February has just arrived, and the Trade Deadline is only a short month away. March 1st can’t some soon enough for us hockey fans hoping for a busy deadline. Most would think that the looming expansion draft should create some major trades from here until the expansion draft takes place. Here is my take on the top 10 players who appear like they could be on the move:
10) Gabriel Landeskog – Trade rumors have been surrounding Colorado for the better part of 2 months now, with good reason. They are in the middle of one of the worst seasons in recent NHL history. They have a lot of pieces that they can move to upgrade for the future, starting with their captain. Landeskog surely would bring in a prospect plus a mid round pick.
Where to?: Ottawa, Florida, Calgary
9) Shane Doan – Spending his entire career in the Coyotes organization, Doan hasn’t had much of a chance at capturing a Stanley Cup. He’s now 40 years old, and on the final year of his contract, and potentially his career, it’s time for a chance with a contender. He doesn’t provide a big scoring punch anymore, but is regarded as one of the best leaders in all of the NHL, and could surely help out a team in need.
Where to?: Nashville, San Jose, Minnesota
8) Ryan Miller – Vancouver is still sitting JUST outside of the playoffs, however with the compressed schedule, and teams starting to gain momentum heading towards the post-season, the Canucks could be one of the teams to slide off and towards the basement. It’s time to sell whatever you can in Vancouver, and like other Canadian teams in recent years, accept the rebuild. Miller can provide solid backup down the stretch for a team in need of an upgrade, and there are plenty.
Where to?: Edmonton, Columbus, Boston
7) Radim Vrbata – Vrbata hits all checks that teams are looking for: cheap AAV, right handed shot, good speed, great shot. Problem is? He is due a bonus that could hinder a lot of teams. This could hurt his potential landing spot, as a team would need some cap space to play with.
Where to?: Montreal, Nashville, Ottawa
6) Martin Hanzal – Like Colorado, Arizona finds themselves as sellers at this deadline (like many others). Hanzal is on a very cheap (expiring) deal, and can instantly upgrade any team’s 3rd line centre. Arizona has plenty of prospects waiting in the wings who they will gladly add to the lineup next year. There should be plenty of willing suitors for Arizona in this case leading up to March 1st.
Where to?: San Jose, Montreal, Chicago
5) Thomas Vanek – Vanek has stated that he loves playing in Detroit, but they are surely going to miss the playoffs. 25 years straight is a record that will likely stand for a long time, so they are more than due for a bit of a rebuild. They have some core pieces in place, and viable veterans. Vanek, on an expiring deal, could bring back a 3rd round pick for Detroit at minimum. He can surely help add scoring depth to a Cup hopeful.
Where to?: Pittsburgh, Nashville, Chicago
4) Jarome Iginla – With how bad Colorado has been trending on a nightly basis, they will surely be one of the more active teams leading up to March 1st. Iginla could help a team’s scoring depth looking to make a push. He’ll draw some attention, even if he’s not quite the same Iginla of a few years past.
Where to?: Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Minnesota
3) Matt Duchene – Another Avalanche that could (should?) be on his way out of town before the trade deadline. Duchene could bring back a boat load for the Avalanche. He’s signed for two more seasons so he’s not a rental. He could slot in perfectly on any team as either their first or second line centre. If Colorado is looking to go full-rebuild, and right now they sit with the best possible chance at landing either of coveted centres due to be drafted high, trading Duchene would surely ignite the rebuild a lot quicker than expected.
Where to?: Nashville, Montreal, NY Islanders
2) Kevin Shattenkirk – Shattenkirk is a pending UFA, and will not be returning to the Blues next season. The biggest question surrounding St. Louis right now is between keeping Shattenkirk and pushing for contention this year, or trading him off for future assets and riding out this year however it plays out. They currently sit in a playoff spot, and have the talent to make a run. However, their goaltending has been atrocious this year, going from 1st to 30th in SV% alone. Shattenkirk will draw lots of interest the closer we get to March 1st.
Where to?: Toronto, Edmonton, Dallas
1) Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay has had some very serious goalie struggles so far this year. Everyone expected the tandem of Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy to be a force this season, and with the caliber of skaters they have, Tampa was expected to be viewed as a contender. Going into February, Tampa sits 14th in the East, but only 6 points out of a playoff spot. They could use some help defensively, even if for the short-term. It appears as though Bishop will be on his way out of Tampa this summer, so the time is now to capitalize on his value.
Where to?: Colorado, Dallas, Calgary