Byfuglien’s new deal opens up trade market
The stalemate for NHL trades is seemingly coming to an end. Dustin Byfuglien’s new deal with the Winnipeg Jets signals the start of what appears to be an active and exciting trading period.
Many teams were holding back from making a move while waiting to see what Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff would do with impending unrestricted free agents Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd. The former was solved on Monday, with Byfuglien inking a new five year, 7.6 million per deal. This in all likelihood means that Andrew Ladd will be traded and gives the teams around the league a clearer outlook on what is going to happen on the trade front.
The second ripple came just a day after of the Byfuglien signing, with Dion Phaneuf being dealt to Ottawa in a monstrous nine-player deal. Salary, prospects, and picks were exchanged, leaving most fans shocked.
A few hours later, it was reported by Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports that Justin Schultz of the Edmonton Oilers was going to be a heathy scratch tonight possibly due to a trade. Schultz has been awful, for lack of a better term, this year but has the potential to thrive in the right situation. Buffalo and San Jose could be two teams in on him (among others).
With Byfuglien off the market, Roman Polak’s and Dan Hamhuis’ value have increased. A weak defensive pool both trade wise and free agent wise could leave the Leafs and Canucks in a good position if they choose to move said players. The Kings have been long rumored to be going after a tough defenseman and were linked to Byfuglien, so Polak would make sense. Colorado and Washington would also be fits.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Keith Yandle have both been asked about but it is doubtful either move.
The defensive market has definitely opened up and the forward group shouldn’t be too far behind. I would expect an active trade deadline, which is now less than three weeks away.