In our Eastern Conference segment of this topic, we discussed the idea that Artemin Panarin, Max Pacioretty and Justin Faulk will be on the move this season. The Western Conference has some pretty big names speculated to find new homes as well.
Some of these names were rumored to go over the summer and others may surprise people, but either way, expect these players to be talked about ad nauseam.
There hasn't been a lot of action out of the West yet, sans Calgary who moved Dougie Hamilton. Which big names might still be on the move? In anticipation of some big upcoming trades, here are some of the top Western Conference names to watch for.
In most other situations, the Minnesota Wild would have no desire to trade a player being paid a bargain $3.5 million per year and producing 141 points over the past two seasons. Yet, the team might feel like moving Eric Staal is their best course of action.
Staal out-performed his contract but there's no guarantee he'll continue to do so. If he has another good season, at the age of 33, he's a slight risk on a long-term deal at fair market value and Minnesota might be better served to sell high. If they keep him, sign him to a four or five-year deal, he could become a player who doesn't live up to his new contract and Minnesota already has some overpaid assets with hard-to-move salaries.
Seguin has already expressed his disappointment with the Dallas Stars for not being able to get him signed to an extension this summer. He's got one year left on his current deal and Seguin is looking to sign a long-term extension and stay in Dallas. The problem is, he's going to want north of $10 million per season and the Stars might be hesitant to quickly fork over that kind of money.
The risk is, should Seguin post another 70-plus point season, he's going to ensure he gets $11 million or more on the free agent market and Dallas risks losing him for nothing. They can't let that happen. If the two sides can't find a middle ground, there is a very good chance he gets traded.
The rumors of Lucic being traded have certainly quieted down and he's ready to come back to Edmonton and put together a bounce-back season, helping the team get back to the postseason and live up to expectations. But, if that doesn't happen, it won't take long for rumors of his name to bounce around in trade talks.
There was speculation this offseason that he was willing to accommodate a trade and the Oilers wanted to move him. If there is any truth to those rumors, the leash won't be long and Lucic could be headed out of town if he struggles.
The fact the Winnipeg Jets and Jacob Trouba can never seem to come together on a deal that lasts longer than a single season is telling. A strong player on the blue line, the Jets have cap issues that likely suggest someone big is on the move. With money designated for players like Patrik Laine and Blake Wheeler, even though Trouba believes the team and he could work out a deal, he's probably going to be traded the minute the team is either out of the playoffs or find a stronger need than defense to make a lengthy run.
Winnipeg won't trade him right away knowing he's helpful during the season but how the team does out of the gate will dictate how quickly he's moved.