NHL Trade Speculation: 5 Player-for-Player Trades That Make Sense
In the National Hockey League, general managers are always on the lookout for trade opportunities that would benefit their teams.
Though we are just weeks away from the opening of training camps across the league, there are certainly still some big name players that could become available if the right offer emerges.
This summer alone, we've already seen deals executed that saw top-end NHL players change addresses and with little notice. Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi were thought to be cornerstones for the San Jose Sharks for years to come, but they were shipped to Minnesota in exchange for front line players Brent Burns and Martin Havlat in separate deals.
As we close in on the home stretch of the 2011 NHL offseason, here are five player-for-player trades that would make sense for both teams.
5. Luke Schenn to the Colorado Avalanche in Exchange for Gabriel Landeskog
This wouldn't be an easy deal for the Colorado Avalanche to make, primarily because they're so high on Gabriel Landeskog, the second overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
However, the opportunity to land a first pairing defenseman who has yet to even scratch the surface of his potential doesn't come along every day.
Toronto's Luke Schenn has been progressing steadily since entering the league in 2008 and appears to be on the verge of solidifying himself as the Maple Leafs' most reliable defenseman.
Unfortunately, the Leafs and Schenn have yet to come to terms on a new contract, so if the negotiations aren't settled by the time training camp rolls around, it's possible that GM Brian Burke will quietly shop the 21-year-old rearguard.
If he does, one player that could be of interest to Burke is Landeskog, who plays the rough-and-tumble two-way style that Burke loves. Landeskog would be a fantastic building block for the Leafs up front and Schenn could be the stay at home defenseman to help anchor Colorado's blue line along with Erik Johnson for the next decade.
4. David Booth to Washington in Exchange for Alexander Semin
The Washington Capitals have repeatedly shot down trade rumors involving the talented yet enigmatic sniper Alexander Semin, but it's likely the team is still considering moving the skilled Russian for a couple of reasons.
For starters, Semin's disappointing performances in the playoffs are well documented and with the Capitals primed for a Stanley Cup run in 2012, he may not be part of the equation.
In addition to Semin's postseason struggles, he is also set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2012, so the team would be smart to move him now if they don't intend on re-signing him.
One potential target the Capitals could go after is David Booth of the Florida Panthers, who would immediately help replace the offense that Semin brings to the table. Before Booth's career was temporarily sidetracked by injuries, he appeared to be capable of 35-40 goals and with a talented playmaker like Marcus Johansson or Nicklas Backstrom, that level of production may still be attainable.
Dale Tallon, Florida's general manager, hasn't been quiet about his desire to add star caliber talent to his roster and Semin may be the most talented player available on the trade market.
3. Ales Hemsky to Winnipeg in Exchange for Zach Bogosian
With the Edmonton Oilers clearly in rebuilding mode, it doesn't make a lot of sense for the team to keep pending unrestricted free agent Ales Hemsky around—especially because there are a number of younger forwards who will be vying for top six ice time in the near future.
So, the question is, where should Edmonton look with regards to trading Hemsky?
The easiest answer appears to be Winnipeg, as the newly relocated club has an obvious lack of offensive firepower up front and a number of young assets they could use to tempt the Oilers.
One of which is restricted free agent Zach Bogosian, a former No. 2 overall selection who has yet to make the impact the franchise had originally projected. Bogosian is certainly still a promising young defenseman, but he is clearly behind Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom and Johnny Oduya on the Jets' depth chart. Instead of re-signing him the team could explore trade options.
Bogosian has the potential to be a good, top four defenseman on a young and up and coming team like the Oilers, so this trade could be beneficial for both organizations.
The Jets could enjoy the services of a high end skill player like Hemsky and the Oilers could help Bogosian get his development back on the right track.
2. Jiri Hudler to Vancouver in Exchange for Cody Hodgson
With Mason Raymond and Ryan Kesler both out of the Vancouver Canucks' lineup with injuries, the team will need to find a way to generate offense in their absence.
Jiri Hudler of the Detroit Red Wings would be an enticing option for a couple of reasons.
First of all, unlike basically everyone on the Canucks' roster, Hudler has already won a Stanley Cup. More importantly, he's a solid two-way player who could post 55-60 points in the right situation.
However, Hudler won't be easy for Vancouver to pry away from the Red Wings. It would take at least a lineup player or a high end prospect—such as the Canucks' 2008 first-round pick, Cody Hodgson.
Hodgson is highly regarded and is generally thought to be a future top six forward in the NHL. However, Vancouver's time to win is clearly now and he wasn't an impact player during Vancouver's run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011.
Hodgson would likely flourish in the Red Wings' system, which allows players to develop at their own pace and Hudler would add the secondary scoring the Canucks lacked during their seven game loss to Boston this past spring.
1. Cory Schneider to Tampa Bay for Steve Downie
After a Stanley Cup final that saw Roberto Luongo's confidence waver mightily during some big moments, many would think the last thing the Canucks would want to do is deal promising young netminder Cory Schneider.
However, the Canucks are committed to Luongo financially, so they might as well let their all star goaltender be their goalie of the future and present.
In doing so, wouldn't it be nice for them to acquire a player who could help add the type of grit and sandpaper that Vancouver needed badly during the tail end of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Tampa Bay's Steve Downie is just the forward that Vancouver could use against tough, in-your-face teams like Boston and he would provide secondary scoring for a team that appears to be quite top heavy offensively.
While the Lightning are set in goal for the next year—assuming Dwayne Roloson continues to play like a man half his age—a stud prospect like Cory Schneider would be a welcome addition to a club that has had mediocre goaltending since winning the Stanley Cup in 2004.