Last week the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks pulled off a blockbuster trade involving Sami Vatanen and Adam Henrique. Both teams were in need. New Jersey needed help on defense and Anaheim needed help on offense. The trade made sense for both parties. With Vatanen off the market, it is time to look at some other players that potentially could on the move to fill voids for certain teams.
Ian Cole/Pittsburgh Penguins:
Going into last week, Ian Cole of the Pittsburgh Penguins had been a healthy scratch for three straight games. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote about the Penguins were actively looking to trade Cole. While the team denies the report, Elliotte Freidman reported the following:
As an addendum to the story from @JMackeyPG on Ian Cole, word is his rep — Kevin Magnuson — has permission to talk to other teams. Cole was terrific in last year’s playoffs.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 28, 2017
With that in mind, Cole could be a useful player for a contending team in either conference. Cole has a salary-cap hit of $2.1 million this season. The feeling around the league is that he could be asking for a higher number for his next contract. Cole has played for the Penguins over the last two season especially in the playoffs, so he is a valuable asset. There were some reports out there he was scratched because of his play not because the Penguins were looking to trade him. Whatever the case is, Cole is not long for Pittsburgh.
With Roberto Luongo, Cam Talbot, Corey Crawford, and Matt Murray both being injured over the past weekend, it would appear that Pittsburgh and Florida are in the market for goaltenders. Tristan Jarry has filled in nicely for the Penguins, but how reliable is James Reimer for the Panthers? As for the Edmonton Oilers, Laurent Brossoit has not looked particularly great. In Chicago, Anton Forsberg did not have a strong outing when he played the Stars. All these teams will be in the market for a goalie to save their season.
Frank Seravalli of TSN gives his five options for teams looking for goaltending help. Going through the list of potential trade candidates two names jump out right away. Chad Johnson and Calvin Pickard.
With Buffalo’s at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, it appears the Sabres are ready for a fire sale as Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports. Johnson, who saved the Flames season last year, is a target for teams. He will have a chance to help a team, whose starting goalie is out for a long period of time. Teams that come to mine are the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks. Pittsburgh has been looking for a solid backup goalie after the failed Antti Niemi experiment.
Calvin Pickard is an interesting case. He placed on waivers back on November 5th by the Vegas Golden Knights. A day later he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pickard has a .933 save percentage in eight appearances with the Marlies. Several NHL teams must be scratching their heads about missing the opportunity to pick up Pickard for nothing. Pickard’s price will be high for sure, and the Maple Leafs are in no rush to move him.
A player that should be considered a target for teams is Andrew Hammond. As written last month here on Murphy’s Hockey Law, Hammond is a goalie that teams should be looking at. Currently, Hammond is on loan to the Belville Senators, where he has a .917 save percentage and 2.75 goals against average. Hammond has proven his worth in the NHL guiding the Ottawa Senators to the playoffs in 2015. An ideal fit for Hammond to go would be Pittsburgh. The team needs a player with NHL experience to not fill in, but guide Tristan Jarry.
Another name that is high potential is Michael Hutchinson. Hutchinson is currently playing in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose. Due to the depth at the position, Hutchinson found himself as the odd man out in Winnipeg. Connor Helleybuyck’s stellar play and Steve Mason being signed to a three-year deal forced him down to the AHL. With Hutchinson being a pending free agent at the end of the season, teams may not want to pay a premium for him. Ideal landing places would be Edmonton, Florida, and even Pittsburgh.
Again this is all speculation, but one thing is for sure a goalie will be on the move sooner rather than later.