March 02, 2010
There are no Marian Hossas on the move at the 2010 NHL trade deadline. Heck, there are barely any Marcel Hossas. With Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) getting traded before the Olympics, the deadline drama has been reduced to a few huge names with no-trade clauses, a few "will they or won't they" trade options and a collection of players that can offer strong depth support down the lineup but aren't exactly getting their McFarlane figures any time soon (*cough*Raffi Torres(notes)*cough*).
We could see some interesting names move if the conditions are right; like, for example, if the Edmonton Oilers can trick someone into trading for a player with a contract beyond this season. The following list includes players that are expected to be moved or whose movement would bring some welcomed chaos to the deadline on Wednesday (3 p.m. EST). It also includes some teams that will be catalysts for big moves at the deadline.
Our deadline coverage begins early on Wednesday, with hourly live blogs. What trade would stun you? What trade is the most expected? And is there a player who might leave your team that you'd hate to see go?
The "shake up" list:
1. Tomas Vokoun(notes), Florida Panthers. Simply put, one of the best goalies in hockey when he's on. According to an interview with the Miami Herald, he's willing to waive his no-trade clause but hasn't been asked to yet. Trading for him is trading for a goalie that, on the right team, could mean a championship. But it also means a second and final contract year of $6.3 base salary and a $5.7 million cap hit.
2. Ray Whitney(notes), Carolina Hurricanes. Problem No. 1 for Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford: His asking price of a first-round pick and a roster player is rather steep for an effective, though arguably not a star, player. Problem No. 2: Even if he finds a deal, Whitney can kibosh it with his no-trade clause. He's a perfect fit on left wing for a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins or any team seeking a professional sniper with a ring.
3. The Los Angeles Kings: And not just because of the incessant Alex Frolov trade rumors bouncing around Montreal! GM Dean Lombardi guessed right last summer, adding high-end veteran talent to a team that, in fact, was ready to contend. His pursuit of Whitney tips his hand that the team needs veteran scoring help. He has assets to move. The Kings should make an impact at the deadline.
4. Carey Price(notes)/Jaroslav Halak, Montreal Canadiens. (Ed. Note: OK, make that 11 players or teams...) Honestly, we're of the mind that neither of these impending restricted free agents will be traded by the Montreal Canadiens at the deadline. Halak looked like a star at times during his run with Slovakia in Vancouver. It's hard to conceive how the Habs would break up the two-headed monster when they're on the playoff bubble. But if the right deal comes along ...
5. Dwayne Roloson(notes), New York Islanders. The Flyers and Blackhawks are rumored to be in pursuit of the veteran goalie, despite his additional contract year at $3 million base /$2.5 million cap hit next season. Not a ton of playoff experience, but when he's made it he's made an impression. Isles would get a decent return on a smart investment.
6. Alexei Ponikarovsky(notes), Toronto Maple Leafs. A big (6-4) scorer on the wing who's an unrestricted free agent this summer. If the Leafs are demanding a No. 1 pick, they might be demanding too much. But he's a perfect player for offensive depth or to spark a struggling scoring line.
7. Dan Hamhuis(notes), Nashville Predators. The fact that there's a Dan Hamhuis Derby is stunning enough; the fact that the Predators may have been asking the Flyers for Braydon Coburn(notes) and Ryan Parent(notes) for the defenseman is sort of nuts. On The Forecheck has a great breakdown of Hamhuis at the deadline. Will goalie Dan Ellis(notes) become part of a package deal?
8. The Phoenix Coyotes: How will this team
spend the NHL's money approach the trade deadline? Five For Howling believes the priority is a veteran defenseman and the secondary aim is scoring help. The head-scratcher: Enigmatic forward Peter Mueller(notes), a restricted free agent that's on the block, with Boston potentially sniffing around.
9. The Chicago Blackhawks: Was the Cam Barker(notes) trade the final tweak of the roster? Will Cristobal Huet(notes) be one of the two goalies who will lead the Blackhawks in the postseason, or will Chicago opt for another veteran option? And, if so, what happens to Huet's massive salary and contract?
10. Brad Boyes(notes), St. Louis Blues: A surprise entry at the trade deadline, but only because it'll be impossible to move him. According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, the Blues made it known that Boyes is available, despite having signed a three-year deal with a $4 million cap hit last summer and playing in one of this worst offensive seasons in St. Louis.