Every year the trade deadline date builds up steam as teams enter the beginning of February and look for the final pieces to give their roster the best chance to win the Stanley Cup. Here are three players who are likely to be moved by the trade deadline:
This has been a debate since Matt Murray emerged as the Penguins starter last season after Fleury went down with injury. Will the Penguins stick with longtime goalie Marc-Andre Fleury or go with the rookie Matt Murray? My prediction? Murray stays and Fleury goes. With the Expansion Draft looming in June, teams can only protect one goalie from not potentially being taken by the Las Vegas Golden Knights and after looking at the numbers, it’s clear to see why the team should stick with Murray. Last season after setting records in the American Hockey League, Matt Murray was recalled after Fleury was sidelined with a significant injury. In the 13 games Murray played he tallied a 9-2-1 record with a save percentage of .930% and GAA of 2.00. After continuing to keep the reigns in the playoffs Murray led the Penguins to their fourth Stanley Cup Championship and became the first rookie goalie to do so since Cam Ward in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.
After no move was made during the offseason, the Penguins decided to roll with both goalies and then decide. Now as the trade deadline continues to fastly approach, it’s clear that Pittsburgh should stick with their 22 year old netminder. In 28 games played thus far, Murray holds a 19-6-1 record with a .921% save percentage and 2.42 GAA. In fear of losing Fleury in the Expansion Draft for nothing, it might be time to move on from the longtime Penguin.
Someone from the Colorado Avalanche:
To say the Colorado Avalanche are having a bad year is an understatement. The team currently sits dead last in the league standings with a record of 14-33-2 and have no chance of making the playoffs. This means that team should be sellers at the deadline and try to regain some assets to help with the future of the franchise. The hard decision is who. Reports have surfaced that Jarome Iginla would like to be traded to a contender, but with his production drastically falling off, it’s unlikely Colorado gets anything more than a mid round pick for the veteran. Do they trade Matt Duchene? Captain Gabriel Landeskog? At this point the only untouchables for the Colorado Avalanche should be Nathan MacKinnon and rookie Mikko Rantanen. Although Duchene and Landeskog are both having down years, they could still pull in hefty returns for Colorado. Things remain to be determined on who will be moved, but it’s extremely likely someone won’t be spending March and April playing at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
The trade rumors surrounding St. Louis Blues’ defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk have been around since well before last offseason. The 28 year old blueliner has had excellent point production in his 7 seasons with the Blues. Shattenkirk is on the final year of his four year $17 million contract and will be looking for a pay raise after collecting at least 35 points in four straight seasons. However, St. Louis has less than $2 million dollars in cap space and might not have the money to retain Shattenkirk long-term. With the team currently out of a playoff spot they may want to sell high and acquire pieces to help the team retool for next season. Out of Conference teams such as the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning have plethora of forwards that could be of high value to the Blues should they decide to move Shattenkirk.