Focus shifts to the NHL trade market

Teams that missed out in free agency could look to Mike Green, James Reimer or Evander Kane. Getty Images

While holding court with reporters in Philadelphia after the draft, Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz explained how he saw the next week or so playing out. He anticipated very little serious trade talk until teams figured out how they did in free agency.

Then would come the next step.

“I don’t think you’ll see many trades until after July 6,” he predicted.

At the time, he wasn’t armed with the information we know now: namely, that the first day of free agency would be completed at a breakneck pace, where clubs would spend half a billion dollars to improve their teams.

As the dust settles and teams examine what’s left on the open market, they might want to speed up Trotz’s timeline. Not much is left, and the trade route is the best way to add an impact player at this point. One agent who has a remaining player drawing interest on the free-agent market said he suspects general managers have now shifted more focus on to trades.

“The sense I get are teams, after going at warp speed yesterday, took a deep breath last night and are settling into ‘Where are we at?’ mode,” he said. "I suspect there’s a lot of trade talk going on today, where yesterday there was not a lot because they were focused on getting to the UFAs [unrestricted free agents].”

Considering the huge haul on defense that Trotz and Washington landed in free agency, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan may be the target of his colleagues looking to pick at some of the surplus on defense in Washington.

“I think it’s harder now to trade than ever before,” Trotz said. “The dollars have to line up, and the fits have to line up.”

With that in mind, here’s a look at players who could be on the move as the NHL offseason shifts into its next phase:

Mike Green, D, Washington Capitals

There was heavy demand on the market for defensemen who are a right-handed shot, and guys like Matt Niskanen, Dan Boyle, Anton Stralman and Tom Gilbert got snapped up quickly. Now, with the massive spending on defense in Washington, it’s fair to wonder if the Capitals would consider an offer on their righty Mike Green.