Thanks to the shortened season, the NHL trade deadline is right around the corner and teams are talking about what they need and what they don’t need. With all the conversation in the wind, it’s becoming clear that this year will likely be a buyers’ market for a lot of clubs.
The reason for this is that there are precious few teams actually out of the playoff race, which means things could be down to the wire as we approach the post-season. And that means that there could be a lot of rentals flooding the market, with some teams looking to dump salary and some teams looking for a little something-something to push them over the hump.
So who’s on the market and who’s being talked about?
Much of the trade talk thus far has centred around Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks, of course. With the Anaheim Ducks having recently locked in Ryan Getzlaf, all eyes have been on Perry and GM Bob Murray to get a deal inked. It’s expected that the boss would like to sign Perry sooner rather than later, but the possibility exists that his player is asking for too much money. Whatever the reason, Anaheim has T-minus three weeks to get the deal done. Failing that, they’ll be up against a trade. And if that’s the case, there aren’t too many clubs with the kind of bank that could fetch Perry. The Philadelphia Flyers could be in the running, if they’ll part with someone along the lines of Brayden Schenn.
This one’s a no-brainer, really. Iginla’s name comes up at the end of just about every season. This year, it’s plausible he could go as a rental to someone like the Pittsburgh Penguins in a pinch. He has to waive his no-trade and seems to have no desire to play anywhere else, but his age is against him and Calgary’s position in the standings could make him a leave-and-come-back sort of signing. Word around the campfire is that the Boston Bruins could also be in the running for Iggy. One more point: as of Saturday night, the Flames hadn’t talked to Iginla about a contract extension.
Kris Versteeg/Tomas Fleischmann
The Florida Panthers are said to be in sell-off mode, which means players like Kris Versteeg will be on the market. Tomas Fleischmann is also said to be up on the blocks. For Versteeg’s part, he has three years left on his deal and could make a valuable addition to just about any roster at this point. Fleischmann has two years left. The Panthers have been beset by so many injuries this season that it’s pretty much a write-off, which means they’ll pursue things with next year in mind and call it a day. It is important to remember that the Panthers won’t be interested in offering Versteeg or Fleischmann as mere rentals; they’ll want something significant in return.
Another name making the rounds is that of San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe. Like Iginla, he’s name comes up on almost a yearly basis. He’s a healthy 30 years old and has a lot of sandpaper to his game, but he may be leaking some of his trade value as his play falls off somewhat. Clowe is still a tough cat to bump around, though, and he can get in front of the net like nobody’s business. That makes him a desirable playoff presence for a lot of clubs, which could put his value at a pretty high level. But with just eight helpers in 22 games this season, it’s not exactly a banner year.