The busiest part of the NHL offseason has come and gone with the completion of the NHL draft and the early stages of the free agent signing period. However, there are still plenty of potential trades that could be made involving some significant players. Teams are still over the salary cap, contenders still have holes to fill, and rebuilding teams still have veteran pieces that could be traded for future assets before the start of the season or the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. Here we take a look at 15 NHL players that could still be on the move in the weeks and months ahead.
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Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes
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Chychrun’s name has been involved in trade rumors for the better half of a year now, and it is easy to understand why other teams would be in the market for him. He is still young, and in the prime of his career; he is really good, and best of all, he is still signed long-term on an incredible cap/team-friendly contract, counting just $4.6 million against the cap per season over the next three years. That alone should make him a desirable trade target. That also means Arizona should not just give him away. Yes, they are deep into a rebuild and shedding players for future assets. But at some point, you have to keep somebody, and there should be no rush to move a player like this until they either A) absolutely have to, or B) he asks out.
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Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawkss
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The Blackhawks are gutting the roster. If Alex DeBrincat isn’t somebody they will keep, nobody is off limits including the two remaining core players. This would require a couple of things to make a deal happen. First, Toews would have to okay it given his no-movement clause. Second, the Blackhawks would almost certainly have to retain a significant portion of his remaining $10 million salary cap number to facilitate a trade given his declining play and production. It may not happen in the offseason, but he could be gone before the trade deadline.
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Josh Bailey, New York Islanders
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Nobody really knows what Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders have planned. They still need to get better. They are reportedly in the market for free agent Nazem Kadri and still have to re-sign restricted free agents Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov. They might need to make a move to make all of that possible. Bailey counts over $5 million against the cap for the next two years, is into his 30s, and showing signs of slowing down offensively. There may not be a massive market for that, but there are always ways to dump contracts teams no longer want. What might make his contract a little more attractive is his actual remaining salary is lower than his salary cap hit. That could be enticing for a team that needs to reach the salary floor.
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Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
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This would really kickstart the Blackhawks’ rebuild. While moving Toews’ contract is going to be a problem, there should still be plenty of interest in Kane should the Blackhawks make him available and if he has an interest in moving. Like Toews, he is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and at this point, there is really no point in re-signing given the current state of the franchise. He may be a liability defensively, but he can still produce offensively at a top-tier level.
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J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks
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The Canucks have been stuck in hockey purgatory for a couple of years now and are showing no signs of getting out of it. Miller is one of their best players, but he is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and the team has, to this point, been unable to re-sign him to a new long-term contract extension. The longer he goes without one, the more likely he will get dealt in the coming months. The longer they wait, the less they get in return.
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Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers
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At the end of the 2021-22 season and going into the start of the offseason, a Puljujarvi trade seemed inevitable. The longer the offseason goes on, though, it seems that maybe the Oilers are backing off on that. As they should. Puljujarvi might not score goals the way they expect him to at this point given his draft spot and linemates, but he is still an outstanding player that makes his team better when he is on the ice. Honestly, his career trajectory at this point is similar to Valeri Nichushkin. If he is available, every team in the league should be interested.
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John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks
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The Ducks made some serious investments this offseason in Ryan Strome, Frank Vatrano, and John Klingberg in an attempt to add to their young core of Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry, and Jamie Drysdale. So they may be beyond the point of shedding veterans and trying to compete in a fairly wide-open division. But Gibson’s play has really declined the past few years and his contract is pretty significant for the level of play he has given them in recent years. If they are not looking to trade him at the moment, it should at least be on the table.
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Marcus Pettersson, Pittsburgh Penguins
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The Penguins have already overhauled their defense this offseason with the additions of Jeff Petry, Ty Smith, and Jan Rutta, as well as the departures of Mike Matheson and John Marino. Could more changes be on the way? The Penguins still have to shed some salary to be cap compliant and give themselves some flexibility for the trade deadline. Pettersson’s name has been floated in trade speculation since the deadline given his contract.
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Brian Dumoulin, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Everything said about Pettersson still applies here to Dumoulin. The problem with a potential trade here: The Penguins still value Dumoulin highly, and he is the regular defense partner of Kris Letang. He might actually have more trade value than Pettersson, given that he only has one year remaining on his deal. Would not expect to see him move, but something still has to give with a contract in Pittsburgh.
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Pierre-Luc Dubois, Winnipeg Jets
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There was much speculation around Dubois earlier in the offseason, and he squashed rumors that he had requested a trade out of Winnipeg. Still, his future seems to be anywhere but Winnipeg. He is signed to a one-year deal worth $6 million and will still be a restricted free agent after its completion. He is still just 24 years old and is a top-line player. Whether it happens this season or next offseason, it just feels like this situation is trending toward a trade at some point.
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Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
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This would be a complex deal, but the Jets have reportedly explored the possibility of it. Wheeler is 35, has no-trade protection and can submit a five-team list, is not great defensively, and he still counts more than $8 million against the cap for another two years. The Jets would almost certainly have to retain some salary. But for all of those flaws, he is still a very productive player offensively.
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James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers
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What are the Flyers even doing? Nobody really knows. The team stinks, but they seem content trying to win. But they were not willing to do what was necessary to shed salary to make a serious run at a significant free agent. van Riemsdyk would have been the obvious candidate. He is in the final year of his current contract, and given how bad the Flyers are likely to be this season, he seems like an inevitable trade candidate before the end of the season.
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Conor Garland, Vancouver Canucks
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In terms of value and the salary cap, Garland was probably the best part of the Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade for the Canucks. But the Canucks have a new front office that wants to build its own team, and Garland is somebody that could have some real value.
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Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay Lightning
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This is strictly about the salary cap. The Lightning always push the upper limits of the cap to the extreme, and they locked in three more key players to long-term deals (Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli, and Erik Cernak) this offseason that kick in next season. They also still need to try some salary to be cap compliant for this season. Killorn is the obvious player to go here because he is not really one of the core superstars but still carries a pretty significant salary cap number. They already traded Ryan McDonagh and lost Ondrej Palat this offseason. Killorn could be next.
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Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks
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The Canucks are not going to trade all of Miller, Garland, or Boeser, but it is a pretty good bet that at some point one of them, and maybe two, is going to go as they look to shake up a roster that has been mostly underwhelming the past few years. Boeser is signed to a new three-year, $19.95 million contract that would be very attractive for a new team looking to add some scoring punch.