Hypothetical Trades Based on the Latest NHL Rumors
With the NHL's Feb. 29 trade deadline approaching, rumors are growing over which players could be on the move.
Some involve pending free agents like Boston Bruins right wing Loui Eriksson. Others involve players with term on their contract like Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell.
The following slideshow proposes several trades based on the latest NHL trade rumors and speculation, providing the basis for each deal as well as analysis. Player skill, experience, salary and impact on the teams involved are factored into this compilation.
So let's have some fun and consider some hypothetical deals for these players. Feel free to add your opinion in the comments section below.
Kris Versteeg to the Chicago Blackhawks
Hypothetical trade: The Carolina Hurricanes trade left wing Kris Versteeg to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a draft pick.
Basis: On Feb. 14, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times suggested that the Blackhawks need a top-six left wing to skate with center Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa. Given their limited salary-cap space, he included former Blackhawk Versteeg ($4.4 million cap hit split evenly between the Hurricanes and Florida Panthers) among his list of affordable options.
Analysis: The rebuilding Hurricanes could shop their unrestricted free agents at the trade deadline. They might accept a draft pick for Versteeg. He won two Stanley Cup championships with the Blackhawks (including last season) and would easily fit back into their lineup.
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau to the Detroit Red Wings
Hypothetical trade: The Toronto Maple Leafs trade right wing Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL draft.
Basis: The rebuilding Leafs aren't in playoff contention. They have a high number of potential unrestricted free agents to ship out at the trade deadline. On Feb. 13, Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News suggested that Parenteau could be available as a player who can help the Red Wings now.
Analysis: Parenteau, 32, is on track for a 20-goal, 40-point campaign. He could be a good fit at right wing for the Red Wings. Krupa noted that the Wings have $4.3 million in available cap space, so Parenteau would be an affordable rental. There's no guarantee that the Leafs will get a better offer than a second-round draft pick for him.
Ondrej Pavelec to the Calgary Flames
Hypothetical trade: The Winnipeg Jets trade goaltender Ondrej Pavelec to the Calgary Flames in exchange for goaltender Jonas Hiller and a draft pick.
Basis: On Feb. 1, the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe noted that the solid play of rookie Connor Hellebuyck could spell the end of Pavelec's tenure as the Jets' starting goalie. He wondered if the Calgary Flames could be interested in him, suggesting that the Jets might have to take back Hiller and a pick.
Analysis: With Hiller set for unrestricted free agency and Karri Ramo suffering a season-ending knee injury, the Flames could consider an upgrade between the pipes. Pavelec has one year at $3.9 million left on his contract. Moving to the Flames could give him a fresh start. The Jets could simply let Hiller go this summer to free agency.
Dan Hamhuis to the Dallas Stars
Hypothetical trade: The Vancouver Canucks trade defenseman Dan Hamhuis to the Dallas Stars for blueliner Jyrki Jokipakka.
Basis: On Feb. 9, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman suggested that the Stars would make a lot of sense for Hamhuis, who's eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer.
Analysis: If Hamhuis agrees to waive his no-trade clause, the 33-year-old could provide invaluable playoff experience to the Stars. They have the salary-cap room and depth in young defensemen to pursue Hamhuis. Jokipakka, 24, could be a good addition to the rebuilding Canucks.
Jonathan Drouin to the Ottawa Senators
Hypothetical trade: The Tampa Bay Lightning trade left wing Jonathan Drouin to the Ottawa Senators for a first-round pick in the 2016 NHL draft.
Basis: On Feb. 11, Sportsnet's Luke Fox cited TVA Sports' Louis Jean and Renaud Lavoie when claiming the Senators were the leading candidate to land Drouin. The 20-year-old winger remains suspended by the Lightning and is awaiting a trade. On the same day, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported that the Senators weren't willing to part with a top prospect like Thomas Chabot or Colin White.
Analysis: The Senators need offensive depth at left wing. Drouin, the third overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft, could provide almost immediate help. If he plays up to expectations, he could be worth the Sens parting with their first-rounder. The Lightning might not get a better offer, especially if that pick ends up among the top 10 in this year's draft.
Scott Hartnell for Colin Wilson
Hypothetical trade: The Columbus Blue Jackets trade left wing Scott Hartnell to the Nashville Predators in exchange for left wing Colin Wilson.
Basis: In his Feb. 7 mailbag, the Tennessean's Adam Vingan suggested that former Predator Hartnell is just the player Nashville's current roster needs. On Feb. 16, the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline speculated that the Blue Jackets might consider trading Hartnell.
Analysis: The Predators get an experienced performer in Hartnell, who can provide immediate help in their pursuit of a playoff berth. He must first agree to waive his no-movement clause. The Blue Jackets get a younger (26), more affordable return in Wilson, who reached 20 goals and 42 points last season.
Loui Eriksson for Tobias Enstrom
Basis: Eriksson is eligible for UFA status in July and could be expensive to retain. On Feb. 6, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe floated the notion of the Bruins dealing the winger to a club in need of shedding salary for next season. Among Shinzawa's suggested trade options was Enstrom.
Analysis: Granted, this one's a long shot, but it's an interesting proposal. The Bruins would get a serviceable defenseman who's under contract through 2018 at $5.75 million annually. The Jets could keep Eriksson until season's end or flip him at the deadline to another club. This deal depends upon the Jets being on Eriksson's list of preferred trade destinations and Enstrom waiving his no-movement clause.
Andrew Ladd for Tanner Pearson
Hypothetical trade: The Winnipeg Jets trade left wing Andrew Ladd to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for left wing Tanner Pearson.
Basis: On Feb. 9, Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press speculated that the Kings—rumored to have interest in defenseman Dustin Byfuglien before he re-signed with the Jets—could turn their attention to Ladd. On Feb. 15, the Los Angles Times' Lisa Dillman reported that Kings left wing Marian Gaborik (knee injury) could be sidelined until the playoffs.
Analysis: Ladd is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and might be too expensive for the Jets to retain. He could be a good short-term addition for the Kings in their quest for their third Stanley Cup in five seasons. Pearson has struggled with the Kings this season but could become a decent long-term replacement for Ladd with the Jets.