While the trade deadline is still over a month away, the rumors are heating up. There is much speculation over which players could be on the move.
At the moment the Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves outside the playoff circle. It has been a see-saw battle all season for the blue and white to maintain a place inside the top eight.
If the Maple Leafs wait another month, it could be too late for them to make a move.
Finding the right player right now could help them move up the ladder and take hold of a playoff spot.
A week ago I wrote an article on seven players who could be traded from the Leafs roster. This time let's take a look at 10 players that could provide a positive impact for the Toronto team right now.
Ever since Anaheim GM Paul Murray had a little tantrum and said all of his players are now available, the internet has been buzzing with rumors of Ryan Getzlaf to the Maple Leafs.
The fact that Toronto GM Brian Burke and Murray are good friends makes the Getzlaf rumors juicier.
Getzlaf could easily step onto the Leafs top line with Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel and give the team the number one centre they have needed for so long.
Mike Ribeiro has playoff experience.
He is a veteran centreman that could also step onto the top line between Lupul and Kessel. While he resembles Leafs centreman Tim Connolly in regards to age and experience, Ribeiro would bring a bit more offensive punch to this team.
However, the Dallas Stars, in the middle of their own playoff race, would be hard pressed to give him up.
Ribeiro's familiarity with the Northeast Division from his time in Montreal would be an added bonus for this Toronto team–if we could steal him from Dallas.
Acquiring Jarome Iginla would be a dream move for Leafs fans.
Iginla would give them that much needed secondary scoring (Although Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin all may be turning the corner).
He is a proven veteran and while he has stated he wants to be in Calgary, the thought of playing in the playoffs could quickly change his mind.
The Calgary Flames might also be a little reluctant to trade with the Maple Leafs since their last deal resulted with the Leafs in possession of Dion Phanuef and Keith Aulie. The Flames got a handful of guys with only Matt Stajan still around.
Iginla would make the Leafs one of the best offensive teams in the league–but again it would take one heck of a deal to pry him away from Calgary.
Marc-Andre Bergeron is having a very good year for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
He is a veteran defenseman that has bounced around the league quite a bit. With some playoff experience, Bergeron would bring leadership and maturity to the Maple Leafs roster.
The addition would improve Toronto's power play and penalty kill. Bergeron's 24 points would fit in nicely with the high scoring defense the Leafs boast.
Representative of the Maple Leafs' ups and downs this season, there has been a see-saw battle for the team's number one goaltender.
Neither James Reimer nor Jonas Gustavsson have taken the job and ran with it. Acquiring Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes could give the Leafs a steady veteran and Stanley Cup winning goaltender in net.
Ward would be an excellent addition to the Leafs and would give them a true number one. Toronto hasn't had a goalie that could steal a game and come up with the big saves since Ed Belfour.
No matter the price, I would like to see Cam Ward in a Leafs jersey.
The Predators are known to be in a little bit of a financial trouble and the Leafs could do them a favour by taking Erat off their hands.
Despite a history of injuries, Erat is a good choice for the Leafs. He adds scoring and playoff experience.
Shawn Horcoff is a guy whose name seems to get thrown around every year at the deadline.
But up to this point he is and always has been with the Edmonton Oilers. Horcoff is signed through the next two years and if acquired he would bring another veteran presence to the Leafs.
Horcoff has seen his production drop off in the last few years and that could be a bargaining chip for Burke.
For the Leafs to make the playoffs they will need guys who have played in pressure situations before. Horcoff has the experience and could provide the leadership in a Toronto uniform
Marc-Edouard Vlasic is only 24 years old and in his last year of a contract with the San Jose Sharks.
In his young career Vlasic has proved he is a capable puck moving defenseman. He would fit in with the average age of the Leafs squad. Vlasic, although young, has appeared in the playoffs with the Sharks for the last three years.
GM's are always looking to add experience to their roster and if they can find a young guy with a ton of experience it's a bonus. Vlasic has 3 goals with 14 assists for 17 points and a +20 player rating.
With youth and experience and productivity on his side, he is bound to cash in on the a big free agent bonus this up coming summer, the Leafs would be wise to get him now and see where talks lead in the off-season.
He is also coming up to the end of his contract. Ruutu is having a good year scoring–26 points so far. The Leafs could use another dependable winger to join the secondary scoring.
I think Ruutu on a line with Grabovski and Kulemin would bring back that spark we saw last year when MacArthur was with those two. Their line has been broken up and so the three are trying to find some magic with other partners.
Ruutu could be the one to provide that magic. There would be no better time to pick him up then now.
What will make it a little costly is the fact that Ruutu is the 'Canes second leading scorer, however he is one of the few guys that could be around next season as it's looking like the Hurricanes are going to be turning to their youth.
While the Montreal Canadiens are starting to slip further down in the standings, the Maple Leafs are still trying to make a push.
It's very rare that a divisional trade will take place during the course of the year as neither team wants to make the other team immediately better, but in this case, Montreal may have to realize they need some fresh faces in the locker room before they can get better.
As with the Leafs, they may have to bite the bullet and potentially give up a draft choice or a budding star of the future in order to make an impact now.
At only 25 years old, David Desharnais, will not bring a whack of experience, but his 24 assists stand out.
He is on pace to hit the 40+ assists mark with the Canadiens. Stick him between Lupul and Kessel and that number could reach 50-60.
He has a lot of potential and is in just his third full season. Although he was just re-signed this past off-season, it was only for two years.
Desharnais could be a good fit between Lupul and Kessel and he would probably come at a smaller cost than some of the previous guys mentioned.