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NHL Trade Scenarios: Top 15 Players on the Move and Where They Will Go

Jeff LangridgeCorrespondent IIIFebruary 17, 2015

NHL Trade Scenarios: Top 15 Players on the Move and Where They Will Go

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    The first two trades of NHL trade deadline season were made last night, as the Flyers sent two picks to Dallas for Nicklas Grossman and the Tampa Bay Lightning sent Dominic Moore to San Jose for two picks as well.

    Now that the first few sticks have been thrown into the fire, other teams might start to up the urgency and try to improve their teams. With 11 days left until the deadline, hopefully the urgency will pick up because if it doesn't, it will be yet another boring deadline day.

    Here are the top 15 players I see moving and where I think they will end up.

Rick Nash

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    Destination: Toronto Maple Leafs

    You might say that the Leafs don't have the assets to get a deal done with the Jackets for Nash. I say that is completely false. You might say that Brian Burke doesn't want to empty the cupboards that he has worked hard to restock the past three years. I say he won't have to.

    The Jackets reportedly want a young forward, a young defenseman and definitely a goaltender at the least in return for Nash. Well, the Leafs have Mikhail Grabovski, who is 28. They could include Luke Schenn, 22. Jonas Gustavsson is looking like he could turn out to be a pretty good goalie, so he would be included. To make up for Grabovski's age, they could send Nazem Kadri as well.

    Throw in the Leafs' first-rounder in this year's draft and I think the Leafs have Nash. They could add Korbinian Holzer to sweeten the pot.

    To Toronto: Rick Nash

    To Columbus: Mikhail Grabovski, Luke Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Jonas Gustavsson, Korbinian Holzer, 2012 first-round pick

Jeff Carter

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    Destination: Los Angeles Kings

    I know Los Angeles is the front-runner for Nash, but in my opinion, it would be better for the Kings to go after Jeff Carter. Los Angeles wants to make it far into the playoffs, right? Then why not trade for the second part of a tandem that helped lead the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010?

    Seeing that it has already worked, I don't see why L.A. wouldn't want to try again with this tandem. Not only that, Carter would probably come cheaper than Nash. He also carries a smaller cap hit that might work better for Los Angeles.

    To Los Angeles: Jeff Carter

    To Columbus: Jonathan Bernier, Jack Johnson, Dustin Penner

Tuomo Ruutu

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    Destination: San Jose Sharks

    Even with the acquisition of Dominic Moore, I think that Tuomo Ruutu would be a very good pickup for San Jose. He was to be the most sought-after player at the deadline before Rick Nash was thrust into the spotlight. Now he might be able to be had for cheaper than he once would have been.

    He would more than likely play on the Sharks' third line, but if you have a player like Ruutu playing on your third line, you're in pretty good shape.

    To San Jose: Tuomo Ruutu

    To Carolina: 2012 first-round pick

Pavel Kubina

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    Destination: New York Rangers

    With the decision by Steve Yzerman to sit Pavel Kubina while he explores the possibility of a trade, it's all but inevitable that he will be dealt.

    The New York Rangers want to make additions to their team to up their chances in the playoffs, but they don't want to give up players from their roster. That's understandable as they don't want to break up a winning lineup. Kubina gives them additional depth on the blue line without giving up players from their roster or prospects.

    To New York: Pavel Kubina

    To Tampa Bay: 2012 second-round pick

Lubomir Visnovsky

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    Destination: Minnesota Wild

    Even with the Anaheim Ducks crawling back somewhat into the playoff race, they might want to trade Lubomir Visnovsky. They have Cam Fowler, who will only get better with every game he plays, and he will eventually make Visnovsky expendable.

    Minnesota has fallen out of the playoff race and is desperate to get back in. Visnovsky might be exactly the player the Wild need. Obviously, they don't want to break up much of their lineup, so they will have to part with prospects and picks.

    To Minnesota: Lubomir Visnovsky

    To Anaheim: Josh Harding, Freddie Hamilton, 2012 third-round pick

Dustin Penner

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    Destination: Columbus Blue Jackets

    In any deal for Jeff Carter, Dustin Penner will have to go the other way because of cap reasons.

    To Columbus: Jonathan Bernier, Jack Johnson, Dustin Penner

    To Los Angeles: Jeff Carter

Jack Johnson

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    Destination: Columbus Blue Jackets

    Jack Johnson has been a great defenseman for Los Angeles. The problem is that he will always be in Drew Doughty's shadow.

    A deal to Columbus would give him the opportunity to be a franchise defenseman.

    To Columbus: Jonathan Bernier, Jack Johnson, Dustin Penner

    To Los Angeles: Jeff Carter

Ales Hemsky

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    Destination: Detroit Red Wings

    Detroit is usually not active at the trade deadline. This year could be very different. If they choose to, the Red Wings could have any player they want at this year's deadline.

    Ales Hemsky is definitely on his way out of Edmonton, whether by free agency or trade. GM Steve Tambellini would be wise to trade him while he can still get something for him. Detroit will more than likely lead the charge and will offer better than anyone else.

    To Detroit: Ales Hemsky

    To Edmonton: 2012 first-round pick, 2012 third-round pick

Nicklas Grossman

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    Destination: Philadelphia

    Philadelphia needs a defenseman, and Nicklas Grossman would be...wait, what's that? Philadelphia acquired him last night? Well, OK then.

    Seriously, I kept this in here just so I could prove that I called it yesterday. Don't believe me? Check out slide nine of the article I wrote yesterday.

Ray Whitney

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    Destination: Boston Bruins

    Boston is one of those teams that would like to acquire Rick Nash, but it doesn't want to part with what Columbus would demand in return.

    The Bruins would be smarter to go after Ray Whitney of the Phoenix Coyotes. Even though Phoenix is in a playoff spot at the moment, Whitney is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and will most likely leave because of the situation in Glendale. Phoenix will be willing to trade him for the right price.

    To Boston: Ray Whitney

    To Phoenix: 2012 second-round pick, 2012 fourth-round pick

Hal Gill

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    Destination: St. Louis Blues

    The Blues defense is led by veteran Barret Jackman and youngsters Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk. Even with their unexpected success, they would be wise to acquire veteran blueliner Hal Gill. He would more than likely re-sign with St. Louis, and he could help mentor Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk.

    He would provide a huge presence in the playoffs, not allowing the inexperienced team to be intimidated.

    To St. Louis: Hal Gill

    To Montreal: Chris Stewart

Mikhail Grabovski

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    Destination: Columbus Blue Jackets

    Mikhail Grabovski has evolved into one of the better players on the Toronto Maple Leafs. With that, he looks to garner a heavy raise when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July. He may deserve it, but the Leafs might not be able to afford it.

    If the Leafs are to trade for Rick Nash, Grabovski is an unfortunate victim.

    To Columbus: Mikhail Grabovski, Luke Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Jonas Gustavsson, Korbinian Holzer, 2012 first-round pick

    To Toronto: Rick Nash

Samuel Pahlsson

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    Destination: Detroit Red Wings

    Along with Hemsky, Detroit would be smart to acquire some additional depth. Yeah, like Detroit actually needs it.

    Samuel Pahlsson is another player the Columbus Blue Jackets will jettison in another rebuild. Detroit would only be strengthened with his addition.

    To Detroit: Samuel Pahlsson

    To Columbus: 2012 fourth-round pick

Marek Zidlicky

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    Destination: New Jersey

    When rumors like the the one that popped up earlier this week happen, it usually means that something is going to go down in the next few days. The fact that Minnesota sat him in its last game only lends credence to that fact.

    To New Jersey: Marek Zidlicky

    To Minnesota: 2012 third-round pick

Andrei Kostitsyn

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    Destination: Nashville Predators

    Andrei Kostitsyn's time in Montreal has run its course. It is time for him to reinvigorate his career elsewhere.

    The Nashville Predators will be a team that goes after him, reuniting him with his brother.

    To Nashville: Andrei Kostitsyn

    To Montreal: 2012 fourth-round pick

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