Trade Rumour Outlook 2016-2017: Atlantic Division

In our tour around the NHL, we stop in the Atlantic Division to see what the Lightning, Canadiens, Leafs, Sabres, Senators, Panthers, Red Wings and Bruins might get up to on the trade front this season.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Perhaps the most intriguing team in the division trade-wise. Ben Bishop has been on the trade block for quite a while, but the Bolts may opt to keep him for their playoff run if a trade partner can't be found. The Flames expressed interest at the draft before acquiring Brian Elliott, while the Stars, Flyers and Hurricanes could potentially come knocking later in the season. The impending cap crunch the Lightning face going into next season means some bodies up front will likely be pushed out, as pending RFAs Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Jonathan Drouin will all be expecting healthy raises.

Ottawa Senators
When the Sens traded for defenseman Dion Phaneuf in early 2016, they were signalling that they're going all in for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, they could look to move pending UFAs Zach Smith and Chris Kelly if things down work out, and perhaps long-time Sen Chris Neil if he wanted one last shot at a Cup. Some rumours had surrounded Mike Hoffman's future with the team, but a four year extension has shelved that for now.

Boston Bruins
The Bruins are a team long-rumoured to be after an upgrade on defense, and names such as Kevin Shattenkirk, Jacob Trouba and Dennis Wideman have surfaced as possibilities. With a longjam down the middle, some speculation has pointed to David Krejci as a possible trade chip. Pending UFAs John-Michael Liles and Dominic Moore could be flipped at the deadline, as could Brad Marchand if extension talks go off the rails.

Montreal Canadiens
The Habs enter the season with a new look on defence, and they may not be done. Rumours continue to swirl around veteran defenseman Alexei Emelin, who has two years remaining on his contract. Pending UFAs Alex Radulov and David Desharnais would generate plenty of interest at the trade deadline, but with a healthy Carey Price the Habs probably don't plan on being sellers.

Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings enter the season gunning for the playoffs, but if they fall out of it they will look to move pending UFAs Thomas Vanek, Brendan Smith and Drew Miller. The Wings would love to move Jimmy Howard's contract given the emergence of Petr Mrazek in net, but they may struggle to find a taker for the veteran with three years left on his contract. With cap issues to start the year, it might not be too long before Detroit starts making trades.

Florida Panthers
The Panthers are ready to take the next step in the playoffs, and will likely make whatever move helps them win now. Their excess of depth at centre could be a valuable trade chip this season. The Panthers have been linked to players such as Rick Nash, Chris Kunitz and Tomas Jurco in trade rumours.

Buffalo Sabres
Most trade speculation in Buffalo surrounds Evander Kane, who has generated some buzz as a potential fit with the Canucks. It looks like he'll start the season with the Sabres at this point. Tyler Ennis has popped up in rumours as well, but it looks like he'll get a chance to rebound in Buffalo. Pending UFAs Cody McCormick, Cody Franson and Dmitri Kulikov could be moved if the Sabres are deadline sellers, but it's safe to assume they'll try to extend Kulikov first.

Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs remain a team in rebuild mode, which means a busy year of trades. The Leafs have too many players at forward and defence, and may look to make an early season deal or two. Assuming the Leafs are sellers at the trade deadline, pending UFAs Roman Polak, Matt Hunwick Milan Michalek, Brooks Laich and Colin Greening could all be on their way out. Veteran center Tyler Bozak has an extra year left on his deal, but with Nazem Kadri and Auston Matthews locked in at center, he likely becomes expendable.

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