The 2011-12 NHL trade deadline is less than one month away, set for Monday the 27th of February.
With the top and bottom teams in each conference starting to distance themselves from the mid-level teams, general managers can decide upon whether they will be buyers or sellers.
Additionally, the load of trade speculation across the league may finally result in actual deals.
Each team's latest trade rumor (regardless of potential correlation with reality) may give an idea of what could happen from now until the deadline.
Corey Perry is on the market.
According to Enrico Ciccone of the TV show "Le Match," Patrice Brisebois claimed Anaheim is considering a deal that would send the reigning Hart Memorial Trophy winner away for a goaltender.
The rumored deal sends the Ducks' only All-Star to Vancouver in exchange for Cory Schneider, Mason Raymond and Keith Ballard.
Teams could also be interested in Teemu Selanne (more info later in article).
The Bruins want a defensemen and they may trade Tim Thomas.
A Boston Globe article noted that the Bruins could look to add a defenseman or lower-line forward before the deadline.
The Bruins have their goalie of the future in 24-year-old backup Tuukka Rask.
Though Thomas is an elite goaltender, his age is a reason for Boston to take action sooner than later.
Derek Roy is available in a player-for-player trade.
Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff said that a one-for-one trade could help the Sabres stop their recent struggles (though he emphasized the importance of playing well as a team).
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, "league sources say GM Darcy Regier believes the Sabres need to get bigger and might be offering up Roy."
The Flames could acquire Jeff Carter.
Carter has not exactly excelled since being traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets this past offseason.
The recent trade of Brendan Morrison adds some substance to these rumors.
The trade deadline might look something like a fire sale for the Hurricanes.
Carolina seems to be the epicenter of NHL trade rumors. The Hurricanes are out of playoff contention and talented players Tuomo Ruutu and Bryan Allen are upcoming free agents.
Unless the team wishes to re-sign any of the players, they will all very likely be on the market.
The team could want a solid goalie for their playoff run.
Steve Silverman of CBS Chicago thinks Tim Thomas could be the target.
TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that Brendan Morrow might be available despite his no-trade clause.
Tuomo Ruutu has been reported as a potential deadline pickup for Detroit.
Red Wings fans have to enjoy the prospect of acquiring Ruutu, who is a scrappy forward with good scoring production.
Ruutu is on pace for 41 points this year.
Upcoming free agent Ales Hemsky is drawing a lot of attention as the deadline grows near.
Edmonton is out of a playoff spot, putting them in a position to sell.
There aren't a plethora of reasons not to re-sign Hemsky, but with a load of young talent (and therefore, an eventual huge commitment of cap space) in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, it may not be possible to keep Hemsky long-term.
The Florida Panthers' top line of Stephan Weiss, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann accounts for nearly one-third of the teams' total goals.
The Panthers need to add depth for the playoffs.
They could be one of the teams interested in Edmonton's Ales Hemsky, according to Bucky Gleason of Buffalo News.
The deal would make sense in the long-term as well. Florida has plenty of cap space and could definitely re-sign the pending free agent.
A source says the Blackhawks are interested in Jack Johnson and targeting Alex Semin.
The Kings desperately need scoring; they have the worst goals-per-game in the NHL, so a deal for Semin could make sense.
More recently, the team has been discussed as another possible destination for Jeff Carter. He would be reunited with old teammates Mike Richards and Simon Gagne.
Richards and Carter were said to be good drinking buddies in Philadelphia.
With injuries still keeping Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Mikko Koivu and Guillame Latendresse out of the lineup, the Wild are looking to add a forward.
Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher told Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, "If we can add some skill...and it's not a crazy short-term deal where you're giving up a lot of assets for a rental, then I think we'll look at anything at this point."
Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette noted that many NHL scouts were in attendance of a recent Canadiens game.
The team is eight points out of a playoff spot, and with a few key free agents to potentially trade away, look for them to be active sellers.
Notables on the free-agent list includes Andrei Kostitsyn, Travis Moen, Hal Gill, P.K. Subban and Carey Price.
Ryan Suter will not sign a new contract this season, but wants to stay in Nashville.
During the All-Star game's media day, Suter said "I don’t think about where I want to be. I focus on being a good player on our team. The time will come for all that, and now is not the time."
He went on to say "Nashville is a great place to live and raise a family."
It makes sense for the Predators to keep the defenseman, as the team can't make a serious playoff push without him.
The New Jersey Devils are on track to lose $20 million this season.
This terrible financial situation could result in the departure of expensive players, one notable being captain Zach Parise.
Parise is making $6 million this season and is set to be a free agent this summer. If the Devils are asking for advances in order to continue operations, it is very unlikely they will be able to re-sign the free agent.
Bryce Salvador, a defenseman making $2.9 million, should be expected to move also.
The Islanders use three goaltenders regularly; Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov.
Montoya and Nabokov will be free agents this summer. DiPietro has another nine years left on his contract and will not be going anywhere.
So, one of Montoya or Nabokov will likely be gone in the summer. The Islanders would be smart to move one of them before the deadline rather than letting them go for nothing.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported that the New York Rangers are interested in Teemu Selanne.
Selanne not only provides an excellent scoring touch (already totaling 45 points this season), but experience as well; the 41-year-old has already won a Stanley Cup.
It would be up to Selanne if he were traded; he has a no-movement clause.
The Ottawa Senators' owner Eugene Melnyk said the team's focus is still rebuilding.
Even though the team has the fourth-most points in the Eastern Conference, don't expect any major moves.
Throughout this season, Philadelphia has shown its depth over and over again by maintaining a quality record despite numerous injuries to various offensive players including Claude Giroux, Jaromir Jagr, Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn and recently, Danny Briere and James van Riemsdyk.
The Flyers have yet to address the loss of Chris Pronger. The current fifth and sixth defensemen are rookies Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson. Andreas Lilja isn't an improvement.
The team would be much more confident in having an experienced defenseman.
The team could be looking at Luke Schenn of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Coyotes have the fourth-worst record in the Western Conference, but are also three points out of a playoff spot.
If Phoenix should decide to be sellers at the deadline, veteran upcoming free agents Ray Whitney and Daymond Langkow should be available.
The Sidney Crosby story has not seen significant improvement since the team's captain was injured more than a year ago.
The team should look to add a forward in his absence. A rental player would be the best option; Crosby could come back next season and the new pick-up could be left for free agency.
Among the players available who fit that category could be Tuomo Ruutu, Vinny Prospal and Olli Jokinen.
The Blues are excellent defensively, but could use help scoring.
Adding a veteran forward would help (such as Olli Jokinen or any of the upcoming free agents in Phoenix), but the team may not be able to make a deal.
Giving John-Michael Liles a contract extension has led many to believe Luke Schenn could be out.
The Philadelphia Flyers, who the Leafs traded Kris Versteeg to at last year's deadline, could be a partner if the team wants to trade young, struggling forward James van Riemsdyk.
The Flyers need another defensemen with Chris Pronger out, and Schenn's $3.6 million cap hit is extremely manageable for the Flyers.
If they are to lose Matt Carle in free agency this summer, Schenn could easily fit in long-term.
He would also be playing with younger brother Brayden.
If the Canucks are to trade backup goalie Cory Schneider (an upcoming free agent with enough talent to be a starter), they could get a big return.
If the rumored Corey Perry deal is true, that would certainly be a suitable value.
Another potential taker could be the New Jersey Devils, who have two old goaltenders in Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg. The team is unlikely to be able to afford Zach Parise, who would definitely be enough for Schneider.
Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star reported that Capitals scouts were at a Toronto Marlies AHL game, possibly looking at goalie Jussi Rynnas.
The Caps already have a roster capable of making a good playoff push this season, but have cap space to work with if they wish to add someone.