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Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (Chris Kohley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).
Following a hectic
July in the NHL trade market, the pace slowed considerably in August with just two trades taking place.
The first occurred on Aug. 18, as the Calgary Flames
shipped center Sean Monahan and a conditional 2025 first-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for future considerations. The next came on Aug. 29 when the San Jose Sharks traded goaltender Adin Hill to
the Vegas Golden Knights for a 2024 fourth-rounder.
limited trade action, the rumor mill remained busy.
Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane and Arizona Coyotes defenseman
Jakob Chychrun were among the notable players to surface in media
camps opening in mid-September, the trade market could stir to life
as general managers attempt to tinker with their rosters in
anticipation of the coming season. Here’s a look at the noteworthy
players who could become trade candidates.
Do you agree with
our choices? Did we omit anyone? Let us know in the comments section
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Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (left) and Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).
This list is
comprised of 15 NHL players who surfaced in trade rumors reported by media outlets throughout August. The top 10 were chosen on the basis
of talent, potential trade value and the possibility of being moved.
center Jonathan Toews, St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko,
Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk and Winnipeg Jets
forwards Blake Wheeler and Pierre-Luc Dubois were featured in our
August Trade Block Big Board. They’re not on our current list, as speculation about their trade status
dried up in August.
In no particular
order, here are our noteworthy 15:
Toronto Maple Leafs
Josh Bailey, New
Beauvillier, New York Islanders
Detroit Red Wings
James Reimer, San
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Toronto Maple Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot (Andrew Bershaw /Icon_Sportswire).
Sitting above the
salary cap by $1.5 million, the Toronto Maple Leafs have to be cap
compliant when the season opens in October. They must also find a way
to free up sufficient room to sign restricted free agent defenseman
That could make
Alex Kerfoot a cost-cutting trade candidate. The 28-year-old forward
can play center or wing and is coming off a career-best 51-point
season. However, he also carries a $3.5 million cap hit and is slated
to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
On July 28, The
Athletic’s Jonas Siegel wondered if the Leafs’ addition of versatile
forward Calle Jarnkrok might make Kerfoot expendable. On Aug. 12,
Leafs Nation’s Jon Steitzer suggested the Carolina Hurricanes,
Seattle Kraken, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild and Colorado
Avalanche as possible trade destinations.
Kerfoot isn’t the
only cost-cutting candidate on the Leafs. Defenseman Justin Holl and
his $2 million cap hit could also be shopped to make way for Sandin.
However, it could be Kerfoot who gets peddled if it proves more
costly to keep Sandin.
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Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).
Washington Capitals will be without Nicklas Backstrom to start this
season as he recovers from hip surgery, but they still have depth at center with Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dylan Strome and Lars Eller. However, Washington
Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber reported on Aug. 11 that there’s been some
trade speculation about the 33-year-old Eller.
Silber noted Eller
struggled through injury and inconsistent play last season. He could
also face a challenge for the third-line center position from
promising young Connor McMichael. If so, he could become a player of
interest in this season’s NHL rumor mill.
struggles last season, he’s been a valuable part of their roster
since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in 2016. His
experience and two-way skills helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2018
and could prove vital again this season, especially if injuries
should hit the roster early.
Eller also carries
an affordable $3.5 million salary-cap hit for this season. Still,
he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. If
McMichael outplays him and Backstrom returns to the lineup at some
point this season, Eller could end up on the trade block.
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Edmonton Oilers winger Warren Foegele (Derek Leung/Getty Images)
has come up as a trade candidate should the Edmonton Oilers pursue a big-name winger such as Patrick Kane. Alternatively, trading Puljujarvi could help them become
cap compliant after re-signing Ryan McLeod. On Aug. 3, however, the
Edmonton Journal‘s Jim Matheson tweeted that he felt Warren Foegele
was the most likely trade candidate.
Foegele, 26, is a
physical checking-line forward who can play either wing and possesses
a decent offensive touch. He also carries an affordable $2.8 million
annual average value through 2023-24.
Foegele has frequently been mentioned as a trade option for the
Oilers. On Aug. 24, Matheson’s colleague David Staples cited Oilers
Now host Bob Stauffer talking about what it might take for the
Oilers to acquire Kane. He suggested Foegele or Puljujarvi would have
to be part of the package to make the dollars work.
Sitting $6 million above the $82.5 million salary cap, the Oilers must be
cap compliant before the regular season opens in October. They are expected to place sidelined players Oscar Klefbom and Mike Smith on long-term injury reserve. However, they could also move someone like Foegele in a salary-shedding trade.
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New York Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier (Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images).
During July, rumors linking the
New York Islanders to Nazem Kadri had Anthony Beauvillier as a trade candidate to create cap room for
the 31-year-old center. On Aug. 16, NYI Hockey Now’s Stefan Rosner
reported the Montreal Canadiens were among several teams interested
in the 25-year-old winger.
With Kadri having signed with the Calgary Flames, Rosner
believes the time is right for the Islanders to pursue Vancouver Canucks
forward J.T. Miller. On Aug. 26, he pointed out that the Isles were
interested in the 29-year-old center during the draft in July, but a
rumored deal fell through.
suggested packaging a first-round pick along with veteran defenseman
Scott Mayfield and prospect blueliner Samuel Bolduc. He also
speculated the Canucks could ask for a winger in the deal, and Beauvillier’s youth and affordable $4.2 million salary-cap hit
through 2023-24 could suit their needs.
The Canucks appear
unlikely to move Miller before the start of the season despite the
current lack of activity in his contract discussions. Nevertheless,
Beauvillier could remain a trade candidate in any Isles trade rumors
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Edmonton Oilers right wing Jesse Puljujarvi (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Despite signing a
one-year, $3 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers on July 26,
Jesse Puljujarvi made our August Trade Block Big Board because his
name kept popping up in trade rumors throughout July. That speculation
continued to dog the 24-year-old winger over the past month.
After the Oilers
re-signed Kailer Yamamoto on Aug. 3, the Edmonton Journal‘s David
Staples observed they were above the $82.5 million cap by $6.8
million. He anticipated they’ll put Oscar Klefbom and Mike Smith on
long-term injury reserve but would remain above the cap by $423,000
with restricted free agent forward Ryan McLeod yet to re-sign.
Puljujarvi could become one of their Oilers’ cost-cutting trade
candidates. On Aug. 23, he cited Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer
suggesting the club offer up Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele as part of a
package offer to the Chicago Blackhawks for Patrick Kane.
Time will tell if
the Oilers dangle Puljujarvi as trade bait for Kane or any other
top-six forward. They could simply ship him out to become cap
compliant at the start of the season, though that goal could be
achieved by merely demoting a depth player to the minors. What’s
clear is that Puljujarvi’s new contract has done nothing to silence the
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Boston Bruins winger Craig Smith (Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images).
The Boston Bruins
are sitting above the $82.5 million salary cap by $2.2 million. They
can remain there when the regular season begins by placing sidelined
players such as Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk on
long-term injury reserve. Before those players return to action, however, they’ll have to
become cap compliant.
Smith could be one way to address that issue. On Aug. 16, Boston
Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy reported the Bruins
had discussed the 32-year-old winger with another club. He indicated
a trade offer was made, but it appears they failed to reach an agreement.
Smith carries a
$3.1 million salary-cap hit and is slated to become an unrestricted
free agent next summer. A middle-six forward who can play either
wing, he had 36 points in 74 games last season.
The Bruins could
find other ways to get under the cap. Still, the fact Smith has surfaced in the rumor mill as
a trade candidate suggests a trade remains a viable option. His
status will be worth monitoring throughout September.
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Montreal Canadiens center Christian Dvorak (Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images).
Canadiens’ acquisition of Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames gives
them considerable forward depth, especially at center. That
prompted speculation suggesting they could draw from that depth for
trade bait to bolster their defensive corps.
Now’s Marco D’Amico pointed out on Aug. 23 that the Canadiens have 15
forwards under contract for 2022-23 with restricted free agent Kirby
Dach still to be signed. He also observed that general manager Kent
Hughes would like to add a right-shot defenseman to his blue line.
D’Amico there are varying degrees of interest in Christian Dvorak,
Mike Hoffman and Joel Armia in the trade market. Given their depth at
center, he suggested Dvorak could become expendable. Acquired from
the Arizona Coyotes last summer by former Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin,
he’s a dependable two-way center who is solid in the faceoff circle.
Dvorak, 26, is
under contract through 2024-25 with an affordable average annual
value of $4.5 million. He also lacks no-trade protection this
season, giving Hughes a wide number of possible trade partners to
work with. The Canadiens GM is under no pressure to move Dvorak, but
the center could be the best trade asset to address his blue-line
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Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).
unrestricted free agent status next July, the future of J.T. Miller
with the Vancouver Canucks remains a hot topic for media discussion.
A fixture in the rumor mill since last season, the 29-year-old center
continues to be a prime candidate for trade chatter entering September.
Dhaliwal tweeted on Aug. 15 that the two sides hadn’t held contract
discussions since the draft in July. On Aug. 26, he and Thomas Drance
reported Miller’s agent hasn’t ruled out cutting off
talks once the regular season begins. However,
they doubt that would change the dynamic for the cost-conscious Canucks.
The same day, NYI Hockey Now’s
Stefan Rosner pointed out the Islanders spoke with the Canucks about
Miller during the draft, but the rumored trade fell apart. On Aug 27, Vancouver
Hockey Now’s Rob Simpson suggested the New Jersey Devils and Carolina
Hurricanes as possible trade destinations.
attract plenty of interest if he becomes available in the trade
market. Much will depend on how his contract discussions unfold as
well as the Canucks’ performance during the coming season. Expect his
name to appear on our future trade block boards.
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Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images).
mentioned as a trade candidate since last season, Jakob Chychrun was
No. 4 on our August Trade Block Big Board. The skilled puck-moving blueliner is signed through 2024-25 at an affordable $4.6 million per season. However, media
gossip tied the 24-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman to the Ottawa
On Aug. 10, TSN’s
Shawn Simpson reported there was a sense the Coyotes would trade
Chychrun before training camp opened in September. He indicated the
Senators were among the interested clubs, but the asking price was “ridiculously high.” Simpson heard the Coyotes were interested in
draft picks rather than prospects or players in return.
reporter turned podcaster Brent Wallace reported on Aug. 16 that the
Senators remained in trade talks with the Coyotes. He’d heard their
asking price was two first-round picks and a high-end prospect, plus
the Coyotes would take defenseman Nikita Zaitsev off the Senators’
Two days later,
GOPHNX.com’s Craig Morgan tweeted that Coyotes general manager Bill
Armstrong isn’t in a rush to move Chychrun. It appears Senators GM
Pierre Dorion has heard enough. On Aug. 26, the Ottawa Sun‘s Bruce
Garrioch reported Dorion balked at Armstrong’s asking price.
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Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (Harry How/Getty Images).
unrestricted free agent eligibility and uncertain future with the
Chicago Blackhawks were the key factors that placed him atop our
August 2022 Trade Block Big Board. He garners that honor again
heading into September as trade rumors link the 33-year-old winger to
the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
On Aug. 21, the
Edmonton Journal‘s Kurt Leavins wondered if Kane might consider
accepting a trade to the Oilers, suggesting it could cost at least a
player, a top prospect and a first-round pick. Two days later, his colleague David
Staples cited Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer proposing Jesse
Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele being part of the return for Kane.
Jason Gregor of
Oilers Nation pointed out on Aug. 19 that Kane carries a $10.5
million salary-cap hit but is getting paid $2.9 million in actual salary.
Nevertheless, he thinks it would take a three-team trade to enable the
cap-strapped Oilers to take on his annual cap hit.
Meanwhile, on Aug 23, the
Toronto Star‘s Damien Cox was dismissive of speculation linking Kane
to the Maple Leafs. He pointed out the Leafs lack blue-chip prospects and first-round picks that would be necessary to tempt the rebuilding Blackhawks in a trade offer.
On Aug. 9, The Athletic’s Scott Powers reported Kane and longtime teammate Jonathan Toews have not asked to be traded nor
has management approached them about waiving their no-movement
clauses. He indicated both players will be allowed to decide their
futures. It’s expected that they’ll wait and see how this season plays out.
Stats via NHL.com with salary info via Cap Friendly.
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