The start of the NHL's training camp is nearing and team rosters are getting close to being set, but no general manager is ever satisfied with what they have on their roster. This offseason saw teams go on quite a bit of a spending spree to bring in top talent, but there are still valuable players being made available on the trade market.
At this point of the year team's are a bit hesitant because they want to get a good sense of what they have, but in the end, if the right deal comes along, that hesitation will disappear. Here are a solid crop of players who look likely to be on the move.
Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk is being rumored by ESPN's James Murphy as a possible trade piece this season. The 27-year-old Boychuk has just one year left on his contract and could become a solid addition to any team looking for a third defensive pairing player who also has a lot of playoff experience.
James Murphy on discussing Boychuk with another Boston Bruins writer:
"...we both agreed unless he has a solid camp and/or start to the season, he very well could find himself being shipped off the Bruins' blue line. Boychuk is an unrestricted free agent next season, and with young defensemen like Matt Bartkowski and Steven Kampfer, it is time for him to step up if he wants to keep his spot. I completely agree with your assessment. I love the booming slap-shot he brings and the physical element of his game, but he was less than average on too many nights last season. That needs to change or he may be traded. Do I think he can prevent this? Yes. But I think his work ethic needs to improve..."
After completing a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes, sending Daymond Langkow for Lee Stempniak, the Calgary Flames can focus on bringing in a first line center to play alongside Jarome Iginla. The Flames have made it a point to clear up a lot of cap room this offseason and now it appears they plan to use it.
Rumors are flying that the Flames are after Vincent Lecavalier and his massive $7.73 million-per-year contract that runs through 2020. Lecavalier would still need to waive his no-trade clause and the Flames would need to send back a player with a cap hit of about $3 million, but this trade could happen.
Calgary general manager has not made any reservations about the team's intent to help Iginla in an interview for the Calgary Herald.
"I'm not going to sit here and say that we have a legitimate No. 1 centre-man. We don't. We have players who can slot in there. But we're still obviously searching and we're in the market for a No. 1 centre."
The Los Angeles Kings have been on an upward swing over the past few seasons, and this year it appears that will continue. During the offseason, the Kings grabbed Mike Richards via trade and signed free agent Simon Gagne.
The Kings appear to be loading up for the season, so if the right trade offer comes along, the team's great young talent at the goaltender position offers up the chance for the team to add yet another skater to improve their roster.
Quick has 74 wins over the last two seasons, while Jonathan Bernier was the AHL's top goaltender in 2009/10. The Kings don't have to make a move, but with teams still looking for help in net, there is a good chance a trade gets made.
According to sources for ESPN, "Turris is looking for a three-year deal worth an average of slightly more than $4 million annually or a two-year deal worth slightly more than $3 million. Those numbers would put Turris in the same high-rent district as James van Riemsdyk, who recently signed a six-year extension with the Philadelphia Flyers worth an average of $4.25 million."
That type of money is a bit steep for the Phoenix Coyotes to handle right now, so unless the two sides can come to some sort of understanding, Turris will find himself on the move out of Phoenix sooner rather than later.
With Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne all set to hit the free agent market in 2012, the Predators will have their hands full next offseason trying to bring these top talents back into the fold.
It's a whole lot easier to replace a goaltender than it is to find an elite defenseman such as Weber or Suter. Look for Rinne to be moved and Anders Lindback to take over the starting goaltender position.
Ever since the offseason began, the Red Wings have been rumored to be shopping Jiri Hudler—especially during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Hudler's contract is for $2.75 million dollars, which is a good contract for teams trying to reach the NHL's minimum team salary cap before the season starts.
After playing a season in Russia's KHL, Hudler came back to Detroit a shell of his former self. He appeared timid around the net and was very weak on the puck, losing several physical battles throughout the season and playoffs.
Hudler would be a second line player on just about any other team in the league and the Wings are always looking for defensive prospects, as they are they key to the team's style of play. I think general manager Ken Holland can still get this deal done.