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Draft Guide

Trade or No Trade Roundtable

by Brian Rosenbaum
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Which UFA players will be re-signed and which will be traded before the February 29th trade deadline?
Brian Rosenbaum: I believe that somehow the Jets will come up with the money to re-sign captain Andrew Ladd. It is true they broke the bank to ink Dustin Byfuglien to a long-term deal, but both Ladd and Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff want to get this done. Look for some sort of compromise to be worked out in the next week or so.
Michael Finewax: Radim Vrbata of the Canucks.  He had 31 goals and 63 points last season but this season has been a disaster with 11 goals, 22 points and a minus-23 rating in 52 games. He's a UFA at the end of the season and some contender will be interested in his services
Ryan Dadoun: Based on Blues GM Doug Armstrong's past comments, it seems very unlikely that David Backes will be traded.  I think he's one of the more likely players to be re-signed before the trade deadline given Backes' role as the team's captain and the fact that he's still an important part of the club.  By contrast, I think Edmonton will take advantage of the solid season Teddy Purcell is having by trading him for picks or prospects
Corey Abbott: I think the Bruins will move Loui Eriksson.  Boston could trade him and still make the playoffs and I don't believe they will meet his contract demands.  They could use that salary cap space to lock up Brad Marchand and Torey Krug.  Eriksson has been a good player since being acquired from Dallas, but he never came close to duplicating the success he had with the Stars.  Those factors should make him easier to part with and he is the type of two-way forward that teams are looking to acquire at the trade deadline.
Brian Rosenbaum: Is it possible that the Lightning won't trade Jonathan Drouin before February 29th? I'm not betting on it. There is enough interest in the 19-year-old's talent that Stevie Y will find some NHL trading partner with a controllable asset to his liking. Once Drouin lands somewhere else I expect him to soar as he will an enormous chip on his shoulder.
Corey Abbott: I don't think the Islanders will trade Kyle Okposo.  I have heard some rumors with him and there hasn't been much in the way of negotiations, but New York is battling for a playoff spot and will need him down the stretch.  I don't know for certain if he'll re-sign with the Islanders, but if he does then I see it being a two-three-year extension. 

Ryan Dadoun: I know I've brought up Stamkos before on the roundtable, so I'm not going to get into that now, but in some ways Okposo is a similar case.  The Islanders certainly could trade him and gain some benefits from it, but it might cost them a playoff spot or as long a run if they do get in.  At the same time, you have to wonder why it is that they haven't already re-signed Okposo.  I can't help but wonder if his stellar play has priced himself out of the Islanders' budget.  Keep in mind that Okposo is playing out the final season of a five-year, $14 million deal and for the majority of that contract he's been severely underpaid compared to what a guy that puts up his numbers would command on the open market.

Brian Rosenbaum
Brian Rosenbaum is the Senior Hockey Editor of Rotoworld.com. He's run the hockey coverage since its inception in 2000.