First, I would like to thank all of you that read the first of this series written on June 12th. It was a huge success and is the third-highest viewed article I have ever written. I am hoping this one reaches more!
Here you have it, the second instillment of P&P’s “Trade Rumor Thursday” for the 2013-14 offseason. Here are some of the trending trade rumors floating around the NHL right now.
1. Jason Spezza - The Ottawa Senators captain, featured last week, is still trending and catching fire. This week he has given Sens GM Brian Murray a list of teams that he will not waive his no-trade-clause to. Those teams include, every Canadian NHL team, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, and the Nashville Predators.
Rumors surfaced that the Calgary Flames offered the Senators forwards Jiri Hudler, Mikael Backlund, Dennis Wideman, as well as a second or third round pick, a little much? However, Flames GM Brad Treliving told Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun that those rumors are false.
“I haven’t made any such offers. That’s 100% fantasy island. I saw it early Sunday online and had to read it a couple times and had to remind myself ‘oh ya I’m the Flames GM. Interesting.’ ”
Even if the Flames offered that insane trade for Spezza it would not matter anyway because they are on his no-trade list. But the Senators and Murray are looking for a trade with similar value. Where he will end up is unknown, but all fingers are pointing at the Anaheim Ducks right now.
2. Ryan Kesler - The Kesler trade saga continues as he is getting shopped around right now. There are no clear trade partners for Kesler as of now, but a few teams are reportedly interested in a deal for the center.
The Ducks are again in the middle of things surrounding trade rumors as they search for a number-two center. They would undoubtedly be the best trade partner for the Vancouver Canucks as they have a deep prospect pool that the ‘Nucks can pick from.
Also, the St Louis Blues has had their name thrown into the middle of those trade rumors for Kesler.
3. Confirmed Buyouts - Compliance buyout period opened up on Monday morning and will last until June 30th at 5:00pm EST. Surprisingly, only three players have been bought out so far, but many more are to follow.
The Canucks have bought out winger David Booth. Booth scored just nine goals and posted 19 points in 66 games with the Canucks this season. He was signed through next season and carried a cap-hit of $4,250,000.
The Buffalo Sabres have decided to buy-out left-wing Ville Leino, for some unknown reason (sarcasm if you can’t tell). The Sabres signed Leino to a massive six-year $27-million deal, $4.5 AAV, following a strong 2010-11 campaign with the Philadelphia Flyers. Leino scored 19 goals and added 34 assists with Philly that year, but has done absolutely nothing since.
By nothing I mean nothing, since then, Leino has scored just 10 goals in 137 games, including a whopping donut, bagel, goose egg, whatever you want to call it, this season.
Lastly, the Dallas Stars decided to buy-out defenseman Aaron Rome. The 30-year-old defenseman was signed to a modest $1.5 million deal through next season, but only appeared in 25 games last season, notching one assist.
Expect many more buyouts to come in the coming two weeks. Many players are expected to have amnesty buy-outs used on them including, Brad Richards (NYR), Mike Richards (LA), Bryce Salvador or Anton Volchenkov (NJ), RJ Umburger (CBJ), Ondrej Pavalec (WPG), and Tyler Myers (BUF).
4. Brad Richards - For the New Jersey Devils fans, since we are a Devils blog, I thought I would include this little tidbit about Richards. Rory Boylen of The Hockey News listed seven centers who could move this summer and where they could end up. He made a bold prediction about Richards that Devils fans may or may not like.
“When Richards signed on with the Rangers in 2011, he talked about wanting to play in the East because it was easier for his family to watch his games. Assuming that preference is still true, I’ll eliminate all West teams right off the bat (though Dallas intrigues me). Well, how about New Jersey? It’s close to his current destination, it’s been a good place for veterans to get back on their feet and, well, the Lou Lamoriello factor can never be dismissed. If they can grab him for a short term, my destination for Brad Richards is New Jersey. (Honorable mention to Washington.)”
Richards will undoubtedly be bought out of his remaining six years at $6,666,667 AAV and will have to find a new home. The Devils are an interesting fit for him, but of course he would have to take a large pay cut in order for that to happen. Richards would help the Devils scoring problem as he scored 20 goals and added 31 assists for the New York Rangers this season.
5. Brian Campbell - The Florida Panthers veteran defenseman has told the team he would like a trade out of Florida. Campbell, 35, has been a top-pairing defenseman for the Panthers since 2011-12 and is still good enough to strongly improve any team. Campbell is rumored to only want to be traded to a contender.
However, there is one problem, Campbell has a massive $7.1 cap hit through the 2015-16 season. In order for any contender to make room in cap space for him would be to move a bad contract, move a high paid player which would damage their team, or for the Panthers to eat a large portion of his salary.
As of now, it is unsure if Campbell would be moved because of that contract. It seems as though Campbell would only be able to be moved to another bad team because they are the only teams able to take all of the contract. Unless Campbell really can not stand Florida anymore, which it does not seem like it, he should just enjoy the south Florida sunshine.