It's that time of year again.
The rumors are rumbling, as NHL teams are trying to figure out whether they will be a buyer or a seller at the trade deadline on February 27th.
Some NHL teams have already made a decision heading into the days leading up to the deadline.
The Montreal Canadiens also shipped out big-man Hal Gill to the Nashville Predators to get started on their much needed rebuild.
The Sharks, Predators and Flyers have clearly shown that they will be buyers before, and at, the deadline.
The Sharks and Predators will try and maintain their spots in the Western Conference, while the Flyers will try and accomplish the same feat in the Eastern Conference.
In the meantime, NHL general managers are still in the process of working the phones, discussing trades and deciding what their team needs for the present and the future.
From these discussions, rumors from around the press have leaked into the fan base as multiple fans propose their own trades from the perspective of their favorite NHL teams.
Check out which rumored players will not be moved prior to the NHL trade deadline.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are having a rough year, and will likely get the first overall pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft this coming offseason.
The team is dead last in the NHL by nine points, with a record of 18-35-7.
However, this is something the franchise is used to. Since joining the NHL in 2000, it has reached the post season once. That occurred in the 2008-09 season.
Their time in the playoffs didn't last very long, as they were swept in the first-round by the Detroit Red Wings.
The franchise has tried to rebuild on multiple occasions, but have had very little progress.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are in need of a big change, one that involves dealing the face of their franchise, Rick Nash.
He has been the center of attention throughout the days leading up to the trade deadline: Every second rumor seems to involve Rick Nash.
In order for a deal to get done, Nash will have to waive his limited no-trade clause. This means that general manager Scott Howson must ask for a list of teams that Nash would accept a trade to.
It is believed that the front runners on his list include the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings.
It has also been speculated that the Toronto Maple Leafs may also be on his list.
Many fans around the NHL think that Rick Nash will be traded before the NHL trade deadline.
However, there is a high chance that Nash will not be dealt before February 27th.
The price to acquire Nash will be extremely high.
TSN Insider Bob Mackenzie believes that the asking price will include a first round draft pick, a roster player, and two elite prospects. A young goaltender may even be thrown into the deal.
The Philadelphia Flyers have recently acquired two defencemen in Nicklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina.
With these acquisitions, the Flyers wouldn't have much room to take on Nash's contract at $7.8 million per season until 2018.
Other teams on Nash's list may have to give up valuable pieces to their playoff run, which would be counteractive in the minds of NHL general managers.
Either way, to get a Nash deal done, it would take a lot of hard work—and a lot of risk as well.
The price at this time in the season is just way too high.
If Nash does not get dealt before the trade deadline, expect more teams to be interested during the offseason.
Many teams will be looking to add key pieces for the following year, and Rick Nash would suit the bill for many teams around the NHL.
In the meantime, Nash rumors will continue to swirl as the trade deadline gets closer and closer.
James van Riemsdyk is back in the Flyers line-up after missing 15 games with a concussion.
In his first game back, the 22-year-old forward was able to record one assist against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
While recovering from injury, the young-gun's name was thrown around the trade wheel.
It was widely speculated that the Toronto Maple Leafs were showing interest in van Riemsdyk during January.
It was also believed that the Philadelphia Flyers were looking at defenceman, Luke Schenn during the same time.
For a while, many fans thought that a trade was imminent.
It made sense.
The Leafs were looking to acquire a big, top-six forward to help boost their secondary scoring (and they still are).
In the meantime, the Flyers were looking to acquire a depth defenceman to help replace their injured captain, Chris Pronger.
However, that speculation was quickly halted when van Riemsdyk suffered a concussion on January 14th.
After a few weeks, those rumors started to heat up again between van Riemsdyk and Schenn.
Now, it doesn't seem like a deal will be getting done between the Leafs and Flyers.
The Flyers have proven to be one of the busiest teams so far in February as they acquired defenceman Pavel Kubina from the Lightning, as well as defenceman Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars.
That's two depth defencemen now on the Flyers roster.
Meanwhile, a deal involving van Riemsdyk seems to be quite unlikely.
With the 22-year-old back in the line-up, his secondary scoring will come to be a key factor for the remainder of the NHL season.
Last's years playoff performance will also come to be a help for the Flyers this season, as van Riemsdyk posted seven goals in 11 playoff games.
Even if playoff heroics were a fluke on van Riemsdyk's behalf, that is still fairly impressive for a young forward playing at such a high level.
The Flyers will be looking for is contributions, which means he will not be on the move anytime soon.
Tuomo Ruutu is another player that is rumored to be on the NHL trade market.
However, the 29-year-old forward is currently out with a upper-body injury and is not expected to return until sometime in March.
Before the injury, Ruutu was one of the biggest players heading into the trade frenzy.
Teams such as the Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers were reportedly amongst the interested teams.
With Ruutu injured, the list of interested teams is likely much shorter as the deadline gets ever closer.
The Kings and Wild have slipped down the Western Conference standings—now on the outside looking in on the playoff picture.
Acquiring Tuomo Ruutu would come as a huge risk for the two NHL teams.
With the Vancouver Canucks playing great hockey, they may want to stay put to avoid disrupting their chemistry.
The Rangers are also believed to be one of the lead runners in acquiring Rick Nash, so they will likely be tied up in trying to get that deal completed (if he even gets dealt).
With Ruutu having one year left on his contract, the Carolina Hurricanes have expressed that they would prefer signing the 29-year-old to a contract extension.
TSN Insider Bob Mackenzie briefly commented that the 'Canes will be trying to get him signed within the next 24 hours. If not, the Hurricanes will likely put him back on the trade market.
However, with his current injury, a deal may be difficult to get done between the Hurricanes and any other NHL team.
Cory Schneider has proven that he is capable of becoming a solid starter in the NHL.
For now, the 25-year-old is playing the back-up role behind veteran netminder, Roberto Luongo.
Both goaltenders have been playing solid for the Canucks.
Luongo has posted a 25-11-6 record, along with a 2.32 GAA and a .921 PCT so far this season.
On the other hand, Schneider has posted even better numbers as a back-up. His record is currently 13-5-0 with a 2.25 GAA along with a .928 PCT.
The Vancouver Canucks arguably hold one of the best goaltending duos in the NHL.
NHL general managers know that Mike Gillis will not be trading Roberto Luongo before the NHL trade deadline.
That's a given.
However, Schneider's name has been thrown around the trade vine. His value would likely be quite high to the NHL teams in need of goaltending.
However, do not expect him to be dealt before February 27th: His excellent play this season will be useful to the Canucks for the remainder of the campaign.
Schneider will be counted on to win games, and make the big save when he is most needed.
It is likely that Roberto Luongo will be getting the nod in net heading into the playoffs. However, if his play deteriorates in the postseason, expect Schneider to take the reigns in a bid turn around their playoff run.
The Canucks have high expectations—just like their determined fanbase.
If they want to win a Stanley Cup, Cory Schneider will have to be there for back-up in the crease.
Ryan Getzlaf and the Anaheim Ducks have heated up after a very poor start to the 2011-12 NHL season.
In their past 10 games, the Ducks have posted a 6-1-3 record, and will be needing every point they can get if they want to have any chance at making the postseason.
The Ducks are making their way up the Western Conference standings as they are six points out of the final playoff spot.
They will have to jump over some teams in the standings, as they are currently in 13th place in the Western Conference.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were rumored to be highly interested in Getzlaf's services at center.
The big, scoring center-man met the current needs of the Toronto Maple Leafs. During this time, it seemed like a deal would have occurred.
It would have made sense for both teams.
The Leafs would have gotten the big center that they have always wanted. In return, the Ducks would have gotten some young players, prospects, and/or draft picks to help build for the future.
However, a trade between the two teams is not likely to occur.
The Ducks are quickly gaining ground in the Western Conference: The playoffs is in their grasp if they continue to work hard and win hockey games.
For this to happen, Getzlaf will need to be a part of the playoff push.
In other words, don't expect Getzlaf to be on the move anytime soon.
Zach Parise and the New Jersey Devils are in a similar situation to that of the Anaheim Ducks.
The only big difference is that the Devils are currently placed fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Their position in the standings is down to their hot play of late. They have posted a record of 8-1-1 in their past 10 games, and are currently riding a four-game win streak.
However, the Devils can't let off on the gas pedal.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and the Ottawa Senators are right behind them in the standings.
The fourth-placed Devils and the seventh-placed Senators are separated by just four points.
A win or two can make a big difference, so the Devils need to keep their winning ways going.
This also means that the team absolutely cannot trade away their captain, Zach Parise, as this wouldn't make sense at this point of the season.
Trading Parise now would take a massive blow out of the New Jersey Devils.
Before the Devils started lighting up the league, Parise was involved in trade rumors. The lead runner for Parise was reported to be the Minnesota Wild.
After the Wild began the season as one of the biggest surprises, they quickly slipped down the Western Conference standings, and are 2-6-2 in their past 10 games.
A deal between Devils and Wild doesn't seem like it would occur, as the Devils will need a contribution from Parise for the remainder of the season.
As he is set to become a free agent in the coming offseason, it might be best for Devils GM Lou Lamoriello to discuss a contract extension before the deadline, or in the offseason.
The Nashville Predators will be looking to make a deep playoff push heading into the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.
So far, the Preds have posted a record of 35-19-6 for a total of 76 points. Their record has them placed fifth in the Western Conference, and 11 points ahead of the ninth-placed Flames.
Much of their success can be directed towards their great defensive game. Defenceman Ryan Suter has been a big part of their success so far this season.
Trade rumors and speculation began when Suter said that he was not signing a contract extension before the trade deadline.
The 27-year-old believed that it would be a distraction to him and his teammates. Suter also commented on the fact that there was a lot of time to get a contract done before Free Agency on July 1st.
Because of his comments, the media decided to do what they do best: blow the speculation out of proportion.
Some members of the media suggested that a trade was inevitable. Some members even suggested that Ryan Suter had to be traded because of his comments.
I personally believe that a trade involving him would be very counter-productive for the Nashville Predators at this point.
Their main goal is to make a deep playoff run. If they want to achieve that goal, Suter will have to be a part of the Predators.
The Predators organization have also proved to their players that they want to be a winning team, after adding a big defenceman in the shape of Hal Gill from the Montreal Canadiens.
They will likely make another minor deal or two to help boost their team for the playoffs.
However, don't expect Suter to be apart of those deals—he will be staying in Nashville.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are struggling to win hockey games as of late.
This is something they must halt as soon as possible.
The Leafs have won one out of the past eight games. This is not the best time of the year to be struggling to win hockey games, especially when they will have to fight for every single point possible to reach the postseason.
The expectations in Leaf Nation are that much higher when it comes to performance, and right now, the fans in Toronto are howling for a change.
No, not a coaching change: The change will likely happen via trade.
Rumors have circled the Leafs dressing room throughout the month of February.
Players such as Luke Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Keith Aulie, Clarke Macarthur, Nikolai Kulemin and more have come up in trade speculation.
Another mentioned is Mikhail Grabovski.
The 28-year-old is in the last year of his contract, and would prefer to stay in Toronto for the future.
The ultimate goal would be to sign Grabovski to a contract extension before the deadline. If the Leafs can't get it done, their best choice would be to negotiate during the offseason.
Because Grabovski's contract is in the works, Leafs GM Brian Burke would much rather sign him versus trading him.
It was also reported that GM Brian Burke was offered a trade for Grabovski. The return would likely include a prospect, as well as a second-round draft pick.
To me, this trade would not make sense for the playoff push ongoing this season—it is more of a rebuilding, or a future benefit trade.
If the Leafs want to get to the postseason in April, Grabovski better be in their short-term plans.
For those reasons, expect Grabovski to remain a Maple Leaf.