The NHL Trade Deadline has become one of the most exciting times of the season as playoff bound teams attempt to add the final pieces to their roster for the cup push, and lottery bound teams attempt to get more picks and prospects.
TSN and Sportsnet have dedicated entire days to the Trade Deadline, and have hours of speculation in the weeks leading up to it, so I have decided to join in on the fun by coming up with a list of 5 players I feel will be moved at the Trade Deadline.
Now we are only a month into the season, so this list could change drastically as teams move from being buyers to sellers. Nevertheless, here are the players based on the standings as they are now.
NHL Trade Predictions
1. Matt Moulson, Buffalo Sabres (LW): As soon as the Sabres traded Vanek for Moulson, a 1st and 2nd round pick almost every expert pegged this as a temporary move with the Sabres planning on moving Moulson at the deadline. Moulson is at the end of a very fair value deal with a $3.13 million cap hit.
Moulson will definitely be wanting a raise next season into the $4.5-$5 million range, so the team that he goes to will have to have the cap space to keep him for next year as he will have a high asking price. I am thinking Buffalo will be looking for a high level prospect and a draft pick for Moulson. Basically Buffalo will have acquired a high level prospect and 3 draft picks for Vanek which is great for a rebuilding team.
Moulson will be in high demand at the deadline, and Dracy Reiger’s phone should be busy fielding offers from pretty much every playoff team.
2. Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers (RW): This was supposed to be the year the Oilers finally figured it out, and started moving from the bottom of the league to playoff contenders, but once again the Oilers are stuck in mediocrity. The Oilers can score, but their goaltending and D have left a lot to be desired.
This is where Ales Hemsky comes in. He is in the last year of a $5 million cap hit contract, and I don’t see any reason why the Oilers would spend the same amount on him next year. The Oilers need help on the backend and Hemsky can bring this help at the deadline. Hemsky has had some solid seasons in the past and could definitely bring some secondary scoring to a playoff contender.
One team that would be very interesting as a trading partner would be the Anaheim Ducks. They have Jonas Hiller, Viktor Fasth and Frederik Andersen all on the roster as capable NHL goaltenders, and also Jon Gibson playing very well in the AHL. One of the NHL level goalies would have to be moved, along with a pick or prospect for Hemsky, but this would be a win/win trade for both sides.
3. Jaromir Jagr, New Jersey Devils (RW): Now when Jagr signed with the New Jersey Devils the opportunity to play with his buddy Patrik Elias had a huge factor on his decision; however, I don’t believe he thought things would be this bad in New Jersey. Jagr is on a fair $2 million deal, and is still putting up points on a bad New Jersey team. He was a highly in demand rental last season, going from Dallas to Boston for 2 fringe level prospects, and a 1st round pick.
I would expect a similar type of deal at this seasons deadline, and once again this is a player a lot of playoff contenders would love to add. Jagr instantly brings secondary scoring and leadership, and continues the mercenary end to his career going from contender to contender for another shot at a cup.
4. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils (G): Broduer is one of those players that would be impossible to see in another jersey. Brodeur made his first appearance for the Devils in 1991, half of the Edmonton Oilers weren’t even born yet! Nevertheless Brodeur has stated that if the Devils are not in playoff contention he is willing to waive his no trade clause.
Most teams that are in playoff contention are set at goalie, and Brodeur would not waive his NTC to go to a non-playoff contender. However, two teams that immediately come to mind are the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The New York Islanders can score with any team in the league, but relying on Evgeni Nabokov on the back end is definitely the teams glaring weak spot. Remember Brodeur lead an underdog Devils team to the 2012 finals against the Kings, and could once again carry a much better Islanders team as his one final hoorah in the NHL. Not to mention the ease of transitioning to Long Island. It is just down the road from New Jersey so it wouldn’t require a huge transition for him or his family.
The Penguins come to mind because Marc Andre Fleury’s playoff breakdowns have prevented the Penguins from adding a few extra Stanley Cups to their total. Last season the Penguins actually gave up on Fleury and began playing back up Tomas Vokun. Vokun is out for the season with a blood clot leaving the Penguins with unproven backup Jeff Zatkoff. That is hardly a favourable situation to be in, and if Fleury has another playoff meltdown, the Penguins will have wasted another season. Enter Brodeur, who would provide that veteran backup that Pittsburgh can fall back on if the need arises.
5. Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers (D): The Flyers are simply a mess, there is no other way to describe this team. On paper they should be a Stanley Cup contender, instead all their stars like Giroux and Hartnell are underachieving and the team finds themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Timonen is also struggling, finally picking up his first point of the season, an assist in the 14th game. However, Timonen has been an above average defensemen and a solid QB on the powerplay. Although he is struggling this season he was averaging 0.64 points per game last season which is quite productive for a defensemen.
Timonen does have a high cap hit at $6 million, and would most likely be retiring at the end of the season, so the actual value he gets back would be somewhat limited. I would put the value at a lower level prospect and 2nd/3rd round pick in exchange for Timonen.