The NHL trade deadline is fast approaching and many teams will be looking to tweak their lineups before the final push to make the playoffs. The Hurricanes are one of just a few teams who are certified sellers and several of their players could be wearing a different jersey within a matter of two days.
Chip Alexander reported on Sunday that team general manager Jim Rutherford had received calls from as many as 10 teams asking about certain players. Usually, players without a contract at year end are most apt to be traded, but in this case, Rutherford said that teams are even asking about players under contract for next year.
It will be an extremely tense two days here in Raleigh.
Matt Cullen and Niclas Wallin have already been traded. There is no reason to think that management will stop dealing now. Who else will go, and what might the Hurricanes receive in return? Let's take a quick look at some of the free agents for next year.
Ray Whitney seems to be at the top of several team's wish lists right now. The only problem is that "The Wizard" has a "no movement" clause in his contract and can refuse any possible trade. The team is looking to receive the equivalent of a first round and second round pick for the talented winger's services and it's not everyday a franchise can add assets like that for a rental. The Canes will be pushing Whitney very hard to make this happen.
Possible destinations are: Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Boston. (Some of you have thrown Phoenix out there, but I can not see him waiving his no trade clause to go to Phoenix.)
Will he get a contract extension included in the trade or will he be a true rental? According to Rutherford, he has already vetoed one agreement with another team, will he continue to kill any and all subsequent deals as well? This one will be interesting to follow right through the deadline. Fans can only hope that his reluctance to be traded does not end up costing the franchise a valuable prospect. He could very easily be traded and then re-signed for next season.
Aaron Ward's name has been coming up more and more often, and one might believe that management would love to move the remainder of his 2.5 million dollar contract, regardless of the return. Although the defenseman has played very well lately and could garner a draft pick at this point in time. Ward's name was the first rumor Tweeted at the end of the gold medal game, so there is genuine interest out there.
Possible destinations are: Boston, Ottawa, and Pittsburgh.
Joe Corvo has not been mentioned in the rumor mill much, but he would certainly be a nice addition for any team looking to improve their powerplay down the stretch. He also has good playoff experience as he helped the Canes through their successful run last season and was a major player for Ottawa when they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals not too long ago.
Possible destinations: Phoenix ?
If Scott Walker had not been injured, he certainly would have gotten some keen interest around the league. But the gritty winger has not played in a few weeks and is coming off minor shoulder surgery. He is healthy and ready to go now and could probably be acquired for a late round pick if anyone wanted to take a chance.
Possible destinations: Would Nashville like to have their former captain back for a final push?
Stephane Yelle is an experienced player who is an excellent penalty killer and shot blocker. His price tag is very reasonable and it would not be a shocker to see him on another roster after Wednesday.
Possible destination: unknown
We will not bother to look at the players who are under contract next season and beyond right now, but anything might happen. The above players could also be packaged in a deal with a more desirable player under contract.
There have been great conversations about this in the sidebars in recent days. Let's discuss this topic here now and we will try to address all your questions and conjecture.