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6 NHL Stars On the Trade Block

by Photo of Gil Santos

Jason Spezza, Ryan Kesler, and Joe Thornton among big-name players that could be on the move.

6 NHL Stars On the Trade Block

With the Los Angeles Kings crowned as the Stanley Cup champions, the NHL off-season is now in full swing. The hot stove is starting to heat up as there are plenty of trade rumors flying around involving big-name players. Here a couple of those players that could be on the move this summer: 

Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators

Last Wednesday, Senators' general manager Bryan Murray confirmed that Spezza requested a trade out of Ottawa. The Senators' captain is an exceptional offensive center that will fit in any team's top six. He is a great playmaker that will put up at least 50 points a season along with a minimum of 20 goals. Spezza was second on the Senators in points (66) and assists (43) this season. Spezza has one-year left on his contract with a cap hit of $7 million. Also he has a no-trade clause that allows him to submit a list of 10 teams he doesn't want to be traded to.

Rumored Suitors: St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames

Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks

Earlier this month, Kesler reiterated to the new Canucks' regime his desire to leave Vancouver. The Canucks' brass attempted to move Kesler during last season's trade deadline, but couldn't find a deal enticing enough to pull the trigger on. Like Spezza, Kesler is a top six centerman who is adept defensively. While he won't provide the same offensive punch as Spezza, he makes it up in his ability to shut down the opponent's best player. 

Kesler has two years left on his contract with a $5 million cap hit, which also contains a no-trade clause.

Rumored Suitors: Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks

After their first round collapse against the Kings, general manger Doug Wilson and the Sharks' front office announced they are in rebuild mode. Speculation is they want to give the team over to their young core of Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, which could mean the end of Joe Thornton's tenure as captain. Thornton and Patrick Marleau have been the faces of the Sharks' postseason failures, so it's perhaps time for new leadership to take over in the locker room.

Despite being at the ripe age of 34, Thornton is still among the upper echelon of players in the league. He is an elite playmaking center that makes anyone on his line substantially better (See Pavelski, Brent Burns). Thornton was second in the NHL in assists with 65 and second on the team in points with 76. 

Thornton just signed a three-year extension before the postseason. The contract has a $6.75 million cap hit through 2017 and contains a no-move clause.

Rumored Suitors: Toronto Maple Leafs

Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks

Marleau is another player that could be on his way out of San Jose because of the rebuild. Marleau has been a Shark his whole career since being drafted by the team in 1997. After 15 seasons in the NHL, the 34-year old veteran still can provide a lot of offense. Marleau tallied up 33 goals, which was second best on the team, and reached the 70-point mark for the sixth time in his career. Like Thornton, Marleau re-upped for three more years. His contract includes a $6.66 million cap hit and a no-move clause. 

Rumored Suitors: Boston Bruins

Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs

According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, the Maple Leafs are rumored to be shopping their captain this offseason. This rumor comes as a bit of surprise as the team just signed Phaneuf to a lucrative seven-year deal worth $7 million per year last December. Also, it is strange that the Leafs are willing to trade their best defenseman when their defense was among the worst in the NHL last season. 

Phaneuf is coming off a decent season where he put up 8 goals and 23 assists for the Leafs. He is a top-pair defenseman that will log 20-plus minutes a game and is a threat on the power play with his dynamic slap shot from the point. In his seven-year contract, Phaneuf has a no-move clause and a modified no-trade clause.

Rumored Suitors: San Jose Sharks, Edmonton Oilers

Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers

Per Andy Strickland of True Hockey, defenseman Brian Campbell wants out of Florida. Campbell is a great offensive-minded defenseman that excels at quarterbacking the power play. Last season, Campbell finished second on the Panthers in points with 37 and paced the team in helpers with 30. He also logged the most minutes on the team with a 26:51 average ice-time. The 35-year old comes with two-years left on his contract with a cap hit of $7.14 million, which could limit his trade value. 

Rumored Suitors:  Edmonton Oilers? (It is rumored they are looking for a puck-moving defensman)

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