With the 2013 NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET April 3, Eye on Hockey will examine whether each team is a buyer or seller at the deadline, and who each team should look to sell or receive by the deadline.
Buyers or Sellers
The San Jose Sharks are one of those teams teetering on the brink of the playoffs this season, but that may not prevent general manager Doug Wilson going into sell mode.
The Sharks have a lot of desirable assets, and although anything can happen in the postseason, it might behoove Wilson to acquire some key pieces for the future as opposed to an outside shot at the title this year.
However, with the trade market as it is and the Sharks not necessarily in urgent need of selling off pieces, Wilson can probably ask for a sizable return on many of his most desirable players. Whether he gets what he wants or not is another story, but the potential is there for the Sharks to make some significant moves.
If the Sharks are going to be sellers, it appears there aren't a lot of players who would not be available for the right price. It sounds as though the Sharks are looking for a sizable package in return for winger Ryane Clowe, according to Andy Strickland of True Hockey. The team doesn't need a full rebuild but would be wise to go after getting something in return for looming unrestricted free agents like Clowe and defenseman Douglas Murray.
Potential Trade Bait
There is a litany of valuable assets at Wilson's disposal, but in order to move any of the Sharks' key players this year the price has to be right.
Clowe could be one of the biggest bargaining chips on the table for Wilson. In the last year of his four-year deal, Clowe's mix of offense and toughness is very attractive this time of year. The numbers haven't been there this season for Clowe but his versatility could bring a lot of jump to a team in the playoff hunt. The Sharks may also look to re-sign Clowe as opposed to move him, but it wouldn't hurt to keep their options open.
Veteran offensive defenseman Dan Boyle is another much-talked-about trade piece. Boyle told CSN Bay Area that he doesn't want to be traded, but if San Jose can find the deal, he's the type of player who could bring in a hefty return. According to Capgeek.com, Boyle's full no-trade clause expired over the summer but he can select a list of eight teams he will not accept a trade to. Boyle has another year left on his contract at a $6.66-million cap hit.
Douglas Murray is another looming free agent, but he has a very manageable contract and with a load of playoff experience, offers something of real value to teams in the hunt. The 33-year-old has size and plays a physical game, too. Defensemen seem to be a desired commodity in this trade market and while not necessarily a high-impact addition, Murray would help a lot of teams.
Lastly, the Sharks could potentially get some value in return for Martin Havlat. The 31-year-old sniper has had a relatively quiet year and his injury history may scare some teams off, but the potential to add a scorer of Havlat's caliber could bring interest. He still has two years left after this season at $5 million per year, so if San Jose wants to get younger and free up some cap space, Havlat looks like a pretty good candidate to go. Will enough teams see the reward through the risk?