We are well into the NHL off-season. The draft has come and gone, and most free agents have signed. However, there are a significant number of teams looking to improve their clubs through trades. Let’s break down the NHL trade market.
Ducks General Manager Bob Murray would like to add some scoring but still has to sign restricted free agent Hampus Lindholm. Cam Fowler‘s name has been all over the rumor mill this summer and very easily could be moved for a top-six forward.
The Bruins strength used to be their play in their own end. That was the reason why Boston won the Stanley Cup in 2011. But now the defensive corps is led by 39-year old Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller. That is not good enough. Boston missed the playoffs last year on the final day of the regular season and finished 20th in goals allowed per game. The Bruins need to land a solid defensive blueliner.
Colorado would like to do two things this off-season: Tweak the core in Mile High and get stronger play in their own end. Restricted free agent Tyson Barrie, who is heading to arbitration, could be moved for a forward if someone such as Matt Duchene is moved for a strong defenseman.
Tyson Barrie's arbitration date has been set for July 29 in Toronto
— Adrian Dater (@adater) July 11, 2016
Columbus Blue Jackets
Jarmo Kekalainen, the GM of the Blue Jackets, would like to free up cap space and reduce payroll. The two obvious candidates are Scott Hartnell and Sergei Bobrovsky. As productive as Hartnell has been the last few seasons, he is now 34 and has no movement clause. That means if traded the acquiring team probably would have to protect Hartnell for the expansion draft. Bobrovsky could be moved to a team looking for a number one goaltender.
The big question with the Dallas Stars is can GM Jim Nill land a front-line goaltender this summer? Dallas has veteran goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi signed for two more years each. The Stars could be in the market for either Ben Bishop or Bobrovsky. Any trade for a goalie, Dallas would need to ship one of their netminders the other way.
Detroit Red Wings
It’s clear what area General Manager Ken Holland has to improve for his Red Wings. That of course, is on the blueline. Detroit finished 17th last season in goals allowed per game. They also have three defensemen who are at least 30 years of age. The Red Wings have plenty of depth at forward on the main roster and down on the farm.
— #HockeyFightsCancer (@NHL) July 18, 2016
The Wild now have Bruce Boudreau behind the bench. But can he help his club score more goals? This off-season Minnesota said goodbye to Thomas Vanek and brought in two veteran forwards in Eric Staal and Chris Stewart. That doesn’t seem to be enough to help the offense. The Wild are deep with defenseman and could move one for an offensive forward.
Reports were the Predators were in big on free agent Andrew Ladd, who wound up signing with the Islanders. One has to figure General Manager David Poile would love to add a scoring winger this summer.
New York Islanders
Garth Snow changed the mix of his hockey team. Out are Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and Matt Martin. In are Ladd, Jason Chimera, and P.A. Parenteau. The Islanders would like to add another scoring forward. They have plenty of chips to trade between their blueline, prospect pipeline and having three NHL goalies.
Islanders' new owners willing to spend more for free agents https://t.co/brmixr2DBb
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) July 16, 2016
New York Rangers
Going into this weekend many thought the Rangers were looking to make a trade where they tweaked the mix and freed up some cap space. On Monday the Blueshirts accomplished this by sending Derrick Brassard to the Ottawa Senators for Mika Zibanejad. Don’t be surprised if New York makes another deal similar to this one.
Mike Hoffman and the Senators are heading to arbitration. Given the 26-year-old’s production the last two seasons, he should land a big salary for next year. Could Ottawa listen to trade offers?
St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues lost two strong veteran forwards in David Backes and Troy Brouwer in free agency. They did however sign David Perron. With blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk (27 years old, $4.25 million cap hit) one year away from free agency, he is in play for a forward on the trade market.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Given the state of the Lightning’s salary cap, trades must be made. General Manager Steve Yzerman avoided arbitration with Alex Killorn by signing him to a seven-year deal. Both this summer and next, Yzerman will have to move significant players because of the cap. Hard to see how Tampa can fit both Bishop and Nikita Kucherov under next year’s cap.
Get ready! Killer's back for seven more years as a Bolt ⚡️
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 17, 2016
What will General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff do regarding RFA Jacob Trouba? Trouba does not have arbitration rights but will want an extension that is at least equal to what Seth Jones received from the Blue Jackets ($5.4 million for six years).