Things have settled down considerably in the offseason after a hectic couple of weeks in free agent frenzy, but there's no mistaking that a lot of teams in the National Hockey League still have work that needs to be done. Some teams still need to shed salary before the start of the 2020 - 2021 regular season while others have weaknesses that they would like to shore up before we once again see meaningful games played out.
The most exciting type of moves teams could make would of course be to pull off some kind of trade in the offseason, and given that we have teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning who look like they must shed salary it seems likely that we're going to get at least a few. The question now is who are the players most likely to be moved, and frankly there are some pretty big names that make our top 3 today. I've excluded players from the Lightning on this list because given their current circumstances, both in terms of cap space and the unwillingness of players like Tyler Johnson to waive their no-trade clauses, it really does feel like anyone on that roster could go at any moment. Heck even Steven Stamkos name has come up in trade rumors when it comes to that organization.
With all that in mind let's look at the Top 3 players I believe are most in danger of being traded this offseason:
#1 Patrik Laine.
Laine gets the number one spot on my list because I believe that his time with the Winnipeg Jets has all but run out. It is clear that Laine has been unhappy with the way the team has used him and his agent has openly suggested that it may be time for the two sides to part. In my opinion it's only a matter of time before Laine is playing for another team, but with Laine set to be a restricted free agent at the end of next season the Jets and general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff can afford to be a little patient here.
#2 Matt Dumba.
The Minnesota Wild veteran's name has been out there since the very start of the offseason and although things have quieted down I think it is pretty clear that Wild general manager Bill Guerin is simply waiting for the right offer to come across his desk. Although it has not been officially confirmed I suspect that the Wild are either looking for help up the middle of the ice or are looking for more long term assets in the form of draft picks or prospects as Guerin looks to reshape this roster in his image.
#3 Shayne Gostisbehere
He would have been higher on my list but the sudden and unexpected, at least from the outside looking in, retirement of veteran defenseman Matt Niskanen may have changed things for the Flyers. It is clear that Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault is not a fan of what was once the Flyers most promising defenseman and as a result it came as no surprise when Gostisbehere's name began to circulate in the offseason. That being said I place him at the bottom of the list because I am unsure how willing Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher will be to make that move now that Niskanen is gone. It could be argued that the addition of free agent defenseman Erik Gustafsson has made Gostisbehere more expendable, but it's important to remember that Gustafsson is only on a 1 year deal and will be a UFA once again at the end of next season. Gostisbehere's cap hit of $4.5 million is $1.5 million more than the $3 million being earned by Gustafsson, but the Flyers will have Ghost under contract for 2 additional seasons beyond this upcoming one.