Although the “Olympic trade freeze” is now in effect in the NHL until the 23rd February 2014, many trade rumors will surface as this is the time for general managers to continue negotiating with other teams. This week has been relatively quiet with regards to trade rumors but scenarios may develop leading to some transactions after the Olympics are over.
The main targets at the trade deadline
According to ESPN.com, Tim Kavanagh the five main targets for other NHL teams to acquire a rental player by the trade deadline are:
Marian Gaborik from the Columbia Blue Jackets
Gaborik, this year has been injured most of the season and when healthy didn’t deliver to the expectations of his coaching staff. Known to be streaky, Gaborik will need to seriously get his game back on. Not much time is left and negotiations between the two sides have not begun. This leads to believe the Blue Jackets are done with Gaborik and will entertain any serious offer to the pending unrestricted free agent. Teams who have an interest in Gaborik are: Montreal Canadiens, the New Jersey Devils and the Vancouver Canucks.
Mike Camalleri from thee Calgary Flames
Mike Camalleri is currently on his last of a 5 year 6 million dollar contract signed then as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens in 2009. Recently returned from a concussion, Camalleri who has proven in the past to be a clutch scorer in the playoffs can certainly help another team heading for a long playoff run. Camalleri has had discussion with interim general manager, Brian Burke and although Camalleri loves Calgary, he is set at moving on as a free agent in the summer. He has a limited no-trade clause which states which teams he will not go to. Teams who have had interest in Camalleri are: the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Detroit Red Wings, the Los Angeles Kings, the New Jersey Devils and the Vancouver Canucks.
Matt Moulson from the Buffalo Sabres
Moulson who was acquired in the Thomas Vanek deal back earlier in the season will also be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. For Buffalo, they have the choice to keep him and sign him. Interestingly, Moulson enjoys his team right now and unlike Thomas Vanek in New York, wouldn’t mind staying at the right price of course. This will be a decision for Tim Murray to seriously look at leading to the trade deadline. We can expect the Sabres will try to keep Moulson. No clear offers has been made to Matt Moulson but this could be the surprise of the deadline. Teams interested in Moulson are: the Los Angeles Kings, the New York Rangers, the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, the Detroit Red Wings, the Phoenix Coyotes, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Anaheim Ducks, the Vancouver Ducks, the San Jose Sharks.
Thomas Vanek from the New York Islanders
After refusing an offer of 50 million dollars for seven years, it was clear that Thomas Vanek would be departing the Islanders by the March 5th trade deadline. Acquired in the Matt Moulson deal, Vanek will be like Moulson an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. Garth Snow general manager of the New York Islanders is asking a first round draft pick at the 2015 NHL entry draft, a top prospect and a roster prospect. His hefty price for Vanek may diminish as the trade deadline approach. Teams interested in Vanek are: the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Detroit Red Wings, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Los Angeles Kings, the New Jersey Devils, the Anaheim Ducks, the St-Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks.
Ales Hemsky from the Edmonton Oilers
Known as the other trade target in Edmonton alongside Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky who has had a really good Olympic will likely be traded as well by the trade deadline on March 5th. Hemsky is also an unrestricted free agent next July and could help with offense as a rental player. With Edmonton wishing to add more depth than young prospects, which they already have, the Oilers will be looking in trading Hemsky who has a cap hit of 5 million. Teams interested in Hemsky are: the Montreal Canadiens, the Detroit Red Wings, the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Impact of John’s Tavares knee injury on the trade market.
Although the Islanders are likely sellers by March 5th, the injury to John Tavares at the Olympics and his diagnostic of missing the rest of the season with an partial tear of the MCL and meniscus, may change the dynamics of what general manager Garth Snow will do. Will he want to keep Thomas Vanek and pull him out of the trade market? Will he go after another scorer. True the Is landers are sitting 14th in the Eastern conference and 12 points out of a wild card playoff spot with 22 games to play. It may be interesting to see what Snow will do following this injury and how it plays out. Also will it affect the play of Thomas Vanek on the top line. If so, it may affect the selection for the 2014 / 2015 pick selection.
Same thing will apply for Henrik Zetterberg who was also injured during the Olympics. The star forward for the Red Wings will likely miss some games when the Red Wings resume their season against the Montreal Canadiens 26 February, 2014. Ken Holland, general manager will need to make a decision on whether to replace Zetterberg with some much needed offense. Holland is expected to make a bigger splash than previously expected, prior to the trade deadline in order to compensate for the loss of Zetterberg.
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