Better late than never …
- Mike Hume of ESPN: Hume makes note of trade chips as the draft approaches.
1. The Panthers 1st overall pick – the Canucks could be interested and have veteran defenseman that could get the conversation started: Alexander Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison or Dan Hamhuis.
2. Ryan Kesler – the Canucks may want to get younger and decrease their cap number.
3. Dion Phaneuf – Phaneuf has a no-trade clause where he submits a 12-team trade list.
4. Jason Spezza – Has a $4 million salary and $7 million cap hit. The Blues and Ducks could be interested according to Bruce Garrioch. Spezza has 10-team list where he can’t be traded too.
5. Brayden Schenn (or someone else) – The Flyers don’t have a lot of salary cap space and Schenn is a RFA that will be looking for a big raise.
6. Nail Yakupov – the Oilers could use a high-end top-four defenseman.
Teams to Watch:
1. Penguins – still looking for a GM. They could look at moving Marc-Andre Fleury, with Craig Custance suggesting the Flames could be a landing spot. If they re-sign Matt Niskanen, they could have a logjam on the blueline.
2. Capitals – Mike Green could become a trade candidate, but they already have a need to a top four defenseman. His trade value is not that high due to past injuries and his salary. The Capitals could look to cash in on Joel Ward’s or Troy Brouwer’s successful season. Their new GM could look to package a pick and a young defenseman for some veteran help.
3. Islanders – GM Garth Snow could go on a full press to improve the team to make the playoffs as they owe the Sabres their 2015 1st round pick. They could use some of their picks and young prospects to bring in a supporting cast for John Tavares.