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As NHL trade rumors swirl, here are 11 players who could be dealt this offseason  5 Days ago

Source:   USA Today  

The Carolina Hurricanes were 23rd in goal scoring in 2017-18 and 22nd in goals-against average. That’s the short explanation for why Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell will lead the NHL in trade talks this summer.

“We’ve gone nine years without making the playoffs and we have guys that have been here five or six years and we just think it’s time for change for some players and the organization,” said Waddell, who added the GM role this summer to his president title.

Waddell won’t be alone in trying to make bold trades: the Arizona Coyotes, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators are said to be working the phones.

“We need to add a top-six forward, but the priority is a goaltender,” Waddell told USA TODAY Sports.

Scott Darling had a poor season (3.18 GAA, .888 save percentage), and Cam Ward is set to be an unrestricted free agent. 

“We are talking to a couple of teams about a trade,” Waddell said. “But no one is trading away their No. 1, so we are going to be in the same situation that we were in last year. We are going to end up with a guy who has some starts, but is not yet a No. 1 guy. Then we hope we made the right decision."

That’s how they ended up with Darling last season. Waddell said there are options out there that he likes.

Carter Hutton is the top free agent in the marketplace if they decide to go that route.

Some of the Hurricanes’ new look next season will come from their prospect list: Last season’s top draft pick, Martin Necas, is expected to make the team, along with whomever Waddell takes with the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft. The likely choice: Russian Andrei Svechnikov, who could end up blossoming into a 40-goal scorer. He’s a dazzling offensive player.

Here are the top 10 players mentioned in the offseason trade market: 

1. Defenseman Erik Karlsson, Senators: The Senators have said they will attempt to re-sign Karlsson, who will become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, but if progress is not made, logic dictates they will move him for a package of players and prospects. The Vegas Golden Knights made a big push for him at the trade deadline. The Toronto Maple Leafs should be interested

2. Center Ryan O’Reilly, Sabres: The Sabres don't seem fully committed to dealing O’Reilly, but they will listen to offers. He’s a gritty, consistent 50-point producer and 20-goal scorer. He’s a two-way center who can play different styles. O'Reilly is exactly the kind of player the Arizona Coyotes need.

3. Left wing Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens: It feels as if Pacioretty would benefit from a change of scenery. He only had 17 goals last season, but he scored 30 or more in each of the four previous seasons. The Canadiens need a center and help on defense. 

4. Goalie Philipp Grubauer, Washington Capitals: With three or four teams looking aggressively for a goalie, Grubauer has value. The Capitals also have top prospect Ilya Samsonov coming to North America from Russia's Kontinental Hockey League. The Islanders and Hurricanes are interested, 

5. Left wing Mike Hoffman, Senators: He has scored 22 or more goals for four consecutive seasons. Consistent scorers are in demand. He has two seasons left on a contract that has a $5.187 million per season cap hit. The St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Coyotes and Sabres are among the team that should be interested. 

6. Left wing Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes: Half the teams in the NHL are looking for more goals, and Skinner has scored 89 goals over the past three seasons. The losers in the Ilya Kovalchuk (he can be signed as a free agent) sweepstakes will be calling about Skinner.

7. Defenseman Justin Faulk, Hurricanes: At 27, Faulk is a big shot-defenseman in the prime of his career. He has scored 56 goals over the past four seasons. The Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and Canadiens are among the teams that should be interested. The right-handed shooter has two years remaining on his contract ($4.83 cap hit).

8. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton, Flames: His value is high, and trading him could help the Flames improve an offense that ranked 27th.  The Flames have some quality youngsters on defense in Rasmus Andersson, Adam Fox and Juuso Valimaki.

9. Left wing Max Domi, Coyotes: He is coming off a poor season (nine goals, 45 points), and the Coyotes must give up a skilled young player to land a center in a trade.

10. Defenseman Noah Hanifin, Hurricanes: The Hurricanes weren’t planning to move Hanifin, but enough teams have made quality offers that the Hurricanes might not be able to say no.

Honorable mention: Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins: It seems likely that Kessel will remain with the Penguins, but general manager Jim Rutherford will listen to offers. Kessel and coach Mike Sullivan don’t always see eye-to-eye.


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