Trade Candidates: Who Could Land In NJ?

By Dave Turner

We’re going to dive into some trade possibilities for the New Jersey Devils moving forward. None of these ideas have been substantiated, but we’re looking at players that:

1. Fit a need for the Devils

2. Come from a team that looks like they’ll be out of contention

3. Works to benefit the salary cap for either team

The biggest asset that the Devils have right now is that they have a lot of cap space. Not only is that important for the sake of being able to swing a deal with a player for a large contract, but with room this year and even more room projected for next year, the Devils could also take on a “bad” contract from a team looking to shed some salary. The point is, that the Devils can trade for a player and don’t necessarily have to worry about the contract.

Something else to consider is the fact that Lou Lamoriello has gone after an older stay-at-home defenseman for the Devils playoff runs the last few years. While Marek Zidlicky has turned out to be okay, Niclas Havelid and Martin Skoula were both train-wrecks. Does that deter Lou from going after an older player?

(Note: If a player has a No Trade Clause, they would have to waive that to be traded.)

Jay Bouwmeester- (Resolute/ Wiki Commons)

Jay Bouwmeester- (Resolute/ Wiki Commons)

1. Jay Bouwmeester – Defenseman: Calgary Flames

No Trade Clause: YES

Jay-Bo was a big free agent signing that hasn’t panned out for the Flames. He had some great years in Florida and was rumored to about half the teams in the league before he eventually went to Calgary in a trade for his rights. His contract is an albatross; 6.6 million for this year and in 2014, so it makes sense that the Flames may want to rid themselves of that contract.

Bouwmeester is a big body at 6’4” 212 lbs, who is good from the point on the power play.  Though his plus/minus would dictate otherwise, he’s still solid in the defensive zone. This is a talented player who has been on bad teams in Florida and Calgary for his whole career. A change of scenery and a system that is still built on defense may do him good.

Also, our friend Pat Pickens mentioned in his article for SNY today that Jarome Iginla may be on the Devils radar as well. Could a package of the two of them make sense, freeing Calgary from their two biggest contracts and allowing them to rebuild?

It would take a sizeable package of someone like Jon Merrill, a Mattias Tedenby/Jacob Josefson and most likely another prospect and a high round pick.

2. Ales Hemsky – Right Wing: Edmonton Oilers

No Trade Clause: NO

Hemsky has been in Edmonton his whole NHL career, but with the Oilers looking to continue rebuilding and getting younger, they might be willing to part ways with him. He’s not going to blow you away with his offensive talent, but he can score and he’s a right wing. He might be another cheaper option that can play alongside Ilya Kovalchuk.

Hemsky has seven goals and three assists so far on the year, getting time on the Oilers top line. With the speed that the Oilers have on their roster, I honestly believe that Tedenby could go there and play well. He needs a system that is more open and fast-paced to suit his offensive skill set.

If you bring him in, you get a bit more scoring than you would with Alexei Ponikarovsky and it allows you to put Poni on the fourth line, instantly adding depth to the team.

Martin St. Louis/ (Jim Cristantiello/ Wiki Commons)

Martin St. Louis – (Jim Cristantiello/ Wiki Commons)

3. Martin St. Louis – Right Wing: Tampa Bay Lightning

No Trade Clause: YES

If you’re looking for someone who can bring out the best in Kovalchuk, there might not be anyone better than St. Louis. He is one of the best passers in the game and he’s a smart, veteran player. Tampa Bay has been struggling and doesn’t seem to have the horses to make a run, so St. Louis could become available as the Lightning look to rebuild.

With St. Louis being 37 years old and the team already having so much money locked up in Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos, it might make sense for this team to try and move him to get better for the future. With Tampa needed defensive help, you can assume that they would want Merrill and even Henrik Tallinder has value, to help tutor a fellow Swede in the underachieving Victor Hedman.

4. Clayton Stoner – Defenseman: Minnesota Wild

No Trade Clause: NO

Stoner is a big, 6’4” 225 lbs stay-at-home defenseman who might not be the flashy name some would want, but he can block shots and hit. If this is the route the Devils want to go, why not go with a younger player who can still develop as opposed to a guy in his late 30’s. Stoner has been plus-five and plus-three the past two seasons with the Wild.

If Minnesota continues to struggle, they may be looking to shake things up and Stoner would come at a much smaller cost to the Devils, if they’re not looking to part with a big package of players or picks.

5. Willie Mitchell – Defenseman: Los Angeles Kings

No Trade Clause: YES

It has been Lou’s M.O to bring back former Devils and if they’re looking to upgrade the defense, Mitchell would be a good fit. He has the experience of winning the Cup last year with the Kings and he’s a solid two-way player. He won’t wow you at either end of the ice, but he’s very solid in his own zone and can add a little punch on offense.

I think he’d be a perfect fit in terms of someone who wouldn’t cost a lot because of his age and he’d be a solid player to add to the mix. Though everyone is expecting the Kings to snap out of their post-Stanley Cup slump, they play in a tough division and if they don’t turn it around, they would more than likely be willing to deal away some of their older players to reload for next season.

 

Lee Stempniak - (Resolute/Wiki Commons)

Lee Stempniak – (Resolute/Wiki Commons)

6. Lee Stempniak – Right Wing: Calgary Flames

No Trade Clause: NO

This is exactly the type of player that embodies the Devils system. He’s a hard-working, grind-it-out kind of guy who has the ability to score. Though he most likely wouldn’t be a top-6 forward on the Devils, if the price is right, he could be a really nice addition in terms of depth for the playoffs. He’s a proven, consistent player who could help form another 4th line that the Devils could rely on come the postseason.

Ryan O'Reilly- (Resolute/ Wiki Commons)

Ryan O’Reilly- (Resolute/ Wiki Commons)

7. Ryan O’Reilly – Center: Colorado Avalanche

No Trade Clause: NO

O’Reilly’s name has been all over as of late. The talented young center is owned by the Avalanche, but he didn’t report when they couldn’t reach a new deal. There’s talks that a lot of the big Eastern Conference teams such as the Bruins, Flyers and Rangers are all interested. While the Devils don’t have the prospects that those teams do, they have much more cap room.

The word is that the Avs want a lot for him, after he posted 55 points (18g, 37a) last season. Because he plays center, I could only see the Devils going after him if Adam Henrique is really struggling and they feel that they need another second line center. He’s young and has upside, so it’s not like he’d be a rental.

(All cap-related information was found on CapGeek.com)

1 Comment

  1. NJ Devils Militia

    No way we trade Merrill for Bouwmeester.

    Hemsky would be good fit here, Iginla even better but it would take much more to acquire him.

    I can’t see Tampa trading the St Louis, they will go for a playoff run.

Comments are closed.