The leaves are appearing, flowers are blooming, and the first TSN Summer Trade Bait list is out. Thus begins the rampant speculation as to which of these players will be actually be moved, and to which team. Congratulations to our own disgruntled RFA Jacob Trouba for making it to second on the list. Tough to unseat the top player, Phil Kessel, who seems to have locked down the number one trade bait spot for the last 10 years or so.
These lists are interesting for fans to ponder. However, let’s also remember the lessons learned from the excellent article from the Athletic referencing how trades in professional sports actually happen. In short, GM’s talk to teams constantly about many of their players, not limited to the 15 or so that TSN identifies.
Murat Ates has an excellent article taking a look at some potential Jacob Trouba trade destinations on the Athletic site. I’m in agreement with those who think that Trouba is likely to included as part of a bigger, multiple player trade. I think we’re all pretty certain that he’ll be gone this summer.
Aside from the Trouba trade speculation, here are some players from the TSN list, that perhaps Kevin Cheveldayoff may be interested in chatting about.
11. Travis Hamonic, Calgary RD 28 years old $3.86M 1 year remaining
He’s from St. Malo, MB, and has been linked to the Jets when he was a New York Islander, as he as he expressed an interest to move back to Manitoba for personal reasons. I’m not entirely sure why he is on the trade bait list as his annual salary is not excessive and he has one year remaining to UFA status. Given that the Jets may potentially lose three starting defenseman this summer, having Hamonic step into the second pairing might make sense.
13. Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh LD 24 years old $4.08M 3 years remaining
Matta is young but has missed considerable time due to various injuries and health issues including low grade thyroid cancer. He had an impressive rookie season, but has never really bounced back to that form. His salary is a bit high, but, he’s still very young. The Penguins seem motivated to move him so perhaps he’s a buy-low candidate. Even if he levels off as a second pair defenseman, his salary will likely look pretty good in a couple of seasons. Worth the risk?
14. Colin Miller, Vegas RD 26 $3.88M 3 years remaining
Vegas is one of the teams listed in a recent Sportsnet article that is approaching salary cap hell. Something has to give after two seasons of worry free cap existence, and Miller is a player that looks to be on the move. He’s a third pairing, possibly second pairing, defenseman who I would prefer over Dmitri Kulikov. Again, even if he ends up being a solid third pair defenseman, his salary will look pretty good two seasons from now.
Thoughts, questions, other player suggestions? Let us know in the comments section.