5 NHL Veterans Who Should Seek a Trade Before Next Season |  Bleacher Report

5 NHL Veterans Who Should Seek a Trade Before Next Season | Bleacher Report

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    The NHL offseason tends to see an increase in player movement via trades. That’s because some teams possess more salary-cap space and a willingness to invest in acquiring players. Cap-strapped clubs, meanwhile, will attempt to trim payroll by shipping out players in cost-cutting deals.

    An NHL player is usually traded without his consent unless he carries a full no-trade clause or a modified one limiting the number of teams where he can be shipped. Sometimes, however, players will ask management to be traded.

    Their reasons can be personal, such as a desire to be closer to family or their hometown. They could also prefer joining a playoff contender rather than remaining on a rebuilding or retooling club.

    The five players on this list could be prime candidates to seek a trade before the start of 2022-23. Of this group, the Montreal Canadiens’ Jeff Petry is the only one to request a trade during this season. We’ll examine the reasons why he and the others should consider doing so in the coming weeks before teams end up allocating their cap room for alternative trades or free-agent signings.

    Do you agree or disagree with our list? Did we miss anyone you think should seek a trade this summer? Let us know in the comments section below.

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    The mainstay of the San Jose Sharks blue line, Brent Burns played a pivotal role in his club becoming a Stanley Cup finalist in 2015-16 and its march to the Western Conference Finals in 2018-19. The 37-year-old won the James Norris Memorial Trophy (2016-17) and remains among the league’s elite defensemen, sitting 12th among all blueliners this season with 54 points.

    Despite Burns’ solid performance, the Sharks have missed the playoffs over the past three seasons. He’s under contract through 2024-25 with an annual average salary of $8 million, plus a three-team trade list. Nevertheless, the hirsute rearguard might want to consider moving on if the Sharks intend to rebuild under a new general manager.

    On May 2, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Sheng Peng reported rumors were circulating last summer that Burns might be willing to accept a trade to a contender. Ten days later, the Mercury News‘ Curtis Pashelka reported interim general manager Joe Will said he’s open to the possibility of moving Burns or fellow defenseman Erik Karlsson this summer.

    There’s no indication Burns has approached Will about a trade. That could change, however, if the Sharks become more interested in rebuilding this summer than retooling. He could aid the process by discussing and maybe expanding his list of preferred trade destinations.

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    Hired as the Anaheim Ducks general manager on Feb. 3, Pat Verbeek signaled his intention to rebuild the roster by shipping out veterans Josh Manson, Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell at the trade deadline. On May 13, The Athletic’s Eric Stephens reported speculation over whether goaltender John Gibson is willing to be part of Verbeek’s plans.

    Turning 29 on July 14, Gibson is signed through 2026-27 with a $6.4 million annual average value and a 10-team no-trade list. Given his contract status, Verbeek is not under any pressure to move him unless he gets a great offer from a team that’s not on the goalie’s no-trade list.

    That could change, however, if Gibson doesn’t want to be part of a rebuilding roster. He’s still in his prime and signed his contract back when the Ducks were a perennial playoff contender. Having missed the postseason for four straight years, he could approach the Ducks GM about a trade.

    Despite the recent decline in Gibson’s stats, there could be clubs willing to bet his numbers will improve on a deeper roster. Contenders such as the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals could take an interest in Gibson if he’s willing to be traded to one of them.

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    Most of this season’s trade chatter involving the Arizona Coyotes focused on Jakob Chychrun. It’s expected that general manager Bill Armstrong will attempt to peddle the 24-year-old defenseman this summer after failing to find a suitable trade offer before the March deadline.

    Another Coyotes blueliner, however, could also become an interesting trade chip. After struggling over the previous three seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Shayne Gostisbebere was shipped to Arizona last summer. The 29-year-old puck-moving rearguard regained his form on the offensively anemic Coyotes, sitting fourth among their leading scorers with 51 points.

    On May 27, Arizona Sports’ Sam Graveline speculated that Gostisbehere’s improvement could garner some interest from other clubs. He pointed out the rearguard is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Gostisbehere carries a $4.5 million salary cap hit, but his actual salary is $3.25 million.

    The Coyotes are in the midst of a major roster rebuild. Gostisbehere might not fit in Armstrong’s long-term plans and want to consider capitalizing on his bounce-back performance by requesting a trade to a playoff contender. Of his actual salary for 2022-23, $2.25 million is a signing bonus to be paid on July 1. He could become more enticing to other clubs once the Coyotes pay that out.

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    Having reached the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, the Montreal Canadiens finished this season dead last in the overall standings. That dramatic decline contributed to defenseman Jeff Petry’s trade request, which first-year general manager Kent Hughes attempted to accommodate before the March trade deadline.

    Petry struggled on the ice in 2021-22, managing just 27 points in 68 games following four straight 40-plus-point seasons. On May 1, Montreal Hockey Now’s Marco D’Amico reported the 34-year-old blueliner admitted his family’s return to Michigan during the season due to COVID-19 restrictions in the province of Quebec also affected his play.

    D’Amico’s report indicated Petry still loves the organization and the city of Montreal, where he’s spent most of his career. His performance improved after Martin St. Louis took over as head coach in February. With COVID-19 restrictions in Quebec now lifted, he and his family could resume their normal lives in Montreal.

    The Canadians, however, are pressed for cap space for next season and could shed some salary this summer. Petry’s $6.25 million cap hit through 2024-25 could be among those on the chopping block. The blueliner might be best served to work with Hughes on potential trade destinations that suit his family best and provide him with a chance to pursue the Stanley Cup.

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    The Philadelphia Flyers entered this season hoping to rebound from missing the 2021 playoffs. Instead, their 61 points tied for the third-lowest in franchise history over the course of a season not shortened by the pandemic or lockouts.

    Changes will be coming behind the bench, as management is interviewing new coaching candidates. General manager Chuck Fletcher could also decide to shake up his roster or shed some salary. They’re sitting on just $5.1 million in salary-cap space with 18 players under contract for 2022-23. James van Riemsdyk could be a cost-cutting candidate given his unrestricted free-agent eligibility next summer.

    This could be an opportunity for van Riemsdyk to consider his future. The 33-year-old winger carries an annual cap hit of $7 million but will earn $4 million in actual salary once he receives his $1 million signing bonus from the Flyers on July 1. His production was down to 38 points in 82 games, but his 24 goals marked the seventh time he’s reached the 20-goal plateau.

    Lacking no-trade protection, the Flyers could trade van Riemsdyk anywhere without his permission. Given the uncertainty over the club’s direction and his upcoming free-agent status, he might want to consider approaching Fletcher about a trade—preferably to a playoff contender in need of an experienced scoring winger.

    Stats via NHL.com with additional information via Hockey Reference. Salary info via Cap Friendly and Puck Pedia.

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