As noted in the piece about forwards that could get moved in trades this season, there are any number of reasons why a player could be traded. There are also some well-established principles of the NHL trade market.
Contending teams tend not to move core pieces from their roster, unless they are getting even more significant players in return.
Losing teams are not likely to take on money or players about to become unrestricted free agents. The salary cap and contract status is every bit as important as the actual players involved.
While it is very early in the season, these trade talks articles can be considered as a jumping off point. Players will move into and out of trade discussions based on where there teams sit in the standings.
Some of these possibilities will be more obvious and some may be due to unexpected early results.
From a Toronto Maple Leafs perspective, their recent decision to sign Morgan Rielly to a contract extension does take a major trade chip away, but it was not likely that Rielly would be traded anyway. The Maple Leafs have expectations this season and teams that have high expectations don’t typically trade away their No. 1 defenceman. All it takes, for a player to effectively get removed from trade talks is to have them signed to a new long-term deal, rather than playing out an expiring contract.
So, forwards have been covered. This will serve as a starting point for the defence trade talks. Goaltenders will come next.
Nicolas Hague, D, Vegas
A 6-foot-6 left-shot defenceman, Hague is this high on the list because he could possibly be part of a Jack Eichel trade. Hague is not exactly what the Sabres need with Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power both left-shot defenders, but Hague could be ready to move into a Top 4 role and if he can’t get that in Vegas right now, he becomes a valuable trade chip.
Hampus Lindholm, D, Anaheim
It is not as though the Ducks have to move Lindholm, but he is 27 and headed towards unrestricted free agency. If he does not get signed to a new deal, Lindholm should command a healthy return via trade.
Josh Manson, D, Anaheim
Not as effective in a shutdown role as Lindholm, with whom he partnered frequently, Manson is a 30-year-old right shot defenceman who plays a physical game. His style pretty much assured that he will be in significant demand.