Home > Uncategorized > Trade Deadline Predictions: No Fewer Than 60 Players Moving

Trade Deadline Predictions: No Fewer Than 60 Players Moving

TSN.ca The TSN hockey insiders, from left, Bob McKenzie, Gord Miller and Darren Dreger will be a busy bunch over the next five days as their team will be counted on to break trades as they happen leading up to Wednesday's noon PT deadline.

TSN.ca
The TSN hockey insiders, from left, Bob McKenzie, Gord Miller and Darren Dreger will be a busy bunch over the next five days as their team will be counted on to break trades as they happen leading up to Wednesday’s noon PT deadline.

The calm continues, but I can sense the storm coming on . . . or maybe I’m just sensing the deep-freeze forecast for Saturday night in Saskatchewan. As much as I miss home at times, this isn’t one of those times.

Of course, the storm I was actually referring to revolves around the NHL trade deadline, which is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, March 5 at noon PT. I say tentatively because every year a handful of deals trickle in after the deadline and there’s always a flurry right around that time as league officials give their stamp of approval on all the paperwork.

Earlier this week, I posted somewhat of a trade deadline preview, discussing the top five targets and where they might end up. That being Ryan Kesler, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek and Ryan Callahan — in that order as far as I’m concerned.

Larry Fisher
Larry Fisher

I also went out on a limb in predicting there would be 28 total trades between now and Wednesday afternoon, with 22 of them occurring on deadline day.

So far, there has been only one — a minor-league deal that sent journeyman forward Brad Winchester from Chicago to Minnesota for defenceman Brian Connelly, who has yet to make his NHL debut.

That means, according to my prediction, there are 27 more trades still to come, with five of them to be announced by Tuesday night.

That still sounds about right to me. It should be noted that I have no inside knowledge on any negotiations, but I like to think I have decent insight on what teams might be looking for and what other teams could be wanting in return.

Essentially, I like to think I’m capable of making educated guesses at times like these. Realistically, I’m throwing turds at the wall and hoping a few of them stick.

Some of these deals I’m about to toss out will seem absurd and outlandish, others will appear possible or perhaps even probable, and maybe — just maybe — a couple will come to fruition.

Off the top, in regards to those aforementioned targets, the only one I don’t see moving before the deadline is St. Louis. He’s apparently determined to go to the New York Rangers — and has a no-movement clause to make such demands — but I don’t see that deal happening now. It doesn’t make any sense to me, and I doubt it makes much sense to Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, either, to trade his captain and leading scorer — albeit a disgruntled one — in the midst of a playoff push. So I have St. Louis staying put, at least until the draft or sometime in the summer if cooler heads still haven’t prevailed over his (initial) Olympic snub.

Now for the trades that I do see going down. Here’s my fictional trade tracker, listed by significance rather than in timeline format . . .

Ryan Kesler

Ryan Kesler

1) Vancouver trades Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler to Philadelphia for Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and Andrej Meszaros.

Reasoning: Can you say blockbuster? This one would take the cake. It’s probably a stretch, and the more likely scenario is a simple 1-for-1 swap of Kesler for either Schenn or Couturier (my money would be on Couturier, for what it’s worth). But Edler is also reportedly being shopped and I could totally see Paul Holmgren trying to land both in a package, and he certainly has the assets to make it happen. The Flyers have long been enamoured with Kesler and even signed him to an offer sheet way back when. Edler could also be a good fit there as a successor to Kimmo Timonen in the coming years. Schenn and Couturier would combine to replace Kesler’s presence in Vancouver’s lineup — it will take two of them to eat up Kesler’s league-leading ice time among forwards — and also give the Canucks more depth up front. Meszaros is rumoured to be available as a pending UFA who has been playing (and producing) much better as of late. He played his junior for the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, so there’s some familiarity there as well. If not Meszaros, or if Mike Gillis gets to playing hard-ball, maybe both the Schenn brothers come to Vancouver, with defenceman Luke Schenn replacing Meszaros in this package. Call me crazy, but I see potential for this type of trade shaking down.

Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller

2) Buffalo trades Ryan Miller and Drew Stafford to St. Louis for Jake Allen and Ty Rattie.

Reasoning: Make no mistake, the Sabres are blowing it up and new GM Tim Murray is going to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves at this trade deadline — and I suspect there will be many. St. Louis is a Cup contender with Jaroslav Halak between the pipes, but if the Blues can upgrade their goaltending and ink Miller to a contract extension in the process, then that would be money well spent and could pay huge dividends. Stafford is a big body with goal-scoring upside who I think would also thrive in St. Louis, possibly on the opposite wing of last year’s deadline addition Brenden Morrow. I fully expect the Blues to be buyers again and, like the Flyers, they have a ton of quality assets to make any additions they see fit. On the flip side, this deal has home-run potential for the Sabres, with Allen a blue-chip goaltending prospect and Rattie a scoring forward that projects to be a big improvement on Stafford, possibly as early as next season. It could be a win-win, though, especially if St. Louis wins a Stanley Cup with Miller and Stafford as key contributors.

UPDATE: As I was putting the finishing touches on this blog post, Miller was indeed traded to the Blues, along with centre Steve Ott (rather than Stafford) in exchange for Halak, power winger Chris Stewart, forward prospect William Carrier, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a third-round draft pick in 2016.

ANALYSIS: Fair trade, and somewhat similar to what I had in mind, although Buffalo took back more proven talents in Halak and Stewart as opposed to elite prospects like Allen and Rattie. Not sure if that was by choice, or if St. Louis was refusing to part with those two in particular, but that was a decent haul for Murray’s first move as Buffalo’s roster architect. Now the question becomes, are Halak and Stewart staying Sabres or will they be on the move again sooner than later?

Jaroslav Halak

Jaroslav Halak

3) Buffalo trades Jaroslav Halak to Minnesota for Jason Zucker, Brett Bulmer and a second-round draft pick in 2015.

Reasoning: Unless Chuck Fletcher and Mike Yeo know something the general public doesn’t regarding Josh Harding’s health, the Wild will most definitely be in the market for a goaltending upgrade — or at least an insurance policy. Not that Darcy Kuemper hasn’t performed admirably in the absence of Harding (illness) and longtime starter Nicklas Backstrom (injury), but Kuemper’s a 23-year-old rookie and I can’t see Minnesota hinging their playoff hopes on the kid. Halak, on the other hand, has a proven track record in the post-season, carrying the Montreal Canadiens on an improbable run to the Eastern Conference final in 2010. Halak is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, so the Wild could play it by ear in determining whether to keep him or to cut bait and stick with the Harding-Backstrom tandem going forward. That would obviously depend on Halak’s playoff performance, but this would be a low-risk, potentially high-reward trade. Zucker and Bulmer are on the outside looking in among Minnesota’s young forwards, but could certainly find roles in Buffalo. The second-round pick is what it is, and these two teams have a history of trading together as evidenced by last year’s deadline deal that sent Jason Pominville to Minnesota. This leaves the Sabres without a starting goaltender — unless you consider Jhonas Enroth an emerging starter — but they may still be able to address that on deadline day as well. Stay tuned . . .

Thomas Vanek

Thomas Vanek

4) New York Islanders trade Thomas Vanek to Phoenix for David Rundblad and a first-round pick in 2014 and a second-round pick in 2015.

Reasoning: It doesn’t sound like Vanek is re-signing in Long Island — at least not before the trade deadline — and with the Islanders’ playoff hopes on ice, I fully expect Garth Snow to trade him and try to recoup the assets he sent to Buffalo for Vanek earlier this season. Mission accomplished, to some extent, with this move as the Islanders get back a first this year and a second next year — which they had given the Sabres — albeit not a lottery pick from Phoenix. That initial deal would now look like Matt Moulson for Rundblad and a move down about eight spots in the first round — give or take a few. That’s a salvageable trade-off. From Phoenix’s perspective, the new ownership group will want to be buyers and Vanek’s scoring ability is something the Coyotes will surely covet. With age catching up to Shane Doan, Vanek could bring some much-needed finish around the net if he’s motivated — that’s a sizeable IF, however. But Phoenix can afford to make a move like this, literally and figuratively, with a solid defensive core and Brandon Gormley still waiting in the wings. The Islanders are very likely to move Andrew MacDonald and less likely to move Lubomir Visnovsky, so Rundblad should get an opportunity to make his mark in the NHL again there and grow alongside Calvin de Haan and Matt Donovan.

Ryan Callahan

Ryan Callahan

5) New York Rangers trade Ryan Callahan to Chicago for Bryan Bickell.

Reasoning: Long story short, Chicago feels it is getting an upgrade (assuming Callahan can switch from right to left wing), while the Rangers feel they are getting a comparable player with more size and three years left on his contract. Bickell was a big-time scorer in last year’s playoffs, helping the Blackhawks capture the Stanley Cup, but I think most GMs would take Callahan in a 1-for-1 swap if offered and Stan Bowman probably shares that opinion. Call it a gut feeling, but I could totally see Callahan ending up in Chicago, although the return might be somebody other than Bickell yet still somebody off Chicago’s active roster, as the Rangers also have high playoff hopes and will want to make a hockey deal for the present, not the future.

Cam Ward

Cam Ward

6) Carolina trades Cam Ward to Winnipeg for Evander Kane.

Reasoning: This could be a deadline to remember for deals involving goaltenders. The Jets would like to improve at that position and Ward, if/when he returns to form, is an improvement over Ondrej Pavelec. Al Montoya is an unrestricted free agent after this season and with the salary cap going up, Winnipeg could afford to run with a Ward-Pavelec tandem until another team has a need for — or interest in — the latter netminder. Ward has a no-trade clause but might be willing to waive it for Winnipeg, considering he’s best friends with Jets captain Andrew Ladd (ditto for their wives). From Carolina’s standpoint, Kane has a very intriguing skill-set and brings the size, scoring and feistiness that their current forward group lacks. Kane had apparently worn out his welcome with former Jets coach Claude Noel and it’s unknown whether that extends to his teammates under new bench boss Paul Maurice. Either way, this deal makes sense for both sides, especially with Dustin Byfuglien a converted forward in Winnipeg. And the Hurricanes would be salivating at the prospect of a future line featuring Kane with Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm.

Tyler Myers

Tyler Myers

7) Buffalo trades Tyler Myers to Calgary for Sven Baertschi, David Jones and a third-round pick in 2015.

Reasoning: Myers is playing like a man possessed since the Olympic break, he was raised in Calgary and Brian Burke would no doubt like to put his stamp on Calgary’s roster with a blockbuster trade. Burke likes to build around the blue-line and Myers is an almost 7-foot beast with Zdeno Chara-type potential minus the booming shot. Burke is absolutely in on these sweepstakes and even though both teams are considered sellers, this would go down as a hockey move. Baertschi and Jones, for whatever reasons, haven’t excelled in Calgary this season. Sure, Baertschi is young with huge upside, but Burke has already questioned his character and if he could move him for Myers, I think that’s a move Burke makes in a heartbeat — for better or worse. Jones is essentially a throw-in as Buffalo will need bodies back with all the moves the Sabres are expected to make (at least according to my personal predictions). The pick helps balance things out, and will be necessary to land Myers among the many competing offers.

Sam Gagner

Sam Gagner

8) Edmonton trades Sam Gagner to Chicago for Mark McNeill, Brandon Pirri and a second-round pick in 2014.

Reasoning: Craig MacTavish has played it pretty coy leading up to the deadline, tempering expectations by suggesting Edmonton’s main goal is to replenish the picks — second- and third-rounders — that it traded away for David Perron and Ben Scrivens. Behind the scenes, I bet MacT is working the phones like a mad-man and doing everything in his power to finally deliver on the promise of “bold” moves from last summer. This one would fit that bill, even if Gagner’s name has been making rounds in the rumour mill and long been linked to Chicago because of his junior connection with Patrick Kane. That plays a part in it from Chicago’s perspective, but more than anything, the Blackhawks could simply use an upgrade at second-line centre with their youngsters not stepping into that role, while Peter Regin and Michal Handzus are better suited further down the depth chart. Gagner has a no-trade clause that kicks in on July 1, and speculation has the Oilers wanting to move him prior to that and spend that money on a replacement with more size to complement Ryan Nugent-Hopkins down the middle. Pirri is a similar player to Gagner who has put up points at every level except the NHL, having led the AHL in scoring just last season. He’ll turn 23 in April and has good potential going forward. McNeill is an Edmonton native and brings more size than Gagner or Pirri, though he’ll likely need more seasoning in the minors. He’s a former first-round pick, but it’s uncertain what his offensive upside will be. The second-rounder appeases MacT’s appetite for picks.

Christian Ehrhoff

Christian Ehrhoff

9) Buffalo trades Christian Ehrhoff and Matt Moulson to San Jose for Matt Nieto, Daniil Tarasov, a first-round pick in 2014 and a third-round pick in 2015.

Reasoning: Ehrhoff started his career in San Jose and it seems like a good fit for him to continue his career, taking a run at a Stanley Cup this spring, then replacing Dan Boyle (pending UFA) as the key veteran going forward. Moulson would be a rental for the Sharks and round out their top nine forwards. Nieto and Tarasov both have good upside as scoring forwards in the future and the picks act as a further equalizer in terms of value.

Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart

10) Buffalo trades Chris Stewart to Ottawa for Colin Greening and Matt Puempel.

Reasoning: Uncle Bryan Murray comes calling, having already expressed interest in Stewart while with St. Louis. Stewart seems like a good fit for the Senators, bringing size to their top nine forwards. Greening is a speedy, grinding depth guy for the Sabres, while Puempel has some serious sniper potential as a former first-round pick.

Drew Stafford

Drew Stafford

11) Buffalo trades Drew Stafford and Henrik Tallinder to Anaheim for Viktor Fasth and Devante Smith-Pelly.

Reasoning: Last but not necessarily least, the Sabres attempt to shore up their goaltending void. Fasth is signed through next year and can battle Enroth for starting duties or serve as a platoon for a rebuilding Buffalo squad. Smith-Pelly is a physical presence with a bit of offensive upside. The Ducks can afford to deal a goalie and a forward prospect in order to solidify their depth up front and on the back end, which this deal accomplishes. Do I actually anticipate the Sabres moving as many as nine bodies — all NHL regulars — at the deadline? That seems steep for sure — half a roster essentially — but if it meant adding the aforementioned 17 assets, I can’t see Tim Murray saying “no” to many (if any) of these proposals. Time will tell just how many trades Buffalo ends up making, but I could certainly see that total exceeding five.

Ales Hemsky

Ales Hemsky

12) Edmonton trades Ales Hemsky, Nick Schultz and Ilya Bryzgalov to Washington for Michal Neuvirth, Dmitry Orlov and a first-round pick in 2014.

Reasoning: MacT is at it again, packaging three pending UFAs for younger replacements and a first-round pick — outdoing himself based on the standards set in his recent press conference. The Capitals are still in that Cup-or-bust mode it seems, and Bryzgalov could be a nice insurance policy for Braden Holtby should he falter. Hemsky and Schultz are two veterans reportedly garnering quite a bit of interest and I could see George McPhee inquiring about both. Much like with Buffalo’s goaltending, Neuvirth and Scrivens could form a promising tandem for the Oilers going forward, while Orlov has top-four potential with size, skill and a hard shot. The first-rounder might look like an overpayment, but there are always overpayments at the deadline and Hemsky is an upgrade on Martin Erat, who wants to be moved out of Washington.

David Legwand

David Legwand

13) Nashville trades David Legwand to Detroit for Riley Sheahan and a second-round pick in 2014.

Reasoning: Detroit misses out on Kesler, and to a lesser extent Gagner, so the Red Wings wind up settling for a consolation prize in Legwand. It costs them Sheahan, who has exceeded expectations this season, but Detroit is always producing talented young forwards and would probably rather add experience for their pending playoff run. Legwand is from Detroit, so it’s safe to assume he’d waive his no-move clause to head home and he’d likely re-sign with the Red Wings as well.

Mike Cammalleri

Mike Cammalleri

14) Calgary trades Mike Cammalleri to Pittsburgh for Simon Despres and a first-round pick in 2014.

Reasoning: Last year, it was Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh. This year, it’ll be Cammalleri. The Penguins could use another top-six forward and Cammalleri could be a nice fit with Crosby in the absence of the injured Pascal Dupuis as they seem like similar players. The Flames add another first-rounder plus a former first-round pick in Despres,  a skilled defenceman who should step right into Calgary’s lineup.

Ray Whitney

Ray Whitney

15) Dallas trades Ray Whitney to Los Angeles for Linden Vey and Edmonton’s third-round pick in 2014.

Reasoning: The Kings will make a move, especially with all of their closest competitors loading up. Whitney could be a nice fit on left wing in L.A.’s top nine, alongside either Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards or Jarret Stoll and Dustin Brown. Vey is expendable with Jordan Weal a similar prospect, and the pick seals the deal. Vey is a Western Canadian kid and former WHLer, something the Stars seem to be building around, so that could be a good fit.

Andrew MacDonald

Andrew MacDonald

16) New York Islanders trade Andrew MacDonald to Boston for Jordan Caron and a second-round pick in 2014.

Reasoning: MacDonald is a pending UFA and there doesn’t seem to be a future for him on Long Island. He’s likely a rental for the Bruins, but they are in need of defensive depth and don’t really have a place for Caron. As usual, the pick evens out the compensation.

Lee Stempniak

Lee Stempniak

17) Calgary trades Lee Stempniak to Montreal for Dalton Thrower.

Reasoning: Burke adds his third defenceman of the deadline, following Myers and Despres, while the Canadiens add a depth winger with size.

Martin Erat

Martin Erat

18) Washington trades Martin Erat to the New York Rangers for Pavel Buchnevich.

Reasoning: Erat wants out and I can see Glenn Sather testing those waters if he misses out on Hemsky. The Rangers have plenty of forward prospects, including Buchnevich, a third-round pick from last year’s draft who is having a decent sophomore campaign in the KHL.

Mike Weaver

Mike Weaver

19) Florida trades Mike Weaver to Columbus for David Savard.

Reasoning: The Blue Jackets add an under-rated shutdown defender, while the Panthers get a younger blue-liner with offensive upside.

Brad Boyes

Brad Boyes

20) Florida trades Brad Boyes to Pittsburgh for a second-round pick in 2015.

Reasoning: The Penguins add some more offensive depth to their top nine at a relatively low cost.

Ryan Smyth

Ryan Smyth

21) Edmonton trades Ryan Smyth and Ryan Jones to Toronto for Carter Ashton and a fifth-round pick in 2014.

Reasoning: The Maple Leafs need some offensive depth and put a premium on Smyth’s leadership skills. The Oilers like Ashton’s size and potential.

Chris Butler

Chris Butler

22) Calgary trades Chris Butler to Colorado for a third-round pick in 2014.

Reasoning: The Avalanche need some defensive depth, while the Flames can spare one — especially if they land Myers and Despres.

Anton Belov

Anton Belov

23) Edmonton trades Anton Belov to Montreal for a third-round pick in 2014.

Reasoning: The Canadiens could use a bit more defensive depth too, and have had good luck with Russian rearguards in Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin. The Oilers recoup another pick as planned.

24-27) These final four trades will be similar to the Winchester-Connelly swap — exchanges of minor-leaguers or unheralded prospects.

Well, that’s a wrap. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the storm because when it rains, it pours.

Larry Fisher is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, B.C. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 1, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    That Washington deal- TERRIBLE.

    Caps do not need scoring whatsoever we need defense. Neuvirth > Hemsky in value, Orlov > N. Schultz x 100. Schultz is terrible and we do not need another Schultz unless you’re switching to Justin Schultz (which would never happen). The first round pick is another insult to the Washington Capitals.

    Orlov is going to stay with the Caps, and Neuvirth’s return will bring a Top 4 legit defenseman (like Tobias Enstrom) back to Washington. Holtby-Grubauer is fine.

    • March 2, 2014 at 1:20 am

      Everybody is entitled to their opinions and much like you think mine is out to lunch, I think your expectations are quite outrageous. What has Neuvirth done to warrant returning a near all-star defenceman like Enstrom? And you really feel comfortable going into the playoffs with a Holtby-Grubauer tandem if Neuvirth is moved? REALLY? Sure, Holtby was lights-out good last playoffs, but he’s streaky and I’d personally prefer to have a veteran with NHL playoff experience to turn to if Holtby’s play took a turn for the worse down the stretch or into the post-season. Bryzgalov has been good bordering on great for Edmonton and I doubt Washington would be scared off by the Russian factor like some other teams. That said, perhaps the Caps would rather go after Martin Brodeur or Tim Thomas?

      Nick Schultz is having his best season in at least three years and maybe you haven’t watched many Edmonton games, but I’m thinking Washington scouts probably have and probably liked what they saw in him as a veteran stay-at-home guy, nothing fancy but effective. Nick Schultz would make a good partner for Mike Green behind the Alzner-Carlson pairing and I think you Caps fans would be thanking me sooner than later.

      Hemsky replaces Erat as mentioned and will also be an upgrade. And as I said in my initial post, the first-round pick is an overpayment considering the package BUT there are always overpayments at the deadline — Paul (freakin) Gaustad went for a 1st a couple years ago — and I think McPhee will be desperate to make a big move with all the other Cup contenders loading up at the deadline. Time will tell . . .

  2. March 1, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    If I was MB I wouldn’t want to move Dalton Thrower.

    • March 2, 2014 at 1:22 am

      I would probably prefer to keep Thrower too if I was Bergevin, but you have to give to receive and I could see Burke being pretty adamant about Thrower for Stempniak and I think it could be a deal that works out for both teams short- and long-term.

      • March 2, 2014 at 1:25 am

        I understand but if I’m moving Thrower it’s because he is part of a larger package that will send MTL a top six forward signed beyond this year and not a rental.

  3. March 2, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Well said, and I can’t help but agree you there. Losing Thrower for a rental could be disastrous, but it could also be rewarding if Stempniak scores a few key playoff goals. Probably not worth the risk, but GMs often “lose their mind” on deadline day and I could see Bergevin giving into the pressure of “making a deal for the sake of making a deal” and we all know Brian Burke drives a hard bargain in negotiations. Stranger things have happened, that’s for sure!

  4. Mansfan
    March 2, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Thanks for taking the time to do this. I hope the Canucks can get that trade out of Philly!

    • March 3, 2014 at 3:37 am

      Thanks for the comment Mansfan. It’s interesting because half the Canucks fans hate it and half of them like/love it. The feedback has been much the same from Flyers fans. That leads me to believe this proposal isn’t too far off from “fair” considering how torn everybody appears to be.

  1. February 26, 2015 at 9:34 am
  2. February 27, 2015 at 10:16 pm
  3. February 13, 2016 at 7:28 pm
  4. February 21, 2017 at 8:25 pm

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