The NHL trading deadline isn't always about the big names that are moved. Often times the most beneficial acquisition is a role player that takes a team to the next level.
Glue guys are the meat and potatoes of the NHL trading deadline. Finding a role player that plays strong on both ends of the ice and fits the scheme is a win for any team at the trading deadline.
Let's take a look at a few glue guys that could be on the move at the end of February.
With the New York Islanders struggling again this season, they could look to sell some pieces at the deadline. Steve Staios would be an excellent addition for a team looking to add some depth on the blue line. His leadership and experience would be welcome in any locker room.
While R.J. Umberger is off to an abnormally slow start, he can usually be counted on to produce on offense and work hard at both ends of the ice. He has hit 50 points three times in his NHL career and would slide in nicely on the second or third line for most teams.
Another potential victim of the wholesale changes that loom on the horizon in Columbus is Fedor Tyutin. Tyutin is a steady scoring threat from the point and a very reliable second- or third-pairing defenseman.
After a slow start in Carolina, the Hurricanes are going to be looking to shake things up as the season moves along. Veteran forward Tuomo Ruutu is one of the most attractive trade options for potential buyers given his experience and gritty two-way play.
The Flames are caught in between being sellers and buyers at this point in the season, but despite a recent surge up the standings, the team is likely to be selling in February.
Mark Giordano is a valuable piece that Calgary could move. He has been injured, but by the time the deadline rolls around, he should be healthy enough to help a contending team.
It's tough to call a player that scored 80 points a year ago a "glue guy," but Teemu Selanne is an aging, veteran player who could be on the move at the deadline. Selanne is a big-time offensive threat who could find a new home in a few months.
Kristian Huselius has struggled to stay healthy during his NHL career, but a team could take a risk on his 60-point upside. He is the ideal third-liner.
Tim Gleason is a prototypical glue guy. He has experience and enough talent to hold down the fort on the back end. Gleason's contract is up at the end of the season, so the 'Canes may look to collect some value for him.
Ales Hesmky is more than just a glue guy, but he is definitely one of the most intriguing players to watch as the trading deadline approaches. He brings a goal-scoring punch that plenty of teams seriously lack.
Goalies aren't often considered glue guys, but a netminder could be what holds some contenders together down the stretch. Evgeni Nabokov might just have enough left in the tank for another postseason run.
I doubt that the Edmonton Oilers want to see Ryan Smyth playing anywhere but in Edmonton, but if they fall out of contention, there may be no better time to sell Smyth. He is having a big year.