By Brandon Fitzpatrick @bfitzsports on June 14, 2014
Sadly, the NHL season is officially over. We are now in the short, three-month span that is the NHL offseason. There are already major names that have been put on the trading block, by their own doing, and in some cases, by their team. The NHL offseason is always exciting as so many players change teams. Here are five players who will be dealt this offseason.
Dion Phaneuf is the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs and recently signed a seven-year contract with a cap hit of million per year. Not surprisingly, the Maple Leafs have already started shopping the 29-year-old defenseman. Teams like the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are said to be interested in acquiring Phaneuf. The Maple Leafs screwed up signing him for so long, and now want to rid themselves of him.
There is a new regime in place for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and James Neal won't be around to be apart of it. Neal, who is signed for four more years with a million cap hit, is on the block. He is a sniper, but is a head case who has shown to lack discipline. The Penguins are trying to clear some cap space, and Neal is going to be the odd man out.
A Paul Holmgren signing that was bad right from the start? Doesn't happen a lot right? Seriously, Vincent Lecavalier played a majority of the season on the fourth line, is 34 years old and is due to make .5 million over the next four years. The Flyers new GM, Ron Hextall, would be wise to move Lecavalier, but it could be difficult with Lecavalier's no-movement clause. The Flyers need some cap space, and will get rid of Lecavalier to free it up.
It really does feel like the Edmonton Oilers have been rebuilding since the 1980s. They finally moved Ales Hemsky at the trade deadline, something that was eight years in the making. Sam Gagner is going to be the next veteran shipped out of Edmonton. He is only signed for two more years with a modest .8 million cap hit. He won't be highly coveted since he hasn't put up a lot of points, but in the right fit he could be a steal.
This week we found out that Jason Spezza has joined fed-up veteran club, demanding a trade from the Ottawa Senators. Spezza has one year left on a deal worth million, and is likely headed out west. He is clearly the biggest name on the trading block, and will draw interest from cup contenders like the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues, while also drawing interest from the teams in the tier below, like the Dallas Stars.
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