After a lengthy delay during the 2020 season, the National Hockey League has not announced a starting date for the 2021 season. Many experts close to the league think play will begin in the middle of January. Since teams still have several weeks before opening training camp, there is still time to alter their roster before the upcoming season. With all of the big free agents signed, executing a trade is the only way to do this. These are the four most likely candidates for trading in the NHL.
Frederik Andersen is one of the most durable goalies in the NHL, but he is extremely inconsistent. Andersen is prone to long stretches of poor play. This inconsistency has prevented the Toronto Maple Leafs from reaching their full potential in the last few years. With Andersen entering the final year of his contract, Toronto may decide it’s time to try out someone else in the net. Several teams would view Andersen as a significant upgrade.
The Anaheim Ducks have no shot of contending in the upcoming season. Anaheim’s best player, center Adam Henrique, is just entering the prime of his career; this makes him a perfect trade candidate for a rebuilding team. The Ducks would quickly secure several top prospects to help the team in the future. His reasonable contract makes Henrique an intriguing addition for any team looking to win in the next few years.
Few teams entered the offseason with as many salary cap issues as the St. Louis Blues. The lack of finances forced the Blues to watch long-time captain Alex Pietrangelo leave for Las Vegas. The Blues still need to cut around two million dollars before the start of the season. Trading the expiring contract of veteran center Tyler Bozak will give St. Louis desperately needed financial flexibility.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are another team dealing with severe salary cap issues right now. The Lightning have several great trade candidates, but most of them have full no-trade clauses in their contracts– this leaves winger Alex Killhorn as the most likely to get moved. Killhorn is coming off a career year, and he still has three years left on his reasonable contract.