NHL Trade Speculation: The 3 Deadline Targets Guaranteed to Disappoint

Steven ConklinCorrespondent IIFebruary 21, 2012

NHL Trade Speculation: The 3 Deadline Targets Guaranteed to Disappoint

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    The NHL Trade Deadline is less than one week away.

    Get ready folks.

    The rest of the season will be a wild ride, with really only two teams (Edmonton and Columbus) out of contention for a playoff spot. 

    Not all 28 teams will be buyers or sellers, but for the teams that are active on or before Feb. 27th, there are great risks. 

    With a shortage of top forwards available this year, asking prices are higher than ever and any player could really be hit or miss. 

    Here are three players who have been discussed in rumors or trade talks who I believe will disappoint for one reason or another.

Tuomo Ruutu

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    Tuomo Ruutu of the Carolina Hurricanes has been brought up in trade discussions more than anyone this season. He is one of the few top-six forwards a team that has been available at some point. 

    Right now, the 28-year-old winger is troubled with an upper-body injury. The Hurricanes have said he will miss three weeks. The deadline is in one. 

    But could Ruutu still be dealt? 

    It is likely. Some teams might still make the push for Ruutu to help them out the last few weeks of the season and into the playoffs. 

    Of course, the asking price would probably go down. Many believe Carolina wants a top prospect and a first-round pick, but it's a wonder what teams would be willing to offer now.

    If Ruutu is dealt, there is a team making a mistake. I don't believe Carolina's price will go down dramatically for the scorer, and with him becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer, a team will be overpaying.

    Too many teams are in contention right now for one to take such a big risk.

Jeff Carter

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    The Rick Nash trade talks are heating up. It looks like Nash's days are numbered, with teams like the Kings, Rangers and Maple Leafs interested and holding quality assets. 

    Where does that leave Jeff Carter?

    Jeff Carter is currently signed to a massive 11-year, $58 million deal after being dealt from the Philadelphia Flyers. 

    Since his arrival in Columbus, Carter has looked unworthy. He has just 22 points in 38 games with the NHL's worst team. 

    Many believe Carter is being shopped along with Nash by Columbus. The team would ditching two large contracts and bringing in a plethora of prospects and young players. 

    I think Carter will end his season with a team other than the Jackets. 

    I also think whichever team that is will be making a mistake. 

    This season has been telling of Carter. His struggles are a major reason Columbus is horrible and destined to finish last in the NHL—yet some team would probably be willing to deal future talent for the center. 

    It's not worth it; not for 10 more seasons. 

Ryan Miller

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    The Ryan Miller-Patrick Kane trade hoopla will not stop until Feb. 27th. 

    Sorry Blackhawk fans. 

    The hockey world seems to think Chicago needs a goalie like Miller to push the ruggedness of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, even though Corey Crawford has been solid as of late. 

    Many believe Patrick Kane would be the odd man out in Chicago and dealt to his hometown Buffalo Sabres. 

    Chicago's offense would still be outstanding with Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp, but Kane is just 23 years old and is worth more than a return of struggling Ryan Miller. 

    If the Blackhawks are actually considering dealing Kane for Miller, the team will be disappointed. 

    Kane hasn't attained elite status this season, but Ryan Miller has lost his at the same time. 

    I don't believe Miller would be an addition that pushes Chicago deep into the playoffs and for that, he isn't worth it. Chicago would be left disappointed. 

    Don't deal the future for a 31-year-old goaltender who is having the worst season of his NHL career. 

    Steven Conklin is a contributing writer for the Bleacher Report and a student at the University of Central Missouri. He joined B/R in October 2011 and is currently a B/R intern. Any comments, questions or suggestions are more than welcome.