NHL Trade Talk: 6 Players Who Deserve a Move to a Contender in 2012-13

Sean Delorge@@sdelorgeCorrespondent IIIMay 9, 2012

NHL Trade Talk: 6 Players Who Deserve a Move to a Contender in 2012-13

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    The NHL is full of stars, but unfortunately for many of them, they consistently play for losing teams. There are six players that deserve to be traded to a contender and showcase their skills during the playoffs.

    Even though they may have failed to single-handedly turn a franchise around, they are all still excellent players that have earned the right to fight for a championship.

    Here is my list of six players that deserve to be traded to a contender in 2012-13.

Jay Bouwmeester, D, Calgary Flames

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    Jay Bouwmeester is a talented defenseman for the Calgary Flames and has yet to play a single playoff game. He was traded to the Flames, who had made five straight playoffs appearances, but they have yet to return since. Meanwhile, the team he left, the Florida Panthers, made the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

    Bouwmeester was drafted third overall in the 2002 NHL entry draft and showed the skating ability needed to play in the NHL from the first moment he stepped on the ice.

    While he never became a superstar, he also hasn’t had much support around him to truly thrive.

    He would be a great addition to the Boston Bruins or Nashville Predators in the offseason.

Evgeni Nabokov, G, New York Islanders

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    Evgeni Nabokov was the starting goalie for the San Jose Sharks up until 2010. Aside from two subpar seasons, he was one of the NHL’s most consistent goalies, regularly having a GAA in the low 2.00s.

    While with the Sharks, Nabokov helped the team win five division titles.

    Even though the Sharks never reached the Stanley Cup, they would have been much worse without Nabokov. He showed that he still has enough left in the tank to help a contender after recording 2.55 GAA with the New York Islanders in the 2011-12 season.

Rick Nash, RW, Columbus Blue Jackets

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    While Rick Nash is one of the NHL’s greatest young talents, he has unfortunately played his entire career on one of the league’s worst teams. The Columbus Blue Jackets have only managed to make the playoffs once during Nash’s nine-year career.

    Nash is one of the few true power forwards left in the NHL and has scored 30 goals or more in all but two seasons despite a lack of talent around him.

    While Nash has been a model citizen, he deserves a shot at playing for a contender.

Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary Flames

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    Jarome Iginla has had a great career with the Calgary Flames that peaked when they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004 only to lose to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    The 34-year-old right-winger has amassed 516 goals, 557 assists and 1,073 points during his illustrious 15-year career.

    Despite primarily playing on losing teams, Iginla has maintained a level of excellence and deserves a final shot at the Stanley Cup.

    He could be the scoring option needed for the Boston Bruins to return to the finals or could provide an offensive boost to the defensive-minded St. Louis Blues.

Mike Cammalleri, LW, Calgary Flames

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    Despite being traded back to Calgary after three underachieving seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Mike Cammalleri is still a talented and coveted hockey player.

    The last time he played for the Flames, Cammalleri scored 39 goals to go along with 43 assists, totaling 82 points. He has the drive and skill needed to succeed, he just hasn’t found the right fit. At 29 years old, he still has time.

    Even though things didn’t work out in Montreal, the undersized but driven Cammalleri would be a welcome addition to any Stanley Cup contender.

Joe Thornton, C, San Jose Sharks

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    Jumbo Joe Thornton is one the NHL’s best players during the regular season, but come playoff time, he seemingly disappears.

    A point-per-game player in the regular season, Thornton has managed only 87 points in 114 playoff games.

    While he is unlike the previous five players on the list since the Sharks are still contenders, Thornton needs a change of scenery.

    The talented center has loads of ability and is one of the NHL’s best playmakers, but needs to play on a team where he is the second- or third-most important player.

    The former No. 1 overall pick has never been the type of player that can carry a team in the playoffs, but he deserves to have one final shot at the coveted Stanley Cup.