NHL Trade Deadline: Hypothetical Deals for Top Players Available
NHL Trade Deadline is fast approaching, who could be on the move, and who could stay. We share our thoughts on what may transpire in the coming weeks!
The NHL Trade deadline is always exciting if you’re a huge hockey fan, watching your favorite sports network for seven to eight hours just to see if your favorite team made a significant move can sometimes be more exhilarating than even the playoffs. Cause realistically what they do or don’t do at the deadline will result in a playoff appearance or not.
So in this article, we’re going to be taking a look at the top 15 players available ahead of the NHL trade deadline, who will suit them the best, what it would take to pry said player away and some for fun scenarios.
Top Available Players:
F – Matt Duchene (COL) – 44GP, 15G, 17A, 32PTS, -14, $4.25M
F – Martin Hanzal (ARZ) – 43GP, 10G, 9A, 19PTS, -16, $3.1M
F – Radim Vrbata (ARZ) – 51GP, 11G, 24A, 35PTS, -16, $1.5M
F – Gabriel Landeskog (COL) – 39GP, 9G, 9A, 18PTS, -15, $5.57M
F – Jordan Eberle (EDM) – 55GP, 11G, 21A, 32PTS, -3, $6M
F – Thomas Vanek (DET) – 40GP, 12G, 20A, 32PTS, +4, $2.6M
F – Anthony Duclair (ARZ) – 41GP, 3G, 6A, 9PTS, -8, $773K
F – Curtis Lazar (OTT) – 29GP, 0G, 1A, 1PT, -8, $894K
F – Shane Doan (ARZ) – 51GP, 5G, 12A, 17PTS, -5, $3.8M
F – Jarome Iginla (COL) – 49GP, 7G, 7A, 14PTS, -16, $5.3M
D – Kevin Shattenkirk (STL) – 53GP, 11G, 25A, 36PTS, -14, $4.25M
G – Ben Bishop (TB) – 28GP, 12W, 2.79GAA, 0SO, $5.95M
G – Ondrej Pavelec (WPG) – 7GP, 4W, 3.34GAA, 0SO, $3.9M
G – Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT) – 28GP, 14W, 3.15GAA, 0SO, $5.75M
G – Jaroslav Halak (NYI) – 21GP, 6W, 3.23GAA, 1SO, $4.5M
to COL – 1st Round Pick (2017), 1st Round Pick (2018), Anthony Duclair
to ARZ – Matt Duchene
Colorado moving Matt Duchene ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline would be a tough task, to say the least. They need someone who needs a center but also has $4.25 million in cap space, a good fit would be Arizona where he would have the chance to play with the likes of Max Domi and Christian Dvorak and make a triple D-line. Arizona has the cap space but Colorado would want a Significant return for their former cornerstone player, and that’s most likely a first round pick (if not two), and a high-end prospect who is ready to play now. That’s something the Coyotes may be hesitant on doing since they’re are going full swing on the youth movement.
to ARZ – Curtis Lazar, 4th Round Pick (2017)
to OTT – Martin Hanzal, 3rd Round Pick (2018)
Next, there is Martin Hanzal, the Coyotes have been trying to unload him all season but have yet to find any sort of partner, the price is high but the potential Hanzal still has is as well. And since he has a cap hit of $3.1 million, if you’re looking for a second to third line center for a deep playoff run, he’s a solid player to cash in on as a rental.
So what would it take to acquire him? A first round pick and a prospect. Where would he fit the best? Since he would be coming in as a second or third line center on a playoff team Los Angeles, St. Louis or Ottawa would be great fits.
to ARZ – 2nd Round Pick, Anton Rodin
to VAN – Radim Vrbata
Radim Vrbata could very well be on the move yet again but where he could end up is a mystery to some. For only having a $1.5 million dollar hit and having put up 35 points so far this season, Vrbata is a pretty hot commodity for a team who wants secondary scoring. So the best fit for him would be the team he played with last year and that’s the Canucks. He’s played great there, it won’t take Vancouver much to acquire him and their experiment with Loui Eriksson so far this season hasn’t quite played out the way some expected. Now with Vrbata back on the top line and Eriksson on the second, that could prove quite dangerous.
to ANA – Gabriel Landeskog
to COL – Cam Fowler, 1st Round Pick, Stefan Noesen
Another cornerstone player Colorado may be saying goodbye to is Gabriel Landeskog. He’s had a terrible year as well as the rest of the team. Now his play could just be a yearly situation to where he rebounds next season or he’s just lost confidence in his game overall and thus effecting his play now and in the future. So who should take a shot on this skilled, young winger? Anaheim has needed another top winger on their left side cause you cannot rely on Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano all season, so with Landeskog on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry that makes for a very deadly line they could use very well in the playoffs. However, the Ducks would have to move someone out in order to do so.
to EDM – 2nd Round Pick, Valentin Zykov, Roland McKeown
to CAR – Jordan Eberle
Jordan Eberle has been in trade talks and rumors for the last couple seasons and has yet to be moved, so it’s very unlikely that he will be this March, but then again if Wayne Gretzky can go, anyone can. Eberle has often been tied to the Maple Leafs believe it or not, but that was before their right side got extremely skilled. So where does he fit now and what would it take? The best suitor for him would be either Boston or Carolina, two teams who only have one skilled right winger and a lot of prospects they can use as pieces to the deal, and with two top prospects in that deal Carolina or Boston wouldn’t have to worry about a first round pick, making a second rounder more likely.
to MIN – Thomas Vanek
to DET – 2nd Round Pick
A lot of teams opted to not take a chance on the aging Thomas Vanek, but this year he’s been dynamite leading the Wings in scoring as well. And with Detroit on the outside looking in, they could potentially move him. Now, where should he go? The best fit would be a team like Minnesota, he’s familiar with the system, he can boost their scoring to a level beyond what it is already and help give the Wild a serious run in the playoffs. The bonus as well, it won’t take much to acquire him either since he’s a bit on the older side, and is most likely not going to be re-signed by the Wild next year.
to EDM – Anthony Duclair, 2nd Round Pick (2017), 3rd Round Pick (2018)
to ARZ – Jordan Eberle
After the year Anthony Duclair had last season, it’s quite surprising that he’s on the block this year. But in all reality, it may not be due to the fact he’s only put up nine points in 41 games. This output had him eventually being sent down to Tucson of the AHL. And the fact that he only has a cap hit of $773 thousand, he won’t be hard to squeeze into an NHL team. However, acquiring him is the difficult part, he’s still very young and still, has tremendous upside (despite this terrible season). So the cost to move him is high, he can be used as a cornerstone piece though of a major deal that would bring in someone like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog or Kevin Shattenkirk. Which means on the opposite side of things it would cost a lot to pick him up. The best fit for Duclair, if he was to move, would be a team like Calgary or Edmonton where they can use another young winger to play with the likes of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Sean Monahan or Mikael Backlund.
to CHI – Curtis Lazar
to OTT – 1st Round Pick (2017), 2nd Round Pick (2018), Tanner Kero
Another top young prospect who is surprisingly on the board is Sens forward Curtis Lazar. Ottawa has already stated the price for Lazar is quite steep, so who would fit best for Curtis and who would have the most to offer? Well, his best fit would be a contending team who isn’t worried too much about a rebuild as of now. So while on that topic the best fit would be a team like Chicago, but in order for the Blackhawks to do so they would have to give up a high pick and two solid prospects or two high picks a solid prospect, either way, the fee is going to be expensive.
to PIT – Shane Doan, 2nd Round Pick (2017), 4th Round Pick (2018)
to ARZ – Marc-Andre Fleury, 3rd Round Pick (2018)
Shane Doan has spent his entire career with one organization, Winnipeg who then became Phoenix then moved to Arizona. Last season everyone thought he was going to retire, but one more year seemed to be a good idea to help coach the youth taking over the team. But now the only thing Doan wants to do is win a cup before he hangs them up. So where should he go? His best fit would be a team like Pittsburgh where he can play a third line scoring role in the playoffs. But the Penguins would have to make some cap room in order to do so. The Penguins are also stuck in a conundrum when it comes to Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray and the Coyotes need a goaltender so could a switch be possible? It’s very likely.
to ANA – Jarome Iginla
to COL – 3rd Round Pick, Logan Shaw
Jarome Iginla is in the same position as Shane Doan, he’s about to retire and wants to end on a high note, he’s already been sent to Pittsburgh once before so we won’t venture that option. Another great suitor for him to fill a second or third line scoring role is a team like Anaheim. If the Ducks are unable to swing a deal for Gabriel Landeskog, Jarome Iginla would be a second solid choice from Colorado. And due to the fact this is most likely Jarome’s last year, the cost to acquire him won’t be so high. Anaheim could swing a prospect and a draft pick in order to do so.
to NSH – Kevin Shattenkirk.
to STL – Kevin Fiala, Dante Fabbro, 1st Round Pick (2017)
Kevin Shattenkirk has taken over the trade deadline as of late with a lot of experts thinking he will end up in Toronto. But truth be told, Brendan Shanahan and Lou Lamoriello have a game plan that they’re sticking to. So it’s highly unlikely they are going to give up some picks and prospects for an early first-round exit from the playoffs, that is if Toronto can stay in the picture after all. A lot of people also think Toronto has finally got things right, while they have, they’re also having a good year due to their rookies taking over the team and finally having a solid goaltender, so in shorter words, this year for the Leafs is nothing more than luck. So where will Shattenkirk go with Toronto out of the picture? Nashville. Predators GM David Poile has already expressed significant interest in acquiring Kevin from St. Louis and in order to do so, they will have to give up quite a bit. And that’s some solid prospects and a solid draft pick. And in the end that may not be so bad, P.K. Subban and Shattenkirk on a line together is pretty deadly.
to NYI – Ben Bishop
to TB – 2nd Round Pick (2017), 3rd Round Pick (2018)
Tampa Bay has been in a tough situation with what to do in net, and with the expansion draft getting closer and closer they need to make a decision and that’s Andrei Vasilevskiy over Ben Bishop. So the smart move to do is move him for something instead of losing him for nothing. So where would Ben Bishop fit? A team that’s weak in net like the Islanders or the Coyotes would work very well. And it wouldn’t take much for one of those two teams to acquire him, which will most likely be a few draft picks in return.
to ARZ – Ondrej Pavelec
to WPG – 3rd Round Pick, Garret Ross
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Ondrej Pavelec has had the biggest up and down season of his career, his numbers and play have been so bad that he was sent down to Manitoba of the AHL. But since the Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson experiment hasn’t been that much better he was eventually called back up again. But Winnipeg can only protect one netminder and you can bet it will be Hellebuyck so that leaves Pavelec open for the picking.
If Ben Bishop lands in Long Island like stated above, that leaves Arizona with a solid backup option and due to the year he’s had it can dramatically drop a players stock, the Coyotes won’t have to do much to acquire him.
to PIT – Brian Elliott, 1st Round Pick, Linden Vey
to CGY – Marc-Andre Fleury, Cameron Gaunce
With the Penguins most likely opting to protect Matt Murray, that leaves Marc-Andre Fleury open as well. He’s had quite the mediocre season as well which has taken everyone by surprise. He still has the skill and talent to be a number one goalie in the NHL he just needs a fresh start, and he’s going to get one. So what would the best fit be? The Calgary Flames, since neither Chad Johnson or Brian Elliott are worthy of protecting while Fleury is out there, the option to take him is their best move. And since Elliott won’t be protected anywhere he goes he could be used as a trade piece in that deal.
to TB – Jaroslav Halak
to NYI – 2nd Round Pick (2017), Dennis Yan
Jaroslav Halak is also available and if the Islanders opts to bring in Ben Bishop, Halak could very well go to Tampa as a legitimate backup behind Vasilevskiy. But even though he has a cap hit of $4.5 million he’s only got one year left on his contract which means even if taken by Vegas in the expansion, Tampa still has Kristers Gudlevskis. As for the Islanders, they’ll have Thomas Greiss as their main starter who has shown that he’s ready for full-time play, after all, he did take the net from Halak. And they also have enough solid backups that they will be okay. So this deal comes down to moving a player, making cap space and in the meantime get a draft pick or two or a prospect or two, never hurts.