With the trade deadline on Monday, teams are going to be looking to add last minute pieces for a playoff run. The Flyers (Nicklas Grossman & Pavel Kubina), Predators (Hal Gill) and Sharks (Dominic Moore) got started early.
Here are some players to watch for over the next week:
Rick Nash and Jeff Carter, Columbus
Rumors have been swirling around these two and it seems almost certain that one of them will be dealt before the deadline. Both have big cap hits (Nash $7.8m, Carter $5.27m). Jackets GM Scott Howson has been on a salesman tour asking for two prospects, a player and a first round pick for Nash. Most teams can’t afford both the price of a trade and the price of his cap hit. A Carter price hasn’t been specified, but it’s assuming Columbus would want something like they paid for him over the summer. Although with his poor season, they’ll be lucky to get that much. The Kings would be a good fit for both guys, as they desperately need offense. Toronto has been linked to both as well, but would probably be more interested in Carter at this time.
Paul Gaustad, Buffalo
As was written on Sunday, Gaustad would be a good fit for a team looking for depth at the center position. He’s in the top 10 in faceoffs (56.8%) and in shorthanded time on ice (2:53 per game). His cap hit is $2.3 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Both Detroit and Philadelphia have been reported to be interested, but could go to any number of teams.
Sami Pahlsson, Columbus
Like Gaustad, Pahlsson would be a good addition for a team looking for a defensive forward. His faceoff winning percentage is at 51% and plays the most penalty kill of Columbus forwards (2:22). His cap hit is $2.65 million, a little more expensive than Gaustad, and is also a UFA at the end of the year. He also brings experience, winning the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks.
Tuomo Ruutu, Carolina
At one point, Ruutu was one of the big names in the trade market, until his injury last week. Teams are still interested, but he won’t be back until early March, which will decrease his trade value. Carolina may not want to deal him if his value dips too low, and they’d like to re-sign him. But, there’s always a possibility of a desperate team to give Carolina what it wants for a guy with 17 goals this season.
Ales Hemsky, Edmonton
Hemsky is a guy known for his skill, but only has four goals this season. His shooting percentage is at 5% after a career average of 11%. Like Gaustad, Hemsky is also a UFA, but he carries a cap hit of $4.1 million. Despite his struggles this year, teams like the Kings and Predators could be interested. And unlike the twitter fake trade of last night, Hemsky shouldn’t cost a whole lot.
Mikhail Grabovski, Toronto
Grabovski is the Leafs’ best center, which doesn’t make sense for a playoff contender to be a seller, but he’s available according to Darren Dreger. The problem is that the Leafs would like to re-sign him, while Grabovski is seeking a deal around the one Phil Kessel got ($5.4m per). The negotiations will go on until the end of the deadline, and if the two sides aren’t close, Grabovski could be on the move.
Johnny Oduya, Winnipeg
Like many others on the list, Oduya is a free agent at the end of the year. The Jets have crawled back into the playoff race, tied with Toronto for 8th place and one point behind division leading Florida. They’ll have to decide if the price is right for Oduya,