Flyers GM Paul Holmgren got a head start on the trading at the NHL Draft, usually a very busy day of activity not only in the drafting, but in the player swapping. So before the GMs all gather on the same floor, here are some names that might have a different jersey by night's end.
Robyn Regehr: The Flames defenseman has reportedly been asked to waive his no-trade clause by the team, which is still awaiting word. That's because Calgary apparently has a deal in place to send Regehr to Buffalo, but some other suitors might be waiting in the wings, too. Regehr is a physical defenseman who brings plenty of grit and size (6'3, 225) to any blue line.
Kris Versteeg: Holmgren cleared enough room to sign Ilya Bryzgalov Thursday and is still under the cap to try and re-sign Ville Leino, Andreas Nodl and Darroll Powe. But just to help get everybody he wants on board, there might be another move or two to make, starting with Versteeg. Rumors begin swirling on Thursday that Versteeg had been traded to Florida, reunited with the GM that drafted him in Chicago, Dale Tallon. While those were false, there might still be some smoke to that fire. His contract calls for just over $3 million for next season before becoming a restricted free agent.
Ryan Smyth: The L.A. Kings veteran was rumored to be seeking a return to Edmonton, where he spent the majority of his career. The fit in Edmonton might not be ideal. But he could still be on his way out of town as Calgary continues to look more and more like the landing spot for Smyth, be it at the draft or after. Either way, it seems certain Smyth won't be back in Tinsel Town.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Brian Burke is always one of the busiest GMs at the draft, and this year figures to be no exception. “I’m not reluctant to move those firsts, based on the depth we’ve added the past couple of years,” Burke told the Toronto Sun. “If we can trade those picks and get better now, we’re going to." The names of Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Dion Phaneuf have been thrown out as potential targets in the past, especially for JSG after the Leafs signed James Reimer to a new contract earlier this offseason.
Florida Panthers: While the Panthers are looking to keep adding through the draft and thus don't seem too interested in getting rid of draft picks, they have a long ways to go before even hitting the salary cap floor of $48 million. According to capgeek.com, the Cats are only at $18 million committed for next season, which means they have to add a ton of salary, which could be ideal for any teams looking to unload some higher salaries.
Expect there to be a lot of trade activity in the next two days with the free-agent class this year not being a very strong contingent. A lot of teams looking to add that missing player or two could find the trade market a lot more suiting to their needs.
-- Brian Stubits