Trade Deadline Hot Stove: 3/15

The trade deadline is fast approaching and there are a lot of teams that are looking to upgrade. I think that this is going to be a very different sort of year for free agency because of the shortened season.

We’re going to take a look at some of the names that have been thrown around  lately, but there are things to keep in mind:

– A lot of teams are still in contention

– Teams towards the bottom of the conference aren’t all that far off of the eighth seed, so it’s hard to expect THAT many teams to be sellers.

The way I look at it right now, the Sabres and Panthers are the only two teams that are almost guaranteed to be sellers. Not to say that they will, but they look like the two who may. The Lightning, Islanders, Capitals and even the Flyers may also decide to trade away a player, depending on what offers they receive and where they are on April 3rd.

As far as the West goes, I see Calgary and Edmonton as two teams who are highly likely to trade. Columbus, who was towards the bottom just a week ago is now only a few points out of a playoff spot. They are playing for the future though, so they could be sellers as well. Colorado looks like they may be in that realm as well.

The point is, there are not going to be a lot of teams who are wanting to deal. Even for a few clubs that are four to six points out of a playoff spot, they may be willing to sit tight and try to make a run.

Also, lets not forget that because there are going to be a lot of teams interested in a small pool of players, the price for even a depth player may go up. I’ve talked with people who have said something like Harri Pesonen and a mid-range pick could land someone, but I don’t think so. The price will be driven up.

Another thing to take into consideration is the idea that if two or three teams are going after a big-time player, they may panic if they lose and offer more than they should to the next person on their list. There could also be a domino effect, with one team making a deal and others feeling the need to follow suit.

With that being said, here’s a look at some of the potential names who may be moved and if they might be on the Devils radar: 

Jarome Iginla/(Resolute- Wikicommons)

Jarome Iginla/(Resolute- Wikicommons)

Jarome Iginla: Flames- He’s getting towards the end of his career, but he can still play. He’s an instant upgrade to the top six of almost any team in the league. You have to expect that the Flames are going to want to deal him and there will be a lot of suitors. Because of that, his price will be high. Throw in the fact that a lot of teams are sort of cap-strapped and you may even see a roster player moving in the deal. Rumors have the Bruins as a possible landing spot, so you have to consider what Montreal may do in response.

Chance the Devils go after him: Low  

Jay Bouwmeester: Flames- Sticking with the theme of Calgary, I also believe that Jay-Bo will be traded as well. He’s a tricky situation because he carries such a large cap hit for next year as well, at 6.6 million. He’s a good two way player who has been stuck on a bad team. I could see many teams being interested in him, but it’ll be interesting to see how the cap hit comes into play. The fact that he played under Pete Deboer in Florida may either hurt or help his chances of being on the Devils radar.

Chance the Devils go after him: Medium 

Robyn Regehr/(Michael Miller)

Robyn Regehr/(Michael Miller)

Robyn Regehr: Sabres- There will be a lot of teams after this guy. He’s a solid stay at home defenseman that can add instant blue-line depth to any team. He’s a free agent after the season, so he’s most likely a rental. Because his price will be somewhat lower than other players, you could see Buffalo fielding a lot of offers and getting more for him because there are a lot of teams involved. He’d be a nice fit in New Jersey. He’s definitely an upgrade from Henrik Tallinder and even Anton Volchenkov at this point.

Chance the Devils go after him: Relatively Strong

Jordan Leopold: Sabres- Another Sabre defenseman who would be a rental, Leopold is someone who has moved before at the deadline and played well. He’s a guy that is offensive minded, but is still strong in his own zone. His cap number is lower, so it might not take a roster player to get him for a team that is close to the cap. He’s not going to wow you, but he was pretty good in Buffalo the past two seasons, with thirteen and ten goals in the past two years respectively.

Chance the Devils go after him: Medium

Brian Campbell: Florida Panthers- He’s a premiere puck-mover when he’s at the top of his game. His minus-19 for the year is rough, but you have to consider how bad Florida’s goaltending has been. He’ll fetch a good price because he can be a power play quarterback for a team that really needs an upgrade in that area. The issue? He has three years left at 7.1 million. Not only is that number huge, but he’ll be 37 by the time that deal ends. For that reason, I think it will be tough to move him.

Chances the Devils go after him: Low

Ales Hemsky: Edmonton Oilers- If a team is looking for a solid winger, Hemsky may be the answer. Edmonton is looking to continue stockpiling younger talent and Hemsky would be a good way to get a good package in return. His career numbers aren’t great, but he does have eight goals this season. On a good team, he’s most likely nothing more than a depth third liner, but for some teams that would be a big boost. Would the Devils be interested in him? He’d be a nice fit on the third line, which would allow the CBGB line to go back together for the playoffs.

Chances the Devils go after him: Medium/Low 

Corey Perry/(Michael Miller- wiki commons)

Corey Perry/(Michael Miller- wiki commons)

Corey Perry: Anaheim Ducks- He’s at the top of everyone’s wish list. I think it’s a pipe dream that he even gets traded. Though the Ducks probably won’t have the cash to resign him next year, they can almost look at him as a rental. Right now the Ducks are playing well enough that you have to consider them a legitimate title contender. Why would they trade a great player during a season like this? I think they’d have to be floored by an offer. I’m talking about something (if it were from the Devils) like Adam Henrique, Jon Merrill and a 3rd round pick from a team IF they can work out a deal already for next year. It would take a monstrous deal for him to go. Simply put, if the Ducks aren’t getting back a ton, why would they want to lose him in a year where they’re looking at being a top-3 seed?

Chances the Devils go after him: Slim to none

Erik Johnson: Avalanche- Johnson is a big bodied two-way defender who can use his big frame well and can score. If Colorado continues to slide out of it, they may get some offers. I think it would take a lot to pry him away from them. He’s 6’4” 212 and he can hit. He hasn’t shown that he can be a top-flight defensive player quite yet, but at 24, you have to expect him to get better. It would take a pretty sizable package to get him.

Chances the Devils go after him: Slim to none