Two For Roughing: What to expect at the trade deadline

Could this be the year Calgary finally trades their captain?(Resolute/Wikimedia Commons)

Could this be the year Calgary finally trades their captain?(Resolute/Wikimedia Commons)

Tim Kolupanowich: The trade deadline is just eight days away and a lot of teams have some big decision to make as to whether they will be buyers or sellers this year. The race for the playoffs is close, the Tampa Bay Lightning are in 14th in the Eastern Conference just six points behind the New York Rangers for eighth as are the Calgary Flames in the West. It’s hard to pick which teams will be the ones trading away talent, but it looks as though the Flames may finally realize they are stuck in neutral and begin a rebuild by trading Jarone Iginla. Other than them, which team do you think is most likely to become a seller in the upcoming week?

Chris Messina: It’s a tough question because so many teams are still in playoff contention. I want to say the Florida Panthers, but they have so many players with significant term and money left on their contracts so I’ll say the Sabers. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Buffalo tried to get a team to take Christian Ehrhoff off their hands. He’s signed through 2021 with an annual $4 million cap hit, but maybe a team that wants a defenseman bites. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to move Ryan Miller. Things just haven’t seemed to be the same in Buffalo since he got run over by Milan Lucic last year and maybe a change of scenery is what he needs. But again, they are a team that is only a few points out of a playoff spot and already fired their coach earlier in the season.

In the West I couldn’t even tell you who would be selling outside of Calgary because everybody else except for Colorado seems to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs and the Avalanche really don’t have any significant pieces they could trade. If they do make deals they probably will be smaller trades.

TK: Yes, having so many teams in contention causes a problem, so I fully expect this year’s deadline to be slow and have the trades spaced out over the week ahead of time rather than the one day explosion we used to see in the days before the salary cap. You make a solid point about Buffalo. They’re exactly like Calgary where they just aren’t going to get any better with the team they have so it’s time to focus on the future.

I thought the trade of Brenden Morrow to Pittsburgh might be the start of something more for Dallas, but it’s hard to imagine them giving anyone up unless there’s a team that might want Jaromir Jagr. I don’t see any teams having a fire sale, but there are a few UFAs who would make good rentals for those teams who are looking past just making the playoffs and are eyeing the Stanley Cup. Ryan’s Clowe and Brad Boyes come to mind there. Clowe is having an awful season on the offensive side of things, but can still crash and bang with the best and a change of scenery could do him some good. His would be like a smaller version of the Morrow trade.

Ryane Clowe would be a solid addition for any team looking for depth. (Ivan Makarov/Wikimedia Commons)

Ryane Clowe would be a solid addition for any team looking for depth. (Ivan Makarov/Wikimedia Commons)

CM: I’d agree on Clowe because we keep hearing his name pop up in rumors plus they are probably thinking if Doug Murray can get two second round picks in return, then what could some of their other proven assets get them. It’s odd because the Sharks are right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff hunt, but maybe they realize guys like Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Brian Boyle are getting older that they best reload.

I’d have a hard time seeing the Islanders move Boyes if they stay in the playoff race because they want to get in if they can. If they fall out of it I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and move him and maybe some others as well.

I’m pretty interested to see what happens with the goalie market. What are the Canucks going to do with Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider? What about Miikka Kipursoff in Calgary? I can’t imagine the Leafs are going to stand pat with James Reimer and Ben Scrivens in net and the Senators are going to have three good NHL goalies when Craig Anderson comes back.

TK: Unfortunately with the goalies, it’s definitely not a seller’s market. Virtually every team in or near a playoff sport looks pretty set with their goalies. It’s the lower seeded teams like Tampa Bay and Edmonton I can see who may want an upgrade in that position looking ahead to next season. It’s hard to imagine Vancouver will hang on to Luongo and Schneider and Jonathan Bernier has been having a terrific year in Los Angeles, some teams could see him as a starter in a different uniform. I think a goalie trade is likely, there aren’t many top quality goalies on the free agent market this summer aside from Jimmy Howard and Mike Smith and they’ll surely be locked up by Detroit and Phoenix way before their contracts expire.

No matter what happens though, GMs are sure to be careful in the next eight days. Sometimes it’s best to stand pat and it may give a team a boost knowing management has confidence with the current roster.

CM: You won’t get an argument here about standing pat or making smaller moves. I think that certain teams are better off not messing with their chemistry. That is why I am a fan of what the Penguins did by adding players like Murray and Morrow. Not guys that are going to come in a take a ton of ice-time away from top players. There’s nothing wrong with just adding depth to ensure you have enough bodies to make a run deep into the playoffs.

I remember the Penguins going out and adding Marian Hossa to their roster before losing in the final. He was a star, but he was still behind players like Crosby and Malkin. I’m also a fan of adding experience to a lineup especially with younger teams. It would be nice if the Oilers went out and got a couple of vets to provide some leadership for their young core of players. People forget when the Penguins reached the Cup final in consecutive years, they had complimentary players like Gary Roberts and Bill Guerin to be that older voice in the room.

TK: Teams definitely won’t go anywhere without depth and experience. The Kings had Willie Mitchell, Rob Scuderi and Justin Williams, Boston had Mark Recchi and Chicago had John Madden to guide the young superstars.

Whatever happens in the next eight days, it is sure the fortunes of some teams will change, whether it’s gearing up for a long run this year or preparing for the future. Trade Week (as it really should be called from now on) is officially upon us and everyone in the hockey world is giddy in anticipation of what may happen next.

Readers, let us know what you think will happen this year. Will there be many big moves and who do you think is most likely to change uniform? Comment down below or tweet us: @CMinorsHockey.

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