With the 2009 NHL trade deadline approaching us fast and furiously this coming Wednesday, there is no doubt that a ton of moves will be made by many teams around the league. Plenty of big name players have also been thrown into the mix and it’s time that I made my predictions as to who is going where. I kept it relatively short, only at nine, even though I’m sure there will be many, many more.
Trade #1: The St. Louis Blues trade Keith Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers for Nick Tarnasky and a 2nd round pick.
The Florida Panthers are in the playoff hunt for the first time in years and currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They have plenty of young and talented players who have been very exciting this season and have taken the league by surprise. But come playoff time they will need some veteran presence in the room, something they will get with Tkachuk. Notice how I do not expect to see Jay Bouwmeester get traded anywhere because whether they can re-sign him or not in the off-season, they will need him for the playoff push.
Not a very complex move, but I think that Voros is a Brian Burke type player, and is locked up for two more seasons at only a million dollars per year. With Ryan Hollweg getting waived earlier this season and Jamal Mayers getting up there in age, Voros would add some size and grit up front, while also netting them a few goals.
With the Ducks trading for Ryan Whitney earlier today, I think that opens the door for one of their high priced defensemen to be dealt (Niedermayer or Pronger) and since Niedermayer is on the final year of his contract, I think that makes him easier to part with. The Devils meanwhile have a good team but are one solid offensive defensman away from being a lock, and since it seems that they are having a “reunion year” with the acquisitions of Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston, it makes all the more sense for them to pull the trigger. Jay pandolfo has struggled this season but is locked up for two more seasons and if there is something Anaheim is worried about, it’s contract length.
Trade #4: The Buffalo Sabres trade a 4th round pick to the New Jersey Devils for Kevin Weekes.
With goaltender Ryan Miller out for God knows how long, the Sabres desperately need a goaltender to help tend the net with Patrick Lalime. Trading Weekes would also allow the Devils to call up Scott Clemmensen, who has saved their season thus far. If this deal isn’t made, look for Buffalo to pick up Manny Legace when he is put on re-entry waivers by St. Louis.
The Capitals are having a terrific season with their surging offense but for them to make a solid run in the post season I feel they need to bring in an experienced defensemen, and one that hits. Derek Morris will help fill that void and he can also put up points on the power play.
Trade #6: The New York Rangers trade Wade Redden, Mark Bell, and a 4th round pick to the Dallas Stars for Sean Avery and Andrew Hutchinson.
With Sean Avery not going to play another game for the Dallas Stars, it made perfect sense when he was waived and sent to the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack. Everyone is awaiting Dallas to call him up where the Rangers would claim him on re-entry waivers. But the way Avery is playing, and the rumors surging that other teams might want to take a risk on him, the Rangers shouldn’t take the chance, if they really want him that badly. The Rangers would be doing Dallas a favor by taking Avery’s entire salary, thus Dallas would be doing the Rangers a favor by taking Redden’s. This isn’t as far fetched as it seems because Dallas was actually in the running for Redden when free agency opened up last year.
The Wild have a decent team when you look up and down, mainly based for defense because of coach Jacques Lemaire’s system. Their offense has been pretty bad this season but not bad enough that they will miss the playoffs. The key is just a small upgrade that will add some more punch to get them past the first round and the veteran Guerin is something that could definitely help. The only question is whether or not the Islander captain will waive his no-trade-clause.
When you look up and down the Sharks’ lineup, it’s incredible the offensive numbers you see, all except for Cheechoo. The once fifty goal scorer has become all but an after thought, despite his good skill level. I’m thinking a change of scenery is all that would be needed to get him jump started, and if that is the case, receiving Lupul for him is a pretty even deal.
Trade #9: The New York Rangers trade Scott Gomez to the Phoenix Coyotes for Olli Jokinen.
I saved the final trade prediction for last because it’s the most interesting. Coyotes’ GM Don Maloney has been seen at Madison Square Garden for the last few Rangers home games and just today it was announced that Maloney and Jokinen agreed that it would be in the best interest of both parties if he was traded. Top that off with Pierre McGuire saying that the Rangers are actively shopping Scott Gomez during a WFAN interview and it makes perfect sense for it to happen. Is the scenario not perfect yet? How about Glen Sather and Don Maloney being good friends who have already traded with each other in the past.