Early Trade Deadline Targets

Updated: February 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm by Jaroslaw

The trade deadline is fast approaching, so here are some players that are worth keeping an eye on and seeing if they can be swiped from an opposing GM for less than they would be worth if they were moved.

Kris Versteeg, TOR – He proved in Chicago that he can be a reliable point getter, and his recent upswing in Toronto (4 game point streak just snapped, 33 points in last 42 games overall) shows that he can be a decent option even if he stays, but the potential value is high depending on which team he could go to. Colorado and LA are both in need of top line left wingers, so if he manages to land on either of those two teams, the potential returns can be huge.

Brad Richards, DAL – With Dallas in the playoff hunt still, the odds of Richards getting moved are quite slim. However, as long as the ownership situation remains tenuous, the chance he gets traded will always be there. He’s a reliable 90 point player year in and year out, and if he can find himself on a team with more than just Loui Eriksson as consistent help (especially from the blue line), then that total could rise quite easily.

Tomas Kaberle, TOR – This man has been on the trade hotseat for the last few years now, and with the Leafs at an all time low, the time to move him may be fast approaching. The potential returns on a trade to a contending team would be astronomical. Few move the puck as well as Kaberle, and he’s a huge asset on the PP. He has a no trade clause, so the potential destinations may be limited, but there is no shortage of teams who could use a PP quarterback, not the least of which being Boston and Colorado.

Tomas Vokoun – With Florida’s perennial failures, the time may be now to shop Vokoun. He has been a pillar of stability for this team for a long time, so the value he can provide to a contender is practically limitless.

Jamie Benn/James Neal – If Dallas decides they want to keep Richards, or for no other reason than to prevent cap headaches in the future, both of these guys may be in play at the deadline. As with Versteeg, there are teams that could use a scoring line winger, so if either of them find themselves on the wings of players such as Kopitar or Duchene, then that may be enough to push their value up another notch.

Alex Kovalev – The disgruntled winger could find himself on the move at the deadline, and this would be a breath of fresh air for him no doubt. A rumor I’ve heard is that with the Penguins’ Malkin now out, they might be looking to secure the services of the former Penguin. If Crosby plays again this year (let’s hope), Kovalev on his wing could give him instant credibility.

David Perron/Brad Boyes – Perron has been linked to Montreal in recent days to help shore up the offense while adding some grit, but it would be logical for St. Louis to look at trading Boyes as well. He hasn’t found the form that saw him score 30+ goals 3 straight years, but a trade could be just enough to help him do just that. Should Pittsburgh’s attempts’ to acquire Kovalev fail, it’s possible that they could go after Boyes. With his scoring ability and Crosby’s talent, Boyes could return to his 40 goals form.

These are just a few of the many possible trade targets for teams looking to acquire help at the deadline. Guys whose contracts are expiring this year could also become quite attractive for teams looking to secure their run for a Stanley Cup. Some of the more prominent names include Michael Ryder, Tim Connolly, Cory Stillman, Erik Cole, Sergei Samsonov, Jussi Jokinen, Steve Sullivan and Bryan McCabe.

Do you guys have any information on other potential trade targets for teams? Post ’em up in the comments!

Alex Kovalev, Brad Boyes, Brad Richards, David Perron, James Neal, Jamie Benn, kris versteeg, Tomas Kaberle, Tomas Vokoun, Trade Deadline