Patrik Laine, Matt Dumba, and Johnny Gaudreau are top candidates to be traded before season starts

The NHL season is expected to start sometime in January or February. That gives General Managers plenty of time to assess their teams from now until then to make a big trade.

There are three big names rumored to be available and to be had in the right deal. They are Patrik Laine from the Winnipeg Jets, the Wild’s Matt Dumba, and Flames Johnny Gaudreau.

Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets

Patrik Laine wanted it well known that did not ask to be traded. He did so because of all the rumors swirling around that he was available on the market.

[Laine’s] agents also made clear that it’s fair to say that given that Laine knows his name has been in trade discussions, and given that his usage in the lineup the last couple of years has been a constant topic of conversation, the fact that he doesn’t get consistent first-line minutes, his agents Mike Liut and Andy Scott do confirm that it probably would be mutually beneficial to both the player and to the team he is traded.”Pierre Lebrun on a recent Insider Trading.

 I don’t know about you, but when a player’s agent says it would be “mutually beneficial ” for him to be traded, I’m not sure what else Jets GM, Kevin Cheveldayoff can do but get the best return possible.

Winnipeg is hunting for a defenseman and/or center for Laine.

Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild

top NHL trade candidates
Matt Dumba on the block (Getty Images)

According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, the Minnesota are in no rush to trade Matt Dumba, but are still looking to trade him. So why are the Wild looking to trade him? Think about the upcoming expansion draft and which defenseman they will be protecting. Dumba is the odd man out, and will certainly be snagged by the Kraken.

The Minnesota Wild want to get younger and add some scoring to their lineup. In an article at The Athletic, a suggestion was made about a Matt Dumba for Patrik Laine trade. It makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons.

Primarily, Winnipeg much like Columbus struggles to attract high profile free agents. Dumba is a defenseman that the Jets need and he comes with another three years left on his deal at a great cost. For the Wild, well if you want to get younger and add offense, who better than Laine.

Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames

Poor Johnny Hockey has been in the trade rumor mill for awhile now. The Calgary Flames want to get better, but with just about $4 million in cap space, they are likely going to need to trade a key roster piece to do so.

It also doesn’t help when your GM, Brad Treliving says stuff like this, “We don’t expect this is the team we’ll go to training camp with.”

Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames has been in the NHL trade rumor mill a few times this season. The speculation started in The Athletic back in November but died down. Those rumors picked up at the deadline and went off the charts when Gaudreau temporarily took the Flames out of his Twitter bio.

The relationship between both parties may be reaching a breaking point. There is also a lot of talk that Kevin Hayes is in the ear of coach Alain Vigneault to push for a trade to bring his old line-mate to the Flyers.