Ten Players Who Could Be Traded After The NHL Lockout
10 players who could find new homes after the NHL lockout
At some point in the future, whether it’s in a couple of weeks or by next September, there is going to be hockey again. And when there is hockey again, there will surely be a few players on the move.
The salary cap is expected to come down quite a bit. While there will be an initial cap set that will be higher, as to help teams gradually bring their payroll down, teams will still be looking to unload some cash when the lockout does end. Which means that we could see more than a couple of trades take place when a season is in the process of getting underway.
Some players that could be on the move may not be traded immediately. There are some veterans who have had their names floated out there for the past couple of seasons, and may find themselves on a new club when it comes time to add that final piece to make a run at a Stanley Cup.Others, particularly some big young names, had their names swirling around in the trade winds prior to the lockout starting. There are still a couple of top young talents who are restricted free agents and could have their rights sent to a team who wants to make a long-term investment in them. Then there are the goaltenders. And, of course, by goaltenders we mean the guy whose mug is sitting up right above this: Roberto Luongo. Here are Bobby Lu and nine other players who could be traded when the NHL lockout comes to an end.
Joe Thornton - San Jose Sharks
There's no way around it. The San Jose Sharks are getting old. They could end up looking to unload some of their big pieces to start a rebuild-on-the-fly type of scenario. Joe Thornton's name is one that came up briefly in trade rumors before the lockout began, but it's unknown how serious they might be about trading their captain.
Tim Thomas - Boston Bruins
No one really knows what is going on in the head of the strange bird that is Tim Thomas. He was expected to take a year off, but would the lockout end up changing those plans? If it does, and the Boston Bruins seem content to roll with Tuukka Rask as their no. 1, expect a few phone calls in their direction regarding the outspoken goaltender.
Jarome Iginla - Calgary Flames
This is a trade that we've all been waiting for for quite some time. At some point, Jarome Iginla will be traded. It probably just won't be once the lockout is over. He's the type of guy who teams will see as the final piece of their Cup puzzle, and will be a big midseason acquisition when he is eventually traded.
Keith Yandle - Phoenix Coyotes
The situation with Keith Yandle and the Phoenix Coyotes is an interesting one. They're in a position where they don't necessarily trade him, but it would make an awful lot of sense to do so. They need help on offense, and with the emergence of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Yandle could end up becoming expendable at some point.
P.K. Subban - Montreal Canadiens
Of the names on this list, P.K. Subban could be the least likely to be traded. He has potential as an elite defenseman, so teams are probably going to be knocking down the door in Montreal, but it's just a matter of time before they lock him up on a long-term deal.
Bobby Ryan - Anaheim Ducks
Bobby Ryan is about to become the new Rick Nash. After weeks and months of trade rumors, Nash finally found himself a new home this summer. At this point, the relationship between Ryan and the Anaheim Ducks could be completely severed. And there are more than a few teams willing to pay handsomely to acquire his services.
Michael Del Zotto - New York Rangers
I've made no secret about the fact that I am a major fan of Michael Del Zotto. He has the potential to be a terrific defenseman and gets too much grief for his play. The New York Rangers have a wealth of young defenseman and MDZ is still a restricted free agent, with the two sides nowhere close before the lockout began. They could end up looking to deal him when it ends.
Jonathan Bernier - Los Angeles Kings
This lockout has given Jonathan Quick time to heal up from his offseason back surgery. Initially, it was expected that Jonathan Bernier would remain in Hollywood until Quick was back at full strength, and he'd be jettisoned at the deadline. But this lockout has given the franchise time to heal up, meaning that they could look to force a team to overpay for the young Bernier, who still has loads of potential.
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Chicago Blackhawks
Though their blue line is nothing to write home about, the Chicago Blackhawks simply have too many defensemen. The obvious choice to go is Niklas Hjalmarsson, whose contract suddenly looks like a steal compared to what d-men have been signing for recently. Hjammer is a decent defenseman and he blocks a lot of shots. There is value there if the Hawks look to deal him.
Roberto Luongo - Vancouver Canucks
At this point, I'm not really sure how Roberto Luongo returns to Vancouver. His name has been floating out there all summer. The relationship is likely severed and he should have a new home very shortly after the lockout is over. It's just a matter of which of the three or four clubs interested in him actually lands him.