NHL Rumors: Five most likely players to be moved at the Trade Deadline
The All-Star Break signals another key temperature check for teams around the NHL. Everyone is beyond the midway point of the season, and it looks like the East playoff teams are almost set. Meanwhile, the West is still up in the air for the last few playoff spots.
Over the course of the season, we’ve kept tabs on over 20 players that are on the Trade Bait Tracker. This list represents the latest info but also indicates which five players mentioned in rumors is most likely to be traded.
Missing from this list are some big names like the Sharks’ Tomas Hertl and Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko. That’s because info on both indicates that neither is likely to be moved at the deadline.
Now let’s dive into the top five.
NHL Top Five Players to be traded
John Klingberg: The 29 year-old rearguard has 23 points in 37 games this season. According to multiple reports, the two sides had been talking but are too far apart on a deal to prevent him from becoming a UFA this summer. He’s looking for an 8 year deal in the neighborhood of $63 million. As far as trade destination go, Jeff Marek mentioned back in November that the Carolina Hurricanes are interested. Larry Brooks in the NY Post speculated that New York Rangers will be in on the pending UFA rental as well.
Marc-Andre Fleury: MAF, 37, will be a pending UFA this summer, and a valuable trade chip for Chicago to bring in younger assets for the future. He is 14-16-3 this season with a 2.93 GAA, and a .908 SV%. The Caps are said to be interested but they will likely need to have Chicago eat 50% of his $7M cap hit and maybe take Ilya Samsonov ($2M, pending RFA) back in return.
Phil Kessel: The 34 year-old is a pending UFA and considered a top rental. He is still productive with 29 points in 45 games for the Coyotes. The Boston Bruins are said to be interested. Another possible team that could be looking at him are the Washington Capitals. His cap hit is $6.8M and Arizona will likely eat 50% and take on a bad contract for the right price.
Jakob Chychrun: Chychrun, 23, has just 10 points in 34 games with the Yotes’ this season as he was dealing with an injury. Last year was a breakout season for him with 41 points in 56 games. The left-handed rearguard has three years left on a cap friendly deal of $4.6 million. Darren Dreger mentioned that the Kings, Panthers, Bruins, Ducks, and Blues are in on acquiring the blue-liner. He even said the Maple Leafs “kicked tires” on him. Two teams that were interested but may have dropped out are the Rangers and Kings.
Claude Giroux: The 33 year-old is coming off a season where he scored 43 points in 54 games. This is the final year of a contract that comes with a $8.275M cap hit. The expectation is that Giroux will look to be traded and he will be at the top of several teams’ wish lists. The Colorado Avalanche have been mentioned as a likely destination.