Thursday, January 27, 2011

Deadline/off-season players who could be on the block

Here are the most rumoured names, and some other names that have maybe just been mentioned here or there. I'll just put together a quick summary for you -

High End Talent:

- Brad Richards: Dallas probably has to keep this guy right now, they're fighting for the top of the west, but I could see him leaving as a UFA

- Jarome Iginla: I still doubt he'll be traded but it is possible if Calgary decides to really go through a rebuild that they'll move Jarome, but the return would have to be huge.

- Shea Weber: I would be really surprised if Nashville didn't pay up for once. On the other hand they have gotten by with letting players go. Weber is an RFA and if they could add some immediate help and high end prospects there is a chance that Weber could be moved. Another thing to consider is that Nashville has got some high end prospects on the blue line including Ryan Ellis.

- Patrick Elias: He's a minus player for the first time in his career as the Devils have this suprisingly bad season. But the consistant Elias is posting pretty solid numbers with 37 pts in 48 games right now. He has 2 years left at a $6 million cap hit, but could be moved to accomodate Zach Parise (who also might be available, although I'd say that's less likely).

- Brent Seabrook: Beast, 25 yr old d-man has 26 pts in 50 games this year, his best offensive year to along with his defensive game. Bowman shot down rumours that he could deal Seabrook, but you still can't count it out. Seabrook is due for a big raise from his $3.5 million salary and could earn in the $5-6 million range. He's an RFA so something will probably get done with the Hawks but don't be shocked if they can't come to terms and have to deal him in the offseason.

- Tomas Kaberle: His numbers have slipped this year and he's looked frustrated lately taking more penalties than usual, even some lazy one's when the team is down. If I had to guess I would say that Kaberle will definitely ask to be traded before the deadline, if he hasn't asked already. A change of teams for Kaberle, moving him to a winning environment could be exactly what Kaberle needs to regain form and could be a huge boost to a team looking for a playoff rental.

2nd tier players:

- Blake Wheeler: With 10 goals and 12 assists this year Wheeler is playing just okay. He's an RFA this summer and has been involved in trade rumours for over a year now. If he's not moved at the deadline it would not be surprising at all to see him moved in the offseason.

- Devin Setogucchi: This guy has been all over the rumours all year long. The Sharks might just keep him but they might want to move him, most reports are saying they would move him for help on the blueline. Devin is an RFA this summer, and has just 14 pts and a -13 rating in a miserable season. Still has some upside though and could be worth picking up for some team.

- Matt Moulson: If the Islanders don't feel that they can get him extended he might be moved at the deadline. There have been a lot of reports that suggest he'll be traded.

- Tuomo Ruutu: I have heard his name mentioned a bit, he's owed $4.4 million next year but his cap hit would only be $3.8 which is still kind of steep but not bad. With 12 Hurricanes skaters needing new contracts this offseason its possible they would move Ruutu to free up cap space to re-sign some of their other players, most notably Sutter, Cole, LaRose, Jokinen, Pitkanen, and White.

- Andrew Cogliano: He's been in the rumours a bit so I figure i'll mention him. Not sure what the Oilers would want, but he is an RFA this summer so its possible that he gets moved, maybe on draft day.

- Brad Boyes: His play has been on the decline and he would have been considered almost untouchable a few years ago, but now Boyes could be a guy for the Blues to consider moving as they consider locking up their young building blocks long term. Oshie, Berglund, Crombeen, Polak, and Sobatka are all RFA's due for raises this summer and David Backes extension kicks in at a $2 million raise for him. They also have to consider what to do with captain Eric Brewer who is a UFA on July 1st. Boyes has 1 year left at $4 million.

- James VanRiemsdyk: Long shot to be moved but the Flyers are built to win now and could flip JVR for someone who could put them over the top immediately. Again long shot, but his name has been floating around out there so I figure I'd mention him.

- Wayne Simmonds: The only reason he might get moved is because LA has been in the market for high end talent for about 2 years now and they could use Simmonds as a trading chip to add more of a star veteran player.

- Dustin Penner: Has been in the rumours on and off for about 2 years now, but its really picked up lately. Penner has 1 more year at a $4.25 million cap hit. The Oilers might choose to move him in the offseason if he doesn't fall into their long term plans.

- Ales Hemsky: I imagine the Oilers will try to retain him, but if contract talks for an extension don't go well in the offseason he could be moved in a "hockey deal" where he's moved out for other talent coming back. He has 1 year left at $4.1 million.

- Francois Beauchemin: Has 1 year left at $3.8 million and there have been lots of reports that he could be traded at the deadline.

- Mike Fisher: Has two years left and $4.2 million, he's been in the rumour mill for a couple month's now. He could definitely generate some interest and could be available if the Sens do decide to shake things up.

- Mike Ribeiro: Great set up guy, gets knocked for being a bit soft at times, but definitely has the talent and consistantly puts up solid offensive numbers. There were tons of rumours suggesting that Nieuwy was shopping Ribeiro in the offseason but no one would bite on his contract. Its believed that Ribeiro could be given away in a 'soft deal' but only if it means Brad Richards will extend long term. Ribeiro's cap hit is $5 mil for the next two years.

- Robyn Regehr: Maybe he should still be in the top end talent section, but anyway's if changes are coming in Calgary they could deal their shut down d-man. He's been in the rumour mill for a while now.

- Kyle Turris: 22 year old was the 3rd overall pick in 2007 but has had a tough time sticking with the big club and playing a big role. He's got 17 points in 44 games this year after playing all of last season in the minors. He's got talent and can't be considered a bust yet but its looking less and less likely that he'll be the superstar he was expected to be. Still he could be a good player and could be dealt from Phoenix for immediate help or prospects.

- Chris Phillips: Another Senator who could be shopped, he's a pending UFA and could be a playoff rental for a team looking for a veteran blueliner.

- Mike Samuelsson: 1 year left at $2.5 million cap hit, after a 30 goal season his numbers are way down to 9 in 49 games this year. There have been rumours that the Canucks would trade him.

Salary Dumps:

- Joffrey Lupul: Has been injured on and off for 2 years now in Anaheim. So far this year he's got just 4 goals in 24 games, and he still has 2 years left on his deal at a $4.25 million cap hit. Its possible that the Ducks would be willing to unload this salary, possibly in a soft deal.

-Jiri Hudler: Hudler is struggling with just 17 points and has a team worst -6 in Detroit. He earns $2.85 million next season and could be trade bait since he's basically a spare part in Detroit right now.

- Cam Barker: Former 3rd overall pick has really struggled in Minnesota. He's got just 1 goal and 4 assists with a -9 rating in 40 games with the Wild this year on top of just 1 goal and a -2 rating in 19 games last year with the Wild. He carries a year left on his deal worth about $3.1 million and there have been whispers that the Wild would like to dump him.

- Brian Rolston: Has cleared waivers, so I guess there is no one interested in his $5 million contract with a year remaining. The only way i could see New Jersey moving Rolston is if they take back some bad salary as well.

- Danius Zubrus: Still has two years left at $3.4 million and has not performed up to his contract. Zubrus had 40 pts in his first year with NJ, then 27 in 51 games last year and now has 17 in 48 games. He could probably be had for close to nothing.

- Chris Drury: $7 million cap hit on the final year of his deal but only actually owed $5 million. The Rangers could use the cap space and Drury has been shifted over to the wing and playing on the 4th line. The Rangers could use the cap space for next season and would probably move him for next to nothing. Because the actual dollars are a bit lower its possible that a few teams could be interested in Drury if the Rangers take some salary back.

- Filip Kuba: $3.7 million and 1 year left on his contract, he's been a healthy scratch in Ottawa, could be moved probably for a mid to late round pick. I think he can still play a little but only for a team with lots of cap space. Maybe a team like the Islanders could take a look at him in the offseason. On the other hand his 0 goals and 4 assists with a -18 rating in 32 games this year could make him a waiver claim, buyout, or even demoted to the minors.

- Alex Kovalev: He's on the last year of his contract, which could be his last NHL contract. He makes $5 mil this year, so even at the deadline there will be a healthy chunk left on his contract at the deadline. Alexei has gone from 65 pts down to 49 last season, and now hes got 18 pts in 44 games this year. He would not get much of a return at all, but for a playoff team with cap space he might be worth picking up as an insurance piece.

- Jean Sebastian Giguere: Could be a playoff rental and had for a late round pick. I'm sure Burke would move him if a playoff bound team could fit him into their roster and has the cap space.

** In other news the Capitals have signed Alex Semin to a 1 year extension worth $6.7 million taking him out of the trade rumours and off this summers free agent market.