Latendresse and Two 1st-Round Picks

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    To Minnesota: Zach Parise

    To New Jersey: Guillame Latendresse and two first-round picks

    Why: Minnesota would get a superstar winger for Mikko Koivu. Parise is from Minnesota and would likely welcome a move to the Wild. Parise would significantly help Minnesota's offense, especially the power play, which could boast a top unit of Parise, Koivu and Martin Havlat.

    New Jersey would get Latendresse, an emerging power forward who could easily hit 30 goals per season, if healthy. They'd also receive two first-round draft picks, at least one of which will be a top 10 selection. Most importantly, New Jersey would get salary cap relief.

    Realistic Rating: Two

    It's hard to find premier, young stars like Zach Parise, and the Devils will do their best to avoid trading him. As a restricted free agent, Parise will command a hefty salary, likely in the $6 to $7 million range. The Devils will have to make moves to fit him under the cap, but almost certainly will keep him.

The Brad Richards, New York Rangers Sign and Trade Package

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    To New York Rangers: Brad Richards and Adam Burish

    To Dallas: Mats Zuccarello-Aasen, Wojtek Wolski and Chris Drury

    Why: If Brad Richards doesn't want to re-sign with the Dallas Stars, it would be painful for them to lose him for nothing. The New York Rangers are considered a front-runner for Richards, but likely won't have the cap space to sign him without moving out some players.

    By pulling an NBA-style sign-and-trade, the Rangers can get the cap space they need, and the Stars can get some assets in return.

    Realistic Rating: Six

    It's not that likely that a sign-and-trade will happen because that's never been the way the NHL does things. It's an idea that could potentially work well for both sides, but it's more likely that Richards will just re-sign with the Stars.

Rick Nash to Carolina for Tuomo Ruutu, Jamie McBain, Zach Boychuk and a 1st

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    To Carolina: Rick Nash

    To Columbus: Tuomo Ruutu, Jamie McBain, Zach Boychuk and a first-round pick

    Why: Carolina would get a superstar winger to complement their strength at center in Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner. Nash and Staal together would be a very difficult line to shut down as both players play are big and physical, not to mention extremely skilled.

    Columbus would get a big return in which McBain, Boychuk and the first-round pick could all be future stars, and Tuomo Ruutu is already a solid first or second line forward. Adding that type of package would help Columbus move from a team built around one star to a team that wins by committee like Nashville or Phoenix.

    Realistic Rating: Two

    Rick Nash probably isn't going anywhere. It would be a huge risk for Columbus to trade him, even if it could pay off long-term.

Paul Stastny to Toronto for Tyler Bozak, Nikolai Kulemin and a 2nd-Round Pick

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    To Toronto: Paul Stastny

    To Colorado: Tyler Bozak, Nikolai Kulemin and a second-round pick

    Why: Toronto would get a top line playmaking center who could carry them into the playoffs for the first time since the lockout. Stastny would fit well with sniper Phil Kessel and take a lot of the pressure off Kessel to be the "go-to guy" offensively. Stastny would also help the Maple Leafs power play significantly.

    Colorado would get two young forwards who would add to their talent up-front. Kulemin has broken out with 30 goals this year, and his speed would be a great fit on a line with Matt Duchene. Bozak has taken a bit of a step back this year, but has shown enough in short periods to demonstrate his potential.

    Realistic Rating: Seven

    Toronto will push hard to try to get Brad Richards this summer, but if they can't sign him, they'll start looking at other options for a top line center. Stastny is one of the few who could be available, but he would come with a hefty price tag.

Zach Parise and David Clarkson for Evgeni Malkin

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    To Pittsburgh: Zach Parise and David Clarkson

    To New Jersey: Evgeni Malkin

    Why: The Devils get a marquee center to complement Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias on the wings. Malkin is a proven playoff performer, which is something the Devils have been lacking in recent years. They'd also be able to shift Travis Zajac to second line center, which is probably where he belongs. 

    The Penguins would get one of the best scoring wingers in the league, who would almost definitely be a phenomenal fit beside Sidney Crosby. Parise would play a role with the Penguins much like Marian Hossa did briefly in 2008. Moving out Malkin wouldn't hurt the Penguins that badly because Jordan Staal has shown he's perfectly capable of centering the second line. David Clarkson is a bonus for the Pens, partly to balance the salaries, but he's a physical force with pretty good hands. He can fill virtually any role from the second to fourth line.

    Realistic Rating: Six

    I don't believe that the Penguins or Devils are interested in moving Malkin or Parise, but it's a deal that could certainly benefit both teams if discussions happen.

Claude Giroux to Columbus for Jakub Voracek, John Moore and a 2nd-Round Pick

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    To Columbus: Claude Giroux

    To Philadelphia: Jakub Voracek, John Moore and a second-round pick

    Why: The Blue Jackets would get their top line playmaking center to play with Rick Nash. Giroux is emerging as a fantastic player and his smooth stick-handling and passing would fit extremely well with Nash's physical play and scoring game. Also, adding Giroux would take pressure off Derrick Brassard to be a No. 1 center.

    The Flyers would get the salary cap relief that they desperately need, along with two very good young players. Jakub Voracek is on the cusp of becoming a star, but as discussed earlier, it hasn't happened quite yet. He would alleviate the crowding at center on the Flyers roster, and upgrade the speed on the wings. Moore is progressing into a solid two-way defenseman who should be ready to help the Flyers in the next two years.

    Realistic Rating: Four

    While the Flyers might be looking to move a center, it's a lot more likely that it will be Jeff Carter than Claude Giroux. Giroux just signed a three-year extension at $3.75 million per season, so he probably won't be traded.

Alexander Semin to Philadelphia for Jeff Carter

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    To Philadelphia: Alexander Semin

    To Washington: Jeff Carter

    Why: Semin and Carter are essentially the same style of player—shoot first, ask questions later. Both are strong offensively and not as focused on defense. Both have had 40 goal seasons.

    Where the benefit comes in is that it clears some of the crowding at center on the Flyers, while giving the Capitals the second line center that they desperately need. The lack of depth at center has been a big problem for the Capitals in the playoffs recently, with Nicklas Backstrom being the only legitimate center for the top two lines.

    Realistic Rating: Six

    The salaries balance out reasonably well and the deal makes a lot of sense for both sides, but it probably won't actually happen because it's not something either team desperately needs to do.

Jarome Iginla and Mikael Backlund to Pittsburgh for Evgeni Malkin

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    To Calgary: Evgeni Malkin

    To Pittsburgh: Jarome Iginla and Mikael Backlund

    Why: The Penguins have a bit of a backlog at center, with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal all deserving of large amounts of ice time. Moving Malkin out would allow the Penguins to bring in a superstar winger in Jarome Iginla, who plays extremely well with Crosby, as evidenced by their performance in the 2010 Olympics. The Pens would also get Mikael Backlund, a good rookie who could play third line center or wing on one of the top two lines.

    Calgary would get a superstar center to start a rebuild around. Malkin could benefit somewhat from being out of Crosby's shadow and would be given all the ice time he could handle. Malkin is just 24 years old, so he would set the Flames up with a No. 1 center for the next several years.

    Realistic Rating: Three

    In all likelihood, this deal will not happen. It could make sense for both teams, but it's unlikely that either team would commit to this level of blockbuster.