The NHL trade deadline is tomorrow.
I thought it would be fun to predict what trades will happen, including some blockbusters.
So following are 10 trades I think might happen.
And don’t forget to come back here tomorrow to chat about the trade deadline (click here to get to chat).
Ottawa Senators trades Jason Spezza to the Edmonton Oilers for the Oilers first round pick, a prospect and Dustin Penner.
To me, this trade makes sense for both teams. Edmonton needs a high-offensive player to help them out, and Spezza certainly fits the bill. For Ottawa, they are giving up on a player that the fans have given up on (read Five For Smiting for more on this). They would get a good young talent, and a good young player to help the second-line scoring woes. Penner is good for at least 20 goals a season, especially if he plays with someone like Daniel Alfredsson. But the big selling point would be that first round pick. That would give the Sens two top-15 picks in the draft this year.
Florida Panthers trade Jay Bouwmeester to the Dallas Stars for a draft pick, a prospect and Fabian Brunnstrom.
The Panthers have to trade Jay Bouwmeester. He’s gone in the summer, and they have to get something in return. The Dallas Stars are in the running for a playoff spot, and need to make a big splash, especially with Sergei Zubov injured. But Florida isn’t conceding a playoff spot yet, as they make a deal for another defenceman.
Toronto Maple Leafs trade Tomas Kaberle to the Florida Panthers for a draft pick, a prospect and Stephen Weiss.
Kaberle has given general manager Brian Burke a list of 10 Eastern conference teams he wants to go to. There’s only 14 other teams, and I’m willing to bet the Islanders and Thrashers aren’t among the list. I’m willing to bet Florida is on the list. This way, Toronto gets what they want for Kaberle, and Florida has someone to replace Jay Bouwmeester. It will also reunite Kaberle and Bryan McCabe. To make this trade, Florida is getting everything back in the Bouwmeester trade, so they don’t lose anything and will get a d-man that’s signed for the next few years.
Tampa Bay Lightning trade Mark Recchi to the Montreal Canadiens for a draft pick.
The Lightning aren’t going anywhere, so they’ll be looking to unload a couple of veterans. Mark Recchi was a success in Montreal the first time around, and it’s the type of small trade Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey likes to make.
Ottawa Senators trade Chris Neil to the CalgaryFlames for a second round draft pick.
Ottawa can’t resign Neil, so they’re looking for a draft pick. Neil fits into the Flames style of play (rough and tough).
Anaheim Ducks trade Scott Niedermeyer to the New Jersey Devils for a prospect, a first rounder this year and a second round next year.
This makes sense because Niedermeyer is a free agent this summer, and the Ducks will probably want to get something in return for him before he debates his retirement this summer. Niedermeyer has been in New Jersey before, and had great success there. New Jersey only has one glaring hole on the team: they don’t have a #1 defenceman. Niedermeyer will give them everything they need on the back end, and if they win the Stanley Cup, he can retire as champion.
Minnesota Wild trade Marian Gaborik to the Montreal Canadiens for Chris Higgins and a prospect.
Though he prefers the small trades, Gainey will be looking to make a big splash at the deadline. The Wild get Higgins, who will be a restricted free agent in the summer, so even if he doesn’t resign there, they’ll get compensation for him. Gaborik is not going to resign with the Wild, so they’ll be looking to trade him, but because of his injuries, they won’t be getting a lot.
Minnesota Wild trade Niklas Backstrom to the Detroit Red Wings for a prospect, a second round pick and a young player already on the team.
Minnesota gets some future help, and the Red Wings get a player that can help them with their Stanley Cup run. Let’s face it, the Detroit goalies have been brutal this year. No matter what they say, they need help, and they’ll have to give up quite a bit for Backstrom.
Chicago Blackhawks trade Nikolai Khabibulin to the Philadelphia Flyers for a prospect.
Khabibulin won’t command a lot on the trade market because not a lot of teams need a goalie. But the Flyers do, and if they can get him by giving up a prospect, they’ll do it. But they’ll have to clear cap room first, so that leads me to …
Philadelphia Flyers trade Mike Knuble to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a second round pick.
As I said, this is purely a salary dump, but Columbus has $5 million in cap space, and want to make the playoff this year. Knuble gives them another scorer who can help out Rick Nash.