The NHL trade deadline is still a couple months away, but speculation is always ongoing in terms of player movement. As is often the case, several teams are either performing below or above expectations at this point in the season, so there are plenty of rumors with regards to how certain teams can shake things up.
Most of these moves are likely in the exploratory stages and won't come to fruition until closer to the deadline, but there are certainly plenty of teams in the process of trade talks. Here are three rumored moves that seem like they will happen at some point this season.
Derick Brassard to Ottawa Senators
After falling out of favor with the Columbus Blue Jackets' coaching staff, forward Derick Brassard has been a healthy scratch on several occasions. According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Ottawa Senators are one of four teams with legitimate interest in the young talent. Apparently, the main thing holding a possible deal up is Brassard's $3.2 million-per-year salary over the next two seasons.
If Brassard can return to his previous form, however, it would be a very savvy move for the Sens. Brassard potted 17 goals and 47 total points last season and would be a great fit as a project on a young Ottawa roster. The Senators are already playing with house money as they attempt to build for the future, so as long as the cost isn't ridiculous, there is nothing stopping Ottawa from making the move.
Bobby Ryan to New York Rangers
Just a couple weeks ago, Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan was very much at the forefront in terms of trade talks. The Ducks were struggling mightily, but they decided to go a different route by firing head coach Randy Carlyle. The Ducks have since hired Bruce Boudreau, but things haven't gotten much better. With that in mind, Ryan could still be on the move, according to Randy Miller of the Courier Post.
The two teams that were mentioned as the front-runners for Ryan's services in the article were the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers. While he would be a nice fit in Buffalo, the Sabres are in a very volatile situation in terms of injuries and that could make it tough to get a deal done. The Rangers, on the other hand, have some young assets that could help land him, and he makes perfect sense as a supporting scorer for Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.
Which of these deals is most likely to happen?
The Detroit Red Wings are currently just three points behind the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division with two games in hand, but they are always looking to improve. One thing the Red Wings could use is an offensively-minded forward that can mesh with the second or third line. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal believes that Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky would be a good fit.
Matheson says that Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is a fan of Hemsky, and it's easy to see why. Hemsky is an excellent passer and possessor of the puck, so he would fit right in with the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Hemsky has struggled with injuries this season and has just 11 points in 19 games, but with an excellent team in place and $5.6 million in cap space, the Red Wings can afford to take a bit of a gamble.