A list of possible NHL off-season trade candidates, plus an update on Lars Eller and Alexei Emelin. 

Off-season trade candidates.

Patrick Sharp could be among several notable NHL stars on the move this summer.

Patrick Sharp could be among several notable NHL stars on the move this summer.

CANADIAN PRESS (VIA TORONTO STAR): Stephen Whyno lists several notable NHL stars who could become off-season trade candidates. Topping the list, of course, is Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf…There were recent reports claiming Pittsburgh GM (and former Carolina GM) Jim Rutherford has interest in Hurricanes center Jordan Staal…Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has one year remaining on his contract…If the Leafs win the draft lottery and select Connor McDavid they could retain Phil Kessel. If not, the Florida Panthers might be interested in Kessel…The Chicago Blackhawks could trade Patrick Sharp in a cost-cutting move…Ditto the Philadelphia Flyers with defenseman Nicklas Grossmann…If the Leafs re-sign Nazem Kadri it could spell the end of Tyler Bozak’s tenure in Toronto…Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward could be an interesting trade possibility. Like Eric Staal, he has a year left on his contract…The Ottawa Senators could still try to move Colin Greening…With Ryan O’Reilly facing a potentially big raise, the Colorado Avalanche could move him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the players on this list, Phaneuf and Sharp appear most likely to move. Eric Staal could be dealt if he and the Hurricanes are unable to reach an agreement on a new contract this summer. If that happens, Jordan could also be on the move. If Eric stays puts, so will Jordan…The Avs say they want to re-sign O’Reilly but that could prove very expensive (perhaps $7 million per season)…The Flyers might find a taker for Grossmann but could be forced to pick up a bit of salary. Ditto Greening…Unless the Leafs get a massive offer for Kessel or he demands a trade I think the Leafs could keep him, especially if they land either McDavid or Eichel in the draft…With only a year left on his contract, there could be interest this summer in Ward. 

Eller, Emelin were in play.

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: TSN’s Darren Dreger believes the Montreal Canadiens were shopping forward Lars Eller, and to a lesser degree defenseman Alexei Emelin, leading up to the trade deadline. Dreger claims a couple of weeks ago there was a rumor that had the Habs shipping Emelin as part of a deal to the Anaheim Ducks for Cam Fowler. Dreger admits he’s not sure how close Eller came to being dealt.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eller’s future in Montreal could depend upon his performance in this year’s playoffs. He’s really struggled this season but a solid playoff performance could keep him off the trade block. Same goes for Emelin.