Nothing sends waves through the NHL quite like a monster mid-summer swap. We're still feeling the shockwaves from the P.K. Subban/Shea Weber trade, while other moves in June, July and August have set various teams up for success—or failure—over the past few seasons.
While the 2018 free agency class leaves much to be desired, the trade market does not.
A quick glance at TSN.com's updated trade bait list should be all the proof you need. Names like Erik Karlsson, Ryan O'Reilly, Jeff Skinner and Max Pacioretty dot the top of the index, while others such as Milan Lucic, Noah Hanifin and Max Domi are sure to draw attention.
For general managers looking to shake up their squads, there seems to be plenty of options available.
Possible Trade Brewing Between Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres?
We know that both the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres are looking to make some changes to their respective rosters. The former team's owner spoke frankly in early April about wanting Carolina to get tougher, while it became evident that Buffalo was seeking changes during locker cleanout day.
This is one of those situations where a possible trade almost makes too much sense.
O'Reilly has been open about how Buffalo's losing culture has impacted him, and it may be time for the player and team to part ways. The Sabres are still a ways off of making the playoffs, let alone winning a round, and the 27-year-old's trade value probably won't ever be higher than it is now.
TSN Radio Vancouver @TSN1040
.@darrendreger on Ryan O'Reilly: The price tag is going to be very high. It's starting to feel like it's more likely now. (Botterill) is going to need several pieces. It's going to likely be a young NHL player or a prospect, a high pick, and maybe something on top of that
"We talked before about Buffalo potentially trading Ryan O'Reilly, the center there. Carolina is interested in him. I could see Buffalo having some interest in Jeff Skinner, to be honest. I think they're looking at all areas to try and upgrade themselves in Buffalo.
"Anyways, there's some gossip to keep an eye on."
Adding Skinner to a roster that already includes Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart has to be enticing.
Even if the Hurricanes are trying to add toughness, the league as a whole is moving towards skill. Skinner has that in spades, and swapping the two-way dominance of O'Reilly for the offensive talent of Skinner could be a slick move for Buffalo as it tries to move up the Eastern Conference standings next season.
Is a Sign-And-Trade Coming for Max Pacioretty?
Teams looking for help on offense should be blowing up Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin's phone on a daily basis. That's because Max Pacioretty is supposedly available for the right price.
Up until last season, the Connecticut native had been one of the most consistent goal scorers in the NHL. Four consecutive 30-plus goal seasons prove that. Montreal went off the rails last year, however, and Pacioretty shouldered a lot of the blame as team captain. His play suffered, and so did his counting stats.
Now it seems like the Canadiens want to move in another direction as the 29-year-old approaches free agency next summer.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman spoke about the possible ways a trade for Pacioretty could come about in the coming months:
"The Evander Kane signing is a big deal. Seven times seven with San Jose. Some teams that don't want to go into free agency or don't want to do that, I think they've re-called Montreal and asked about Max Pacioretty. And I think they're also wondering—Pacioretty's got one year left—what he might want as an extension. So I think there's been some asking about the possibility of a sign-and-trade."
With conflicting reports about the Canadiens and Pacioretty discussing an extension cropping up from solid sources, this is clearly a fluid situation that could go in a number of intriguing directions. Stay tuned.
Milan Lucic's time with the Edmonton Oilers Could be Winding Down
When Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli signed Milan Lucic to a seven-year contract in 2016, it was a move that seemed destined to fail. Sure, the power-forward could "protect" Connor McDavid, but it was a monster commitment to a player whose physical style would wear him down sooner rather than later.
Now, after putting up his lowest point total in eight full seasons in 2017-18, there are rumblings that Lucic could be open to being traded out of Edmonton. That's according to Edmonton Journal writer David Staples.
Moving the 30-year-old fresh off of such a disappointing campaign could be difficult, however. He still has a half-decade left on a contract that carries a $6 million cap hit.
As Staples wrote late last week: "It's not going to be easy to move Lucic ... but I'm more bullish on the Oilers being able to make a deal than most."
His logic is simple and harks back (to some degree) to what the Hurricanes are trying to do in Carolina. There are always going to be teams that value toughness more than goals, and Lucic has plenty of toughness to spare.
He's as rough and tumble as they come and will always compete hard no matter where he plays. Will another general manager be willing to pick up the tab for Chiarelli's gross overcommitment, though? Nothing would surprise us at this point.