Trade Deadline: Dreaming Up 26 Deals

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This is an exciting time of year for hockey fans.

The annual trade deadline — set for Monday afternoon — sparks interest and optimism for all 30 fan bases, as some teams load up for playoff runs while others retool for future seasons.

I took a look at the likely buyers and sellers earlier this week, listing 52 players potentially on the move and predicting a total of 26 trades. Now, I’m taking it a step further and attempting to boldly predict the details of those deals.

This is, of course, easier said than done and shouldn’t be tried at home. Admittedly, I’ve never been all that good at coming up with realistic proposals, and I’m still getting roasted for my failures from last year’s deadline. I’ll never live down my suggestion of Evander Kane straight up for Cam Ward, which made sense to me, but only me apparently. I’m still dead to Jets fans for that one — which was just 1 of 28 trades I (wrongly) predicted last year — but nevertheless, this is a new year, a new deadline, and who doesn’t love playing armchair GM every once in a while?

NHL Square LogoFor the most part, I based these predictions off my trade deadline preview, but the Chicago Blackhawks now have to be considered buyers — or at least shoppers — with news that league-leading scorer Patrick Kane has been placed on long-term injury reserve as of Wednesday. He’ll miss a minimum of 10 games but upwards of three months after suffering a broken collarbone that required surgery on a hit from Florida’s Alex Petrovic during Tuesday’s game.

With the Washington Capitals holding down a playoff spot, it seems unlikely, or less likely, that they will move pending unrestricted free agent Mike Green. That is, unless, they could get a similar defenceman in return, somebody like James Wisniewski out of Columbus. I gave that swap some thought, but decided it didn’t make sense for Washington.

There is, however, another Mike that might still be traded. That being, Mike Richards of the Los Angeles Kings. His contract is a hindrance, but he’s been a point-per-game player since getting demoted to the AHL, and a few teams have been scouting him down there. Topping that list is the Toronto Maple Leafs, but will Dave Nonis — or should we say, Brendan Shanahan — pull the trigger on that kind of deal? Well, you’ll have to wait and see. No spoilers here.

Without the trusty website — yes, Gary Bettman, we do miss it and long for a successor — it was difficult to track down some contract and salary-cap information. Math has never been my forte, but I tried to be mindful of those numbers when coming up with these deals.

No further a do, here are 26 trades I could see happening between now and Monday, listed in order of likelihood, but beginning with a blockbuster!

Trade 1

To Tampa Bay: Keith Yandle

To Arizona: Radko Gudas, Brett Connolly, Adam Erne and a conditional 2015 first-round pick (higher selection of Lightning/Rangers)

Keith Yandle
Keith Yandle

ANALYSIS: The Lightning need a defenceman, with Gudas and Matt Carle hurt, and Yandle be a huge addition. He’d complement Victor Hedman and round out Tampa’s top four with Anton Stralman and Jason Garrison. When Carle gets healthy, that’s one of the best defence corps in the entire league. The Coyotes do well in return, getting Gudas, who is a physical shutdown defenceman to fill the pending void of Zbynek Michalek. Connolly and Erne are both high-potential forwards, something Arizona doesn’t have an abundance of and two guys who could complement Max Domi and Henrik Samuelsson, among others in this desert rebuild. The Coyotes opt for Erne over goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis as part of this package due to ongoing negotiations on another front (stay tuned). That first-round pick will likely be between 20 and 30 in what is considered a deep draft. It is a steep price to pay, but Steve Yzerman can afford to make this type of deal based on Tampa’s organizational depth. Yandle could put the Lightning over the top this season and keep them as Cup contenders for a few more years, so that makes this trade worth it for both teams.

Trade 2

To Anaheim: Curtis Glencross

To Calgary: Emerson Etem and a 2015 second-round pick

Curtis Glencross
Curtis Glencross

ANALYSIS: Anaheim adds a top-six winger to flank either Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on the first line or Ryan Kesler on the second line. It is an area the Ducks would like to upgrade and Glencross is one of the better available options. The Ducks are also reportedly on his list of teams that he’d be willing to waive a no-trade clause to join. Calgary acquires a former first-round pick with more speed than Glencross and similar upside. Etem is less polished at this point, but could turn out to be the better player. There will be a market for Glencross and Etem alone won’t get a deal done, so the Ducks are forced to add a second-round pick. The Flames have been forced to juggle their forward lines all season due to injuries, so as much as they will miss Glencross in their playoff push, Etem and others will be capable of plugging that hole. It would be hard for Brad Treliving to turn down that kind of return for a player that won’t be back in Calgary next season.

Trade 3

To Boston: Chris Stewart and a 2015 fourth-round pick

To Buffalo: Alex Khokhlachev and Joe Morrow

Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart

ANALYSIS: The Bruins have long been linked to Stewart, probably because his playing style closely resembles Jarome Iginla, whose presence has been sorely missed on the top line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Stewart would plug that hole nicely once Krejci returns from injury, which should be just in time for the playoffs. The Sabres are rebuilding and add two more prospects on the cusp of being NHL players. There is a good chance that Khokhlachev and Morrow would both be in Buffalo’s opening-night roster for next season. Buffalo is loaded with draft picks and can afford to part with a fourth-rounder to get Morrow included in this package. But poor Morrow, traded again, for the third time in his young pro career. He’s not a cancer by any means, but rather a wanted commodity, which has made him a suitcase with stops in Pittsburgh and Dallas before Boston. Morrow could develop into a top-four defender and Khokhlachev has the potential to be a top-six scoring forward. If either of them reach their ceiling, Buffalo probably wins this deal, but if Boston wins a Cup in the meantime, then call it even. Peter Chiarelli is willing to take that chance to land Stewart, presumably his top trade target.

Trade 4

To Washington: Antoine Vermette

To Arizona: Philipp Grubauer and a 2015 first-round pick

Antoine Vermette
Antoine Vermette

ANALYSIS: Vermette is arguably the top centre available and Washington arguably needs a centre more than any other playoff-bound team. This move takes some pressure off sophomore Evgeni Kuznetsov and allows Eric Fehr to shift back to his natural wing position. Rather than Gudlevskis from Tampa Bay, where Mike Smith came from, the Coyotes target Grubauer as their future backup with starter potential to pair with Smith for next season. The Capitals are very set in goal with Braden Holtby, so Grubauer is expendable much like Michal Neuvirth was last year. Nobody likes giving away their first-round pick, but it’s the cost of doing business at this stage of the season.

Trade 5

To Detroit: Jaromir Jagr and Marek Zidlicky

To New Jersey: Teemu Pulkkinen, Tyler Bertuzzi, rights to Adam Almqvist and a 2015 fifth-round pick

Jaromir Jagr
Jaromir Jagr

ANALYSIS: The Red Wings could be the busiest team at this trade deadline. They have positioned themselves for one more Cup run under coach Mike Babcock, whose contract expires at season’s end, while their core of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Nicklas Kronwall and Jimmy Howard aren’t getting any younger. The window is closing on Detroit and this might be Ken Holland’s last chance (or best chance) to capture another title. With that said, Jagr would be a great addition to their top-six forwards and Zidlicky is a right-handed shot on defence, which Detroit could certainly use. With Kyle Quincey’s health a question mark, Zidlicky fills that hole and is capable of chipping in more offensively. The Devils would be foolish not to sell at this point, but Lou Lamoriello, their GM-turned-coach, has always beat to his own drum. Assuming he sells, this would be a nice return package for two veterans that probably wouldn’t have been returning anyway. Pulkkinen has been a proven scorer at the AHL level and in Europe, the latest of Detroit’s stable of steals. Bertuzzi is a physical forward with good hands, much like his uncle Todd. Almqvist is currently playing in the KHL, but would probably return, especially at the prospect of pairing with his compatriot Adam Larsson. The fifth-rounder is a throw-in to satisfy a reluctant Lamoriello.

Trade 6

To Los Angeles: Jeff Petry and a 2015 fourth-round pick

To Edmonton: Brayden McNabb and Kyle Clifford

Jeff Petry
Jeff Petry

ANALYSIS: The Kings apparently have interest in Petry, who they would know well from playing in the same division over the years. Likewise with the Oilers and Clifford. That swap doesn’t work as a 1-for-1 but McNabb would be a nice long-term replacement for Petry on Edmonton’s blue-line, while a fourth-rounder helps offset that loss for L.A.

UPDATE: This trade is probably nixed now that the Kings have acquired Andrej Sekera from Carolina for a conditional first-round pick and defence prospect Roland McKeown, a second-rounder in 2014. If the Kings make the playoffs, which is now looking likely, then it is a 2015 first, but if they miss the playoffs, then that pick is a 2016 first. Further, Clifford reportedly agreed to a 5-year, $8-million extension with the Kings in the midst of compiling this piece.

Trade 7

To N.Y. Rangers: Andrej Sekera

To Carolina: J.T. Miller and a conditional 2015 second-round pick (higher selection of Rangers/Lightning)

Andrej Sekera
Andrej Sekera

ANALYSIS: The Rangers aren’t thrilled with John Moore or Matt Hunwick on defence, with those two swapping out almost every game and neither of them being able to stay in the lineup. Sekera would be a big upgrade and could bring much the same qualities as Anton Stralman did last season while paired with Marc Staal in New York’s run to the Cup final. The Hurricanes might be able to give Miller more opportunity than the Rangers, where he’s struggled to find a regular role despite scoring at a good clip in the AHL. Miller might end up being one of those tweeners, like Carolina already has in Zach Boychuk, but the second-rounder between 50th and 60th overall helps sweeten the pot.

UPDATE: Scratch this deal too, as you already know Sekera is headed for Hollywood. Maybe the Rangers dangle the same package for Petry? Glen Sather and Craig MacTavish go way back, so that just might make sense.

Trade 8

To San Jose: Daniel Winnik

To Toronto: Freddie Hamilton and Konrad Abeltshauser

Daniel Winnik
Daniel Winnik

ANALYSIS: Winnik is getting a lot of hype ahead of the deadline, thanks in part to playing in the Big Smoke. He’s a versatile winger with size, something that every team needs come playoffs. Leafs fans seem to think he’ll land a second-round pick and a prospect, but that might be ambitious. The Sharks are pretty desperate to upgrade their fourth line or bottom-six forwards and Winnik would obviously be a huge upgrade over a guy like John Scott or even Tyler Kennedy. San Jose might prefer to part with prospects over picks in a deal like this, and Toronto would be getting two guys who could potentially play in the NHL as early as next season. Hamilton is a slightly smaller but similarly skilled forward to Winnik, while Abeltshauser is a 6-foot-5 defenceman from Germany who played in the CHL as an import and was on the same power play as Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin in junior when they won the 2013 Memorial Cup. They might not be sexy names or top picks, but they would both be good fits for Toronto’s future rebuild.

UPDATE: So much for that deal too . . . with Winnik off to Pittsburgh in exchange for Zach Sill in a UFA swap, with the Penguins adding two picks, a 2016 second-rounder and 2015 fourth-rounder. The 2016 draft isn’t expected to be as strong as 2015, so that second-rounder loses a bit of lustre. It’s still an OK return for Toronto as Winnik was an expiring asset, but I would have preferred my package if it was on the table.

Trade 9

To Chicago: Jiri Tlusty and Ron Hainsey

To Carolina: David Rundblad, Tim Erixon and a 2015 third-round pick

Jiri Tlusty
Jiri Tlusty

ANALYSIS: He’s no Patrick Kane, but Tlusty could be a good fit for Chicago’s top-six going forward. If he clicks with Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad, or Brad Richards and Kris Versteeg, that could still be a decent scoring line. But there really is no replacing Kane’s dynamic skill-set. That blow cannot be understated. The Blackhawks might also want to add another veteran on defence and Hainsey would fit that bill. He’s probably a better short-term option than Rundblad, Erixon, Kyle Cumiskey, Trevor Van Riemsdyk or even Michal Rozsival. The Hurricanes would be enticed by the potential of both Rundblad and Erixon, two blue-liners with offensive upside but two guys who haven’t lived up to expectations in North America and have subsequently bounced around a bit already. Carolina could offer them more opportunity with less immediate pressure. The third-rounder helps in case either (or both) of them go bust.

UPDATE: Are you kidding me, right now? Did teams forget that the trade deadline is Monday? In case you missed it, the Jets swooped in and landed Tlusty from Carolina for a 2016 third-round pick and conditional 2015 sixth-round pick. The condition is that Winnipeg makes the playoffs. Carolina probably could have held off and done better, but then again, maybe the Blackhawks and others just weren’t that interested in Tlusty and had their sights set on other scoring wingers. As a side note, there are a lot 2016 picks being moved, which is pretty telling in terms of that draft year in comparison to 2015, which is said to be strong throughout.

Trade 10

To Minnesota: Tim Gleason and Jay McClement

To Carolina: Jonathon Blum and Cody Almond

Tim Gleason
Tim Gleason

ANALYSIS: The Wild are looking to improve their depth up front and on the back end. This deal kills two birds with one stones. Minnesota already added Sean Bergenheim from Florida for a 2016 third-round pick, but McClement is better suited to the bottom-six and could fit nicely between Kyle Brodziak and Matt Cooke if the latter is healthy for playoffs. The Wild have been fairly happy with the play of their young defencemen, Matt Dumba and Christian Folin, but they could use a veteran depth guy like Gleason for added competition. Jonas Brodin is still young too and Nate Prosser is more of a journeyman, so Gleason could certainly fill a role in Minnesota. The Hurricanes continue to makeover their blue-line with high-risk, high-reward types, adding Blum to the mix with Rundblad and Erixon. If any of those three breakout next season, Carolina is one step closer to being a playoff team again. Cody Almond came back from Switzerland in a bid to crack the Wild roster this season, but returned overseas after getting demoted to the minors. He’s one of those close but not close enough type prospects, and would be in a battle for ice-time in Carolina with the likes of Victor Rask, Andej Nestrasil and Chris Terry.

Trade 11

To Detroit: Zbynek Michalek

To Arizona: Ryan Sproul

Zbynek Michalek
Zbynek Michalek

ANALYSIS: I mentioned the Red Wings as a team to really watch, and here comes a run of potential Detroit deals. Michalek is a defensive stalwart, a shutdown type that would fit great into Babcock’s system, paired with any of Kronwall, Danny DeKeyser or Brendan Smith. The Coyotes, on the other hand, land a top defence prospect who is having a bit of an off-year in the AHL but possesses big-time offensive upside. Not to put too much pressure on Sproul, but he could develop into a Yandle type.

Trade 12

To Detroit: Mark Letestu

To Columbus: Jakub Kindl

Mark Letestu
Mark Letestu

ANALYSIS: If the Red Wings were to add Zidlicky and Michalek, it would probably push Kindl out the door. He’s always had one foot in Babcock’s doghouse, so that wouldn’t be entirely surprising. Letestu is a pending UFA but he’s a gritty winger with scoring ability, sort of like Dan Cleary a few years back. Cleary and Stephen Weiss are suiting up almost out of necessity these days, so Detroit would be wise to shop around for upgrades. The Blue Jackets would be willing to take a chance on Kindl’s skill-set, especially if they are moving out Wisniewski. Kindl has been a tease to date because the talent is there but the consistency hasn’t been. Maybe a change of scenery is all it will take to get him going on a regular basis. It seems to have worked for other defencemen in Columbus.

Trade 13

To Detroit: John Mitchell

To Colorado: Landon Ferraro and Marc McNulty

John Mitchell
John Mitchell

ANALYSIS: The Red Wings put the finishing touches on their deadline-day overhaul with this move — their fourth for those keeping count. Not that they needed an overhaul, but these trades would definitely bolster Detroit’s roster with five players coming in and only Kindl and technically Pulkkinen going out. The Avs like Mitchell, but this season hasn’t gone according to script and they may want to switch things up a bit. Ferraro isn’t far off being an NHL player and could be an up-and-down the depth chart type guy much like Mitchell. McNulty is a big defenceman with decent mobility, but he’s probably a couple years away.

Trade 14

To Nashville: Chris Neil

To Ottawa: Austin Watson

Chris Neil
Chris Neil

ANALYSIS: The Predators were apparently close to acquiring Neil before he broke his thumb in a fight with Edmonton’s Luke Gazdic, but he should be ready to go for the playoffs. The Preds like his toughness and Mike Fisher would obviously be vouching for his character. The Senators are going through a changing of the guard and Neil is one of the last remaining guys from when Ottawa was a perennial contender in the East. The Senators look at Watson and see a big power forward type, albeit not as scrappy as Neil. Watson could challenge for a roster spot next season.

Trade 15

To Vancouver: Patrick Wiercioch

To Ottawa: Brendan Gaunce

Patrick Wiercioch
Patrick Wiercioch

ANALYSIS: The Canucks are really hurting on defence, currently without three of their top four in Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa and Chris Tanev. Those guys will eventually be back, but Vancouver could use some filler in the meantime, and filler that could continue to play a role come playoffs if the Canucks make the cut. Wiercioch would be one of those guys, standing 6-foot-5 with a heavy shot and above-average mobility. He hails from Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, so this would be a welcomed homecoming for Wiercioch. The Senators have a logjam on defence, with Wiercioch in and out of the lineup, so they could be looking to move a body from their back end. Ottawa would be familiar with Gaunce from his OHL days, and he’s another big-body like Watson that could make their bottom-six a “heavier” (and harder) group to play against.

Trade 16

To Vancouver: Andrej Meszaros

To Buffalo: Fifth-round pick in 2015 (lower selection of Canucks/Rangers)

Andrej Meszaros
Andrej Meszaros

ANALYSIS: Same idea here, but the Canucks could probably use two blue-liners for their stretch run. Meszaros is familiar with Vancouver, having enjoyed a successful junior stint there with the WHL’s Giants. The cost is next to nothing, but the Sabres take what they can get because Meszaros is a UFA and won’t likely be back in Buffalo. It would be the second season in a row that he’s moved as a deadline rental, having went from Philadelphia to Boston last year.

Trade 17

To Boston: Scott Gomez and Michael Ryder

To New Jersey: 2015 second-round pick and conditional fourth-round pick

Scott Gomez
Scott Gomez

ANALYSIS: The Bruins will probably want to add some more veterans, especially somebody to serve as a stopgap until Krejci is healthy again. Ryan Spooner is filling that role for now, but he’s unproven and if Krejci isn’t ready to go for the first round of playoffs, Boston better have a backup plan. Enter Gomez, who has resurrected his career in the place it began and become a point producer again. Ryder has been a healthy scratch in New Jersey, not nearly as effective as Gomez, but Boston is familiar with him and might be willing to bring him aboard for the playoff run. Ryder has always been a streaky scorer, so if he gets hot at the right time, he could be a bigger addition than Gomez and potentially even bigger than Stewart. The fourth-rounder is conditional on the Bruins making it past the first round, with both Gomez and Ryder in their lineup. Even if they don’t, the Devils will gladly take a second-rounder as compensation for two guys that weren’t in the long-term plans for New Jersey.

Trade 18

To San Jose: Max Talbot and Jan Hejda

To Colorado: Matt Tennyson and Colorado’s 2016 second-round pick

Max Talbot
Max Talbot

ANALYSIS: Again, the Sharks could use some help in their bottom-six, and Talbot has the intangibles that San Jose perhaps lacks. He’s a glue guy in the room and on the bench, and he’s got a lot of playoff experience. Hejda is probably a rental, but he’s a solid stay-at-home blue-liner and an upgrade over Scott Hannan or Matt Irwin on the third pairing. The Avs are trying to find the right mix on their blue-line and, with Hejda likely gone next year anyway, Tennyson is a younger option that showed well in his call-ups to San Jose this season. Colorado also gets its second-rounder back, the pick the Avs previously sent to San Jose for Brad Stuart last off-season.

Trade 19

To Nashville: Daniel Briere and a conditional 2016 fourth- or 2015 sixth-round pick

To Colorado: Colton Sissons

Daniel Briere
Daniel Briere

ANALYSIS: The Predators couldn’t find room for Olli Jokinen and Briere has been a healthy scratch for the Avs, who aren’t as deep up front, but — and it’s a big BUT — Briere is a proven playoff performer. Even last year with Montreal, he was a spare part most of the regular season, then scored a few key goals when it mattered most, including an overtime winner. If Briere dresses for 20 or more games, including at least 4 playoff games, the pick is a sixth-rounder in 2015. If he doesn’t meet those requirements, then the pick is upgraded to a fourth-rounder in 2016. The Avs get Sissons, a two-way centre and former second-rounder who played junior alongside Tyson Barrie with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets. Sissons could potentially make the jump from AHL to NHL for next season.

Trade 20

To Anaheim: Martin Havlat

To New Jersey: 2015 sixth-round pick

Martin Havlat
Martin Havlat

ANALYSIS: Ducks GM Bob Murray loves these low-risk, high-reward guys. He’s already tried (and failed) with Dany Heatley and Rene Bourque this season, so perhaps the third time will be the charm with Havlat. The odds of a sixth-rounder suiting up for a single NHL game are relatively low, so any help from Havlat would make this deal worthwhile. He can’t be worse than the first two . . . or can he?

Trade 21

To Washington: Torrey Mitchell

To Buffalo: 2015 seventh-round pick

Torrey Mitchell
Torrey Mitchell

ANALYSIS: Again, the Capitals could use a bit more depth up front and Mitchell might be a better option come playoff time than Michael Latta. That’s debatable, but what do you have to lose by disposing of a seventh-rounder? If an injury strikes — Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr have a history of getting hurt — the Caps will be happy to have Mitchell in the fold. The Sabres are just happy to get anything in return for another pending UFA.

Trade 22

To Washington: Olli Jokinen

To Toronto: 2015 sixth-round pick

Olli Jokinen
Olli Jokinen

ANALYSIS: Same thing here, better safe than sorry from the Capitals’ standpoint. By adding Vermette, Jokinen and Torrey Mitchell, they are much deeper up front, which often translates to playoff success. Toronto gets another pick for a guy they just acquired as a throw-in from Nashville in the deal for Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli. Solid asset management for the Leafs even if this sixth-rounder doesn’t amount to anything.

Trade 23

To Chicago: Jordan Leopold

To Columbus: 2015 sixth-round pick

Jordan Leopold
Jordan Leopold

ANALYSIS: As mentioned with Hainsey, the Blackhawks could use another veteran or two on their back end. Leopold would simply be an insurance policy should injuries occur, and Chicago may take extra precaution after losing Kane. The Hawks have an extra sixth-rounder in this year’s draft, acquired from L.A., so no big loss there.

Trade 24

To Dallas: Andrew Ference (1/3 salary retained), Curtis Hamilton and a 2016 fourth-round pick

To Edmonton: Brett Ritchie

Andrew Ference
Andrew Ference

ANALYSIS: These last three are, for lack of a better term, farfetched and less likely to come to fruition, but you just never know on deadline day. Stranger things have happened. The Stars do seem to like ex-Oilers with a roster that already includes Shawn Horcoff, Erik Cole and Ales Hemsky. The first two predate Ference’s tenure in Edmonton, so there isn’t much of a connection there, but Dallas could use some more experience on the back end. A steady, defence-first guy to play bottom-pairing minutes, which Ference should still be capable of. He’s been miscast as a top-four guy in Edmonton and been a bit overwhelmed at times, but in the right role, he could really help the Stars in their goal is still to make the playoffs. Hamilton is a former second-rounder that was looking like a bust until this season, which has been by far his best as a pro. He still projects as a bottom-six checker, but he’s a big body with speed, so he could eventually be an NHL player. The Oilers really need a player like Ritchie to fill out their top-nine forwards. He’s a big, physical sniper with a lot of upside, only turning 22 years old on July 1. Edmonton would gladly throw in a mid-round pick to add this type of talent. If the Stars don’t have any interest in Ference, the Oilers might consider a straight-up swap of Martin Marincin for Ritchie.

Trade 25

To Carolina: James Wisniewski and Jack Skille

To Columbus: Alexander Semin and Ryan Murphy

James Wisniewski
James Wisniewski

ANALYSIS: Will the Hurricanes be on Wisniewski’s list of 10 teams he’d waive for? If not, then there is no trade to be had here. If Carolina is a potential suitor, then this deal might just make sense. The Hurricanes could use another top-four defenceman locked up long-term to take over Sekera’s role and Wisniewski might actually be an upgrade. Skille is injured and out for the rest of this season, but the former first-rounder finally established himself as an NHL player in Columbus and might slot in even higher on Carolina’s depth chart for next season. Or he might be in that same group as Almond, scratching and clawing for his ice-time, but there is nothing wrong with healthy competition. The Blue Jackets might be willing to roll the dice on Semin, a former 40-goal scorer turned healthy scratch who has been gradually improving since getting back into Carolina’s lineup. He turns 31 next month, so he should still be in the prime of his career and a change of scenery to Columbus could definitely rejuvenate him. Paired with his countryman Artem Anisimov, they could be a force. The Blue Jackets still have a void in their top-nine with Nathan Horton’s career in jeopardy because of a lingering back injury. Semin has a big contract, but if Horton is off the books, along with Wisniewski, that shouldn’t be an issue for Columbus. Carolina would seemingly have to retain some salary on Semin, unless they sweetened the pot with a player like Ryan Murphy. Another former first-rounder, he hasn’t lived up to the hype yet, but defencemen do tend to take longer to hit their stride. Murphy’s career could take off in Columbus, but that would make for a broadcaster’s worst nightmare — Ryan Murphy and Ryan Murray on the same team, the same blue-line and potentially the same pairing for a decade to come.

Trade 26

To Toronto: Mike Richards (1/3 salary retained)

To Los Angeles: David Booth, Stephane Robidas and Tyler Biggs

Mike Richards
Mike Richards

ANALYSIS: Last but not least, the one all you Leafs fans have been waiting for. Mike Richards is coming home to Ontario. Shanahan is big on character and Richards is a born leader who has drawn comparisons to Doug Gilmour throughout his career. Richards has been criticized for not training properly in the off-seasons, but his effort between the whistles, especially come playoffs, is usually second to none. He wants to win and he’ll be motivated for this second chance, even more so if he’s suddenly playing in front of family and friends on a regular basis. It’s a risky move for the Leafs because Richards has a long-and-pricey contract and Toronto already has David Clarkson as an expensive underachiever. But, as strange as it sounds, Richards and Clarkson might actually be good for each other and work well together. Put Leo Komarov on the other wing and you could have the makings of an impressive line — a line that Shanny could take a liking to. The Kings can’t expect much in return, not after they made the decision to bury Richards in the minors and publicly shame him. A decent draft pick or top prospect is probably out of the question. Booth would be hard-pressed to make L.A.’s roster, but in the event of injuries, he’d be a good guy to have around. He’s playing for a contract next season too, so if he ended up on a playoff contender like the defending champs, Booth could possibly raise his level of play and force his way into the lineup. Robidas would be a bottom-pairing guy, but a veteran who is tough to play against. He can go into “warrior” mode for the playoffs too, and be a poor-man’s Francois Beauchemin. Neither would have a big impact, but they provide depth in exchange for a player who wasn’t even in the picture at present. Just shedding Richards contract is a win for Los Angeles regardless of the return. Biggs is a throw-in, a former first-rounder that has earned a bust label. Maybe he can turn it around in the Kings’ organization and develop into a Dwight King or Jordan Nolan type player, but the odds are against him at this point.

Larry Fisher is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.

74 thoughts on “Trade Deadline: Dreaming Up 26 Deals”

    • Is that bad blood still brewing? I guess Holland has been in Detroit all along and Sakic-Roy were Avs back in the days of that Draper-Lemieux ordeal. Maybe that was a bad idea, even though it’s a pretty minor deal and they play out of opposite conferences now that the Wings moved to the East. The Oilers and Flames pulled off that Ladislav Smid trade, so anything is possible!

  1. I’m going to implore you to find Dallas in the standings and then read a scouting profile on Ritchie. Absolutely awful trade, and that’s before you realize the best piece for Dallas is that 4th rounder

    • Fair enough, this is the deal I’m probably taking the most flack for and I can understand why. I wonder if the Stars would do Marincin, Pitlick and a 3rd for Ritchie? I just think Ritchie would be dynamite in Edmonton on the opposite wing of Yakupov.

  2. Zero trades to Pittsburgh? You couldn’t dream up a trade for the most active team at the deadline every year? LOLd

    • Pittsburgh already added Perron, which was a huge deal, and now Winnik. The Penguins got the jump on the trade deadline, but I guess they could still add a piece here or there, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they forged ahead as is.

  3. Everyone settle down, these are just fun hypothetical trades. Just wait and see what garbage players your teams trade for (; …Go wild

    • Appreciate the comment Nick, but without their hostility and passion, I would have next to no feedback, so I welcome it good, bad or indifferent. That said, you are right, teams are going to equally if not more so suspect deals to the ones I’ve proposed here. Stay tuned …

  4. I’m not gonna flame all of these because the headline clearly states “Dreaming Up…” Secondly, some of these aren’t completely out of the realm of possibility. I’ll say that I see some of these being more rational than a collection of crap I’ve read from another “writer” in particular who posts stuff on this site (whom I shall not name).
    The lack of first-rounders being moved makes sense. Some teams have always seen the value in these picks and it seems like more are getting wise to them. Clubs like the Coyotes, Sabres, Canes, Oilers and Leafs are NOT dealing their 2015 first-rounders – any of them. Outside of Yandle and Jagr, there aren’t a lot of big-name guys listed here who would be dealt. A lot of these are depth moves, or trades to improve bottom-six/top-six skaters, which is what we would likely see before or at the deadline.
    A lot of these proposed moves appear based on rumblings around the league. I’ve also heard that the likes of Yandle/Stewart/Petry/Meszaros/Zidlicky are being offered up given their contractual status/desire to improve with picks/prospects. Guessing the returns for these guys is tricky, but at least there’s rationale provided for why the writer believes they make some sense.
    The really foolish trade ideas are from people who don’t understand the business very well and/or are grossly incorrect about appropriate values for players. Not a bad read and I’d consider Larry to be far more realistic and competent compared to some other guys out there.

    • I really appreciate the comment, Field Marshal. I agree on essentially everything, especially the value of first-rounders and the reluctance to part with them. This draft is as good as 2013 and maybe as good as 2003, so it makes sense that not many firsts are available.

      I did try to be as realistic as possible with these trades, aside from the last three, which I acknowledged as farfetched/improbable. Haters are gonna hate, but time will tell just how far off (or bang-on) I am with these deals.

  5. Sorry but Sharks GM has already said he will not be trading future early round trades for rental players nor will he be trading any of the younger potential Sharks, which I would assume includes Tennyson. On the chopping block (but not really, because Sharks don’t care right now) are probably Niemi (would need to be a goalie for goalie trade though), Irwin, Sheppard, and Kennedy (even though I see potential in him, but general consensus is he’s on his way out). What I realistically see Sharks doing is sending Irwin and Sheppard for a solid 3rd or 2nd line D guy who plays tough D zone coverage. Just my guess though.

    • The Sharks are really stuck in no-man’s land. Even their fans are confused as to whether they are buyers or sellers at this deadline. My colleague here, Andrew Bensch, covers the team daily and not to put words in his mouth, but bottom-six depth and a “real fourth line” is what he thinks San Jose needs most. Had the Sharks landed Winnik and Talbot, that would be a nice step in the right direction. Jan Hejda does fit the bill for what you are looking for, a second or third pairing defenceman, but I don’t know if Irwin and Sheppard would be of interest to Colorado. If they are, then that deal could make sense.

  6. Good Article, Dreaming up trades is always a crap shoot. I hope Buffalo does something better than a 7th for Mitchell. I think Tim Murray will combine players like Mitchell, Meszaros and or benoit for something like a prospect that might be out of favor with his current team. or pick up a salary dump from somewhere to get a higher return and keep a warm body on the roster for the rest of the year.

  7. Not sure why all the complaints; I think this was very well thought out. Every NHL fan base overvalues its prospects (see comments). Almost every NHL GM with a post season team tries to fortify for the hard slog of April-June. More often than not they will sacrifice prospects for a shot at a deep run (see every trade deadline ever).

  8. Larry, you’re a pretty brave guys to dream out loud under
    the potential scrutiny of hockey fans. Let’s face it, we’re some of the most
    opinionated armchair GM’s in sports. That being said, I’m not sure the Kings
    are going to move Richards now that they’ve added Sekera. I could see them ending
    his exile to Manchester and bringing him back up for the playoffs. It would be
    smart to move him now and avoid a compliance buyout, but I wouldn’t be
    surprised if Lombardi doesn’t pull the trigger on a trade. If he’s brought back
    up and performs well he may have more worth in the trade market after the
    season. Like you, I could just be dreaming though.

    • Thanks for the comment. I think your “dream” is definitely more probable than all mine haha Richards has been a winner for Lombardi and Sutter in the past, so if you can get his endurance up by logging big minutes in Manchester, playing in all situations, then I could totally see them summoning Richards to take Nick Shore’s spot come playoff time when salaries are a wash. It wouldn’t surprise me if that plan was communicated to Richards all along behind closed doors. That said, if a remotely tempting offer came into Lombardi’s office, I think ownership would be in favour of getting that contract off the books before it costs them a buyout. Good points by you, though.

    • I addressed that up top. If Washington was a bubble team, say in Philadelphia or Ottawa’s spot, then I think Green is shopped and moved. Especially after Sekera got a first and a good prospect in McKeown. Green would be worth more than that, so maybe the Capitals do decide to dangle him, but he’s a key player for them right now and for their chances at winning the Cup. That Sekera deal really boosted the value of guys like Petry too.

      • I disagree with you on trading Grubauer and a #1 for Vermette. Cost is too high for the Caps. I have much less trouble with trading draft picks for Jokinen and Mitchell.

        • Vermette is a big fish, arguably bigger than Sekera was. Sekera cost the Kings a 1st and McKeown, who was a 2nd in 2014 and has improved since then. If you want Vermette or a proven second-line centre, you better be ready to overpay. If not, stick with the status quo and see how far that gets you. Not trying to be rude, just being blunt and honest. Scott Gomez and Olli Jokinen can be had for cheap, but those guys aren’t going to put a team over the top. Vermette could make Washington one of the favourites!

          • Caps likely won’t do the Vermette deal after they got blown up by Nashville in the trade for Erat. Vermette is also a minus 22 and is a few years removed from his best production. I don’t know that he puts the Caps over the top any more than the guys you mentioned. I just don’t think the Caps are close enough to a significant Cup run to make what (to me) looks like a panicky, bad trade.

            • The Erat deal was the previous regime. You have a new GM now and your new coach has this team on the cusp of being a true contender. I think Vermette would be worth that asking price as a guy who could really make an impact in Washington. But I do understand your hesitation. I would be pretty torn as a Caps fan too.

  9. You really don’t understand the San Jose Sharks at all. Both your trades involving them make absolutely zero sense. They are sellers, not buyers. They aren’t going to trade a second round pick and a young D-man for veteran bottom 6 help. Ridiculous.

    • The Sharks are sellers? Not if Doug Wilson and Todd McLellan value their jobs. They are losing Niemi at the end of the season, Thornton and Marleau aren’t getting any younger. The window is closing in San Jose and this might be one of their last chances to go for it, which I’m fairly certain they will.

      • Yeah they are going to go for it with a team that has been mediocre at best all season with a bunch of rookies in the lineup. Get real. That’s why every single sharks fan that has read this article disagrees with you completely.

        • So you are fine just missing the playoffs, with Thornton and Marleau coasting the rest of their careers out in San Jose barring buyouts? They like it there and are refusing to waive their no-trade clauses. They are only going to get older and slower. I think you need to capitalize on their last couple years of effectiveness and make one last push. The idea between these trades was to bring in veteran forwards, so that McLellan doesn’t have to rely on rookies. You plug a couple holes and bump those rookies down (or out of) the lineup and the Sharks are contenders again IMO.

          • Adding two duster vets does not make the Sharks contenders again. They have mediocre goaltending, atrocious defense in front of that mediocre goaltending, and two forwards and two dmen that consistently produce points. They are sellers. Thornton and Marleau will not win a Cup in San Jose regardless of what happens, so you sell and start to rebuild. Ideally they will waive to make one last Cup push in their personal careers elsewhere, but it will not be in San Jose. The Sharks will not make it past the first round again while Marleau and Thornton remain on the team. Blow it up.

            • Fair enough, you make some strong and valid points there. To go for it or not to go for it, I’m sure Doug Wilson is torn on that front with the clock ticking down to the deadline. Last night’s last-minute loss probably pushed him closer to selling, and probably pushed him and especially Todd McLellan closer to the unemployment line. It would make for an exciting Monday if Thornton and Marleau both waived and were on the move in the same day, much like Jeff Carter and Mike Richards out of Philly a few years back. Here’s hoping the Sharks make some noise, one way or the other, but can San Jose’s fan base embrace a full rebuild? Would they be able to sell tickets to watch a last-place team like the Oilers? I don’t think the Sharks are in that bad of shape, with Pavelski, Couture, Burns, Hertl, etc., but they will need a different starting goalie sooner than later and it would be nice to cash in on solid returns for Thornton and Marleau. So far, the returns have been quite good for rentals/big fish, so that would bode well if those two decided to pack up and leave. I’m sure there are plenty of offers on the table for both of them.

            • Sharks were sellers as expected. As a season ticket holder I don’t want the Sharks to miss out on the playoffs but at some point you have to be realistic and realize that a rebuild is necessary. They weren’t one or two pieces away from being a contender. They sold off what they could, and got a few draft picks. Hopefully they can do a lot more damage with regard to trading at the draft. They also have a very large chunk of free cap space with which to utilize if they choose come July 1.

  10. Wow..So some of the trades you mention have already happened, yet not the exact returned players you mention. Maybe you should have written this before the trades were made instead of a couple days after? Larry please get another job because you suck at this one.

    • The post is about 5,000 words long, it needed to be formatted, edited and art added. This doesn’t all happen in the snap of a finger. I had been compiling this post for the last couple weeks, slowly but surely, and as I was putting on the finishing touches, there was a mini-flurry of activity Wednesday. I could have scrapped my trade ideas and started over, but I decided to “Update” them instead by inserting the real deal. I think it worked out, but I apologize for any confusion.

  11. if the devils actually make that many deals and move that many players i would actually be a happy devils fan. it’s not going to happen because Lou is…. well…..i don’t actually know what Lou is doing with this team anymore. it’s an embarrassment that it seems like the organization is out of touch with the times or with the current way the game is going now in the NHL

    • If Lou sits on these assets and doesn’t sell, then he’s “lost it” as far as being the elite GM most still believe him to be. The Devils just lost to the Flames who were playing on a back-to-back, so that should give Lou the push he needed to start working the phones or at least fielding calls.

  12. The Penguins need one more player IMO and Mister Winkie is not their answer. I am sure it was fans messing around but I heard Eberly for Sutter floating around. Everyone bashes on Sutter but the dude is one of the Pens best PK and every damn game I turn on the guy is the hardest skater out there and scores a goal. Maybe a different package to bring Jordan over? Maybe toss in Pety as well? Think about a line of:
    Fill the bottom 6 as you please since there will be plenty to do so. Pety would make a nice 2nd line pairing for this team. Currently their blue line has too many puck movers and not enough defense first.

    • Eberle is one of the hottest players in the league since the calendar flipped to 2015 (22 points in 25 games I think?). He’s flourishing under new (interim) coach Todd Nelson, even without Taylor Hall in the lineup. Edmonton might be entertaining offers for Eberle, but I don’t think Brandon Sutter is going to get a deal done. He could be part of the package, but not the main piece. If the Penguins want Eberle and Petry, it’s going to cost Derick Pouliot, Kasperi Kapanen and Sutter. Even then, I would think the Oilers could do better elsewhere.

  13. Ok dude you must be dreaming because almost all of these deals would never ever not in a million years happen. Detroit never will drop future talent on a washed out old player like Jagar. He is still working it but not worth what is being given up. I would however take the Zbynek Michalek for Sproul deal. However Detroit needs some scoring help as well.

    • I’ve addressed Jagr to Detroit in the above comments. If Detroit wants Jagr, that will be the asking price. Or something pretty similar, along those lines.

      The Michalek-Sproul swap definitely makes sense to me. Again, you are parting with a potential future stud for a sure thing, but that’s how these deadline deals work.

  14. If the Bruins trade Khokhlachev for Stewart, then there is no question Chiarelli will need to be fired in my opinion. Soderberg is gone come off season and the Bruins will be needing a new third line center. The Lucic/Krecji line needs a scoring touch, not another Lucic style player. Iginla was far more skilled than Stewart, so the comparison between him and Stewart makes no sense to me. Stewart is more like Lucic, except not as good (And this takes into account Lucic’s not so great season he’s having), so all in all he’s not worth the trade unless they somehow get away with a bargain and unload some of their dead weight slaries which is unlikely…

    • That may be true, that Stewart’s skill-set is closer to Lucic than Iginla. You’re obviously a Bruins fan and watch more of that team than I do, so I’ll take your word for it. Would you rather target Vermette at this point? Would you part with Khokhlachev and a 2nd for Vermette?

      • Im a bruins fan as well and if Chiarelli makes a move for Stewart, hes gonna have a lot of upset fans on his hands. Havent really heard any B’s fan say they want Stewart on our team. With Krejci out we definitely need Vermette over Stewart

        • I’m definitely getting that sense, that Bruins fans want no part of Stewart, which might explain why Chiarelli has been reluctant to acquire him thus far. Wait and see what other options present themselves between now and Monday. Vermette would be a quality addition for sure.

  15. I don’t understand why everyone thinks the Blackhawks need to make a trade to replace Kane. Sure, his absence will be felt but the organization is stacked at the forward position, most of the rental forwards available don’t provide much more than what the hawks already have. Their most pressing need is a defender to sure up that inconsistent blue line and fill the hole left by the Nick Leddy trade.

    • This is a very fair comment, and I do tend to agree. I think Tlusty would have been an intriguing option, especially at the price the Jets ended up paying. But Chicago does need another defenceman. I proposed Hainsey (Carolina) and Leopold (Columbus) to the Hawks, so perhaps that will come to fruition. I don’t think it’ll be one of the bigger names out there, but Zbynek Michalek would be a great under-the-radar addition too.

    • Good point. Cole is hot right now, so teams have to be calling about him. Maybe even Chicago. I guess I’m just not convinced that Dallas is selling with 21 games to go. If they win a couple before Monday, I could still see the Stars adding rather than subtracting!

  16. Hmm a lot of good ones in here. The Carolina-Columbus Wisniewski-Semin one may be the most interesting of them all

    • Thanks John. I pulled that one out of my … hat! Afterwards, I got to thinking Wisniewski might not waive for Carolina and therefore it wouldn’t be an option (as mentioned in analysis). But if he’s cool with Carolina, then it could strangely work for both teams. Glad you could see that potential.

      • I heard he is giving Columbus a tough time for teams to trade him to. Swapping tough, long-term deals might be the way to go (sad the rumored Phaneuf-Richards deal never went down between LAK and TOR)

        • He has to give Columbus a list of 10 teams, so 1 out of every 3 teams in the league. If he doesn’t want to come to a Canadian market — just speculating there — that leaves 22 other teams or basically 1 out of every 2. He can be picky, but not THAT picky, so Columbus should be able to find a suitor for Wisniewski. I led off with Tampa acquiring Yandle, but Wisniewski would be a high profile top-four guy with a similar skill-set and I can’t imagine Tampa wouldn’t be on his list of 10 teams he’d waive for. Not sure who would be coming back or if Tampa could afford his contract under the cap, they would need to do some tweaking I think.

  17. bahahah this is the worst piece of garbage I have ever read. Jagr to Detroit while sending Pulkkinen away… Just because you made these trades on your NHL 15 doesnt mean real GMs will make stupid trades. Go back to playing video games nerd

      • Pulkkinen has potential. Jagr might be 43, but he’s a first ballot Hall-of-Famer who would love to cap his career with a Cup win. Short-term gain for potential long-term pain. If Ken Holland feels the window to win is closing on his team/core, then he’d pull the trigger on these deals and hope for the best.

        • @Larry Fisher you really have no idea how trades work if you think that the Red Wings would give up Teemu Pulkkinen, Tyler Bertuzzi, rights to Adam Almqvist and a 2015 fifth-round pick for 2 guys on the wrong side of 35. May want to rethink what you think it would take to move Jagr, since he basically wants out of Jersey…

          • It’s a moot point because Jagr is a Panther now. But I do think the potential was there for that type of deal and it would have made sense for both teams. I stand by that.

            • Good random guess for Jagr to Detroit. SMH go back to playing video games all day bro. maybe you wont delete this comment lol

            • I haven’t deleted a single comment. You are entitled to your opinion, just as I am to mine. I haven’t played video games in a long time, but when I used to play EA’s NHL series, I will admit my favourite part was making trades. Nowadays, I’m more into fantasy hockey and keeper leagues, but I still enjoy the wheeling and dealing aspect. These predictions were meant to be fun but also to be fair value, and I still think I’ve accomplished both.

    • Personally, I think Jagr would be a great fit for the Wings and give you a much better chance of winning the Cup this year than Pulkkinen. You need to give in order to get. I don’t think the Red Wings would regret any of the four deals I proposed. And if they made all four, I’d be shocked if they didn’t make it to the Eastern Conference final, assuming Jimmy Howard stays healthy and plays the way he’s capable of. Ditto for Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

      • The wings are a dangerous team as they are. Adding a slow winger who is on his last thread as a effective player and giving up young talent is not smart these days. .

    • the entire site is garbage, it’s presented well visually, so I always forget that I’m simply at a blog that hosts amateurs’ articles, but that’s all it is, a glorified blogspot

      • What you don’t realize is a half-dozen of these “amateurs” have been picked up by reputable newspapers/websites over the last year. One guy just last week left us to join TheScore in Toronto. Personally, I make my living writing sports and covering junior hockey. I’ve done that for a decade already, made more than a half a million dollars. But thanks for reading!

    • I wish it were that easy…I spent the better part of a day “dreaming” these up and double checking to make sure all the picks belonged to the teams, etc. This was a big undertaking and I’m thankful that most the readers (and Yahoo) appreciated my efforts.

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