Ah, the trade
deadline. Honestly, it’s a sports writer's dream. Agents floating stories to
drive up prices, disgruntled superstars, and drunk GM’s at happy hour spilling
the beans (this has happened). Grab my hand and we’ll wade into the waters as
the NHL trade deadline rapidly closes in to the February 29th conclusion. Let’s
look at the players most likely to find a new home.
You don’t often
see players with a “C” on their chest moved, but that could happen if the
disappointing Jets decide to trade their captain. Ladd has followed up a career
2014-15 campaign with a lackluster season. At press time, he’s notched 13 goals
and 17 assists, with a 0.58 points per game. Winnipeg is thinking about
unloading Ladd because he can walk as a free agent after this season and can
still command some value in return.
destinations: Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks
James van Riemsdyk
20 year rebuild, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in full fire sale mode.
They’ve already dumped Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa in a chunky nine-player
swap. van Riemsdyk is probably next, and could be
the most desirable and expensive commodity on the market.
He’s only 26-years-old and on pace for
his third straight 50 point season. Perhaps most valuable from a front office
perspective is that the left winger is under contract through the 2017-2018
season at a reasonable $5 million per year. Toronto’s phone is undoubtedly
ringing off the hook with offers so expect van Riemsdyk to be moved before the deadline.
And because he’s not a one year rental, many teams are probably trying to put
together a deal for his services.
destinations: Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers.
This is the one
that has puckheads intrigued. The former No. 3 overall pick from the 2013 draft
has demanded a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning after two years of
professional hockey. And it’s not like he’s been tearing up the league. In his
first season of limited duty Drouin posted 4 goals and 28 assists. Not bad. Not
world-beating either. This season, there have been grumblings about his
attitude, demotions, then the trade demand. He’s still considered a top
prospect and he’s only 20, but the once can’t miss player has suddenly become a
risky proposition. We all know NHL GM’s won’t be able to stay away from giving
this guy second, third and fourth chances to be star. But who is willing to
part with the king’s ransom it will take to get him out of Tampa Bay?
Fresh off that
fat nine player deal, multiple sources are reporting the Ottawa Senators are
the frontrunners to bring Drouin back home to Canada.
destinations: Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche
Labels: Michael Low