The signs are all pointing to a wild offseason for trades. A quick look at the names available will make any hockey fan salivate. Jack Eichel is undoubtedly the biggest name that will get traded, but he isn’t alone. Seth Jones, Vladimir Tarasenko, Dougie Hamilton, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Duncan Keith are all confirmed on the trade block.
However, don’t expect them to be the last names to officially hit the market. There’s going to be fallout in Tampa after their second Cup win, and it could lead to Steven Stamkos on the move.
One thing seems certain, we are looking at a potentially crazy offseason.
Sure to be traded
As mentioned, there’s a current list of NHL players that are officially on the block and on the move. These players are almost certain to be traded at some point before next season begins. Let’s quickly examine who they are and where they might be going.
Jack Eichel: This one is nearing its conclusion, and in truth has been going on since last season when he vented his frustrations with the organization over losing. That only got worse with how he feels they handled his neck injury. That remains a big question mark, and it will be up to the next team to deal with it. The 24 year-old center is likely headed to the Ducks or Rangers. They are the two most likely teams that have the assets and cap space to make the deal.
Seth Jones: When he announced he was headed to free agency next season, it forced the Blue Jackets hands. The Flyers were heavily in on him but it appears to have cooled off. If Jones is unwilling to extend with the team that trades for him, this is going to be tough move for Columbus.
Vladimir Tarasenko: Now that his trade demand is public, it makes it harder for the Blues to maximize return in a deal. That and the fact he has a no move clause. The issue is only more complex when you learn that he’s owed over $9 million in actual salary which is bigger than his cap hit of $7.5 million. There will be teams interested, but the Blues are going to eat cap to make this trade.
Dougie Hamilton: The Carolina Hurricanes have allowed Hamilton to speak with other teams. They hope to keep him, and decided maybe the best option is to let him see what’s out there and decide he’d rather stay put. However, if a team likes him, it’s possible the Hurricanes can sign Hamilton to an 8 year-deal. Then they can send him for younger assets to the team he would’ve signed with come July 27th. A better option than losing him for nothing.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson: It’s public knowledge he’s being shopped now. Last season they tried to make a deal but OEL limited to only two teams, the Bruins and Canucks. While the Bruins will try to fit him in, the Canucks have no room cap wise for him. He will have to be open to other destinations. How about Philadelphia?
Duncan Keith: The 37 year old 3x Stanley Cup winner asked the Blackhawks to trade him closer to his family in British Columbia. We mentioned the Canucks have no cap space so the Edmonton Oilers stepped up and he wants to go there. Turns out Chicago wants to play hard ball and eat no salary in the deal. This has forced Edmonton to pull assets out of the deal if that is the case. I think this deal happens, but the Seattle Kraken are another option.
What other big names could be on the market?
The Capitals are flirting with the idea of trading center Evgeny Kuznetsov. Meanwhile the Arizona Coyotes are going to see what Phil Kessel can fetch on the open market.
In Calgary, the Flames have squashed any nonsense about trading Matthew Tkachuk and have actually begun negotiations with Johnny Gaudreau. Does that mean Sean Monahan is the piece they trade?
Finally, the Tampa Bay Lightning are celebrating back to back Cups knowing this is the last time this team will be together. They are way over the cap and changes are coming. Depending on if they can trade players like Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn, Tampa may be forced to think bigger. Why? Because Brayden Point will be a RFA after next season and Tampa wants to lock him up to an 8 year deal in the $9 million range and up.
So could we see Steven Stamkos waive his no trade clause? Some believe it could happen. He has 3 more seasons at $8.5 million and would automatically go to the top of GM’s wishlists.
Like I said, a crazy summer could be in the making.