Our friends at The Daily Goal Horn took a look at the landscape to rank the Top 10 NHL trade and buyout candidates. On Friday the first buyout window opens and it’s possible one to two of these players will become free agents. Let’s get to it.
NHL Trade and Buyout candidates
Now let’s take a closer look at each player. We will start with number one on the list.
1. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (Trade/Buyout)
The Rangers have to start thinking about the future and sadly, 38 year-old goalie Henrik Lundqvist represents the past. Jeff Gorton is looking at a goaltending tandem of Shesterkin and Georgiev and could also use the cap space.
There is still a possibility that Lundqvist could be traded at either 50% salary retention, or if Gorton really has the GM mojo, he will pull off what Kyle Dubas did. The Leafs worked it out with Carolina where they traded Patrick Marleau and a first round pick so the Canes could buy him out. Remember, Henrik must waive his no trade before this can happen.
2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Coyotes (Trade)
It sure sounds like Arizona is going to need to shed salary. They could save a huge chunk on Oliver Ekman-Larsson if he agrees to waive his no trade clause. Any team that misses out on Alex Pietrangelo in free agency could look this way.
3. Max Domi, Canadiens (Trade)
Max Domi has not asked to be traded, but with the depth Montreal has at center he’s a trade candidate. Domi is an RFA, and the Canadiens could look to move his rights in a deal for Patrik Laine in Winnipeg. Another possibility could be an RFA swap with Columbus for Josh Anderson.
4. Marc-Andre Fleury, Golden Knights (Trade/Buyout)
The Golden Knights appear to want to go with Robin Lehner as their new number one. Marc-Andre Fleury would like to stay in Vegas, but he may not have that choice. It looks like Vegas is shopping him around and would have to likely eat half his salary. That’s if MAF will waive his no trade. That’s why he’s also a buyout candidate.
5. Patrik Laine, Jets (Trade)
Honestly, I didn’t believe it when I saw his name on the TSN Trade Bait board. However, it sounds more and more likely the Jets will look to trade him for a center and a defenseman if they can. As I mentioned before, Montreal seems like a fit. Although noise around Columbus is they are very interested. Not sure what that deal would look like.
6. Alex Steen, Blues (Buyout)
The Alex Pietrangelo saga in St. Louis isn’t over. Yes, we know talks have broken down but there is still mutual interest to get a deal done. However, the Blues need to clear out cap space and Alex Steen is a prime candidate.
7. James van Riemsdyk, Flyers (Trade/Buyout)
Another team that wants to clear cap space are the Flyers. They are shopping James van Riemsdyk, but if they can’t get a bite he could be bought out tomorrow.
8. Matt Murray, Penguins (Trade)
This guy is as good as gone. Pittsburgh just pulled off their second trade of the offseason tonight. They have shipped Patric Hornqvist to the Panthers and will likely be moving Matt Murray for a picks at the draft. Keep your eyes on Ottawa and Detroit here.
9. Josh Anderson, Blue Jackets (Trade)
The Jackets were shopping Josh Anderson at the deadline but his injury prevented anyone from biting. He is an RFA and it doesn’t sound like they are seeing eye to eye. Expect Anderson to be traded at the draft.
10. Tony DeAngelo, NYR (Trade)
Jeff Gorton wants to keep Tony DeAngelo, but unless they can move the full $8.5 million of Lundqvist’s cap hit, he won’t be able to. If all the Rangers can do is buyout Lundqvist it may not be enough cap relief to sign all four of their big RFAs. And of the four, DeAngelo would return the biggest package.