With the Olympics now just a memory, it is back to work and the NHL trade market is going to over heat! Now sitting just a week away from the deadline. Now what I am going to do here is find trades that would make sense for all parties involved, and I tried to stay away from the guys who I believe will just bring back a pick or two like Moulson, Cammalleri, McDonald, Hemsky, etc. The ones that are like that involve bigger name guys. I am trying to not only find the best fits, but also follow some of the hottest rumors while doing so. Some of these teams have been rumored to of had discussions, others are more so what I believe are great trade partners. Oiler fans, no Sam Gagner trade. I would guess it happens at the draft. If the Kings get St.Louis I honestly just don’t see a great fit for Gagner. Obviously it can happen, but I couldn’t find a good deal.
To Tampa Bay: Dustin Brown
To Los Angeles: Martin St.Louis
This started as a tweak to the rumored Sam Gagner deal, but now with it sounding like St.Louis will be on the move I believe the Kings, Blues, Penguins and Rangers will be hot after him. He has a NTC, so I’m sure there could be more than just these teams after him, but I’m betting these are the only teams he will want to go to who would be interested. As for the other big piece to this deal, Marty McSorley said a few weeks ago that he has heard Dustin Brown could be moved and McSorley played for Dean Lombardi in San Jose and of course has plenty of connections to the Kings organization. Brown has that fat new contract kicking in next season and with the way he plays the Kings may want to move him now before he’s making close to 6 mil a season and becomes almost unmovable. The Lightning get a power forward and a leader coming back, and the Kings get a high scoring forward which they really need. I think it makes a ton of sense for both teams, although I’m not sure how the Kings would be for cap space. According to cap geek, they should be fine to add 2 mil like they would here, but I don’t know for sure.
To St.Louis: Ryan Miller and Steve Ott
To Buffalo: Brian Elliott, Magnus Paajarvi, Jordan Schmaltz, and a 2014 1st round pick
This is a big one. Miller is the big get but in thinking about things, Doug Armstrong had Ott in Dallas and while Hitch never coached him, he was there when they drafted Ott. So he is a guy that would definitely fit for the Blues. He also plays a lot like Ryan Callahan whom the TSN insiders claimed last night was coveted by the Blues. But the focus has to be their goaltending. They have got away with average goaltenders looking great in Hitchcock’s system, but that gets exposed in the playoffs. Miller is a great goaltender who might look like the best in the league playing in that system. It would be much like watching team Canada. Any time a team got any kind of chance, Price made it look easy, and Miller would make it look easy playing behind this team.
Paajarvi has been a bust for the Blues much to my shock. I really thought he would thrive playing for Hitchcock, but the kid still has ridiculous talent. Schmaltz was the Blues 1st round pick in the 2012 draft, but they’re pretty set on the blueline both now and moving forward so they can afford to add him to a deal, and of course a 1st is valuable although this isn’t the greatest draft. This is a good haul for the Sabres as both of these guys are UFA’s. I know Darren Dreger mentioned Jake Allen as a possibility going to Buffalo in a Miller deal, but with Enroth and Hackett already with the Sabres that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, even though I do believe Allen is better than those 2 guys. The Sabres rebuild shouldn’t be anywhere near as messy as the Oilers has been. The East is weaker than the West, and they have been stockpiling assets for the last 2 or 3 years (and in the right positions) so there is a very nice base to build from.
To New Jersey: Tomas Vokoun and a 2015 2nd round pick
To Pittsburgh: Martin Brodeur
I got 2 spots for Brodeur, and basically it would be whoever doesn’t get Ryan Miller…St.Louis or Pittsburgh. Maybe Tim Thomas factors into this as well, but let’s not forget what a distraction this guy became in Boston. GM’s will not have forgotten that. I feel like the Blues are in a better spot to pony up for Miller so they land him. Meaning the Pens still need some insurance in goal. Sure, Fleury has been great this season and has won a Cup, but it is scary how bad he has been in the last 2 playoffs. Having one of his idols there not only as insurance but in a support role would be tremendous I believe. The Devils basically do this move as a thank you to Brodeur for all his years of service to the organization. If he doesn’t want to do it, they don’t do it. But he has made some pretty strong indications that he would welcome a trade and one last kick at the can.
To Colorado: Ryan Callahan
To NY Rangers: P.A. Parenteau and a 2014 1st round pick
Man I’m shocked that things have gone this poorly in contract discussions between the Rangers and Callahan, but it really does seem like he will be moved. I can’t see the Rangers/Lightning rumor happening mainly because it is in conference and the Lightning would need to get more and likely don’t want to give Callahan the 6 million per that he reportedly is looking for. Now for the Avs, they’re for real, and they’re my sleeper pick for a team that will make some noise next week. Parenteau has been rumored to possibly be on the move, and I don’t think it would break Joe Sakic’s heart to get out from under his deal. The 1st might be an overpayment, and I wouldn’t give up my 1st if I were Sakic, but I believe he’ll be looking to do something big. This would be big. Leadership, grit, playoff experience, Callahan would give the Avs a lot of what they need heading into the playoffs.
To Tampa Bay: Thomas Vanek
To NY Islanders: Brett Connolly and a conditional 2014 2nd round pick (changes to a 1st if Tampa makes it past the 2nd round)
Not what they gave up for the guy. But this is the type of return the Islanders are now starring at for Vanek. Connolly hasn’t really worked out of the Lightning, I still to this day can’t understand what the thought process was behind picking such a 1 dimensional kid over Cam Fowler. But Connolly still has huge upside and maybe if he got a chance to play with John Tavares (obviously not for the rest of this season) he would thrive. He’s not a fit to play with Stamkos as they’re both snipers. The best I believe the Islanders can get in terms of a draft pick would be a conditional 1st like I have it here. Vanek did the Isles no favors in the Olympics, as he basically no showed for Austria. But he is still an elite talent. When he’s on, he not only is a 30-40 goal guy, but can get it done in all 3 zones. The Lightning do this deal because even though they got Brown they still need more scoring.
To Vancouver: Brandon Dubinsky, Marian Gaborik and Ryan Murray
To Columbus: Ryan Kesler, Alex Edler, and Chris Tanev
Pipe dream here for sure, but I like the fit. Kesler is a former Buckeye, so not only would he be an upgrade down the middle for them on a pretty good deal, but that’s a pretty marketable guy for the Blue Jackets. Add in Edler who is still young and has so much talent to be at least a top pairing guy despite having a rough couple of seasons after breaking out in 2012. Dubinsky and Gaborik were with Torts in New York, and if I’m not mistaken Mike Gillis was Gaborik’s agent before taking the Canucks GM job in the summer of 08. Now if the Canucks are giving up Kesler, they need to still get a 2nd line center, need to add some scoring, and need to add a heck of a young player. I just think this is a pretty damn good fit for both sides. Doubt anything like this happens, but this is more about looking for good trades, not predicting what actually goes down. The cap shouldn’t be an issue in this deal, and while the Jackets get some valuable and keepable pieces for Gaborik, the Canucks probably would believe they could re-sign Gaborik for much cheaper or else put his cap space to good use in the offseason.
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