The free agency and trading market have been relatively stagnant since the start of free agency period opened. Many thought that things would open up when Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed, When it did not, the same theory was applied to when the next big player was moved. Now that Rick Nash has been traded to the New York Rangers, will the free agent and trading market start to open up?
With the Rangers landing Nash, there are a handful of big forwards left on the market. The two biggest names are Shane Doan and Bobby Ryan. The Sabres have been attached to both players and as more teams keep finalizing their rosters, the Sabres chances of landing one of these players continues to grow.
The Sabres main competitors for these players vary with the amount of cap space they have left. Even after the Doan trade, the Rangers still have $13 million in cap space left. The Philadelphia Flyers will be close to the ceiling if the Nashville Predators don't match the offer sheet on Shea Weber. The Pittsburgh Penguins haven't made a large splash like many of their competitors in the Atlantic Division so they are going to be looking to try and keep pace.
Looking at Shane Doan, the Coyotes, Sabres, Penguins, Rangers, and Flyers are all teams that have interest. The Coyotes are the front runner, but with the uncertainty of the ownership situation there, Doan is keeping all of his options open. Already Doan has visited New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
The market for Bobby Ryan is slightly different. The Sabres may not have all of the pieces the Ducks are looking for to make the deal at the moment. That could change though as it closer to the start of the season and the Ducks might be willing to take less if they feel they have to move Ryan before the start of the season. Anaheim's other trade partners are starting to open up as teams who couldn't land Nash start to look elsewhere.
The market is going to open up at some point as the season starts to get closer. If it does not, hockey fans will keep feeding on the slow drip of news throughout the summer.