Not every match is made in heaven. Some NHL players and teams find themselves in situations where a separation is the best course of action. Here are five guys that should be moved ASAP.
Alexis Lafreniere | New York Rangers
Four years ago the Rangers made everyone mad. Not only were they going to the play-in round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but they were going to be drafting first overall too. They used that pick to take Alexis Lafreniere. A player that some believed was a generational talent.
Now that we're in Lafreniere's fourth NHL season, we all know that's not true. Laf has 92 points in 219 NHL games. He's essentially a 35-point player.
Lafreniere is still young enough to get good value in the trade market. Allowing the Rangers to find a comparable player and more. Imagine Chicago sending something like Athanasiou+ to New York for Lafreniere to play on the right side of Connor Bedard. Hmm?
Clayton Keller | Arizona Coyotes
How long will he tolerate staying in Arizona? Keller is the best player on the team and by a healthy margin. In the past two seasons, Keller has scored 149 points in 150 games. The 'Yotes could get a lot for him in the trade market and Keller could go play meaningful hockey somewhere.
I know that Arizona signaled they plan on being competitive, but their 20 picks in the first three rounds of the next three drafts tell me that's not true. An NHL team has to air-lift Keller out of the desert.
Patrik Laine | Columbus Blue Jackets
Remember when Laine was the most exciting goal-scorer since Alex Ovechkin? I desperately want to see that version of Laine again.
#NHLJets Patrik Laine is now tied for 3rd on the NHL's all-time list for career goals by a teenager.— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 10, 2018
He's got an outside chance at surpassing another Winnipeg legend on this list pic.twitter.com/i2Zq6yLegZ
Since joining Columbus he's scoring at a rate of 30 goals a season, which is respectable, but it's not the Laine we saw bursting into the league in 2016-17.
Ideally, moving him to a spot where he can score on the power play is key. In his first three seasons in the league, Laine scored 44 power-play goals. He's scored 25 since then.
CBJ isn't expected to do much this year. Their points total on the year was set at 72.5 with the UNDER being favored at -105. It's time to move Laine to a team that can help him hit 35-45 goals a year again.
Elias Pettersson | Vancouver Canucks
Can I interest any NHL team in a 100-point 24-year-old center? (Note that all 32 teams have their hand up.)
Pettersson is an elite player in this league but it sounds like the situation between him and the Canucks going forward is...dicey.
Pettersson's next contract is going to take him through his prime years, if he's even got a hint of doubt in Vancouver's potential to build a contender then he has to make like a banana and split. Don't worry, the Canucks will be compensated handsomely for him.
Travis Konecny | Philadelphia Flyers
With the Flyers season point total set to 75.5, the Flyers have one of the lowest lines in the NHL. The UNDER on that total is -130 while the OVER is +100. Books clearly think Philly is going to suck this year.
And they're right to think so, the Flyers are tanking. Which means they have to trade Travis Konecny.
The 26-year-old put up career numbers last year with 31 goals and 61 points in 60 games. And he's started this season well with five points in three games.
Philly's draft pick situation is dire for a rebuilding team. They have four first and four seconds in the next three years. That's just not enough. Dealing Konecny would at least net them a first, second and a top prospect. Briere needs to do this ASAP.