Top trade targets: Grinders
February, 21, 2014
By Tim Kavanagh | ESPN Insider
AP Photo/Frank Franklin IIIf rumors come to fruition, Rangers captain Ryan Callahan may have a new team soon.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 March 5 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, top goalies and top snipers on the market. Today we close out the series with a look at the top grinder/grit forwards rumored to be on the block:
1. Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers
Age: 28 | 2013-14 cap hit: $4,275,000 | UFA: 2014-15
Callahan isn't a true "grinder," per se, but he didn't really fit in to any of our other categories, so here he is. The Rangers' captain is reportedly locked in a contract stalemate with the team, and speculation has it a number of teams have expressed interest in his services, most recently the St. Louis Blues. The Rangers are still in the midst of a playoff push, but if they get a sense that they won't be able to sign Captain Callahan prior to the start of free agency this summer, they might as well get something in exchange. Many believe that this "something in exchange" will be another NHL regular who can help right away.
2. Andrew Ladd, Winnipeg Jets
Age: 28 | 2013-14 cap hit: $4,400,000 | UFA: 2016-17
As is the case with Callahan, Ladd isn't really a "grinder" either, but he isn't afraid to play a hard-nosed physical style while still chipping in his fair share of points. For a team that needs extra depth upfront for the postseason, Ladd's style makes him a valuable option to have, as the 2010 Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks can attest.