NHL Trade Rumors: Best Case Offseason Trade Scenarios for Every Team
The Stanley Cup Finals have just gotten underway.
For the other 28 teams that aren't in the Finals, they are already looking ahead to next season. That means looking ahead to the Draft at the end of this month, free agency beginning next month and possible trades throughout the offseason.
Some teams will be very active this offseason, either in free agency or making moves. Others will focus on retaining what they already have.
Here's a look at what each team's offseason looks like.
The rumors surrounding the Anaheim Ducks are that they'll want to move a goaltender. Jonas Hiller was mentioned as a possibility, but that seems very unlikely.
Dan Ellis would be more dispensable than Ray Emery, but the question is if Ellis would draw enough interest.
Or, they could just send Ellis or Emery, most likely Ellis, to the AHL. That way if Hiller's vertigo comes back or something happens to Emery, they would have a sufficient backup.
There is a lot of speculation that Tomas Kaberle will not remain a Boston Bruin next season.
If the Bruins cannot/do not re-sign Kaberle, they’ll need to focus on replacing him in the offseason.
They could draft a top defenseman in the first round of the draft, lure a top free agent defenseman to Boston or as a last resort look to trade for what they need.
Paul Gaustad, Chris Butler, Mike Weber
Paul Stastny and Ryan O’Reilly
Other possible trades are:
To DET or OTT:
Paul Gaustad, Mike Weber or Patrick Kaleta and another player
Justin Abdelkader or Nick Foligno
Another option is for Buffalo to dangle Derek Roy. The first trade, between Buffalo and Colorado looks like it would be the best option. Stastny would bring the scoring that Buffalo so desperately needs to be a real contender.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal poses an interesting trade option.
Devin Setoguchi and Jason Demers,
This trade seems unlikely as Calgary GM Jay Feaster seems intent on keeping Regehr.
It's an intriguing option though. It could be good for Calgary, since they would be getting some young players. Regehr might be worth more, perhaps if San Jose threw in a draft pick that could seal the deal.
Joni Pitkanen is likely leaving Carolina in the free agent market.
The Hurricanes need to bring in some defense to replace him.
Signing defensemen in free agency will probably be the Hurricanes best bet, rather than looking for trades. There will be plenty of quality defensemen entering free agency that the team can make a play for.
The Chicago Blackhawks have some options this offseason.
They're looking to re-sign Chris Campoli, who is set to become an RFA this summer.
They may make a move, with Troy Brouwer or Viktor Stalberg as possible candidates, but for now they should focus on seeing what they can do in free agency.
The Colorado Avalanche are rumored to be shopping Paul Stastny and John-Michael Liles.
Liles has been in trade talks for awhile and has yet to be moved so I wouldn’t look at that too seriously. As for Stastny, If the Avalanche moved him, it would need to be for a great deal, one too good to pass up.
The Avalanche need a little bit of everything this offseason so there could be a lot of options.
The trade mentioned on the Buffalo slide (Gaustad, Butler and Weber for Stastny and O'Reilly) could be an option for the Avalanche, but they may look to get more for Stastny.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets need to pick up defense this offseason, either in the draft, free agency or a trade.
One option mentioned is that the Blue Jackets should try to go for Joni Pitkanen if they can afford him.
The Capitals are looking for some veteran help in the postseason; the Blue Jackets probably don't have what the Capitals would want for Semin.
They could make a deal with Toronto though for MacArthur, if the Maple Leafs aren't already in talks with another team for him.
It would be difficult for the Stars in their current financial situation to match the offers that Brad Richards will receive on the free agent market.
They’ll need to replace Richards, either through trades or in free agency, although once again it will be difficult for them to go into a bidding war for top free agents.
The team may need to just rely on prospects from the AHL and the draft to cover them.
Detroit Red Wings
With Brian Rafalski now retired and Nicklas Lidstrom still undecided about retirement, the Detroit Red Wings need to prepare to find defensive replacements.
Rafalski's retirement has cleared up cap space for the team. They supposedly want to use it to get two defensemen, but there have also been rumblings that they'll use it to make an offer to Shea Weber or Joni Pitkanen.
The Wings are also reportedly interested in Kevin Bieksa, although that seems the least likely of all the scenarios, as he will most likely remain in Vancouver.
The Edmonton Oilers need defense and goaltending.
They should be able to pick up good defense in the draft, either picking up Adam Larsson with the number one pick or settling for another top defenseman later in the first round.
They could likely sign a good goaltender in free agency.
Zack Stortini has been mentioned as a trade possibility, but for whom is unknown.
Tomas Vokoun is set to become a UFA next month and the rumors have Vokoun's tenure in Miami ending.
If that happens, the Panthers will need to find a goaltender to take his place, either through free agency or trade.
As for other trades, there seems to be significant interest in Stephen Weiss, with the Toronto Maple Leafs topping the list. Perhaps the Panthers could trade him for the rights to Jean-Sebastien Giguere and another player from Toronto?
Other potential suitors for Weiss could be the New York Rangers if they can't sign Brad Richards.
Los Angeles Kings
The St. Louis Blues are not currently shopping Oshie around, but they could possibly be persuaded if the deal suits them.
The Kings could offer Dustin Penner for Oshie. Maybe the Blues would accept.
There have been a few names circulating from the Minnesota Wild as trade possibilities.
Sources have said that the team would like to unload Niklas Backstrom but since he’s so expensive, they probably won't be able to.
Another name that has been mentioned as being shopped is Brent Burns.
Also, the Wild could trade the rights to Andrew Brunette, set to become a UFA, in exchange for a draft pick.
The Montreal Canadiens are reportedly looking to unload Scott Gomez via trade this offseason.
That will be pretty much impossible since Gomez has a cap hit of over $7 million, through the 2014.
The team will just have to relegate him to the AHL next season.
The top priority for the Nashville Predators this offseason is re-signing Shea Weber, as well as Joel Ward. It would be very bad for the Predators if they lost Shea Weber and Joel Ward to free agency.
Weber will most likely want to test the free agency market, so the Preds need to be prepared to match that.
Ward on the other hand, had a fantastic postseason with the Preds, helping them win their first postseason series.
If the team wants to be competitive in the future, they need to re-sign both of these players and not worry about any trades unless they can’t re-sign them for whatever reason.
New Jersey Devils
Zach Parise has been mentioned amongst trade rumors, but I see a Parise trade as being highly unlikely, as well as very bad for the New Jersey Devils.
The best scenario for the Devils is to send Brian Rolston to Toronto for Phil Kessel and a draft pick. Kessel could reach his potential in New Jersey.
However, the Maple Leafs will probably want to hold on to Kessel.
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are looking to trade Evgeni Nabokov, since he's made it clear that he doesn't intend to play for the organization.
If the Islanders trade Evgeni Nabokov, they want something more than draft picks or a prospect in return.
The Flyers are reportedly interested in Nabokov and the Isles want Kris Versteeg, Scott Hartnell or Matt Carle in exchange. The Flyers seem reluctant to give any of those players up to nab Nabokov so it may not work.
However, Carle for Nabokov seems to be the most viable option.
The best case scenario for the Isles is Nabokov for Versteeg or Hartnell, but just getting rid of Nabokov for somebody in return will be good for the team.
New York Rangers
If the New York Rangers can’t sign Brad Richards, perhaps Florida’s Stephen Weiss would suffice.
The Internet seems convinced that Chris Drury's tenure in a New York Rangers uniform has ended, despite the no movement clause in his contract.
Richards or Weiss in a Rangers uniform is the best case scenario for the Rangers, however they need to accomplish this, they need to do.
The rebuilding period in Ottawa has the team facing a lot of unknowns.
They were very active before the trade deadline during the past season. This offseason, they'll be focused on finding a new coach, as well as getting the most out of the draft.
They need to work on cultivating talent from within. If they trade for anything, it should be for draft picks.
Jeff Carter's name has been brought up in trade rumors lately. Moving Carter would make the cap space to sign Ilya Bryzgalov, but Paul Holmgren has said that he wants to keep the team’s core together.
The Flyers’ main priority needs to be signing a top goaltender, whether it is Ilya Bryzgalov or Miikka Kiprusoff.
Bryz is number one, but that would require moves. Either putting players like Michael Leighton and Matt Walker in the AHL to clear up some space, as well as letting some UFA walk or another possibility is trading Matt Carle, which shouldn’t be too hard since his contract is a one-year, $3.4 million deal.
The ideal scenario for the Flyers is anything that gets them Bryzgalov and has them keeping Carter.
Three of the Coyotes top players are free agents—Ilya Bryzgalov, Keith Yandle and Ed Jovanovski.
It should be the team’s top priority to re-sign them because it’ll be difficult for them to attract free agents to the team, with all the unknowns surrounding them.
Don Maloney has said that he won’t spend too much money on one player, so that may rule out Bryzgalov.
With the free agent situation not looking great on their front, they’ll need to rely the draft or trades. They could look into trading for Miikka Kiprusoff or Evgeni Nabokov from the Islanders.
I don’t see the Penguins making trades this offseason. They have their salary cap mostly used up, so it would require a significant trade to do anything.
The team has quite a few UFAs that they should re-sign.
Ray Shero already said that Mike Comrie and Alex Kovalev won’t be re-signed, but that the remaining UFAs are all possibilities to be re-signed.
Other UFAs include Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Michael Rupp, Craig Addams, Arron Asham, Eric Goddard, Chris Conner and Nick Johnson.
The Penguins should look to re-sign as many of them as possible, especially Dupuis.
San Jose Sharks
The best trade scenario for the San Jose Sharks is the scenario posed by Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
Devin Setoguchi and Jason Demers for Robyn Regehr.
St. Louis Blues
T.J. Oshie's named has been brought up, but sources say its not because the Blues are shopping him, just because teams are interested in him.
The Blues are reportedly offering Alexander Steen as trade bait for a defenseman.
Could the teams make Steen and another player for Green work? IT will remain to be seen, but that could be a good deal for the Blues.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Steve Yzerman has said that the Tampa Bay Lightning is looking to expand their salary next season.
With the fantastic postseason play of the Lightning, the team will look to retain as much as possible. They have a lot of UFAs, plus they need to re-sign Steven Stamkos, which will affect how much money they have left to spend.
Sean Bergenheim and Teddy Purcell will warrant pay raises, Eric Brewer could as well. Dwayne Roloson will surely be re-signed.
Simon Gagne may be the odd man out. Smith, Adam Hall and Marc-Andre Bergeron are unknowns, as well contingent on how much Stamkos earns.
Additionally, I think the Lightning should try to reunite Brad Richards with his Stanley Cup-winning team, but they may need to make a move to make that happen considering their cap space.
Especially since he’s the top free agent out there, he’ll command a high price.
However, if the Lightning can find a way to make that happen without sacrificing too much, they should make it work.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Brian Burke has said the team needs a No. 1 center, either signing one in free agency or trading for one.
Brad Richards is the top option, but it seems unlikely that he ends up in Toronto.
One trade that has been mentioned is sending Clarke MacArthur to Florida for either Stephen Weiss or David Booth.
Another trade mentioned would be fantastic for Toronto: trading for Jeff Carter.
However, that is unlikely to happen, as Carter would come for too high a price.
Their top priority is 1) re-signing Kevin Bieksa and (2) re-signing Christian Ehrhoff.
It's unknown if the team will be able to re-sign both players. They should be able to fit both in if they let Sami Salo walk, but if not they'll either need to move someone or let Ehrhoff go.
The Washington Capitals will probably be very active come free agency. They are rumored to be interested in signing John Madden especially.
As for trades, given that the team disappointed again in the playoffs, almost everyone on the roster could be moved with the right offer.
Alexander Semin's name is one of the most popular as a trade possibility, followed by defensemen Mike Green and Jeff Schultz.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are reportedly interested in Semin, but I don't see that working out. The Caps will probably see what they can get in the draft and free agency, worrying about trades close to the season.
With new ownership, the new Winnipeg team shouldn’t look to make trades, unless they’re trading up in the draft in order to get better picks.
They should build their team through the draft and maybe try to get some good free agents to sign in the city, there could be interest in the franchise returning to Winnipeg.
They need to re-sign Andrew Ladd. They should also try to make a play for Teemu Selanne in free agency, see if he'd like to finish his career in the city he started it.