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A few trade candidates to whet your appetite

Jan 20, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT

Derek Roy and Drew Stafford

We’re still over a month away from the NHL’s trade deadline (Feb. 27), but that doesn’t mean deals can’t be struck before then. In fact, with so many teams with the cap flexibility to make moves, there are bound to be GMs that don’t want to wait until the last minute, lest they find themselves in a bidding war for, say, one of the following forwards that ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun believes are in play

Derek Roy, Brad Boyes and Drew Stafford in Buffalo; Vaclav Prospal, Antoine Vermette and Kristian Huselius in Columbus; Ales Hemsky in Edmonton; Tuomo Ruutu in Carolina; and the suddenly hot Jason Blake in Anaheim.

Most of those names have been bandied about already, though given what’s happening in Buffalo these days, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on Stafford and Roy in the next little while. (No offense to Boyes, but who would want him?)

Stafford, a 26-year-old big body that doesn’t mind using his size, is coming off a 31-goal season, so he’s already proven he can snipe. Plus, he’s signed until 2014-15 with a very manageable cap hit of $4 million. If he’s truly available, there’ll be plenty of suitors.

Roy, 28, probably wouldn’t garner as high a return as Stafford. He’s got lots of talent, but he’s small and only signed until the end of next season (cap hit of $4 million.)

  1. ralphwilsonsucks - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I bet Pegula (owner) is really happy with his investment now. Time to bring someone who has a clue on running a franchise. The sabres wouldn’t drop gloves with a high school hockey team.

    • yettyskills - Jan 20, 2012 at 6:20 PM

      Try giving the man more than 40 games to get a feel for his team and market maybe?

      He has respected hockey people leading his franchise and he has deferred to them to run the team and you’re throwing a fit already?

      LOL
      k

  2. sknut - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I hope the Wild trade Harding as well, not necessarily for this year but he is a FA and they have some goalie depth in the minors. It would be nice to acquire some assets for him while they have him, maybe a better D-Man than get the puck out of his own zone.

    • danphipps01 - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      Problem: Backstrom’s looked dicey as fuck this year. I’d sooner invest in Harding long-term, as he’s seemed strong and consistent and is likely the better goalie going forward. Backstrom’s a lot of dead salary, but… well, better a hit-and-miss overpaid backup than a hit-and-miss overpaid starter, right?

  3. bcisleman - Jan 20, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    If the Isles continue their recent improved play and get back in the mix, Ruutu would be a solid addition. Add scoring and grit to the second line while Nino gets up to speed.

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