With half of the 2018/19 NHL season behind us, we are starting to see some teams pull away from the pack. At the same time, several borderline teams are likely trying to find ways to improve in attempts to secure a playoff spot.
As the trade deadline nears, more moves are bound to happen in the coming months. As a result, several big names might be on the move this year.
Last time we took a look at five defensemen that could be moved at the trade deadline this year. This time we will take a look at five of the more well-known forwards that could be moved.
Kevin Hayes - New York Rangers
Through five seasons with the New York Rangers Kevin Hayes has put up decent numbers, including a career-high of 25 goals and 49 points.
However, the Rangers did not sign Hayes to a long-term extension this past offseason and opted to sign him to a one-year $5.175 million deal instead.
As a result, the 26-year-old becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. He is not that old, and many feel he may not have reached his potential yet so there is a chance he might not hit his prime as a New York Ranger.
The Rangers are already pretty loaded at center with the likes of Mika Zibanejad, other players like Brett Howden and Lias Andersson in the pipeline. So they might be willing to let a guy like Hayes go for the right price.
With playoffs unlikely this year, it would make sense for the Rangers to flip Hayes for a bunch of picks or assets at the deadline as they continue to build for the future.
Several playoff teams could use a big skilled body like Hayes in their lineup, perhaps a team like the Montreal Canadiens or the Buffalo Sabres may want to take a shot at Hayes in the coming weeks.
Gustav Nyquist - Detroit Red Wings
As the Detroit Red Wings continue to rebuild, several names on the team could be had for the right price including Jimmy Howard and Nick Jensen. In addition to that, there is a good chance that forward Gustav Nyquist might be moved as well.
Nyquist is in the final year of his contract at a $4.75 million cap-hit and at 29-years-old it is unlikely that the Wings will extend him long-term.
We could quite possibly see general manager Ken Holland make a similar type of deal that he did with Tomas Tatar last year, by trading Nyquist to a playoff team for draft picks.
Nyquist can provide solid secondary scoring for teams in need of offense so perhaps teams like the Edmonton Oilers or the Minnesota Wild might be interested in pursuing him.
Matt Duchene - Ottawa Senators
Matt Duchene is one of the more intriguing names that might be available at the trade deadline this year, especially if he can’t come to terms with the Ottawa Senators on a long-term deal.
It was reported that Duchene was looking for a hefty long term deal - but the Ottawa Senators might not be ready to pay up. As a result, he will probably have to be moved since they cannot afford to lose Duchene for nothing this summer.
Any team acquiring Duchene would get a significant upgrade at the center ice position. The sooner we approach the deadline, the less leverage the Senators have, so some teams might wait until the 11th hour to send the Senators an offer.
Jeff Carter - Los Angeles Kings
With the Los Angeles Kings near the bottom of the NHL standings for much of the year, it is obvious that their current core isn’t good enough to compete in the West anymore.
They could be one of the biggest sellers at the trade deadline this year.
With names like Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez possibly on the move, Jeff Carter might be another intriguing piece that could be had for the right price.
Moving Carter would also increase the Kings’ chances of possibly winning the draft lottery and getting a player like Jack Hughes at the draft.
The 33-year-old has three years left on his deal with a $5.3 million cap hit per year. Overall, that is decent value for teams looking for a proven goalscorer who should have a few productive years left.
Granted that the financial numbers work out, it was rumored that a team like the Boston Bruins may be very interested in acquiring Carter.
Wayne Simmonds - Philadelphia Flyers
Wayne Simmonds is another name that has been in the rumor mill for a while. The long-time Flyer is playing in the final year of the $23.82 million contracts he signed back in 2012.
Without any solid talks for an extension, the Flyers will likely heat up the trade talks in the coming weeks. It was rumored that contending teams like the Winnipeg Jets and the Nashville Predators have been keeping an eye on Simmonds and may pull the trigger soon.
At 30-years-old, Simmonds is still a very serviceable player, who could potentially help a playoff team down the stretch. So it is quite possible to see the Flyers net a high-end prospect plus a high draft pick in return.
What do you think of these potential trade candidates? And where will they end up? Let us know in the comment section below.