NHL Trade Candidates: Some big names have already been moved so who goes next?

When it comes to trade rumors this has been a really active season. The biggest trade to date was the blockbuster between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets.

That saw Columbus send Pierre-Luc Dubois to Winnipeg for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic. I doubt we will see a trade that big again this season, but let’s look at the top names out there right now.

NHL Trade Candidate: Vince Dunn

Blues’ 24 year-old defenseman Vince Dunn, was believed close to a deal heading for the Penguins. Of course, that was before Jim Rutherford resigned.

vince dunn
Mar 16, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn (29) reacts after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Other team connected to Dunn were the Flyers, Jets, and Canucks. We noted the Rangers have interest recently as well. According to Larry Brooks, “to our best information, the Blueshirts are not in the hunt for St. Louis’ apparently expendable 24-year-old lefty Vince Dunn.”

While the Rangers are actively working to trade DeAngelo and free up some of the $4.8 million cap hit, their pursuit of Dunn could be on hold. Regardless, things have quieted down tremendously on him for now.

NHL Trade Candidate: Tony DeAngelo

Bob McKenzie provided an update on the Tony DeAngelo situation on NBCSN last night. When asked if a trade was close McKenzie quickly replied, “the short answer is no.” Last year’s 4th leading scoring defenseman was placed on waivers over a week ago.

According to hockey’s premier insider, “the sense I get is that the slow play here is the best play here for some of teams interested in DeAngelo.” That way the heat any team would face in acquiring the 25 year-old defenseman will die down.

tony deangelo trade rumors
Jan 22, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo (77) takes the ice to warm up against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

He followed that up with noting there are many teams continuing to have conversations not only with the Rangers, but DeAngelo’s agent Pat Brisson. The four team known to have checked in so far are the Red Wings, Ducks, Flames, and Kings.

While action was heavy early, that was when team’s believed the Rangers would eat a bad contract in return for taking DeAngelo off their hands. That is not the case and some teams are no longer interested because of it.

NHL Trade Candidate: Johnny Gaudreau

Johnny Gaudreau has been in the trade rumor mill for awhile now. In a recent article on Bleacher Report, they looked at 5 possible trade destinations for the 27 year-old NJ native.

  1. Buffalo Sabres
  2. Columbus Blue Jackets
  3. NJ Devils
  4. NY Islanders
  5. Philadelphia Flyers

My opinion is that the Sabres, Devils, and Flyers make the most sense. While the Jackets are interesting, I don’t see a perfect fit. As for the Islanders, not sure who they could trade to make room for Gaudreau’s cap hit of $6.75 million.

This could be another trade deadline move for the Flames. If I had to pick the destination, I’m betting on the Flyers.

NHL Trade Candidate: Oliver Ekman-Larsson

oliver ekman larsson
Aug 17, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin (13) and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) go for the puck during the first period in game four of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Gerry Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Oh the drama that was between OEL and the Arizona Coyotes this offseason. From asking him to waive his no move clause, to OEL laying down the hammer by only doing so for two teams, Boston and Vancouver.

That ended with Ekman-Larsson issuing a deadline to get the deal done or he would not waive his clause. Both sides have since said all the right things about moving on, but this is not likely over.

I can certainly see this bubbling up again. Should the Coyotes be out of playoff contention by the deadline, OEL agreeing to a trade to the Bruins is very possible.

NHL Trade Candidate: Marc-Andre Fleury

In a recent French interview with Le Journal de Montreal, Fleury revealed that he was surprised he wasn’t traded this past offseason. “I haven’t spoken to anyone. They don’t talk too much,” he revealed. “Like everyone else, I saw the statements where Kelly [McCrimmon] said he would count on Robin and me.”

However, it isn’t lost on the 35 year-old goalie that they were shopping him aggressively. “I still found it surprising I wasn’t traded,” he explained. “My name was rumored quite a bit for a trade, but I’m happy. I’m lucky to stay in Vegas.”

marc andre fleury
Aug 15, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) makes a save during warmup against the Chicago Blackhawks in game three of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Fleury has expressed his desires clearly that he wants to stay in Vegas. “I will still play for a good team. I won’t have to move, which is also a good thing,” he noted in his French interview. So Fleury will make it work and has vowed to fight for the starting job.

The real truth is, there is no way the Knights want to have $12 million of their cap space on goaltending. While it will work in the early going of next season, you can expect the Knights to aggressively shop him to contenders at the trade deadline for a similar package they offered Carolina.

At that time, a deal will be more appealing for teams that believe are a goalie away from winning it all (cough Avalanche cough). There is also the added benefit of just having to deal with just one more year on his contract as well.

Fleury’s time in Vegas is still ticking towards a trade.