Welp, my Finals prediction has been vaporized to another dimension. Therefore, there have been rumblings around the potential players that could be moved this offseason. Here are a bunch:
Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks): It came out today that Thornton’s brother stated that Joe would waive is No Movement Clause if the San Jose fans “didn’t want him”. The Sharks had a stellar top line with him and Patrick Marleau, Marleau seems to become a completely different player with Thornton’s talent and ability to get him the puck. Thornton is only 34, which conceivably he has at least three solid years ahead of him. It would be interesting to see what the team would look like, and would the management be saying that they need a slight rebuild?
Antti Neimi (San Jose Sharks): Neimi does have the 2010 Stanley Cup Ring and he is a finalist for the Vezina, though he will lose to Tuukka Rask. But the past postseasons have showed that Neimi is vulnerable to the bigger stage and may need a change of scenary. Youngster Alex Stalock took over for Niemi for a brief period during their 3-1 collapse. Stalock is also a free agent and GM Doug Wilson will have a decision to make as to who will take over the crease.
Jason Spezza (Ottawa Senators): His $7 million cap hit will turn off some, but it is only for one year ant then it drops to $4million. It is seeming more and more likely that the speedy Spezza will be traded. Once again the Anaheim Ducks are looking as a potential suitor. When healthy, Spezza is a player that every team and defense needs to account for, he is a great scorer and an underrated playmaker.
Evander Kane (Winnipeg Jets): Kane has been rumored to be on the market for a while and it seems that the team is not liking his antics. He is coming off his worst season since his rookie year, he did not get a long with former coach Claude Noel and was benched by new coach Paul Maurice. It would still be a longshot that he is traded, but it is not insane. Kane needs to realize his potential and become the player everyone knows that he can be.
James Reimer (Toronto Maple Leafs): This one is nearly automatic. The only thing hanging up this trade is where. Reimer wants to start, but are there any team that WANTS him as a starter? There are teams like Winnipeg, Buffalo (potentially), and Calgary that need starters, but is he an upgrade over what they already have? If he is willing to go to a team and compete, then that opens a lot of doors.
Mike Green (Washington Capitals): New coach, new GM. If he is not traded this offseason, having one year and over $6 million owed, he could most definitely be a trade deadline target. If he does not fit in with the new regime and the new systems, there are plenty of teams that could use a puck-mover in all phases and a QB on the PP.
Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins): The B’s have already begun talks with the rejuvenated Jerome Iginla and have plenty of free agents to attempt to sign. Marchand is player that uses his ability to pester the opposition and draw penalties. He is a solid offensive contributor during the regular season. This move would most likely be a move to free up space to sign some of their younger players.
Pick one: Marc Andre-Fleury, Kris Letang, and Paul Martin (Pittsburgh Penguins): This is similar to the Capitals. New coach and new GM. Letang is a great player and one that came back from a stroke and looked like he did not miss a beat. Fleury has been stellar in the regular season and then has faltered each postseason since winning the Cup in 2009. They could get a lot for each of these targets and potentially reload for next season.
Ryan Kesler (Vancouver): First he wanted to leave, then he didn’t, and now he does? There is another regime change and he has already put out a list of potential places he wants to go. He is a solid offensive man who can center a top line. He wants desperately to win a Cup and now knows that will not happen in Vancouver.
OTHER NAMES: Dustin Byfuglein (Winnipeg), Nazim Kadri (Toronto), Kris Versteeg (Chicago), Nail Yakupov (Edmonton), Sam Gagner (Edmonoton), Jake Gardiner (Toronto), Brent Burns (San Jose), Patrick Marleau (San Jose), David Perron (Edmonton), Johnny Boychuk (Boston), Mike Richards (LA), James Neal (Pittsburgh),