Five Forwards on the Move

With the trade winds blowing at
Hurricane speeds (more on Carolina later) throughout the weekend, and
the Olympic break quickly approaching, it is only appropriate for some
Wednesday afternoon speculation.

Some pretty big-name forwards have
already been moved, but there are still plenty out there that can be
had for the right price particularly with expiring contracts. Since
I’m sure all of you are sick of hearing about where Ilya Kovalchuk is
going to end up here is a list of five forwards excluding Kovalchuk
that could very well be changing addresses:

Matt Cullen:

Cullen is a speedy two-way
center and has been comfortable in Carolina, but with the Canes woes
he figures to be on the move. Cullen’s cap hit is less than $3
million and he is a consistent secondary producer. He’s recorded no
fewer than 40 points, but no more than 50 points in the last four
season. Cullen is seeing time on the power play and the penalty kill
with the Canes and while he isn’t quite a Selke Trophy winner, he is
far from a defensive liability.

Keith Tkachuk:

Most playoff teams are
looking for a player with veteran experience come Spring, look no
further than Tkachuk. He’s nowhere near the player that helped Team
USA
win the World Cup in 1996 or the 50-goal scorer, but he can still
be a teacher and can chip in offensively. He was never much of a
speed demon, but his shot can still be lethal. He probably won’t get
much of a return for the Blues, but his salary and cap hit of
slightly more than $2 million could be a steal for a veteran of 89
playoff games.

Fernando Pisani:

Pisani has been on the
injury shelf for much of this season and is even questionable for
tonight’s game against the Flyers with an undisclosed injury, but
that doesn’t seem serious. With the Oilers seemingly bottoming out
this season and Pisani being overpaid with a contract that pays him
$2.5 million a season Edmonton general manager Steve Tambellini
should take what he can get for him. Pisani earned his contract when
he scored 14 goals in 24 playoff games and was a major reason for the
Oilers run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. It is pretty clear that he
isn’t that player, but he still could help out a contender playing a
smaller role than he is in Edmonton.

Raffi Torres:

Like Pisani, Torres made
a name for himself in 2006 with the Oilers, but has failed to produce
to his expectations since then while suffering a litany of injuries.
This season, however, Torres is healthy and has played his most games
since 2007, but unfortunately for Torres he is playing in Columbus
where he is being counted on as a primary offensive producer right
behind Rick Nash. That’s not what Torres is. He has, however, scored
16 goals in 54 games this season and could be useful for a playoff
bound team’s second or third line.

Ray Whitney:

Ray “the Wizard”
Whitney isn’t what he used to be at 37, but he’s certainly better
than most 37-year-olds when it comes to NHL players. He is on pace to
score 20 goals and could wind up flirting with the 60-point mark for
the fourth-consecutive season. He has remained one of the fastest
players in the league despite his age and his hands were his ticket
to the big league to begin with. Whitney is going to be one of the
most coveted assets at the trade deadline or before. His salary of
$3.5 million per season isn’t cheap, but it is pretty far from the
higher echelon.

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