NHL Trade Rumors: The One Player Each Team Is Most Rumored to Want
The NHL trading deadline is February 27, and now teams are really starting to think about making bold moves or standing pat.
There are still a lot of teams in the playoff race right now, which is probably the biggest reason why we haven't seen any major deals yet. Teams don't want to anger fans by becoming sellers when the playoffs are still in reach.
Regardless, there will be lots of excitement in the next few weeks, as the trade fever really starts increasing.
Let's look at one player each team is most rumored to want or if teams will be sellers instead.
Anaheim Ducks: Cory Schneider
A rumor from The Province suggested that the Anaheim Ducks were thinking about dealing Corey Perry, last year's NHL MVP, for Vancouver Canucks backup goalie Cory Schneider.
As tempting as this trade could be for the Canucks, and it also involves Mason Raymond and Keith Ballard, Vancouver cannot do this.
Schneider has to be the Canucks' starting goaltender in the playoffs, so they cannot afford to move him.
Boston Bruins: Ray Whitney
The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa talked about the Boston Bruins' need for another forward, and he mentioned Phoenix Coyotes veteran Ray Whitney as a possible solution.
Given the concussion issues with Nathan Horton, the Bruins would be smart to add a talented, veteran winger like Whitney. He's also an upcoming free agent.
Buffalo Sabres: Is Roy on the Way Out?
The Buffalo Sabres have a few rumors surrounding the team, but one is the possibility that Derek Roy and his underachieving play could be dealt for an improvement at forward.
The Sabres have to do something to get back in the playoff race, and dealing Roy would be a smart move.
Calgary Flames: Jeff Carter
Columbus Blue Jackets center Jeff Carter has immense talent and is a player the Calgary Flames may look to acquire to further their push for the playoffs.
The Flames seem to be buyers as the trading deadline approaches.
Carolina Hurricanes: Hurricanes Will Be Sellers
Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford will be selling at the deadline, and he has several players he could offer to contending teams that may overpay for veterans such as Tuomo Ruutu, Joni Pitkanen, Tim Gleason and Bryan Allen.
Chicago Blackhawks: Tim Thomas?
CBS Chicago suggested Tim Thomas could be a target for the Chicago Blackhawks, and with their goalie struggles, it's not a bad idea for the team.
Unfortunately for Chicago, the Bruins won't think about trading Thomas until at least the summer.
Colorado Avalanche: Derek Roy and Drew Stafford?
According to the Buffalo News, Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny is available, and the Buffalo Sabres should look to acquire him. A package including Derek Roy and Drew Stafford might be a good starting point for constructing a deal for Stastny.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Jeff Carter Leaving?
According to TSN's Darren Dreger, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jeff Carter is available on the trading block.
Look for the talented offensive player to get moved to a contending team before the trade deadline. Carter has a manageable cap hit of about $5 million for the several more seasons.
Dallas Stars: Is the Team Going to Be Sellers?
The Dallas Stars are outside of a playoff spot right now, and it would be surprising if the team could go on a run and make a playoff berth.
With that said, the team could become sellers soon, and, according to TSN, veteran forward Brendan Morrow could be available.
Detroit Red Wings: Tuomo Ruutu
The Detroit Red Wings need to acquire another forward for their playoff run, and Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu is reportedly a player who could be a real target for them.
Ruutu is a better and less risky target than Edmonton Oilers forward Ales Hemsky.
Edmonton Oilers: Seller Atmosphere in Edmonton
The Edmonton Oilers are not going to go near the playoffs this season, so expect them to be sellers as the deadline nears.
According to TSN, Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky could be available at the deadline.
Florida Panthers: Ales Hemsky
According to the Buffalo News, the Florida Panthers could be interested in acquiring Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky, who would add some scoring and speed to their lineup. Expect the Panthers to be buyers at the trade deadline, as unusual as that sounds.
Los Angeles Kings: Jeff Carter
The Los Angeles Kings may consider acquiring Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets, and if that happens, Carter would be reunited with former Philadelphia Flyers teammate Mike Richards. I'm not sure if that's a good idea, but Carter would really help the Kings offense.
Minnesota Wild: Forward Depth
The Minnesota Wild may be looking to acquire a forward before the trade deadline. Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils would be a great fit on the Wild, but the team would be better off signing Parise in the summer when he's a free agent and they don't have to give up assets to get him.
Montreal Canadiens: Expect the Habs to Be Sellers
It was reported by the Montreal Gazette that scouts were watching Canadiens players at a game in February. Montreal could be sellers at the trade deadline and have several upcoming free agents they need to re-sign, such as PK Subban and Carey Price.
Nashville Predators: Tuomo Ruutu
The Nashville Predators look like they will hold onto elite defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter at the trade deadline, but either way, they must add to the forward depth, and Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu could be a target of the team.
New Jersey Devils: Playoff Position Will Determine Trade Fate
The New Jersey Devils have major financial issues, and this could impact their ability to re-sign captain Zach Parise this summer.
The Devils are still in the playoff race, but is losing a player like Parise's caliber for nothing in free agency worth it? No it isn't, so the Devils must trade him.
New York Islanders: Sellers Market on the Island
Having a veteran goalie with playoff experience like Evgeni Nabokov is a valuable trade asset for the New York Islanders, and without a chance at the playoffs, the team would be smart to shop him from going to a contender that needs a starting or backup goalie.
New York Rangers: Ryan Smyth
Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Smyth would consider waiving his no trade clause to join the New York Rangers in pursuit of a Stanley Cup championship.
Ottawa Senators: Don't Expect Much Trade Activity
The Ottawa Senators are content with rebuilding right now, and with their team in the playoff race, there is no point in giving up young talent for a veteran player when a Stanley Cup isn't a realistic target.
Philadelphia Flyers: Defenseman
TSN's Darren Dreger recently reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs will make a run at Philadelphia Flyers forward James Van Riemsdyk, which could be a way for Philly to acquire the defenseman they covet in the form of Toronto's Luke Schenn.
Phoenix Coyotes: Struggling 'Yotes Could Be Sellers
The Phoenix Coyotes have fallen out of a playoff spot and could be sellers at the trade deadline, with contending teams looking at veterans Ray Whitney and Shane Doan as possible acquisitions.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Tuomo Ruutu
San Jose Sharks: Paul Gaustad
As I have said before, the San Jose Sharks will contend for a Stanley Cup if they are healthy, and their roster right now doesn't have any glaring weaknesses.
Adding a physical forward would be a good idea, and Buffalo Sabres veteran Paul Gaustad is reportedly a player the Sharks would consider acquiring.
St. Louis Blues: No Real Targets Right Now
The St. Louis Blues are a very strong team right now with few weaknesses, and it's unlikely they make a major move before the trade deadline, especially when you consider they will have a lot of salary cap space in the summer to use on a talented free-agent class.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Goaltending Issues Shouldn't Be Addressed
The Tampa Bay Lightning need a goaltender for the present and future, but despite their recent success, making the playoffs is a long shot and there's little point in trading assets such as high draft picks for veteran players.
Toronto Maple Leafs: James Van Riemsdyk
The Toronto Maple Leafs will likely make a major move at the trade deadline, and many players have been rumored to be targets of the Leafs.
Talks involving Flyers 22-year-old forward James Van Riemsdyk could be ignited again, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
Vancouver Canucks: Corey Perry?
The Vancouver Canucks could use a strong goal-scorer like Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry, but giving up goaltender Cory Schneider would be a bad move for the team considering Roberto Luongo's postseason struggles on the road.
Washington Capitals: Semin Gone, Goalie In?
ALexander Semin's days as a Washington Capital are likely numbered, and the upcoming free agent forward could be traded to a contending team before the deadline.
The Capitals are also reportedly looking at Toronto Marlies goaltender Jussi Rynnas.
Winnipeg Jets: Expect Jets to Be Quiet at Deadline
Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel has no wish list for management as the trade deadline approaches, according to the Winnipeg Sun. With the playoffs still in reach, there's no point to trade young assets for veteran talent.