NHL Trade Rumors: 5 Deals That Need to Get Done
From the Phoenix Coyotes' Kyle Turris holding out, to backup goaltenders seeking a chance to shine, sometimes a change of scenery is the best way to rejuvenate a career. Just ask Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks, or Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
For others, the desire to play on a Stanley Cup contender is unfathomable. What teams are missing that veteran presence, and who is looking to deal?
Here's five trades that should be completed by the trade deadline.
Sam Gagner Shipped out
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With rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins here to stay, the Edmonton Oilers are left with an interesting situation many teams have taken notice of.
The Buffalo News writes that several teams have been scouting Edmonton Oilers games, likely curious about acquiring Sam Gagner's services.
Down the middle, it's Nugent-Hopkins and veterans Shawn Horcoff and Eric Belanger that fill out the first three lines.
Sam Gagner is too skilled a player to be centering the fourth line, or even the third line. Frankly, he could probably use a change of scenery to help bring back the type of scoring touch he displayed during his time with the OHL's London Knights. With Nugent-Hopkins in, it leads me to think that trading Gagner would be a smart move at this point. He's still young, which would help provide solid return.
Detroit Trades for Ryan Suter
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It's no surprise that the Detroit Red Wings are in dire need of a defenseman for the future.
With 41-year-old Nicklas Lidstrom on the verge of retirement, and the loss of Brian Rafalski to retirement this past summer, Red Wings GM Ken Holland is on the lookout.
They may not have to look so far, either. Their Central Division rivals, the Nashville Predators, will be in quite a pickle come next summer. Predators GM David Poile is tasked with re-signing Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne and Ryan Suter.
However, it's going to be incredibly tough to sign all three, which leads me to believe one of them will be moved by the deadline. Rinne has proven himself as a legitimate No. 1 goalie who is deserving of an extension. Weber is an All-Star franchise defender that the Preds couldn't afford to let walk. Suter is a great shutdown defenseman who also plays the power play. He won't lead defensemen in scoring, but he's solid in his own right, and he might not be a bad acquisition if the Red Wings can get it done.
Jiri Hudler or Jonathan Ericsson would be viable pieces to move.
Kyle Turris for Cory Schneider
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This whole situation in the desert has gotten quite ridiculous. Kyle Turris has done very little to be awarded the $4 million payday he and agent Kurt Overhardt are looking for.
Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney has insisted he won't trade Turris, but the ball is in his court, and a deal may be the best solution.
Meanwhile in Vancouver, Cory Schneider has all the potential of being a starting netminder. The only problem is that Roberto Luongo is the bona fide No. 1 guy.
Perhaps a swap in some sort of packaged deal would do these two teams some good. Schneider would get a chance to be the No. 1 guy, and Turris would get a welcome change of scenery in Vancouver.
Evgeni Nabokov to Detroit
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Don't think the Detroit Red Wings have forgotten about Evgeni Nabokov. The Red Wings were set to sign Nabokov this past summer to a one-year deal until the New York Islanders snagged him off the waiver wire.
Since then, the Red Wings signed veteran Ty Conklin as a backup, hardly a comparable replacement.
Although Nabokov will become a free agent at the end of this season, when he is sure to test the market, the Red Wings should target the longtime masked man of the San Jose Sharks. The Islanders already invested in their No. 1 goaltender when they signed Rick DiPietro to an outrageous lifetime deal. This leaves the door open for a Nabokov trade. His services could provide valuable relief to starting goalie Jimmy Howard in Detroit.
Jonathan Ericsson, Jiri Hudler or draft picks would all be viable pieces for Detroit to move.
Joni Pitkanen Dealt out of Town
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Eric Staal aside, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen currently has the largest salary amongst all Hurricanes at $4.5 million.
According to Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News and Observer, the most dire need for the 'Canes is a top-six forward.
With Pitkanen's decently-high salary, it may be hard to get him off the books, but a packaged deal involving the power-play specialist could easily be put together.