Trade market should heat up sooner

Share This Story


At home in Prince Edward Island, Canada, he's known as Lyle Richardson. But around these parts, he's known as Spector, FOXSports.com's Prince of Pucks. Check in with Spector's NHL Blog on Yardbarker.com for NHL rumors and analysis.

The annual trade deadline is less than two months away but this season, business in the market could pick up earlier than usual due to the league's mid-February shutdown for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

A trade freeze will be implemented from Feb. 13-28, leaving only three days following the end of the freeze for general managers to swing deals prior to the 3 p.m. ET deadline on March 3.

That’s not much time for playoff-bound teams to bolster their rosters or for non-playoff clubs to jettison salaries, meaning the next five weeks could see far more trade activity than we’ve been used to seeing over the same time in recent years.

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli recently told the Boston Globe that trade talk amongst his peers was picking up, which only lends credence to the theory of increased player movement prior to the Olympic break.

For now, only the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers would be considered certain sellers as their chances of climbing back into the postseason race are pretty much non-existent.

Ignore Wild internet speculation of the Hurricanes shopping franchise players Eric Staal and Cam Ward as the players they’ll likely move are impending unrestricted free agent forwards Ray Whitney and Matt Cullen.

Meanwhile, the Oilers could receive considerable interest in veterans Ethan Moreau and Steve Staios as well as young forward Andrew Cogliano.

Defenseman Sheldon Souray said last week that he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause if a deal made sense for both he and the team, but he’s got two more years at a cap hit of $5.4 million per season left on his contract, making him all but impossible to move this season.

East to west

The Toronto Maple Leafs are presently second-to-last in the Eastern Conference and could begin shopping players soon. Trade rumors out of Leafs Nation center on pending free agents Matt Stajan, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Lee Stempniak and Vesa Toskala.

With only six points separating the seventh overall New York Rangers from the 13th overall Tampa Bay Lightning, there might not be many sellers emerging from the Eastern Conference over the next month.

It’s a different story in the Western Conference where the gap between seventh and 12th overall is considerably wider, which could push more of that conference’s lower-placed teams into the trade market.

The Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets fall into that category, as could the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars if they don’t soon make significant improvement in the standings.

It’s believed the Ducks could try to move veterans like Scott Niedermayer, Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne and Todd Marchant. Sophomore winger Bobby Ryan was mentioned in trade rumors earlier in the season but with 20 goals in 45 games, he’s probably not going anywhere.

Goalie J.S. Giguere has also been a frequent fixture in the rumor mill but with a no-movement clause and another season with a cap hit of $6 million remaining on his contract, he probably won’t be moved this season.

The Blues have made little improvement despite a recent coaching change and could try to move veteran forwards Paul Kariya and Keith Tkachuk.

As for the Blue Jackets, they’ve already attempted a roster shakeup by shipping winger Jason Chimera to Washington for forward Chris Clark and defenseman Milan Jurcina but thus far. there’s been little improvement. They could consider a coaching change before making another trade.

It may be too soon to start speculating over which players the Wild and Stars could try to move. Their respective situations should become clearer by the Olympic break.

Stars on the block

Each year there’s always a big-name player whose name gets bandied about as trade bait and this season is no different.

Atlanta Thrashers superstar forward Ilya Kovalchuk is eligible for UFA status in July and while talks between his camp and Thrashers management are ongoing, there’s little indication they’ll get him under contract by the trade deadline, leading to the inevitable speculation he’ll be shopped by March 3.

It’s possible the Thrashers could face no choice but to go that route, but it’s by no means a sure thing. If they’re still in the thick of the playoff race by the deadline they could opt to retain him as their postseason hopes are better with him than without.

A similar scenario unfolded last season with the Florida Panthers, who surprised many by retaining rather than trading pending free agent star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, so unless the Thrashers fall completely out of playoff contention in the next several weeks take the Kovalchuk trade rumors with a grain of salt.
Tagged: Hurricanes, Stars, Jets, Wild, Cam Ward

More Stories From Spector

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt