NHL Trade Deadline: Who could be on the move?

Ryan Miller trade rumors


With the Olympics underway, and the NHL on a 17 day break or so, it is time to celebrate how great the game is as we watch the best players from around the world battle it out for the ultimate glory. However, in just a couple weeks we will be watching as our favourite teams decide whether to add depth, rebuild, move a goalie, or make a blockbuster move before the trade deadline strikes. So who are some names to really watch out for come March 5th or maybe even before? I have put together a list of guys who have a strong likelihood of switching teams and some to just keep an eye out for.

Big Name Forwards:

1. Marion Gaborik, Columbus Blue Jackets

Has anyone noticed that the Blue Jackets tend to do better with a no name, low budget cast rather than superstars? Rick Nash, Jeff Carter, and now Marion Gaborik have all tried and just haven’t succeeded in Columbus. The first two were dealt out of town, and now it seems almost certain that Gaborik will be on the move too. I am sure there are plenty of teams that who would love to add some scoring depth for a playoff run, the only big factors are money and whether or not he is healthy. He is also about to become a UFA so he would be considered a rental.

Possible Destinations: Los Angeles, Montreal, Boston

2. Thomas Vanek, New York Islanders

Vanek is a proven scorer who could yield a big return for the Islanders. It sounds almost certain that he will be dealt as his relationship with management and the team has gone rather sour of late. With the right trade package, Vanek should be wearing a different jersey come March 5th.

Possible Destinations: Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Minnesota

3. Jaromir Jagr, New Jersey Devils

The Devils are probably not going to be making the playoffs this year unless Corey Schneider can play the hero role for the home stretch of the season. In saying that, they have a lot of pieces that many teams would probably be interested in obtaining. Jagr is on the top of that list, as he has proven before that he can still get it done. New Jersey does not have a long term plan with this guy in it, so why not trade him for some draft picks or prospects to a team that thinks he can help them the rest of the way?

Possible Destinations: Pittsburgh, Detroit, Vancouver

4. Mike Cammalleri, Calgary Flames

This situation seems to be coming to an end, and it looks more and more likely that Cammalleri will be signed long term in Calgary. However, the trade speculation will be there until we hear otherwise, and he is a very attractive asset for a lot of teams.

Possible Destinations: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Vancouver

5. David Legwand, Nashville Predators

Another guy who sounds like he could be dealt but also that he could re sign with his team is David Legwand. He is Nashville’s all time leading scorer and has been with the team ever since they were formed, so it is tough for anyone to say he is going to be traded. However, he is a valuable asset and a very good option for second line center so teams will be ringing some phones about him.

Possible Destinations: Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Chicago

Big Name D-Men:

1. Dan Girardi, New York Rangers

Contract talks between Girardi and the Rangers seem very heated, and may not get done. This has led everyone to believe that Girardi will be out sooner than he will be back with the Rangers. As a young, solid defense man, Girardi should create a lot of interest if he is put out on the market.

Possible Destinations: Anaheim, Edmonton, Colorado

2. Andrew MacDonald, New York Islanders

This guy has surprised many with his play and has made himself an attractive trade target. He recently was rumored to have turned down a contract offer, which many believe was his ticket out of New York. He would fit pretty well on a lot of teams second pairings or on a strong teams third pairing. He is a very affordable rental at only $550,000 for this season and will be a UFA this summer.

Possible Destinations: Boston, Pittsburgh, Anaheim

3. Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs

This young, dynamic d-man out of Toronto has faced a lot of scorn for his inconsistent play over his career with the Leafs. Even though he hasn’t played that poorly, Toronto fans love to jump all over any mistakes that are made, and outsiders love to criticize each one as well (See: Dion Phaneuf). I doubt Gardiner will be dealt, but if he does he could bring an intriguing return.

Possible Destinations: New York Rangers, Edmonton, Winnipeg

4. Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers

Kulikov seems like he could eventually pan out to be a top 2 defenseman, but Florida loves to trade away young players who are about to get a big pay day. He is making $2.5 mil this year and will be an RFA at the end of the year, so a team could take a chance on him and try to sign him long term after acquiring him. Look for interest to be heavy for this guy

Possible Destinations: Edmonton, Calgary, Columbus

5. Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche

Here is another young guy who has played well over his short career. He has worked his way up the depth chart in Colorado and could demand a trade due to the fact that he is coming off his entry level contract at the end of this year.

Possible Destinations: New York Rangers, Detroit, Minnesota


1. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

For everybody’s sake, I hope Ryan Miller gets traded to a team that needs a goalie. Who needs a goalie though? Well, that is a tough question. The hot rumor is a Jaroslav Halak-Ryan Miller swap between the Blues and the Sabres but to me that makes no sense. If Buffalo is trading Ryan Miller, why get Halak in return? Why wouldn’t you just keep Miller? Depending on the return along with Halak I just don’t see it. But I still see that he is frustrated and that he just does not belong in Buffalo anymore. One team I would love to see him go to is the New York Islanders. The team is so close to being a good team, but they just lack something. Plus they are moving to Brooklyn next season and who better to win over Brooklyn fans than Ryan Miller and John Tavares as faces of the franchise?

Possible Destinations: Washington, New York Islanders, Minnesota

2. Michael Neuvirth, Washington Capitals

With the emergence of Philip Grubbauer, Neuvirth has not been able to solidify himself as a backup in Washington. And on top of that, if the team is looking to add a guy like Ryan Miller, well he is really going to be out of the loop. He is a solid young goalie however and could bring a decent return to the Capitals.

Possible Destinations: Calgary, Minnesota, Buffalo

3. A goalie from Anaheim (John Gibson, Frederik Anderson, Viktor Fasth, Jonas Hiller)

Anaheim is rich in depth at the goalie position, which to me screams for attention. Not only are they among the top teams in the league, but they have a stud in Jonas Hiller as an upcoming UFA. The way I see it, Anaheim will trade one or two of these goalies before the draft in April, but may stand pat until then. Hiller is hot and so is the team, so why disrupt that? However, Hiller is going to want money in his next contract and may be better off testing the market. So before July 1st hits, why not trade his negotiation rights to another team willing to pay him and get something in return!? When you have guys to fill that role like Fasth, Anderson, and super-prospect John Gibson, I would probably be okay with losing Hiller.

Possible Destinations: Calgary, Edmonton, Buffalo

4. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils

The legend may be on the move. It appears as though Marty wants one more kick at the can when it comes to getting another championship and it is looking more and more like New Jersey may not be the team to do that. He is going to retire right away too, so as hard as it would be to trade this guy for the Devils management and owners and fans, it may be the best for the team. There has to be a contender out there looking for a solid backup to help down the stretch, and who better than Marty?

Possible Destinations: Pittsburgh, Montreal, San Jose

5. James Reimer, Toronto Maple Leafs

As the resident Leafs writer here on Hockey Tracker, I have touched on this idea in previous articles. I do not believe the Leafs will trade Reimer before the deadline, and maybe not at all. I have said that this would be a better idea to wait until the draft to make a deal if he must go, even though he is an RFA this summer. Best-case scenario for a trade would be if the Leafs could bring in a solid defenseman or a high end prospect and a draft pick. Again, I just don’t personally see a reason or a good fit in return for Reimer at this point.

Possible Destinations: Edmonton, Minnesota, Calgary

Other Guys from Buffalo:

As I stated, Buffalo is in need of a rebuild and have plenty of assets to move around to get some future potential in return. I think they have a group of young guys they need to keep, but otherwise they could be big wheelers and dealers come the deadline.

1. Steve Ott

This guy would be a perfect fit on almost every team. He’s gritty, he can play wing or center, he’s a captain so he has good leadership, and he can score. I almost don’t even want to bother putting in a possible destinations!

Possible Destinations: Everywhere!

2. Matt Moulson

This guy would fit on a lot of teams too, but it sounds like there are a couple of teams that have a strong chance of getting him. He will add a nice scoring touch anywhere he goes and he is a decent two way player on top of that.

Possible Destinations: Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Minnesota

3. Drew Stafford

If there was ever a guy who needed a fresh start, this is it. Stafford has never really lived up to expectations in Buffalo and it may be time for him to move on. I cannot see Buffalo getting a huge return for him, but hey, you never know who’s desperate for depth.

Possible Destinations: Anaheim, Vancouver, Detroit

4. Henrik Tallinder

Who doesn’t like a little depth on the back end, am I right?

Possible Destinations: Boston, Tampa Bay, Colorado

Best of the Rest:

1. Chris Stewart, St Louis Blues

Stewart is a solid player who I think fits on any team in the league. He possess every skill there is and can do it all, but struggles with doing it all consistently. One night he’s a fighter, one night he will score a hat-trick, the next he is a non-factor. If he can put it all together and find the right fit, he could become a star in this league.

Possible Destinations: Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa

2. Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers

There have been rumours of a straight up deal including Callahan and Stewart, which could work for both teams. I don’t think a team should give up the farm for Callahan, as I think he is a little bit over rated, but I will not go as far to say he’s not a good player. He shows good leadership and plays a tough game, but I see him more as a good second line player.

Possible Destinations: Columbus, Detroit, Vancouver

3. Sam Gagner, Edmonton Oilers

For a team looking to fill a hole at center, Gagner would help with just that. I do not see Gagner as ever being more than a second line center, and I think he would fill in better as even a third line scoring center or even moving to a wing position. However, he does possess offensive skills and is caught in a situation where Edmonton needs to shake things up. Look for him to be moved soon.

Possible Destinations: Chicago, Detroit, Vancouver

4. Martin Erat, Washington Capitals

Talk about the wrong place at the wrong time. Erat was acquired at the deadline last year and has done almost nothing since. He has fallen out of favour with the coaching staff and has even asked to be traded. Unfortunately for Erat, he has really hurt his trade value in Washington, but was always a consistent 50-60 point guy in Nashville before that. I still think he could help out a team who needs depth at the wing, and I do not think he is done in this league yet.

Possible Destinations: Vancouver, Detroit, Philadelphia

5. Curtis Glencross, Calgary Flames

Glencross is a tough player to play against and could be dealt if Calgary does the rebuild they so desperately need. If they do decide to rebuild, Glencross won’t be the only guy on the move. He would be a great, character addition to any roster and would fit great on a teams third line or even jumping up to a second line role.

Possible Destinations: San Jose, Tampa Bay, Washington

6. Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers

I had to throw Hemsky on this list and add him to the likes of Gagner in the “we need a shake up” category in Edmonton. Hemsky has looooong out stayed his welcome in Edmonton, even if management doesn’t agree. He needs to be moved for whatever they can get for him and hey, he isn’t all that bad and still possesses some offensive skill.

Possible Destinations: Minnesota, Detroit, Columbus

For more info on who could be on the trade block this season, check out Hockey Tracker’s exclusive Trade Block feature.

Clark Munroe

Toronto Maple Leafs writer for hockeytracker.net. My ultimate goal is to someday become involved in sports management and/or hockey operations.

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