With about a quarter of the BEARD Hockey season completed, we've seen quite a bit of parity in this author's learned opinion.
With that parity comes an active trade block, and there indeed have been several teams who have made guys available, whether they’re buyers, sellers, or just looking to do a lateral move to shake things up and try to unlock something on their roster.
Not all those guys are depth though. There have been some true stars made available, some of whom have already been moved, such as JT Miller, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and several others.
Some remain available however, so we’re going to look at the biggest names still on the block, and our prediction on if they will end up on a new team by the trade deadline. We’ll do these by the date they were listed as up for grabs.
Calgary Flames - C/LW Gabriel Landeskog: 79 OV, 30 y/o, 5x$7M salary
NHL line - currently injured BEARD line - 21 GP, 11 G, 9 A, +9 in ~16 minutes per game
Landeskog has been a point per game player the last few seasons in the NHL - when he’s played. Unfortunately, he’s logged just over 50 games in each of the past 3 seasons there (though one was covid I think). He does however have 155 P in 159 games in that span, so the talent is there. In BEARD, he is on much the same pace, with 20 P in 21 games. His 85 SC rating helping pace the Flames to a top 5 offense.
Will he be traded: No - The Flames have been on a streak recently, racking up points in 6 of their last 7 games, and having heard no movement in the month since becoming available, Calgary may not be so keen to move him after all.
Another complicator is the injury status: he’s currently on the shelf till I think January at the earliest, so there may be some hesitation from potential suitors, who may want to wait and see how he looks back on the ice in the NHL before committing to a 5-year deal.
If Calgary is truly intent on shopping him, this feels like more of an offseason move than a midseason one.
Chicago Blackhawks - LW Alex Ovechkin: 83 OV, 37 y/o, 4x$9.5M salary NHL Line: 23 GP, 11 G, 10 A, -14 BEARD line: 21 GP, 3 G, 6 A, -17 in ~20 minutes per game
Ovie is on pace for another 40-goal season in the NHL, but his BEARD counterpart is just not the same Ovie. An easy culprit to pin is his 4.41% shot%, as he’s taking the 2nd most shots on the team on a decent offense; the question is, why?
His forward linemates are good at passing, and he’s much too skilled to endure this drought for much longer, so you have to imagine that shot% will right itself at some point.
Will he be traded: No - Don’t get me wrong, Ovie is still a great player, and if the NHL is any indication, he should probably be next season as well. And I’m sure there’s been at least some interest; it’s Ovie after all. I think it’s more likely than Landeskog.
But his start here in BEARD may be somewhat concerning because there’s no obvious reason that it’s happening; if someone does trade for him, it’s because they think they can get him some better looks and get him to convert more of those looks. I think at the very least teams will wait to see if Chicago tinkers with their lineup at all to try and get ovie going to showcase him to potential suitors.
The fact that he’s under contract for a couple more years though, and is showing to still have it in the NHL, is certainly enticing.
Minnesota Wild - LW Jonathan Huberdeau: 85 OV, 29 y/o, 1x$5.9M salary NHL Line: 19 GP, 3 G, 7 A, +4 BEARD Line: 21 GP, 14 G, 8 A, +4 in ~20 minutes per game
Hubie may be the best BEARD player on this list, as his OV is tops, and it shows with him being T-2nd in goals scored. He’s the complete package too, being rated highly in DF along with the requisite offensive categories.
His NHL counterpart, however, has been disappointing thus far. HIs salary this season is very cheap compared to what you get though.
Will he be traded: Yes - A few factors come into play for me here. First off, the salary as mentioned is a bargain for a top overall rated player, and they have even offered to retain 50%. What’s more pushing me towards “yes” though is that Minnesota expressed a possibility that if a deal is not reached sooner than the deadline, they may entertain futures more strongly.
This I think will really open the floodgates, because I get the sense from competing teams that they really just want to sell futures to help win now and not part with existing contributors. MIN seems to be kind of looking for a lateral move for Huberdeau at minimum currently.
The expiring contract and NHL performance I don’t think is a deal-breaker because if you make this move, you’re probably already a team in the hunt and you do what you can to maximize your Cup chances now. Even if you end up losing Hubie next season, if you won the Cup, then it was worth it.
New Jersey Devils - BEARD prospect Shane Wright: 18 y/o
Yep, we’re putting a prospect on here!
Mr. Wright was the 4th overall pick in the NHL and 3rd overall in BEARD this past offseason, but was thought by some to be 1st overall worthy iirc. The Devils are currently the league’s best team (though they have dropped a few games as of late), so obviously they are all about selling futures to maximize their talent right now.
He has seen a bit of NHL action, scoring 1 point in 7 games, but he’s just 18 years old of course. He got sent down for a couple weeks and lit the AHL on fire.
Will he be traded: No - This article was in the process of completion when the Devils had to go and blow this section up by acquiring their coveted forward by trading Kaapo Kakko + other stuff. So, I am skeptical that they have any desire to move Wright right now. But I decided to keep this section in at all just cause.
Again, these are all just my opinion, and there’s still plenty of time to go. I may end up wrong on all 4 of these! It will be interesting to see how things shake out going forward, as I’m sure these won’t be the last big names to go on the block.