The NHL trade deadline looms just over of the horizon on February 27th.
The trade deadline marks the make-or-break stage for any team trying for that final push to lock up a conference, division or sometimes a mere playoff spot.
For Detroit Red Wings fans, recent trade deadlines have been just another day on the calendar, as no major moves have been made as far as players coming to or leaving Detroit.
But this trade deadline promises to be a lot more active, and Ken Holland could have something in the works long before then.
With Detroit being able to take on an increasing amount of salary for each day it holds off on trades (due to contracts being paid out by other teams) Detroit can now take on (per CapGeek.com) over $12.1 million in salary cap.
But who will Detroit try and get rid of this trading season?
Read on for the eight players (prospects included) that could find themselves playing elsewhere by the trade deadline.
Jan Mursak was essentially promised a spot on the starting roster this season.
Mursak had one goal in 19 NHL games, but he was fairly successful in the AHL last season with 35 points in 54 games.
Mursak's "guaranteed" spot has seemingly been taken by fellow youngster Cory Emmerton who has seven points in 31 games played, playing just 8:20 per game.
But trading Mursak has a "Ville Leino" feel to it. That is to say, Mursak has not done too much for Detroit, but his talent is fairly evident, and the former sixth-round pick could have the last laugh if Detroit decided to trade him.
Ty Conklin had high expectations for this season.
Well, higher expectations than what his current record, save percentage and GAA, would indicate.
Since his first game of the season, a shutout against Colorado, Conklin had been 0-4-0 before the Chicago game; his ineptitude in net prevented him from getting more starts and made Jimmy Howard start more games than he should have started.
Conklin won for just the second time this season's last game against Chicago, despite giving up two goals within the first five minutes of the game.
Conklin has not played well.
In fact, tonight against the New York Islanders, he allowed three second-period goals on just four shots.
If Detroit could get a goaltender that is playing at a higher level for the playoffs, there is no doubt that Conklin would be available on the trading block.
Both Red Wings fans and Red Wings management had high hopes for Darren Helm after last season's scoring breakthrough.
Helm had 12 goals and 32 points last season, but has just 12 points through 37 games this season.
Despite the scoring drop-off, Helm is one of the fastest players in the NHL and would be highly valued if he were shopped around by Ken Holland.
Although Helm is not having a great offensive season, his speed and tenacity allow him to excel defensively, as his 54 hits demonstrate.
He is an RFA this offseason, so that could be a selling point for teams as well (that they get last shot at re-signing him).
Brad Stuart is a free agent at the end of this season.
His family is back in California.
Detroit would be wise to try and buy him at the trade deadline if he wants to move back to California after this season.
Stuart has 90 hits and 66 blocked shots; needless to say, Detroit would be looking to get a defenseman back in return.
If not a defenseman, I'm sure Ken Holland would be happy to get someone (or picks) back in return, instead of just letting Stuart walk away at the season's conclusion.
Stuart's no-trade clause expired after 2009-10, and he could be due for a salary increase from his current $3.75 million.
There is something about a player getting a new contract and then watching his production drop off the next season.
There is also something about going out with an injury and then having someone else step up and fill your role.
Eaves has been a victim of both of the abovementioned scenarios.
Since going out with a broken jaw in late November, Eaves has yet to return to the Red Wings lineup.
Eaves had just one assist in 10 games.
Detroit can get another one of their up-and-coming forwards to score one point in 10 games for less than Eaves' $1.2 million salary that will remain on the books for the next two seasons if he is not moved.
Eaves is now expendable with the above-average play of Cory Emmerton.
It's not for lack of trying: 24 shots and 21 hits in his 10 games, but effort only gets one so far in the NHL if the results are not where they should be.
Notice how Brunnstrom is in a Dallas jersey in this picture.
That says a lot about how much he plays for Detroit.
With just five games played and one assist, Brunnstrom might be better off playing for another team.
He signed a one-year deal off of a professional try-out contract, but his days in Detroit could be limited due to the excess number of forwards in the organization.
Petr Mrazek turned some heads after he helped the Czech Republic beat the USA in the World Junior Hockey Championships.
Mrazek stopped 52 of 54 shots that the USA fired in his direction.
Just another walk in the park, right?
Apparently so, as the young Czech netminder had a 2.48 GAA and a 92.4 save percentage in six tournament games.
Watch for Mrazek to be shopped around by Ken Holland if he continues his stellar play into post-WJHC play.
Teemu Pulkkinen had 10 points in seven games at the World Junior Championships, helping Finland reach the tournament semifinals before losing in the bronze medal game to Canada.
Pulkkinen also has a shot similar to that of Steven Stamkos. His "holy clapper" video is evidence of this.
Pulkkinen has tremendous offensive skills, and his ability to hold on to the puck fits perfectly in the Detroit Red Wings' puck control system.
So why trade him?
Pulkkinen is a steal as a fourth-round pick back in 2010, and his ability to rack up points offensively will bring in plenty of interest as he likely caught the eye of plenty of scouts at the World Junior Championships.
That's all for now, and as always, for more article updates follow @isaacesmith91.