It’s no secret, there are a lot of teams interested in adding to their current rosters, but the demand of what teams are looking for, is just not available. Here at Pucking Hockey we broke down a few teams who we expect to either sell, buy or nothing at all by the time the trade deadline approaches on February 27th, 2012
UFA in 2012: Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton, Joe Corvo, Johnny Boychuk.
RFA in 2012: Benoit Pouliot, Zach Hamill, Tuukka Rask.
Top Prospects: Dougie Hamilton, D, Niagara (OHL) Alexander Khokhlachev, C, Windsor (OHL) Jared Knight, RW, London (OHL) Ryan Spooner, C, Kingston (OHL) Matt Bartkowski, D, Providence (AHL)
No-Trade Clauses: Patrice Bergeron, Nathan Horton, Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas, Dennis Seidenberg (limited). RUMOR(s):
The defending Stanley Cup Champions are looking to hoist the Stanley Cup back to back seasons, although they sure are looking like they can, they need to add a top 9 forward. And possibly another dman on the blue line, unless Tim Thomas can keep his stellar play in full gear coming down the stretch of the season into the playoffs.
Rumor has it that Tim Thomas could be trade bait, but here at Pucking Hockey we don’t expect the Bruins to trade Thomas nor before the season is over. Bruins may want to see what he has left in the tank. After all, Thomas has proven us ALL wrong once before.
Players like Joe Corvo, Daniel Paille and maybe Johnny Boychuk are more of a realistic change before the trade deadline. Adding a top 9 forward and a defenseman.
Here at Pucking Hockey we don’t see the Bruins changing anything before the season is over, they seem to be doing just fine this season, picking up where they left off last season.
UFA in 2012: Brad Boyes, Jochen Hecht, Paul Gaustad.
RFA in 2012: Patrick Kaleta, Tyler Ennis, Marc-Andre Gragnani.
Top Prospects: Zack Kassian, RW, Rochester (AHL) Joel Armia, RW, Assat-Pori (SML) Mark Pysyk, D, Edmonton (WHL) Marcus Foligno, LW, Rochester (AHL) Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, D, Rimouski (QMJHL)
No-Trade Clauses: Robyn Regehr, Christian Ehrhoff, Jason Pominville (limited), Ryan Miller (limited).
The Sabres spent big bucks in the off season and now find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. With good goaltending they could pick up the slack and maybe make a late playoff push, but don’t count on it this season.
Not going to lie here, players like Derek Roy Drew Stafford, Brad Boyes and Paul Gaustad could be trade bait, but here at Pucking Hockey we don’t see the Sabres making any big moves before the trade deadline.
The Sabres added a lot of new faces to the team and did anyone really expect them to all build chemistry over night? I know I didn’t.
Don’t expect anything out of the ordinary from the Sabres just yet, maybe something in the off season, but that’s about it.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
UFA in 2012: Zach Parise, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Ryan Carter, Petr Sykora, Cam Janssen, Brad Mills, Bryce Salvador, Kurtis Foster, Martin Brodeur, Johan Hedberg.
RFA in 2012: Mark Fayne.
Top Prospects: Jonathon Merrill, D, Michigan (CCHA) Alexander Urbom, D, Albany (AHL) Mattias Tedenby, LW, Albany (AHL) Eric Gelinas, D, Albany (AHL) Brandon Burlon, D, Albany (AHL)
No-Trade Clauses: Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias, Anton Volchenkov, Martin Brodeur, Johan Hedberg.
The Devils added Alexei Ponikarovsky to improve their third line but they need to add a top six forward of Travis Zajac’s injury continues to linger on the team.
Many will say the defense is the problem in New Jersey. But I think it’s more of the goaltending. Sure improved defense will make it easier on the goaltending, for this season but come next season, it’s time to improve the goaltending.
The bottom line is, if the Devils don’t make a deep playoff run, Zach Parise is going to walk in the off season. But in order to make a deep playoff run, the Devils need to improve their goaltending and defense before the trade dead line.
Martin Brodeur is on his last limb, unless of course he proves us wrong, but injury after injury is keeping him off the ice. Which leads to the Devils playing Johan Hedberg? Hedberg is not a playoff goaltender in any way shape or form. With the amount of goaltenders out there for grabs, the Devils need to grab a reliable backup looking for a permanent home. Especially with the low demand of defensemen out on the market today.
Either Cory Schneider or Evgeni Nabokov would be a perfect fit for the Devils, that’s if the Devils want to show Parise this team can be winners to keep him in town. The time is now New Jersey, not later.
UFA in 2012: Jaromir Jagr, Blair Betts, Matt Carle.
RFA in 2012: Jakub Voracek, Harry Zolnierczyk, Marc-Andre Bourdon.
Top Prospects: Eric Wellwood, LW, Adirondack (AHL) Brendan Ranford, LW, Kamloops (WHL) Kevin Marshall, D, Adirondack (AHL) Jason Akeson, RW, Adirondack (AHL) Ben Holmstrom, C, Adirondack (AHL)
No-Trade Clauses: Daniel Briere, Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen, Chris Pronger, Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Flyers are clearly looking to add a defensemen before the trade deadline, especially with the possibility that Chris Pronger’s career is over. Or at least that’s the way I think the Flyers need to approach the future of Pronger and the Flyers. The problem is, there is not many defensemen to be tossed around at the moment.
And that’s not the only problem in Philly. Sure their rookies have carried this team so far, and keeping them in playoff contention, but how much longer can they really carry this team? With Briere back from injury and Claude Giroux heating back up, that’s always a good sign.
Don’t expect the Flyers do make any dramatic trades before the trade deadline. Sure they need a defensemen, but right now with the low defensemen market, it may not happen until the offseason.
I expect the Flyers to go after another top 6 forward and rely solely on Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky the rest of this season. The Flyers proved they can score with the best of them, why not add a little more scoring to keep up with this depleted defense until Paul Holmgren can work his magic in the off season?
Paul Gaustad would be a nice fit for this team.
UFA in 2012: Alexander Semin, Mike Knuble, Jeff Halpern, Dennis Wideman, Tomas Vokoun.
RFA in 2012: Mathieu Perreault, Jay Beagle, Mike Green, John Carlson.
Top Prospects: Evgeny Kuznetsov, RW, Chelyabinsk Traktor (KHL) Stanislav Galiev, LW, Saint John (QMJHL) Braden Holtby, G, Hershey (AHL) Tomas Kundratek, D, Hershey (AHL) Patrick McNeill, D, Hershey (AHL)
No-Trade Clauses: Brooks Laich (limited), Tomas Vokoun.
It’s no secret, if the Capitals had a healthy Backstrom and Green they would be atop the Eastern Conference. But due to their injuries, they are fighting for a playoff stop with the Florida Panthers.
A much improved game from Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin could help this team stay alive especially with the goaltending they are getting from Tomas Vokoun,
I honestly do not see the Capitals keeping Alex Semin on this team after the trade deadline. I think they had enough of him, and it’s time to move on. It’s possible they could get a forward and a defensemen in return, and hope for the best if they make the playoffs.
Injuries have been the main problem in Washington this season, it’s best the Caps part ways with Semin and look forward to next season. Unless of course Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom get healthy just in time for the playoffs. But of course still parting ways with Semin.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
UFA in 2012: Mikhail Grabovski, Joey Crabb, Darryl Boyce, Jonas Gustavsson.
RFA in 2012: Nikolai Kulemin, Jay Rosehill, Cody Franson, Keith Aulie.
Top Prospects: Joe Colborne, C, Toronto (AHL) Jesse Blacker, D, Toronto (AHL) Stuart Percy, D, Mississauga (OHL) Korbinian Holzer, D, Toronto (AHL) Brad Ross, LW, Portland (WHL)
No-Trade Clauses: Phil Kessel (limited), Tim Connolly (modified), Joffrey Lupul (limited), Mike Komisarek (modified), John-Michael Liles (limited), Luke Schenn (modified).
Rumor has it the Leafs are interested in Flyers James Van Reimsdyk, Brian Burke likes his size and would love to have him. But what the Flyers are seeking may not meet their needs.
The Buffalo Sabres would be more of a target for the Leafs to add size up front, but like mentioned earlier I don’t expect the Sabres to make any drastic trades before the trade deadline.
The Leafs currently sit 8th in the Eastern Conference and it’s a very tight conference. Expect them to add the player they are seeking before the trade deadline, problem is JVR of the Flyers has been injured all season and his addition would not help their playoff hopes this season.
It’s either go after JVR if the Flyers want what they are selling, and hope he can return if playoffs are a possibility. Or hope for the best with the current roster and maybe make a few moves in the offseason.
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