Pushing deeper into the week of the 2018 NHL and closer to the potentially busy weekend, yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe identified potential trade targets from 15 of the NHL’s other 30 teams. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe continues with a similar wish list from the other 15 teams.
As much as the Nashville Predators are a good team with strong depth on offense and defense, I do not see them as a likely trading partner unless Ryan Ellis or Matthias Ekholm becomes available to address the team’s need to add a top 4 defenseman.
New Jersey Devils
As a division rival, the odds of the Hurricanes brokering a sizable deal with the Devils seems unlikely.
New York Islanders
If the Islanders lose John Tavares to free agency, might the team consider a deeper dive into rebuilding mode? If that does occur, then perhaps either Jordan Eberle or Anders Lee could become an option for a third forward for the Aho/Teravainen combination.
New York Rangers
The Rangers exercised a fairly significant sell off at the trade deadline in March. As such, it is hard to say which remaining players are on the trading block. Couple that with the fact that they are a division rival, and they are less likely to be a Hurricanes trading partner than some other teams.
Though the one year term on his contract makes it risky to add Erik Karlsson at a high price, I continue to believe that their could be merit in making Justin Faulk the primary bargaining chip to add Karlsson. The good version of Faulk is the same right shot as Karlsson and even replaces some of the offense.
One of the most recent big name players to join the ranks of the rumor mill in Wayne Simmonds. He had a strong 2017-18 and continues to be a good player, but the risk with trading for him is some combination of Simmonds leaving next summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent and also the wear and tear for his rugged style of play. I would not pay a fortune for one more year of rights, but at some price he is a good addition even if only for one year.
As an in-division rival, I do not see much for options for players that fill the Hurricanes’ needs.
St. Louis Blues
The rumor mill has it that goalie Jake Allen could be available. His remaining contract has three years at a little over $4.5 million per year. Allen would represent a sizable and therefore somewhat risky change of plans at the goalie position.
San Jose Sharks
In an interesting pair of deals on Tuesday, the San Jose Sharks managed to ship out underperforming Mikkel Boedker and receive a nice collection of draft picks in return. That frees up more cap space and could theoretically make room to add Jeff Skinner to boost scoring. Somewhat similar to the Los Angeles deal, the San Jose Sharks have a veteran defenseman Justin Braun who could represent another option to solidify the Hurricanes’ second defense pairing.
Tampa Bay Lightning
With the addition of Ryan McDonagh and also the fact that Lightning seem due for their next round of salary cap challenges, could Anton Stralman become available? Stralman is 31 years old and only signed for one more year, so he might not represent a long-term solution. But he is the type of steady and reliable veteran defenseman who could help solidify the top 4.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The type of deal that has made sense conceptually for a couple years now is a swap of Noah Hanifin for a similar age forward. If (and that is an if) the Hurricanes decide that the team is ready to part ways with Hanifin, either of Mitch Marner or William Nylander would represent a similar age, similar draft pedigree and similar skill level trade to add a forward.
The Canucks are one of a couple teams who have been linked to Noah Hanifin interest. If the Hurricanes organization decides that Hanifin is not part of the long-term plan, then the Canucks’ #7 overall draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Such a move would represent the chance to try again for a home run inside of the first 10 picks of the draft.
Vegas Golden Knights
If the Hurricanes were willing to aim for younger but also riskier in terms of upgrading the goalie position, Malcolm Subban could represent a high risk/high reward option. With only 23 games of NHL experience, he is far from proven as an NHL starter just like Darling and comes in with even less experience. But he has the potential to become an NHL starter and took at least small strides toward doing so in 2017-18 with 22 games played. With Fleury going strong and seemingly anchored into the starting role, perhaps the Knights would consider trading Subban if the return is good.
The name that jumps off the page for the Capital is Philipp Grubauer. With Braden Holtby leading the way to the Stanley Cup, the word on the street is the Capitals will look to trade Grubauer who could bring a third goalie to the Hurricanes’ current mix.
After coming off a strong 2017-18 that saw the team push up into the playoffs, best guess is that the Jets will mostly hold to the status quo.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Which of the players highlighted as potential targets do you like?
2) Are there players not listed from these 15 teams whom you would consider?
3) Who wants to take a shot at actually doing deals?