NHL Trade Deadline Looms

It is one week away from the NHL trade deadline and General Managers are figuring out whether to become buyers, or sellers, or even no shows. With the salary cap in place, GMs need to be careful about who they want to trade away and who to get in return. Of course, trading players is an inexact science. Before getting to this year’s trade possibilities, let’s take a look at some notable deals in the last few years: the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good:

The good GMs the last few years have often made some significant moves that would help not only their own franchise in the present, but also in the future. In 2000, there were two notable moves, one being the trade of Raymond Bourque to Colorado for Brian Rolston, Dave Andreychuk, Martin Grenier, Samuel Pahlsson and a first round pick. Although Andreychuk, Grenier and Pahlsson weren’t in a Bruins’ uniform for long, Rolston helped the Bruins to three consecutive playoff appearances (2002-04). Of course, we all know what happened with Bourque – he won his only Stanley Cup during the 2000-01 season. A good trade nonetheless for both squads.

That same year, prolific scorer Alexander Mogilny, a Vancouver Canuck at the time, was traded to the New Jersey Devils for Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson. Mogilny was a key factor in the Devils winning the Stanley Cup, and Morrison is still with the Canucks, and still a key to their drive toward another playoff appearance.

The Bad:

On March 13, 2001, The Los Angeles Kings traded defenseman Aki Berg to Toronto for Adam Mair, and a second round pick. Berg never lived up to expectations in Toronto and Mair never made an impact in L.A., although he has become one of the key players on the Buffalo Sabres. With Toronto’s second round pick, Los Angeles selected Mike Cammalleri, who is one of the Kings’ top goal scorers. Toronto certainly could have used someone like him.

The Ugly:

March 9, 2006, Sergei Samsanov, a former rookie of the year, leaves the Boston Bruins, traded to Edmonton for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and a second round pick. Even though Edmonton went to the Stanley Cup finals, Samsanov was not a major factor in their success. Reasoner went back to Edmonton one year later, Stastny went to St. Louis and Samsanov has made stops in Montreal, Chicago and now Carolina. Neither team received any value from this ugly trade.

So who will be the good, the bad and the ugly this year? Can’t tell you yet, but here are some potential buyers and sellers, and even a possible no show.

The Buyers

San Jose Sharks: The Sharks were looking to deal Patrick Marleau, until he was placed on injured reserve. Marleau’s leadership will hurt for a little bit and the Sharks could go after a big name, just like they did with Joe Thornton in 2005. Goal scoring is a must. Some players who would fit well in a Shark uniform include Olli Jokinen, Mats Sundin and Marian Hossa.

Montreal Canadiens: Another GM that could be a buyer is Bob Gainey. Michael Ryder has been rumored to be on the trade block, but, whatever they can get to upgrade the team is needed. The Canadiens’ 73 points are tied for tops in the East. Possibilities include goal scorers such as Sundin, and Hossa’s name has been heard around Montreal. The Habs could go the other way and get an offensive defenseman such as Brian Campbell of Buffalo. A trade would be a response to the Ottawa Senators recent acquisition of Cory Stillman.

The Sellers

Tampa Bay Lightning: With a new owner in town (again), it might be time to clean house. Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Vaclav Prospal, Brad Richards and Dan Boyle have all been rumored trade names. Look for the Lightning to become a rebuilding team.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Mats Sundin and Tomas Kaberle have been the two most rumored names on the block for the Leafs. Recently fired GM John Ferguson, Jr. thinks that the Leafs should be selling, but the current management doesn’t want to hear about it. Either way, the Leafs are going nowhere this year and might look for some draft picks, or future players who could help the team.

Staying Put

Boston Bruins: The Bruins seem to be content with their current team. Glen Murray was a rumored name for awhile, but it seems like that he is staying put. The Black and Gold could use some goalscoring for the playoff run, but they don’t want to trade their young stars if it comes to that. The Bruins will look ahead to a hopeful playoff appearance and future success.

Expect some wheeling and dealing in the next week as several teams try to strengthen themselves for the playoff run.

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