The 2016-17 NHL season is here. There are several goalie situations worth keeping an eye on this season, and it appears though that certain trades may not happen until the trade deadline. However, several goaltending issues have suddenly changed many teams' situations.
With Matt Murray returning from injury and looking to further establish himself as an NHL goaltender, the Pittsburgh Penguins will likely try to trade veteran Marc-Andre Fleury.
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop is an unrestricted free agent and the promising Andrei Vasilevskiy will receive more at least one start a week going forward. The Lightning would be foolish to let Bishop go for nothing at the end of the year.
Inconsistency plagued Detroit Red Wings netminders Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard last season, but so far it is the only reason why the Red Wings are doing well.
Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill will likely be forced to seek out an upgrade on one of his two goalies.
The Florida Panthers signed James Riemer to help Roberto Loungo in goal, but it seems to be a bit early to judge their goaltending just yet. It seems that goalies will be on the move this year.
But, will any big forward or defenseman be traded? Let’s look at one player that could be possibly traded from each team in the NHL.
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30 Anaheim Ducks - Cam Fowler
The 24-year-old’s name has been circling the trade market rumor mill for quite some time. Cam Fowler is an exceptional talent. He has already been in the league for six years and has played 414 games. In that span, he has tallied 34 goals, 144 assists for 178 points with only 97 penalty minutes. Not too bad for a defenseman. His cap hit is roughly $4 million. The Anaheim Ducks are looking to acquire a forward up front and have plenty of talent on the back end.
There are also plenty of suitors looking to acquire a defenseman. The Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings could be interested in Fowler. They definitely have the pieces to send back in a trade and it’s not a matter of if, but just a matter of time until Fowler is traded. The Ducks have recently signed Hampus Lindholm to a long-term contract and need to create cap room to fit him in.
29 Arizona Coyotes - Martin Hanzal
The Arizona Coyotes have not had a great start to the season. Mike Smith going down early hurts their chances of making the playoffs. Their general manager John Chayka, will need to get creative and move some pieces out. One of their most interesting trade pieces is Martin Hanzal. He is entering the final season of his five-year deal. He set a career high of 41 points in 64 games last season. The biggest problem for Hanzal signing a long-term deal with the Coyotes is his health. He has never played a full season since 2009-10 where he played 81 games.
Prior to this season, he appeared in 557 games. In those games he has scored 101 goals, 186 assists for a total of 287 points. As a 6’6 center, Hanzal usually logs in between 17 and 18 minutes of ice time and as you can see, he doesn’t put up big points. He has never reached the 20 goal mark and his highest total for goals scored in one season was 16, back in the 2010-11 season. Let’s be clear on the matter…it’s not a matter of if he is being traded, it is a matter of when he is being traded and to who.
28 Boston Bruins - David Krejci
David Krejci has played 10 years with the Boston Bruins. However, this year the Bruins are stacked with center men after the recent signings of Dominic Moore and David Backes. Zdeno Chara is getting old and the defensive core has not been the same since losing Johnny Boychuk. They Bruins will trade for a defenseman. The Bruins also have the magic face-off man in Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Spooner and a few prospects. Spooner could shift to the wing if need be. He tallied 49 points last season.
Given the current development of Spooner and the rest of the young talent the Bruins have, Don Sweeney has some wiggle room here. The Bruins need help on the defensive and require some goaltending depth with recent injuries to their starter and backup.
27 Buffalo Sabres - Jake McCabe
Jake McCabe is a valuable young defenseman with great potential. He could eventually play top pairing minutes. McCabe played in 77 games last year for Buffalo. He scored a total of 14 points and was a plus-6. That is impressive for a guy on a team with minus players. Buffalo made moves to acquire players like Dmitry Kulikov. They also signed Rasmus Ristolainen to a long-term contract extension. There is not a lot of playing time to go around and once McCabe and his agent realize this, they may ask for a trade.
He has played in eight games this year and has tallied 2 assists with with an even plus-minus rating. This young 23-year-old McCabe would be a great fit for any team. It would be beneficial for Buffalo to give him some power play time and showcase his abilities. This kid needs opportunities to shoot the puck.
26 Calgary Flames - Dennis Wideman
The Calgary Flames acquired Dougie Hamilton last summer and gave him a huge extension. This was a prelude to a future trade as it became more apparent that they couldn’t keep Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell (who is now with Edmonton). Just look at their blue line: Hamilton, Wideman, and Mark Giordano. All these players have cap hits of over $5 million past this year. T.J. Brodie is signed at $4.85 million per year and Kris Russell already left. In all likelihood, Dennis Wideman is the man on the trading block, but the most interesting part about this… rumors are swirling around that Dougie Hamilton is on the chopping block.
The Flames also went out and traded for Brian Elliott. Having a player like Hamilton grow and play in front of Elliott is much more beneficial than keeping a slower veteran like Wideman.
25 Carolina Hurricanes – Eddie Lack
Cam Ward’s play has been deteriorating for a number of years. The Carolina Hurricanes went out and picked up Eddie Lack in hopes of this young man taking the starting job in goal. In 2015-16, Lack played 34 games posting a 2.81 goals against average along with a .901 save percentage. He also had 12 wins. The team is in a mini-rebuild mode but have not done a great job securing proper draft picks or prospects. They moved Eric Staal to the Rangers last season, but that type of move was long overdue. Frankly, both goalies are not exactly the players you want back stopping your team. However, Eddie Lack is certainly the more tradeable of the two. He is young with ‘potential’ and could play better on a team with a solid defensive core. Ironically, the Hurricanes have been in the top 10 in regards to Corsi numbers. But, this has not correlated to keeping the puck out of the net.
24 Chicago Blackhawks - Marian Hossa
When the Chicago Blackhawks signed Marian Hossa to a huge 12-year the team was much younger. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were on entry-level contracts. Fast forward to today and Blackhawks are having problems fitting players under the cap. Luckily they found lightning in a bottle with players like Richard Panik. Artem Anisimov is also proving to be quite valuable after only putting up 42 points last year. With players like this producing with cheap contracts, it makes sense for the Blackhawks to cut ties with the 38-year-old Hossa. Otherwise, they may lose some assets to the expansion draft.
Hossa could make an excellent addition to any team making a run for the Stanley Cup. If the Blackhawks decide to part ways with his services, they would likely ship him to an Eastern Conference team.
23 Colorado Avalanche - Jarome Iginla
While Jarome Iginla stated several times last season that he did not want to be traded, things may change this year. Iginla is on the last year of his deal, carrying a $5.3 million cap hit. At 39 years old time is running out on Iginla to win a Stanley Cup and it's clearly not going to happen in Colorado. Iginla still has some juice left in the tank, but it's quite obvious there's no point in the Avs hanging on to him. Iginla could fetch a decent return from a Stanley Cup contender looking to load up for the spring.
If the Avs are out of playoff contention by March, you can't rule out the possibility of Iginla even going to a division rival, like the Blackhawks or the Blues, who would give him a great shot at winning his first Stanley Cup.
22 Columbus Blue Jackets - Nick Foligno
Columbus has so many issues to fix and one of them is the play of Nick Foligno. However, it looks like he is on the right track by starting the season putting up 7 points in the first 7 games. Don’t be surprised to see the Blue Jackets trade Nick Foligno while he is red hot. If they can muster some type of deal, they could get ample return. The biggest question is this… can Nick Foligno score on a steady pace up until trade deadline? He did score 73 points two seasons ago and might have some gas left in him to do it again.
It's hard to see the Jackets all of a sudden jump into contention this season, so it may be wise to trade Foligno while his value is at its highest.
21 Dallas Stars - Kari Lehtonen
Did someone say goalie trade rumors? Let’s look at the Dallas Stars. They were the number one offensive team in the entire league during the 2015-16 season. They are an offensive powerhouse and will continue to be one this year. But, their biggest downfall is their goaltending. To acquire an upgrade in goal, the Stars will need to part ways with one of their current goaltenders. Last season, Kari Lethonen appeared in 43 games tallying 25 wins, 10 losses, 2 overtime losses and 2 shootout losses. His save percentage was a low .906 with a high goals against average of 2.76.
On the other hand, we have Antti Niemi who appeared in 48 games for Dallas and tallied 25 wins, 13 loses, 7 overtime loses and 3 shootout losses. His save percentage was also quite low at .905 and his goals against average was slightly lower than Lethonen at 2.67. The Dallas Stars clearly have no number one goaltender. To fix the situation, their general manager Jim Nill would most likely trade one of his goalies and Lehtonen would provide a slightly higher trade value.
20 Detroit Red Wings - Jimmy Howard
Jimmy Howard understands that he is no longer the number one goalie in Detroit. Petr Mrazek dethroned Howard as the number one goaltender with his great play. Petr Mrazek had a breakout season but trailed off a bit. Last season he appeared in 54 games and tallied 27 wins, 16 losses, 6 overtime losses and 6 shootout losses. He put up a .920 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.33. Jimmy Howard’s .906 save percentage average in 37 appearances wouldn’t do.
The Red Wings are trying to make sense of their current roster and form a new identity. They recently added Frans Nielson, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott, but desperately need a to acquire a defenseman. Howard is currently under contract through 2018-19, with a cap hit of over $5 million. Howard could wave his no-trade clause to join a Stanley Cup contender. It is also more likely that Howard is traded now with all the goaltending injuries around the league. Further that with his great play at the start of this season, Detroit may find a trade partner sooner rather than later.
19 Edmonton Oilers - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle are the Edmonton Oilers' biggest trading pieces. Nugent-Hopkins is an underrated 23-year old centerman and frankly, the Oilers do not need him. They are pretty set down the middle with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Having Nugent-Hopkins play third line center is a complete waste of talent. We all know that the Oilers still need to bolster their defensive core even with the addition of Adam Larsson. That is why general manager Peter Chiarelli went out and signed free agent Kurt Russell. Their blue line looks somewhat better and Cam Talbot has been playing well. Let’s assume that Kurt Russell helps stabilize a messy defensive core. Trading Nugent-Hopkins for veteran presence and a draft pick would be ideal.
18 Florida Panthers - Jarmoir Jagr
The man, the myth and the legend. Jaromir Jagr is one of the most beloved hockey players in the world. In 79 games played last season, he scored 27 goals and put up 66 points for the Florida Panthers. Not too bad for a 44-year-old man. Thus, everyone is questioning his ability to put up those types of points again, given his age. Will he do it again? He has played in 8 games so far and as scored 1 goal and put up a total of 4 points. Betting on Jagr putting up 66 points is a stretch, but it seems more realistic to say he will put up 45-50 points.
The Panthers also have young, talented forwards in Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov. They do the skating and Jagr directs traffic. Having said all that, if the Panthers take a step back this year, then trading Jagr as a rental will be their best bet.
17 Los Angeles Kings - Dustin Brown
The Los Angeles Kings have made it quietly known that Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik are available. Brown was once a productive member of the Kings, scoring 33 goals and 60 points back in 2007-08. He is a great leader but his skill and point production is on the decline. Since 2012-13, he has only scored 29 points or less and has been a minus rating player the last two seasons. In 9 games played this season, he has produced 1 goal for a total of 6 points, but with a minus 2 rating. Losing Milan Lucic to free agency did not help their cause. Add on the injury to Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings look like a sinking ship. Thankfully Peter Budaj is offering some stability.
The Kings still boast one of the top Corsi statistics in the league. Basically, this means they usually dictate play and control the puck. It’s time to move Dustin Brown and let their young players take charge.
16 Minnesota Wild - Jason Pominville
The Minnesota Wild are another team that has too many young players to protect. The Wild’s defenseman Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin know what it is like to have their names on the trading block. There were rumors back to earlier this year that they were available, even so much as Brodin being offered to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ryan Johansen. However, the logical approach would be to move out a player like Jason Pominville without buying him out. Other players with no movement clauses are Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise. In addition to those players, the Wild signed the aging Eric Staal. If the Wild want to keep their young players protected, like Nino Niederreiter, Jason Zucker, Eric Haula, Charlie Coyle, and Mikael Granlund, then Jason Pominville needs be traded and not simply bought out.
15 Montreal Canadiens - Nathan Beaulieu
The Montreal Canadiens and Marc Bergevin already traded one defenceman, how about another one? Nathan Beaulieu is a 23-year-old puck moving defensemen that could be of interest to some teams in the league. The Habs need too many pieces to fix their current roster, but with Carey Price back in goal, they could use some more goals scored up front. Nathan Beaulieu has played for the Habs his entire NHL career. In 151 games played (prior to this season) he has tallied 3 goals, 29 assists for a total of 32 points. He has a rating of plus 11 with a 108 penalty minutes.
With another season behind his belt, Beaulieu is progressing nicely but needs to shoot more pucks to the net. If Marc Bergevin can swap Beaulieu for a young forward with offensive skills, it would justify the trade, but who would else would they get to play on the blue-line? That is another trade, as the Canadiens are rumored to be searching for an upgrade on the blueline as well. Perhaps Beaulieu will be traded in a multi-player deal, bringing back another defenceman to fill the void.
14 Nashville Predators - Mike Ribeiro
Drafted in 1998 by the Montreal Canadiens, Mike Ribeiro has played with a total of five different teams during his career. When he was in Montreal, some of the locals pegged him as the next Wayne Gretzky. However, his lifestyle off the ice was not exactly that of a saint. The Montreal Canadiens gave up on him for essentially those reasons. Everyone knew he had talent. He was traded to Dallas and spent several years there. Fast forward to present day and he is a member of the Nashville Predators. But for how long? In 1,036 games played he has tallied 772 points. In each of the last two seasons he has accumulated 50 points or more.
His two year deal will end after this season and it would be wise for the Predators to move a player of his caliber for some assets. He is an excellent playmaker with the ability to put up points in any market thus far.
13 New Jersey Devils - Kyle Palmieri
The New Jersey Devils and general manager Ray Shero already re-signed right wing Kyle Palmieri to a five-year contract extension worth over $4.5 million. Palmieri is still very young at the age of 25. In 280 career NHL games, he has tallied 73 goals and 73 assists for 146 points and accumulated 129 penalty minutes. Palmieri has seven goals and five assists in 33 career Stanley Cup Playoff games. He led the Devils with a career-high 30 goals and 27 assists for 57 points, and appeared in all 82 games. He also produced 23 points on the power play.
All these stats were prior to this season. Palmieri was acquired from Anaheim in 2015 for a second-round pick in the 2015 draft and a third-round pick in 2016. He originally played for the Ducks between 2010-2015. The Devils need to maximize what they have and acquire more assets. Palmieri is a good piece to sell high.
12 New York Islanders – Jaroslav Halak
The New York Islanders started the season with three goalies. They have Jarosav Halak, Thomas Greiss and Jean-Francois Berube. Jaroslav Halak put up an outstanding performance during the World Cup for Team Europe. Unfortunately for Halak, he had a lot of injury problems last season which opened the door for Greiss. He played so well that it seems likely both will have split duty for the upcoming 2016-17 season. In 36 games played during the 2015-16 regular season, Halak tallied 18 wins, 13 losses, 4 overtime losses and 3 shootout losses. His save percentage was .919 with a goals against average of 2.30.
Greiss played slightly more games with 41 appearances, tallying 23 wins, 11 losses, 4 overtime losses and 1 shootout loss. His save percentage was .925 with a goals against average of 2.36. Halak and his agent are currently unhappy with the goaltending situation. It is rather difficult for both goalies to get a full practice in while sharing the crease. Look for the elder Halak to be traded.
11 New York Rangers - Rick Nash
The New York Rangers signed Brandon Pirri to a one-year deal. It is very important to note that they currently have a boat load of one year deals on their roster. This was very similar to the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. If you sign a bunch of players to one year deals (one way), that is a prelude for trades. Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton already traded Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick to the Ottawa Senators for Mika Zibanejad and a second round pick. The Rangers are off to a great start and that includes Pirri and Zibanejad. T.J. Miller and Vesey have been a pleasant surprise as well.
However, Rick Nash finds himself playing on the third line often. Rick Nash had a career low 15 goals last season and the New York Rangers are not afraid to move big names out. Nash and his $7.8 million annual salary cap hit are still on the books, but not by trade deadline. If they can move his salary and get a capable player in return, this would certainly help their playoff chances.
10 Ottawa Senators - Chris Neil
The Ottawa Senators do not have a tool shed full of brand-new tools. They already traded for Derick Brassard—a left-handed center-man to play with the right-handed Bobby Ryan. Cody Ceci and Mike Hoffman both signed as RFAs with the Senators late in the summer, so that takes away the possibility of those two being traded.
Chris Neil has been with the Senators for an eternity, but you have to wonder whether he provides any more value to the Sens other than some 'grit'. While Neil won't get the Senators much on the trade market, the Sens just don't have the selling pieces to make a big move. It's not like they'd ever trade Erik Karlsson, right?
Some underperforming players are Dion Phaneuf and Bobby Ryan, but their contracts make them untradeable.
9 Philadelphia Flyers - Mark Streit
The Flyers need to shed themselves of a few contracts. Andrew MacDonald is a candidate but the Flyers would rather ship out Streit. He has veteran experience and can help out the power play. He has started the season on a high note tallying 6 points in the first 9 games played. Streit has appeared in 725 games tallying 413 points with 198 of those points coming on the power play. He boasts a minus-62 rating. He is an offensive defenceman but usually is on the minus side. The Flyers could trade Streit in a package deal, while also moving out one of their netminders. In return, they will require some depth two-way forwards and a stay at home defenceman.
Clearly, they are not having trouble scoring goals but always find themselves giving up chances. The plan is simple. Trade Streit to fix those areas.
8 Pittsburgh Penguins – Mike Condon
The Montreal Canadiens placed Mike Condon on waivers to start the season. He was then picked up by the Pittsburgh Penguins as a result of Matt Murray going down with an injury. He is now back to man the crease in Pittsburgh, and as a result, there are too many goalies on the roster. Mike Condon’s services will no longer be needed. Currently, the Boston Bruins are facing several goaltender injuries and Malcom Subban playing horribly. In order to rectify these situations quickly, the Penguins could move Condon before Murray comes back…and the Bruins look like ideal suitors.
The question is of course value. What is Mike Condon worth? Especially for a guy that could potentially picked up on waivers. In 56 games played last season with the Montreal Canadiens, Mike Condon put up a record of 21 wins, 25 losses, and 6 overtime losses. His save percentage was .906 and his goals against average was 2.69.
7 St. Louis Blues - Kevin Shattenkirk
If you heard Kevin Shattenkirk is scoring for the St. Louis Blues again, that is because it happens regularly. His offense from the blue line is certainly a boost to a team that is having some difficulty putting the puck in the net. The team has only scored a total of 22 goals with 21 against. Shattenkirk can be compared to Mark Streit. Both are great offensive defencemen but are also rather weak in their own end. In 9 games played this season, Shattenkirk has 6 points but boasts a minus-3 rating. The trade rumors are still swirling around his name and it would be quite interesting to see who would take on such a player.
The Boston Bruins were said to be interested, but will they part ways with Chara? Parting ways with Shattenkirk would be hard to do considering his offense, but if the Blues can acquire a sturdy stay at home defenseman and perhaps some depth forwards, it would be worth it. Rumor has it the Montreal Canadiens are also in the market for another defenceman.
6 San Jose Sharks - Joel Ward
The San Jose Sharks have several unrestricted free agents coming up and some of those include Joe Thornton and Brent Burns. Neither of those two are going anywhere. The Sharks owner has made it clear that Burns will get signed and Thornton will get another 3-year contract if he wants it. Last year the Sharks made it to the Stanley Cup final but ran out of gas. They looked tired and had difficulty in their defensive end. Players like Roman Polak were too slow to play against the quick style of the Penguins. Joel Ward put up 21 goals last season and 43 points, but had a plus-minus rating of minus-15.
This season (as of this writing) he has appeared in 9 games, scoring 1 goal and has a minus-5 rating. He needs to be traded. His two-way game is not what it used to be and it is not worth keeping him for less than 20 goals. They definitely need an upgrade.
5 Tampa Bay Lightning - Ben Bishop
The development of Andrei Vasilevskiy gives GM Steve Yzerman the flexibility he needs in Tampa Bay. Ben Bishop, 29, is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent come 2017 and it does not seem like Tampa Bay will have the cap space to sign the giant goalie. Bishop is widely considered as one of the league’s elite goalies. He stopped tons of rubber en route to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final and the 2016 Eastern Conference final. He is no fluke but the Ottawa Senators gave up on him too early. They are definitely kicking themselves.
Even if Bishop is willing to accept a trade during the 2016-17 season, there is no guarantee that the Tamp Bay Lightning will get a quality package in return. If anything, he could be considered a rental at the trade deadline. His save percentage in 2015-16 was an outstanding .926 and his goals against average was a low 2.06. Vasilevskiy has looked great in limited action and look for Jon Cooper to start increasing his work load.
4 Toronto Maple Leafs - James van Riemsdyk
James van Riemsdyk is 27 years of age and is signed for the next two years at a cap hit of $4,250,000. The man still can put up 30 goals, but whether he does it for Toronto in a winning or a losing situation does not matter. It’s time for the Maple Leafs to part ways with him. It’s the Auston Matthews show now and the Leafs are still trying to build around him. They still require a top-4 defenceman. Although, James van Riemsdyk is a 60-point guy without a real center man, but he can also be a 60-point guy or better, playing alongside Auston Matthews.
If the Leafs let these two players team up for the first half of the season, JVR’s stock could rise quite quickly. In his seven year NHL career—prior to this season--he played 446 games, tallying 136 goals, 141 assists for a total of 277 points. He is a good addition to any team if the Leafs retain some of his salary.
3 Vancouver Canucks - Alex Burrows
The Vancouver cupboard is full of interesting prospects but their current roster is limited and the only assets they have worth moving are Daniel and Henrik Sedin, a goalie (Miller or Markstrom) and some draft picks. However, maybe they need to simply move some dead weight. How about Alex Burrows? He had a career high of 67 points back in 2009-10. Since then his production has declined. Last season he scored 22 points in 79 games and had a minus-13 rating. He has not scored more than 18 goals since 2011-12. This season he has appeared in 5 games scoring a total of 0 points with a minus-1 rating. The Vancouver Canucks need to trade Burrows out sooner rather than later. They should be selling anybody of value they have.
2 Washington Capitals - Justin Williams
Justin Williams will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. It is very unlikely that the Washington Capitals will be able to sign both him and T.J. Oshie. He has not scored more than 22 goals since 2006-07 when he played for the Carolina Hurricanes. Last season he scored 22 goals and put up 52 points in 82 games played. He also had a plus-15 rating. However, things have not started off well for him this season. He has appeared in 8 games and scored 1 goal with a minus-1 rating.
He is an asset the Capitals cannot afford to lose for nothing. Even if they are in the playoff hunt, it would make sense to move him for depth and other assets, especially as a rental player. The Capitals have several players that can move up and down the line-up. But before trading him, they'd better sign T.J. Oshie.
1 Winnipeg Jets - Jacob Trouba
Trouba made his request public stating he wants to be traded. There are plenty of teams that would take his services. Trouba is 22 years of age and has been in the league for only three years. He is 6-foot-1 and a solid 200 pounds. He has appeared in 211 games and tallied 23 goals, 49 assists and a 151 penalty minutes. There are a few suitors out there who can use his big frame—the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings. Rumors were flying around that the Wings are currently inquiring about the asking price with regards to Trouba. But, that may not be a good fit for the Jets. The Wings are in desperate need to shed some bad contracts and do not want to part way with any of their young forwards.
The Boston Bruins on the other hand could move anyone out and accommodate the Jets, although it would not be a one-for-one deal. If Trouba is not signed by December 1st, he will no longer be eligible to play the rest of the season. It is imperative that he gets signed. If not, holding out only hurts his development and the Jets could trade his rights away regardless.
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