NHL Trade Speculation: 1 Player Each Team Will Be Happy to Give Up
As the NHL trade deadline approaches, each team has a player or two they wouldn't mind parting with if it could help their roster improve.
Whether moving a certain player would free up salary cap space, be used to acquire some prospects, or something else, each team has one guy they would like to deal.
Let's look at who each team wouldn't mind trading before the February 27 deadline.
Anaheim Ducks: Francois Beauchemin
With the Anaheim Ducks surging up the Western Conference standings, they shouldn't be trading anyone right now.
However, if they somehow lose every game they play from now until the deadline, they might be able to get a contender to take Francois Beauchemin and his multi-year contract with a $3.5 million salary cap hit off their hands.
Boston Bruins: Joe Corvo
The Joe Corvo experiment in Boston has failed miserably this season, and the veteran defenseman has been a disaster in his own end.
He hasn't fit in the Bruins defensive system well at all, but the team will probably just let him walk in the summer as a free agent.
Buffalo Sabres: Paul Gaustad
Paul Gaustad is a leader and plays his role well, but the Buffalo Sabres could get a team looking for more toughness before the playoffs, like the Vancouver Canucks, to offer a nice draft pick or something for the veteran forward.
I expect the Sabres to be sellers soon.
Calgary Flames: Jay Bouwmeester
The Calgary Flames are another team right in the playoff race out West, so they won't trade any important players yet.
If they do become sellers, defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is someone contending teams will covet as an offensive force.
Carolina Hurricanes: Bryan Allen
Several of the defenseman rumored to be trade bait, such as Nicklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina, have been dealt already.
This means the Carolina Hurricanes could start a bidding war with the league's contending teams over defenseman Bryan Allen as the deadline nears.
He's also an unrestricted free agent at year's end.
Chicago Blackhawks: Niklas Hjalmarson
The Chicago Blackhawks are playing better after a terrible losing streak, and although they don't need to make any major moves, defenseman Niklas Hjalmarson is someone they wouldn't be opposed to trading if the right deal presented itself.
Colorado Avalanche: Paul Stastny
With the Colorado Avalanche having many quality young forwards such as Matt Duchene, trading Paul Stastny could help them acquire some more talent on defense or in net.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Jeff Carter
Jeff Carter is a good player, but his contract that still has 10 years left on it at $5.3 million per season is not something the Columbus Blue Jackets can cope with and still build a playoff-caliber roster.
They would love to trade him at the deadline, but captain Rick Nash would get them a much better return.
Dallas Stars: Sheldon Souray
Sheldon Souray is a good veteran defenseman who can provide toughness and leadership to a contending team if the Dallas Stars decide to trade him. He's an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Detroit Red Wings: Jonathan Ericsson
Jonathan Ericsson has been one of the worst Detroit Red Wings defensemen this season and is someone who needs to play better as the playoff near. Ericsson has too much talent to struggle for much longer.
Edmonton Oilers: Ales Hemsky
Ales Hemsky has been a disappointment this season, and the Edmonton Oilers would be smart to trade him to a contending team that would give up a first-round pick plus a prospect.
He's an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and will likely leave Edmonton.
Florida Panthers: Scottie Upshall
The Florida Panthers made a mistake in signing Scottie Upshall to a free-agent contract this season, and would be smart to get rid of his overpaid contract at the deadline.
Los Angeles Kings: Jonathan Bernier
The Los Angeles Kings badly need some scoring, and if they want to acquire an elite forward, they will likely have to part with backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
Bernier is good, but starter Jonathan Quick is having a Vezina Trophy season and is the future of the team between the pipes.
Minnesota Wild: Marek Zidlicky
Minnesota Wild forward Marek Zidlicky reportedly waived his no-trade clause to join the New Jersey Devils, but a deal never happened. However, he's likely to be moved before the deadline since it's pretty clear the player and team want to move on.
Montreal Canadiens: Andrei Kostitsyn
Andrei Kostitsyn is an unrestricted free agent forward at the end of the season, and the Montreal Canadiens would be smart to trade him before the deadline and get something in return for him so he doesn't walk in the summer and leave the team with nothing.
Nashville Predators: No One
The Nashville Predators need to do everything to acquire players so upcoming free agents Shea Weber and Ryan Suter see the club is committed to winning and pledge their long-term future to the team.
New Jersey Devils: No One
The New Jersey Devils' financial situation won't allow them to take on a major contract, so the team should make a small move or two in order to keep climbing up the Eastern Conference standings.
Right now, the Devils really don't need to make any moves.
New York Islanders: Evgeni Nabokov
Evgeni Nabokov might be re-signed in the offseason but if the New York Islanders get a great offer from a contending team looking for a goaltender, like the Chicago Blackhawks, then the Islanders should make the deal.
New York Rangers: Wojtek Wolski
The New York Rangers have very few players they would be happy to give up, but getting something in return for Wojtek Wolski before he becomes a restricted free agent this summer might be a good idea.
Ottawa Senators: Alex Auld
Ottawa Senators backup goalie Alex Auld is not playing too much with starter Craig Anderson playing well this season, and is a player that the team could deal for the right price.
As a team, there aren't too many players the Senators would be happy to part with.
Philadelphia Flyers: Jody Shelley
Jody Shelley contributes very little to the Philadelphia Flyers offense and is not worth his $1.1 million salary cap hit for another season.
Phoenix Coyotes: Ray Whitney
The Phoenix Coyotes are still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, but if they fall out of the race, veteran and upcoming free-agent forward Ray Whitney could be dealt to a contending team.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Paul Martin
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin has not been good offensively with just 18 points this season, and is not playing well defensively.
The Penguins would likely be willing to part with his contract that has a salary cap hit of $5 million for the next three years.
San Jose Sharks: Antero Niittymaki
Antero Niittymaki is not part of the San Jose Sharks' future at the goaltending position, and the team would be smart to trade him to a contender that needs a better backup netminder.
St. Louis Blues: Ben Bishop
Ben Bishop is one of the best goaltenders in the AHL this season and leads the league in save percentage.
He is eligible for unrestricted free agency this offseason, so the team would be smart to deal him for some offense before he can leave the organization for nothing.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Vincent Lecavalier
The Tampa Bay Lightning likely wouldn't mind parting with captain Vincent Lecavalier, but it will be tough to find enough value for him since his contract has a salary cap hit of $7.7 million until the summer of 2020.
Considering the Lightning have traded veterans Pavel Kubina and Dominic Moore already, the team is clearly in seller mode.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Nazem Kadri
The Toronto Maple Leafs would be smart to make a significant trade for a forward before the deadline, and using elite prospect Nazem Kadri will certainly help them acquire one. The biggest need for the Maple Leafs is a playmaking, top line forward.
Vancouver Canucks: Mason Raymond
Mason Raymond is a good, young player, but if the Vancouver Canucks could acquire a top-six power forward, then Raymond would likely be expendable. With that said, I would be surprised if the Canucks make a major move before the deadline.
Washington Capitals: Alexander Semin
Alexander Semin has underperformed this season for the Washington Capitals, and is an upcoming unrestricted free agent.
It's unlikely he re-signs long-term, so the Capitals should really look to trade him and get a good draft pick or some prospects in return.
Winnipeg Jets: Johnny Oduya
If the Winnipeg Jets fall out of the playoff race, then I would expect them to become sellers to acquire some more draft picks and/or prospects.
Defenseman Johnny Oduya would be coveted by contending teams if he's available.