We’ve already seen a surprising number of deals and some of the top available players have already switched teams. However, in the last few days a few stars have unexpectedly popped up in trade rumours, adding intrigue to what could have been a quiet deadline day. With so many players already moved, we may see less activity on Monday than we’re used to, but there will still be plenty of deals. Here’s a look at the top players that could be on the move:
- Brad Richards – Dallas has plummeted down the Western Conference standings after an impressive start, and now they might have to consider dealing their star centre. Richards is a free agent to be and Dallas has little hope of re-signing him. The Stars’ asking price is currently enormous, so unless they reduce their demands, Richards will stay put. Still, he’s a game-changer, so he’s the guy everyone will be focused on leading up to the deadline.
- Paul Stastny – Colorado has been awful in the second half, but no one expected them to make the significant changes to their roster that we’ve seen over the last week. Stastny’s name has recently appeared in rumours, and the Avalanche may be interested in moving the remaining three-years, $19.8 million on his contract. If Dallas’ demands remain sky-high, Stastny may be an alternative as a top line centre for playoff contenders.
- Stephen Weiss – Florida has been willing to part with basically all its assets in recent years except Weiss. Once again, the Panthers don’t seem likely to part with him, but if they change their minds, there will be a long list of suitors.
- Jason Arnott – Arnott hasn’t indicated that he’s interested in leaving New Jersey, and the other Devils don’t want to see him go. With the Devils streaking, trading Arnott may not make much sense, but New Jersey also knows that it needs to start planning for the future. Expect New Jersey to field calls on Arnott, and if there’s a strong offer on the table, the Devils may pull the trigger.
- John-Michael Liles – Liles is mentioned every year around this time, but Colorado seems keen on moving him this time. He got off to a tremendous start this season, but Liles’ play has dropped off along with the rest of the Avalanche.
- Bryan McCabe – McCabe has just returned from a hand injury, and is drawing heavy interest from teams in need of a veteran, puck-moving defenseman. At 35-years-old, McCabe is strictly a rental, but he could be a difference maker for a playoff team.
- Ales Hemsky – The oft-injured winger can be a point per game player, but he can also be very frustrating. Plenty of teams are looking to add just a bit more offence at this time of year, and Edmonton is looking for as many young assets and picks as possible. Hemsky to the Kings seems like a perfect fit.
- Dustin Penner – He’s the other Oiler that looks like he’ll be moved by the deadline. Penner was very inconsistent at the start of his career, but he’s become a pretty decent power forward over the last two years.
- Chris Phillips – The defenseman has struggled through his worst season, but Ottawa’s overall play may be to blame. The Senators have discussed a contract extension with Phillips, but if nothing looks like it’ll get done by Monday Ottawa may decide to move him.
- Tomas Vokoun – Vokoun is set to be a free agent and the Panthers have a top-notch goalie prospect ready to go in Jacob Markstrom. Vokoun could command a hefty return, so Florida should be dangling him.
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