Top trade targets: Snipers
February, 19, 2014
By Tim Kavanagh | ESPN Insider
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesAfter declining the Islanders' long-term offer, Thomas Vanek could be on the move again.With the league on its Olympic break, NHL rosters are frozen. Once the Olympians return from Sochi, there will be a small window in which teams can make their moves for the stretch run.
In order to prepare for the frenzy ahead of the trade deadline, we at Rumor Central look ahead at the top trade targets by position. Cap hit information provided is from CapGeek.com.
We have already looked at the top centers, top defensemen and top goalies on the market. Today, we continue with a look at the top snipers rumored to be on the block:
1. Thomas Vanek, New York Islanders
Age: 30 | 2013-14 cap hit: $5,750,000 | UFA: 2014-15
Ideally, the highly productive Vanek would be helping the Isles take the next step after being traded to the team (from Buffalo) last fall, ushering in a new era of relevance for a franchise that won four consecutive Stanley Cups, the last of which occurred when Michael Jackson's "Beat It" was the No. 1 song on the charts. The Kings have been mentioned as a suitor for the Austrian native, although it's unclear whether they're interested in sending over three assets believed to be required to land him. One team that's speculatively remained in the mix is the Minnesota Wild, as Vanek reportedly has ties to the state, though their postseason chances will play a role in how aggressively they target Vanek or anyone else.
2. Marian Gaborik, Columbus Blue Jackets
Age: 32 | 2013-14 cap hit: $7,500,000 | UFA: 2014-15
That's a big number in the 2013-14 cap hit column, but when Gaborik is on his game, he has a scoring touch that is such a rare commodity in the league, and would be useful to just about any contender.