First of all, we lied about it being 10. Ten is a nice, round number that search engines particularly enjoy and because of that we like to write these top 10 types of articles. Below you will see nine players, mainly because one of the guys on this list has already been traded. We cannot take any credit for this foresight, as we enlisted the help of trade rumors guru Lyle Richardson of Spectors Hockey. He answered our inquiry about a week ago and since he is just that good, Fleischmann was already traded over that span.
Over here at Daily Faceoff we try to stick to facts and steer ourselves away from speculation and base our topics on facts. However, we feel confident that the source provided is one of the most reliable we could ask for if not the most. Regardless, big thanks to Lyle for giving us the time of day as he continues to be one of the biggest class acts in the industry.
*Disclaimer from Spector*
Of course nothing’s a certainty when it comes to players being dealt, but if I had to do a top ten list the following would be on it:
(In no particular order)
Thomas Fleischmann – LW, Washington Capitals
Brad Richards – C, Dallas Stars
Richards has been a stellar Star but with ownership concerns and monetary issues coupled with his impeding UFA status, pretty much the entire industry thinks he will be moved.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post believed the talented center would be a good fit for the New York Rangers but honestly what team would he not be a good fit on? Before coming over to Dallas, Richards struggled somewhat with consistency playing second fiddle to Vincent Lecavalier in Tampa Bay. Now in Dallas as the cemented top-line center, Richards has had no problem getting ice time and usually plays the point on both powerplay units. His success has him in the top 10 in assists and he has more points than the Sedins, Corey Perry, Eric Staal and Pavel Datsyuk.
To be successful Richards needs to be the top center on the team as well as man the points on the powerplay. He needs a sniper or two on his line– just like he has right now in James Neal and Loui Eriksson. If he gets moved from the Stars, a team that currently sits at the top of the Pacific, he could actually lose fantasy value. Going into this season his team has been one of the biggest success stories but low attendance amongst other things could force GM Joe Nieuwendyk to get a nice return for his top producer.
Tomas Vokoun – G, Florida Panthers
Vokoun has been the subject of trade rumors for two years now. Last year, there was plenty of speculation after the club signed capable backup Scott Clemmensen. Now as an upcoming free agent and the imminent arrival of top prospect Jacob Markstrom, the team likely will ship out their number one. Couple those issues with a new general manager, who would never be confused with a conservative executive and Vokoun should be on his way out.
Looking at his current win-loss record, he probably would do better on any other team in the League. The Panthers are near the bottom of the League in goals scored and have failed to help out their starting goalie, allowing roughly 29.3 shots per game. Over his three plus seasons with the Cats, Vokoun has been one of the most reliable starters in the League–despite finishing with a losing record in every season he finished every year with a SV% north of .918.
Jason Arnott – C, New Jersey Devils
Arnott comes back to the Devils for a second tour of duty after getting traded to Dallas in 2001-2002. His second tour of duty has been somewhat disappointing but then again so have the Devils. If the team needs to sell off a veteran, moving the 36-year-old veteran would definitely make sense to a contender looking for a veteran pivot who is still good on faceoffs and has a nice shot from the point.
The Devils are not a contender right now but things could quickly change considering all the talent in that lineup. Regardless, his numbers have declined for the fourth straight season although he continues to take plenty of shots on goal. Fantasy-wise he would probably improve from a bigger role on a team that actually needs a top center. Unfortunately, he probably is no longer a top center and each contender probably has one already.
Tomas Kaberle – D, Toronto Maple Leafs
Another perennial trade rumor is Kaberle, who is in his last year of his current contract. Locked in at an affordable 4.25 million a year, the 32-year-old usually hits at least 10 goals and 40 points if healthy but finds himself still looking for a goal with the struggling Leafs. As a free agent to-be, Kaberle could benefit after a change of scenery or much bigger paycheck as playing the spotlight of Toronto is all he knows. Still the longest tenured Leaf could have something left to prove and stay put.
If traded his value should skyrocket. Picture Kaberle on a team like San Jose or Tampa Bay, where he would not only solidify the defense but accentuate the offense. His ability to make a crisp first pass would be valuable to pretty much every team in the League, especially at his bargain price.
Tim Connolly – C, Buffalo Sabres
Connolly has been out since November 20th so his trade value is likely at an all-time low. His 13 points in only 22 games are a steep regression in production since last year where he posted an impressive and career-high 65 points in 73 games. At one point last year GM Darcy Regier claimed he had two top-20 centers in the League, including Connolly in his stance; statistically he was correct.
In the last year of his contract, the Sabres need to decide whether or not they want to keep their injury-prone and enigmatic center. If healthy, he can help the team recover from their slow start and push towards a playoff position. However, the additions of Luke Adam, Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis– all natural centers– hurts his chances of staying should he continue to play inconsistently.
He thrives in the offensively talented lineup they have and showed the ability to put up big points while playing second fiddle to Derek Roy. Perhaps a change of scenery will help Connolly but it really has never seemed like Buffalo has been his problem over the years.
Michael Ryder – RW, Boston Bruins
If you bought into the rumors last week of Marco Sturm heading to Los Angeles then you would probably think Ryder is safe in Boston. Similarly, in the last year of his contract, the Bruins need to decide whether Ryder is that player that needs to be moved to clear up cap space or if he is valuable enough to stay with the team. With 17 points already in 25 games, the 30-year-old is on pace for 55 points which is essentially what the team expects out of him on a yearly basis.
Hard to see Ryder improving his worth considering he already plays on a team with two elite playmakers. If he was having a down year, like last year or his last season in Montreal, a change of scenery would make sense. However, he seems to be playing some very good hockey on a strong Bruins team so moving him would likely regress his production and hurt his current team.
Kevin Bieksa – D, Vancouver Canucks
Bieksa and Kaberle could have a competition for which blueliner has been traded by fans around North America. As of right now, both players remain on the club. Over the summer a trade from Vancouver seemed imminent as the team had six defenders making 3 million or more and as we pointed out: Bieksa can do basic arithmetic.
After missing 27 games due to injuries last year, 10 the year before that and a whopping 28 games three years ago, Bieksa no longer seemed reliable enough to keep over new acquisitions Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard-- who were known to be ironmen on the ice. Coincidentally, Bieksa has only missed one game this year with the flu while Hamhuis and Ballard have already missed time. In all honesty, the Canucks would have been better off moving the 29-year-old earlier in the summer. His production has slipped immensly from his normal 10 goals and 40 points to project around 20-25.
Either Bieksa could benefit from a different location or his skill set has completely eroded; he has always been a boom or bust player.
James Wisniewski – D, NY Islanders
At only 26-years-old, Wisniewski could play in his fourth jersey in his last four years. Although unable to play all 82 games in any year of his professional career, this offensive defenseman has produced at all three of his NHL stops. Traded from the Anaheim Ducks earlier in the year, Wisniewski is only signed for the rest of this season before hitting free agency for the first time in his career.
Considering he has 15 points in 23 games for the struggling Isles, he should be able to score for any team. However, a quick glance around the League would show that there are not many openings for a top defenseman on a top-line contender. Think about the fantasy value of Joe Corvo last year; how did that work out on the Caps? We like how Wisniewski has produced on every team he has played on nevertheless, so maybe he can buck the trend.
Dwayne Roloson – G, NY Islanders
As of this writing, Roloson has only two wins and has not felt the joy of victory since October 18th aka four days into the second week of the season. The reason is clearly because he plays for the worst team in hockey, who have only five wins to their name. On five different occasions Roloson has allowed two goals or fewer and taken the loss. Four other times he allowed three goals and finished with the short end. On an even average team his record would be closer to 9-5-0 than his awful 2-11-1 over 14 games. His 2.50 GAA shows just how good the veteran has been, accentuated by his .912 SV%.
Playing on any team would give him an automatic boost in trade value. The Isles average 2.09 goals per game with 27 other teams knocking the puck in more frequently. In short, if he gets moved to a contender he should be a great add off the waiver wire. With the direction the Islanders continue to go, it should be a given that he will be moved at some point this season and before his contract expires.
We hope you enjoyed our list and feel to send your hate mail to Spector and not us (just kidding). In all seriousness, this list has to be one of the more accurate out there and for that we are incredibly grateful. You can follow us on Twitter @dailyfaceoff and please stay for all the incredible features on the rest of the site.