NHL Trade Rumors: 10 Players That Could Help a Team Win Now

Joe Russomanno@@jriding4evrCorrespondent IFebruary 14, 2012

NHL Trade Rumors: 10 Players That Could Help a Team Win Now

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    The NHL trade deadline is a time when team's make a last ditch effort to win now. By that I mean either get in the playoffs or make a push for the Stanley Cup.

    Other teams not in the hunt use this to their advantage by unloading pending free agents or draft picks to acquire promising prospects.

    This year is promising to be no different. Despite all the moves about to happen, there are only a handful likely to matter.

    Some of the sexier names won't be in here as the purpose of this presentation is to focus on players leaving non-contending teams, in other words— no Shea Weber who isn't moving until the off-season. Come on guys you don't need me to tell you this.

    Allow me to present the 10 players rumored to be on the move that could help a team win now.

Sergei Gonchar

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    Sergei Gonchar is 37 but still logs over 20 minutes per game. He has a big cap-hit but teams in need of a puck moving defenseman might be willing to make a move for Gonchar.

    The Senators are a contender but this might be a good deal for them to retool and shed salary.

Hal Gill

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    Hal Gill has been a war-horse for the struggling Montreal Canadiens in their past two playoff appearances.

    Teams are rumored to be showing interest and Gill would be a fine addition to a team lacking depth on its blueline.

    Gill's use of physical play is rather clean and his 29 penalty minutes say so.

Nikolai Khabibulin

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    Nikolai Khabibulin could have one last Cup run in him as the twilight of his career closes.

    At 39 years old, Khabibulin is available and could give a team what Dwayne Roloson gave the Tampa Bay Lightning last year.

Jeff Carter

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    Jeff Carter is a one-time 40-goal-scorer who had subsequent 30-goal-seasons up until last year. He hasn't attracted much interest, but he's a viable scorer and will help some team make a playoff push.

Lubomir Visnovsky

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    Lubomir Visnovsky is having bit of a let-down year after his 68-point season last year. However, his numbers this year are actually more in line with his career averages.

    Either way, the Anaheim Ducks will most likely be sellers at the deadline. Teams looking for a reliable power-play quarterback might be calling for his services.

Tuomo Ruutu

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    What team couldn't use Ruutu? He's big, tough, scores goals and reported to be available. Any team in playoff contention should be giving Carolina a call for him.

Ales Hemsky

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    Ales Hemsky's future in Edmonton might be uncertain, but his ability to spark a struggling offense with talented players should not be.

    In a full season, Hemsky is easily a 60-point player. He's nothing like his Edmonton predecessor Gretzky, but he provides some play-making ability— which a team in need of a depth forward could readily use.

Paul Gaustad

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    Paul Gaustad is a monster in the face-off circle and will be a beast on a legitimate contender.

    With Buffalo likely out of play-off-contention— it should look to reap value without shipping out pieces like Roy or Miller.

    Gaustad is the epitome of a role player that can step onto any team and make a huge impact.

Pavel Kubina

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    Pavel Kubina could be moved if Tampa Bay decides their playoff chances are too slim. Kubina could reap Tampa Bay that legitimate goalie they so desperately need.

    Wait, Mike Smith is having a good year in Phoenix hmm. Either way they can't compete with what they have in net and defensemen are at a premium this year.

    The cap-strangled Lightning should look to get younger and cheaper where they can.

    Kubina would be a fine addition to a team in need of a veteran defenseman— his Stanley Cup experience is an asset of itself.

Rick Nash

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    In a desperate gamble to build for the future— the Columbus Blue Jackets have allegedly placed Rick Nash on the trading block.

    This is as stunning as it is promising to any team with the available pieces and cap-room to get it done.

    Nash not only should be targeted by a contending team, but he deserves to be on one.

    He's served his time on the worst team in the league and in good grace. Columbus will need to do more than add a piece or two. They need a massive facelift— one which might take Nash past his prime.

    Come on NHL get this terrific player on a contender!

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