NHL: 12 Big-Time Players Who Would Benefit From a Change of Scenery
Whether it be because of previous issues with their current team or an overall decline in the team's shot at a Stanley Cup, several NHL stars would definitely do better playing in different cities than they currently are.
Some of these players have already been mentioned in trade rumors as being possibly shopped around near the trade deadline while others will probably never leave their team throughout their entire NHL careers.
Nevertheless, here are the top 12 players I think would benefit by wearing a different sweater.
Alex Semin, Washington Capitals
There is no greater example of playing second fiddle than Alex Semin. He is constantly on the trade rumor list because of his second line position on the Capitals behind Alex Ovechkin.
On most other teams in the NHL, Semin is definitely worth being on the first line and his production would probably increase with more ice time and a bigger, more dependent role.
It would also stop the thousands of rumors surrounding him and make my head stop hurting.
Drew Doughty, LA Kings
Drew Doughty is quickly becoming an annoyance to Kings fans because of his ridiculous persistence for more money/terms in his RFA situation. After being offered $6.8 million for seven years, Doughty refused and ignored the mandatory start date for training camp.
If Doughty really does want more money then he needs to be moved to a new team immediately as this one isn't looking for greedy players. They're interested in a Stanley Cup.
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
An eerie victory occurred for Nashville when Weber signed his one-year deal worth $7.5 million. It makes most NHL analysts think that Weber won't be in the Music City for the 2012-13 season.
However, for Weber a move to a contender could be exactly what he needs to elevate his already spectacular game to the next level.
Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames
The first of two Flames on this list is Miikka Kiprusoff. The inspiration for this pick is the new Washington Capital, Tomas Vokoun who moved from the bottom-feeding Florida Panthers.
Kipper could definitely make the move, even this late in his career, to a team that could use his elite skills in the net.
Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars
Eriksson is secretly one of the better wingers in the NHL. However, with the recent loss of Brad Richards, Eriksson's numbers and overall value could be decreasing this next season.
If a team needs a winger, I would put my money on them looking at Loui first with his small $4.25 million cap hit.
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza has been a star in Ottawa for years but with the recent decline in the overall quality of the Senators roster, Spezza definitely needs to consider moving. He has the talent to be a star on a legitimate cup contender and at 28, he is in his prime.
Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche
Colorado has a lot of growing young talent but Paul Stastny may want to be more than a bottom-feeder for the next three, four, or five seasons while they rebuild.
Stastny has loads of talent and could be moved to a team looking for a legitimate No. 1 center (cough, Toronto, Buffalo, cough).
Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
Rick Nash is my absolute favorite power forward and it pains me to see him going relatively unnoticed in the NHL because of his current team.
No disrespect to Columbus or its fans, but they haven't exactly been headliners of the NHL since they came into the league 10 years ago. Nash would definitely benefit from a little more exposure.
Evgeni Nabokov, New York Islanders
This is the easiest pick on this list because, well, Nabokov has blatantly told the Islanders multiple times that he would benefit from a change of scenery. The problem with Nabokov playing on the island is motivation.
No goaltender can stand on his head (which Nabokov will definitely have to do with this defense) when it is full of disappointment towards the city he plays in.
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
This one comes with a conditional. If Luongo's numbers start dipping this season, it would be a good idea for him to move. The problem with Luongo has always been nerves and poise.
After a Game 7 breakdown in the Stanley Cup Finals, Luongo may be lacking the confidence needed to succeed in Vancouver. Fans have been calling for his head for awhile now.
Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes
Shane Doan needs to get out of Phoenix. Whether that change comes from a trade or from the team itself moving, Doan needs to get out of Phoenix.
Doan has the heart and talent to be the love of any city but the only problem is, the city has to love hockey first.
Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
Jarome Iginla has been a Flame since the day he played his first NHL game. However, at 34, it may be time to think about a move to a Stanley Cup team. Calgary, at least this year, is not that team.
The best fit I can think of is Pittsburgh who would absolutely love having this star on the side of Crosby or Malkin. If the Penguins do happen to acquire him, I'd put my money on them for the Stanley Cup.
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