This year’s trade deadline is quickly approaching, it is time to take a look at some of the possibilities. The deadline is March 5th, which gives General Managers a little more time before they have to make the decisions that will alter their franchises for years to come. While this year may not feature as many moves as in years past, expect several big names to be on the move. Ryan Miller, Ryan Callahan and Ryan Kesler are the three biggest names most likely headed out. Just recently, Martin St. Louis and Thomas Vanek have also emerged as players that may be headed elsewhere.
Starting in Buffalo, GM Tim Murray has already promised that several of the team’s top players will be on the move. Aside from Ryan Miller, who will almost certainly be moved to a Stanley Cup contender such as St. Louis or Chicago, there are other members of the NHL’s last place team that may be heading elsewhere. Captain Steve Ott, winger Matt Moulson, and D man Christian Ehrhoff may all find new homes soon. All three players would be very helpful down the stretch, especially Ott who provides that much needed leadership and grit that teams look for. Murray’s phone will be ringing non-stop this weekend throughout March 5th and you can expect at least one Sabre to be on his way out.
Elsewhere in the NHL, there will be the usual amount of basement teams trading away their third and fourth line veterans to contenders in exchange for draft picks. With quite a few teams already well out of the playoff hunt, this could be multiplied this year and there will be plenty of new faces on rosters starting on March 6th. There are plenty of guys out there that are first tier: St. Louis, Vanek and Kesler are among them. Although it has been reported that St. Louis requested a trade, I think Tampa will keep him, especially since they are in second place in their division with Steven Stamkos is returning next week. Vanek and Kesler are toss ups, there’s a possibility that both GMs would pounce if the right offer came across their desk, but it would have to be just the right offer. Either player would turn a playoff team into a contender.
Finally, just like every trade deadline, their is always room for some surprises. One that makes a ton of sense is the New Jersey Devils parting ways with Marty Brodeur after having spent two decades together. Brodeur is clearly not the starter anymore in NJ, with Schneider taking over the pipes, but that doesn’t mean Brodeur is out of gas. He would make a viable backup on a contender such as Boston or Pittsburgh, or even give goalies like Crawford in Chicago a competition going down the stretch. Another surprise that may come to fruition is that the Edmonton Oilers may begin trading away some of their young talent that obviously hasn’t worked out for them. Edmonton sits in last place in the Pacific division again, and many of their young forwards would get a lot in return.