With now under a month until the Feb. 25 NHL Trade Deadline, we’re taking a third look at the Top 10 trade options potentially available in this year’s marketplace. News over the past two weeks (we accidentally skipped a week) has changed the outlook of the list quite a bit with a new player topping the list who wasn’t even on it last week.
As was explained when the first list was put together, we expect, from week to week, the names will change and so, as we go, we’ll name the player, then update you on what’s happening in respect to their status on the trade board:
1. Matt Duchene, Ottawa Senators:
Duchene is back at the top of our list for a couple of reasons. First, his reps have been meeting with the Senators and talking contract. Conflicting reports suggest an eight-year, $8 million per season deal is on the table but other reports are suggesting that isn’t accurate and that no actual numbers have been tabled.
If the latter report is true, this is potentially problematic for the Senators who are running out of time to get something done so they can trade him if needed.
2. Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers:
Simmonds continues to move up our trade board because the Flyers are going to be sellers at the deadline and a report surfaced today that new GM Chuck Fletcher is going to be active over the summer in the free agent market. While the team has a good deal of current cap space, with Simmonds off the books, they can really go after some bigger names.
The appeal of moving Simmonds and getting a decent return because teams will be vying over his services and the open cap space make this trade a matter of “when” and not “if”.
3. Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers:
A report today that Mats Zuccarello missed practice led to immediate rumors that he was about to be traded. It was later learned that Zuccarello was dealing with a foot infection and his being absent was not because a trade was imminent but it goes to show just how sensitive the media and market is to him being moved out of New York at some point before Feb. 25.
As long as he’s healthy, there’s a very good chance he’ll be moved and this won’t be shocking as his name has been in rumors all season long.
4. Cam Talbot, Edmonton Oilers:
There are two schools of thought when it comes to the Oilers and goaltender Cam Talbot. The first is that with the extension given to Mikko Koskinen, and by default designation as No. 1 goalie, Talbot’s time is limited. Once a trade can be finalized, he’ll be moved. The other school of thought is that the Oilers can’t afford to not have two goalies that can help.
Edmonton is outside the playoffs in the Western Conference but not out of it yet. Goaltending is going to need to win them a few games and help the team steal points. If Talbot goes and Koskinen falters, the Oilers will have egg on their face.
5. Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes:
Dougie Hamilton is rumored to be a target for the Toronto Maple Leafs and there is a sense out of Carolina that if the Hurricanes are going to choose any of their defensemen to move, Hamilton is the guy.
The Canes have an excess of blueliners and the Maple Leafs badly need one. Hamilton’s contract may be a little more than the Leafs want to spend — he’s got three years remaining at $5.75 million per season — but the Maple Leafs are looking for a player with term. It will be interesting to see what the asking price is as the Leafs are hesitant to move their first-round pick or a player like Kasperi Kapanen.
Best of the Rest
6. Derick Brassard, Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins are rumored to, once again, be shopping Derick Brassard. The only reason he’s not higher on the list is that the asking price for rental centers has not been established yet and he’s not the cream of the crop in that regard. He is, however, a less expensive option.
Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings
*** Muzzin was traded on Monday to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Carl Grundstrom, the rights to Sean Durzi and Toronto’s first-round pick in 2019.
8. Ryan Dzingel, Ottawa Senators
Right now, it appears the Senators are really actively trying to keep Duchene and Mark Stone. Duchene may leave over money and Stone is rumored to be staying but the forgotten name in all of this is Dzingel.
9. Andre Burakovsky, Washington Capitals
The Capitals will certainly be contenders this season and on the surface, it doesn’t make sense to move a piece that could help during a postseason run, but the rumors of a Burakovsky move don’t seem to go away.
10. Micheal Ferland, Carolina Hurricanes:
Ferland is still a hot commodity with a few teams likely willing to compete over the chance to acquire him. While talks have calmed a touch, it is expected he’ll be moved.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”