The week before the trade deadline has always been a fun time to be an NHL fan, but with the advent of so many hockey trade rumour web sites and television "insiders" who are always trying to get the latest scoop, deadline day is a bigger deal than ever.
Every year I scoff at the TV commercials from Sportsnet and TSN, I think "not this year" and pledge not to get up early and watch the coverage from the start, which this year begins on both the major Canadian cable sports networks at 8 AM ET, or that I won't be checking hockey web sites every five minutes to see if a new trade has happened. And every year, I fail in this pledge.
With rumours about what players might move seemingly everywhere, with some big names making the rounds, over the next few days we'll be posting our list of some of the names that have cropped up in rumours most often. We'll start today with the most likely to be traded category, and will follow with the maybe/maybe not and staying put categories later this week. These players have been sorted using a complex system of guesswork, common sense, and logic. But don't put money on who's being traded based on what's written below. Or if you do...don't blame us if you lose your shirt.
The "Most Likely to be Packing" Guys: Erik Cole (Edmonton), Colby Armstrong (Atlanta), Jordan Leopold (Colorado), Chris Neil (Ottawa), Nikolai Antropov (Toronto), Niclas Havelid (Atlanta), Sean O'Donnell (LA), Kyle Calder (LA), Ian Laperriere (Colorado), Dan Hinote (St. Louis), Radek Bonk (Nashville), Greg de Vries (Nashville), Ville Koistinen (Nashville), Gary Roberts (Tampa Bay), Mark Recchi (Tampa Bay), Filip Kuba (Ottawa), Dominic Moore (Toronto).
There's not a lot of big name guys here, and for good reason: these are the kind of players that move most often during deadline day. Yes, Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell and Brad Richards were traded at last season's deadline, but that was just three of the 25 trades that were done that day. For the most part, these guys have smaller contracts easy to fit under a buyer's salary cap that are expiring this summer, are playing on teams unlikely to make the playoffs and very unlikely to bring them back next season, and can fulfill the needs a lot of contending teams have at the trade deadline have, namely some depth at forward or defense and a few goals here and there, but they aren't top line players. Some specific thoughts:
If all goes as planned, we'll bring you our list of "maybe, maybe not" to be traded guys Thursday, with the "staying put" player list on Friday.
posted by Brian P at 5:23 PM