A list of 10 NHL players who could be traded this summer, plus updates on Ryan O’Reilly, Patrick Sharp, Rick Nash, Marc Staal and the Senators efforts to trade a goalie.
Top-10 NHL trade candidates for summer of ’15.
USA TODAY: Toronto’s Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf top Kevin Allen’s list of this offseason’s 10 most likely trade candidates. Others include Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly, New York Rangers Rick Nash and Cam Talbot, Chicago’s Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell, Carolina’s Eric Staal, Ottawa’s Robin Lehner and Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if most of the players on this list get dealt. A sluggish rise in the salary cap combined with 20 teams carrying cap payrolls in excess of $55 million means the high-salaried players won’t be easy to move, especially if they’ve got some no-trade protection in their contracts. More affordable assets like Talbot and Lehner stand the best chance of being dealt. One or two of those high-salaried guys could move, but it could get tricky making the dollars fit.
Avs likely to move O’Reilly?
TSN 1040 VANCOUVER (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Bob McKenzie reports the Colorado Avalanche are gauging the market value of center Ryan O’Reilly. He believes it’s more likely the Avalanche trade center Ryan O’Reilly at some point, but it will depend upon what the deal is and the financial negotiations of the contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly is eligible next summer for UFA status and is currently earning an annual cap hit of $6 million. If the Avs aren’t willing to pay big to re-sign him or if he’s unwilling to accept a “hometown discount”, they could move him this summer. Still, given the aforementioned salary cap limits, it might not be easy.
Sharp to the Capitals?
TSN 690 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Pierre LeBrun suggests the Washington Capitals might be a destination for Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks must shed salary and Sharp ($5.9 million cap hit for two more years) is seen as the most likely trade candidate. Prior to the trade deadline, there were reports the Capitals had contacted the Blackhawks about Sharp. Perhaps they’ll revisit those discussions.
Could the Sabres pursue Rick Nash?
SPORTSNET 690 CALGARY (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman wonders if a team with an aggressive GM, like the Buffalo Sabres, might make a pitch for New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash. He’s not 100 percent convinced that will happen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Sabres will pursue Nash, whose full no-movement clauses becomes a partial no-trade on July 1. Even if they did, I don’t think Nash will accept being dealt from a two-time Conference Finalist to a team undergoing a lengthy rebuilding process like the Sabres.
No Marc Staal trade.
NEW YORK POST’s Larry Brooks took to Twitter to address the recent Marc Staal trade rumors: “You can stop with the hypothetical trade scenarios involving Marc Staal. His no-move clause took effect when he signed his extension in Jan.”
Senators hope to trade a goal before the draft.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators hope to make a goalie trade (either Craig Anderson or – most likely – Robin Lehner) before the NHL Draft next weekend (June 26-27). The asking price is said to be a top-six forward and a draft pick, though that could change as the draft nears if the Sens aren’t getting offers they like. Six or seven teams, including Buffalo, Edmonton and Calgary, are believed to have contacted the Sens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the first NHL trade of the offseason involves Anderson or Lehner (again, the most likely candidate) being moved next week. I don’t see them getting a top-six forward as part of the return. There was talk they also wanted a high draft pick in the package. At best, I’m guessing they get a promising young player or a second-round pick.