With NHL preseason play well underway, the 2022-23 regular season is fast approaching. It begins in Europe when the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks stage two games in Prague on Oct. 7 and 8. The remainder of the schedule opens Oct. 11.
Media trade gossip is growing as teams pare down their rosters for the coming campaign. So far, there's been only one trade, as the New York Rangers shipped defenseman Nils Lundkvist on Sept. 19 to the Dallas Stars.
Several notable players who were part of our September Trade Block Big Board, such as Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, remain hot topics of speculation heading into October.
Meanwhile, a handful of players slated to become unrestricted free agents at season's end are already drawing attention regarding their futures. The Minnesota Wild's Matt Dumba falls into that category.
The following is our ranking of this month's noteworthy trade candidates. You can weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Selection Process
This list is composed of 10 NHL players who appeared in media trade rumors during September. They were chosen and ranked according to talent, trade value and the possibility they will be traded during this season.
J.T. Miller came off the board after agreeing to a long-term contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks. Montréal Canadiens center Christian Dvorak and Toronto Maple Leafs center Alexander Kerfoot tumbled out of our top 10 as rumors about them waned.
New York Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier and Washington Capitals center Lars Eller dropped from our list as they didn't come up in any media conjecture during September.
10. Craig Smith, Boston Bruins
In September, we noted that Bruins superstars Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy were expected to begin the season on long-term injured reserve. That will allow the team to sit above the $82.5 million salary cap by $2.2 million.
We also listed winger Craig Smith as a potential cost-cutting trade candidate once Marchand and McAvoy returned to action. Defenseman Mike Reilly could also draw interest.
The more likely candidate could be Smith. On Aug. 16, Boston Hockey Now's Jimmy Murphy reported that the Bruins received a trade offer for the veteran winger but that "talks were put on hold." Murphy also made note of this in his Sept. 6 profile of Smith leading up to Bruins training camp.
Those talks might've been paused because the Bruins didn't want to move Smith until Marchand and McAvoy are ready to return. They could also want to see how things shake out in training camp and at the start of the season. It's enough to keep Smith in our October ranking.