With the puck dropping tonight on the 2015-16 season, here’s a look at various trade predictions for the new campaign.
TSN.CA: Among his 30 bold team predictions for this season, Frank Seravalli predicts winger Jeff Skinner will be the first notable player dealt this season by the Carolina Hurricanes, while the Winnipeg Jets trade defenseman Dustin Byfuglien at the trade deadline to a playoff contender as the Jets bow out of playoff contention.
SI.COM: Allan Muir predicts Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal will be the biggest name traded this season. Colleagues Sarah Kwak, Sam Page and Mike Blinn respectively selected Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, “a Staal” and Jets blueliner Dustin Byfuglien.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks predicts St. Louis Blues center David Backes falls into the category of “potential contract extension/trade deadline distraction”…He also wonders if the New York Islanders will deal pending UFA winger Kyle Okposo in an early-season trade like they did two years ago with Matt Moulson…Brooks also wonders if Eric Staal agrees to be traded this season.
CSNNE.COM: Trading promising young goaltender Malcolm Subban is among five bold predictions for the Boston Bruins. Subban “could be one of the key pieces included in a deal for the veteran top-4 defenseman the B’s desperately need.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Skinner struggles again this season, the Hurricanes could try to move him, but that $5.75 million annual cap hit and concussion injury history are significant stumbling blocks. Eric Staal is more likely to be the first significant Hurricanes player out the door, likely by the Feb. 29 trade deadline if unable to come to terms on a new deal…
If the Jets are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline, Byfuglien’s a goner…Steven Stamkos won’t be traded this year. Even if it seems he and Lightning management can’t come to terms on a new contract, he’ll remain for the rest of this season to help them win a Stanley Cup…I don’t see the Blues trading Backes this season unless the club ends up struggling in the New Year.
Okposo’s name has frequently appeared in recent weeks in the rumor mill. While an early-season deal is possible, I still think the Isles will want a return that helps them now…With Tuukka Rask the main man between the Bruins’ pipes, Subban could indeed become part of a trade package for a top-two defenseman.
Feel free to weigh in with your trade predictions for this season. Why should the pundits have all the fun? I only ask that you make them reasonable. No “Carey Price for a sixth-round pick” or “Stamkos to Toronto for a bag of pucks” nonsense.