Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Many Big-Name Players Not Traded at Deadline Could Change Places in Off-Season

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Many Big-Name Players Not Traded at Deadline Could Change Places in Off-Season

Article excerpt

Big names could trade places in off-season

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TORONTO - A deadline isn't really a deadline when there's time to spare.

For the Toronto Maple Leafs that meant no rush to trade captain Dion Phaneuf or star winger Phil Kessel and for the Carolina Hurricanes no hurry to trade Eric or Jordan Staal or Cam Ward by 3 p.m. Monday. Rookie Carolina general manager Ron Francis said on a conference call he didn't get a lot of interest in those players on deadline day.

Toronto's Dave Nonis listened but didn't put up a fire-sale sign outside Air Canada Centre.

"I think bigger contracts generally move in the off-season," Nonis said at a news conference Monday. "That's the way that it is now, and I think that's the way it's always going to be in the cap era."

In the off-season, there's less immediacy but more teams with salary-cap space who could enter the fray for bigger names. With that in mind, here are some players not traded at the deadline who are likely to be moved this off-season:

DION PHANEUF: As the Leafs cast off on a rebuilding effort, Phaneuf and the six years remaining on his contract at a cap hit of US$7 million probably don't fit. Phaneuf could be better suited as a No. 2 or 3 defenceman with a lighter workload elsewhere.

JORDAN STAAL: Reports that the Penguins are interested in Staal make sense, considering former Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is calling the shots in Pittsburgh. Still in his prime, Staal will be 27 in September and has seven seasons left with a cap hit of $6 million.

ERIC STAAL: The older Staal brother would be a one-year rental and a candidate to sign an extension with a contender. The 2006 Stanley Cup winner still has plenty left in the tank at 30 and showed this season he can excel on the wing as well as at centre.

PHIL KESSEL: If the Leafs win the Connor McDavid draft lottery, they might opt to keep the high-scoring right-winger who piles up the goals for $8 million a season. …

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