By Sean Sarcu @seansarcu on June 13, 2014
With the Stanley Cup Final set to end any day now, the NHL rumor mill is rapidly dialing up to full volume. Several teams stand out above the rest in terms of how active they are set to be in the trade market with a number of high profile players appearing likely to be moved this offseason. Let's take a look at the five teams that seem to be looking to make several deals over the coming months.
With Corey Crawford's new contract kicking in next season and inevitable (and expensive) extensions for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane taking effect a year after that, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to shed some salary. All three of Johnny Oduya, Nick Leddy and Michal Rozsival are being bandied about in trade rumors, and there have even been whispers of Patrick Sharp being available. Chicago is primarily searching for a second-line center.
After yet another disappointing playoff performance, the Pittsburgh Penguins cleaned house in the front office. New general manager Jim Rutherford will probably want to start crafting his own team rather than stand pat with what his predecessor Ray Shero left behind. The Penguins sorely need some forward depth and aren't particularly strong on the blue line either. They should be quite active in the trade market.
The big news out of Ottawa is Jason Spezza's trade request, which the Senators would be best off granting. Spezza should earn a nice return, but Ottawa will be a force in the trade market even beyond him. The Senators disappointed mightily in 2013-14, failing to make the playoffs after getting into the postseason in 2012-13 with an injury-riddled roster. Expect some big changes in Ottawa.
The Vancouver Canucks have officially entered a sorely-needed rebuild. Ryan Kesler is in about half of the NHL's trade rumors these days, with his desire to leave Vancouver being public knowledge for a number of months. Vancouver may also be searching for goaltending help after comically mishandling both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. New GM Jim Benning has his hands full.
GM Doug Wilson has intimated that the San Jose Sharks are no longer in "win now" mode and will be retooling around their youth. All three of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns are apparently on the table, with recent rumors linking Thornton to Chicago. After a historic collapse in the first round of the playoffs, the Sharks are looking for a major overhaul. Keep an eye out for fireworks in San Jose this offseason.
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