The fantasy values of many hockey players are going to be affected quite a bit over the next week as we approach the NHL deadline.
It happens every year around this time. We all wonder about how much better a player could be fantasy-wise if he was traded to Pittsburgh, Chicago or Washington. It’s like that old adage: If Wayne Gretzky can be dealt at the trade deadline for three lower-end prospects and a couple of picks, so can anyone else.
But let’s remember that the majority of fantasy-relevant players won’t be changing addresses this season. It was only a year ago, we were all debating where Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Drouin were going to be dealt, as well as Travis Hamonic, Kyle Okposo, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Keith Yandle. None of these guys were dealt. But just the chance they might was enough to have some fantasy GMs trading for these guys as a what-if.
Below you’ll find 10 players who are rumoured to be on the trading block that won’t be dealt before next week’s deadline.
His name has been popping up in trade rumours quite a bit but a trade doesn’t make a lot of sense. Filppula is scheduled to make $5 million in 2017-18. He has a modified no-trade clause but a no-movement clause. That means that any team that takes him on automatically has to protect him in the expansion draft. He’s gone ice cold lately with one point in his last nine games. I can’t see any team willing to take a chance on Filppula with all these concerns.
9. Evander Kane
TSN has Kane at number nine on its trade bait list, but Kane won’t be dealt for a bevy of reasons. The biggest concern is his off-ice issues and the fact many believe he can be a locker room disturbance. The next problem is that the buy-low window on Kane has closed. He’s already hit 21 goals, which is the second best of his career and his highest since 2011-12. He’s still not getting the power play time, but is on the first line with Jack Eichel and seems to have some chemistry there. Buffalo won’t trade him unless they get a really good return.
It’s been rumoured that Duclair has been on the trade market for quite a while, but let’s take a moment and examine this in more detail. Arizona isn’t making the postseason, so they won’t be make a playoff push trade on someone with an expiring contract. Duclair was accepting of his AHL demotion and has been okay in the minors (eight points in 12 games). He’s only 21 years old and is a year removed from a 20-goal, 44-point rookie season. Why would Arizona want to trade Duclair at this point?
Landeskog’s numbers have been steadily declining with each passing season. His goals, assists, points-per-game, plus-minus, and shots have decreased every year since 2013-14 campaign. And his PIM and power-play points have decreased each year since 2014-15. This year is one of his worst years yet, despite the fact his time on ice at its highest point in five years. NHL GMs would realize this as well and would be cautious adding him at this point of the season. Landeskog would command a lot more at the draft.
6. Ben Bishop
Tampa may be only five points out of the playoffs, but they would have to pass six teams to get that final wildcard spot. The problem with trading Bishop is there is only one team fighting for a playoff spot that maybe needs a goaltender: The Calgary Flames. And that’s a big maybe. The Flames are not likely to trade for a goalie having a horrible season that will be a UFA this offseason. That means there is no market for Bishop and he’ll probably simply leave the Bolts as a free agent or wind up signing a cheap one- or two-year deal with Tampa.
5. Cam Fowler
Fowler has cooled off a lot from his hot start. He went from having nine goals, 22 points, a plus-two and six power play points in his first 33 games, to two goals, eight points, an even plus-minus and zero power play points in his last 27 games. But he’s still getting lots of ice time and is the Ducks top power play option. Everyone believes the Ducks need to make some kind of move or risk losing an important player in expansion, but it won’t be Fowler that is dealt within the next week.
When it comes to players being potentially traded, Fleury would have probably been number one on many pre-season lists. But with just over a week remaining before the trade deadline, the odds of Fleury being dealt are very slim. The market doesn’t seem to have much of an appetite for Fleury, who is in the midst of his worst season ever. Plus, Matthew Murray has already had two trips to the injured reserve this season and Fleury is a better option than anyone has in their system. If Fleury decides to waive his no movement clause, it would make more sense to wait until the summer.
I swear Eberle is on a trade deadline list every single year. TSN still has Eberle on their trade bait list. Sure, way down at #22, but that’s still higher than other rumoured played such as Jaroslav Halak and Alexandre Burrows. Part of the problem is that the 26-year-old Eberle has never lived up to expectations despite many years on the top line and the chance to play with dynamic linemates. But Edmonton is firmly in a playoff spot and won’t be messing with their chemistry by shipping Eberle out.
2. Matt Duchene
He seems to be the top player available on everyone’s trade block. But the Avalanche seem to be asking for too much. With Duchene, what you see is what you get. He’s not an 80-point guy. He’s not a 70-point guy. This is his eighth year in the league. He hit exactly 70 points once, and 60-plus another year. He’s basically a 50-point player. So, his value is extremely over-inflated. A team won’t give up too much for him in the season, but might be more willing to do something in the offseason.
A few weeks ago, it looked like a sure bet that Shattenkirk was going to a new team as Shattenkirk is a UFA this summer and the Blues were in danger of missing the postseason. But then the Blues replaced Ken Hitchcock with Mike Yeo and the team has gone 7-2 since then. The Blues may decide that they need Shattenkirk if they want a chance at a deep playoff run and hold on to him rather than trade him away and let someone else man their power play.
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