New York Rangers – Just one year after being traded to the big apple, Yandle
may be on the move again. The offensive defenseman has been in Coach Alain
Vigneault’s doghouse for much of the season and is an unrestricted free agent
at the end of the year. Since it is unlikely he will re-sign with New York, the
team may look to trade him and get something in return. A recent concussion to
fellow defenseman and team captain Ryan McDonagh may cause the team to hesitate
if the injury will keep him out for an extended period.
Vancouver Canucks – Another veteran defenseman on the market is Hamhuis, who
recently returned after missing almost 2 months of action with a serious facial
injury. The Canucks are trying to make a playoff push, but it seems clear to
most that it is time for the team to rebuild. Hamhuis, a reliable top four
defenseman, should fetch a nice price from a team looking for blue line help.
Edmonton Oilers – Edmonton has been able to stockpile a plethora of young, talented forwards due to having the
top overall draft pick in four out of the last six years. Even with that talent
though, they find themselves near the bottom of the standings once again.
2011’s number one pick has been very productive at the professional level, but
may be looking for a new home if the team tries to help their struggling
defense. Another team could be willing to part with a top young defenseman to get
Carolina Hurricanes – Staal is one of the biggest names that could potentially
move in the coming weeks. He has been a potent scorer for much of his career,
averaging .86 points per game, but he has been trending down this season at age
31. Carolina’s captain will be a free agent this summer and the team will
likely go in a different direction to rebuild the squad. Staal does have a
no-trade clause though, so it would have to be a destination that makes sense
for him as well before being traded.
Tampa Bay Lightning – This one may be more of a fantasy hockey GM dream, but there is a possibility that the captain of the
reigning Eastern conference champions could be available. The 26 year old
offensive juggernaut will be a free agent this summer, and the team has not
been able to work out a long term extension. If no deal is in place by the
trade deadline, the Lightning will have to consider moving Stamkos to avoid
losing him for nothing. Odds are the team will find a way to keep him, but the
immense potential trade return could be tempting.
Labels: Eric Bokobza