NHL Trade Rumors: Ranking the Biggest Names Still on the Trading Block

John McGonigalCorrespondent IIJuly 18, 2012

NHL Trade Rumors: Ranking the Biggest Names Still on the Trading Block

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    While the underrated and sometimes afterthought trades are often the ones that make or break a team, the blockbuster deals are the trades that shape franchises for years to come.

    Having said that, there is a lot that goes into pulling off a major transaction.

    For example, the financial aspect is sometimes crucial and the potential of prospects in the deal can be a toss-up.  

    Multiple teams are faced with the situation of whether or not they should pull the trigger on a major deal this offseason.

    Considering that, let's take a look at the best available players still on the trading block. 

7. Miikka Kiprusoff, G (Calgary)

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    Ever since Miikka Kiprusoff was traded to the Calgary Flames for the 2003-04 season, the Finnish goalie has been the team's face in net.

    However, that could all change relatively soon.

    While nothing has been officially rumored about a potential trade of the goaltender, all signs point to the Flames trading away their longtime goalie.

    As it stands right now, Calgary is far from a playoff berth, despite the young talent that they do have. 

    Considering this, the smart move would be to trade Kiprusoff for more aggressive, strong players. 

    Sure, Kiprusoff isn't the same goaltender he was four or five years ago when he won the Vezina Trophy in 2006.

    However, he's still a reliable goalie who can play outstanding some nights, making him a valuable asset to numerous teams in the league. 

6. Brenden Morrow, F (Dallas)

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    While Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow has struggled to maintain his health throughout the past several years, the 33-year-old is still a valuable leader and goalscorer—something that teams around the league love to have. 

    Considering the Stars have already signed Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney this offseason, the team doesn't necessarily need Morrow, making him an expendable trading piece. 

    In 57 games in 2011-12, the 12-year veteran scored 11 goals and distributed 15 assists for the Stars. 

    So far this offseason numerous teams have been interested in his services, especially the San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues (via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

    If he can somehow stay healthy, Morrow would be a solid addition to any team needing veteran leadership and a potential scoring threat.  

5. Jonathan Bernier, G (Los Angeles)

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    Considering the ridiculous amount of success Jonathan Quick had in the 2012 postseason and his 10-year contract extension, it's hard to find a useful place for highly-touted goaltending prospect, Jonathan Bernier. 

    How about a place outside of L.A.?

    Considering the 23-year-old's massive amounts of potential, Bernier is a trade piece that should have several teams chomping at the bit to get the youngster on their team. 

    One of those teams is reportedly the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Although Leafs GM Brian Burke has gone on the record saying he adamantly wants a veteran goaltender, Hockey Night in Canada’s Andi Petrillo said the Maple Leafs made an offer for Jonathan Bernier.

    Also, the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks have been speculated bidders on the youngster, making it hard to believe that Bernier won't be on the move before the 2012-13 season starts.  

4. Roberto Luongo, G (Vancouver)

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    Roberto Luongo's trade saga has been the NHL equivalent to the Dwight Howard-Orlando Magic situation and it doesn't look like it's going to cool off anytime soon.

    While the Canucks aren't that excited to trade the goaltender, there have been serious rumors that the Chicago Blackhawks are trying to pry him from Vancouver.

    While Luongo initially wanted to go back to the Florida Panthers, Chicago is reportedly offering Dave Bolland to the Canucks in exchange for their premier goalie (even though ESPN's Jesse Rodgers believes it's an ill-advised move).

    Regardless, the known facts surrounding Luongo is that he no longer wants to be in Vancouver, making it an awkward situation if the team can't ship him off sooner rather than later. 

    While he may not get the credit, Luongo is still one of the best goaltenders in the league and would almost make any team's goalie situation better. 

3. Shea Weber, D (Nashville)

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    Ever since the Stanley Cup wrapped up, trade rumors began to swirl and Shea Weber had been the conversation of a lot of the talk. 

    What many people may not realize is just how valuable Shea Weber is. 

    A premier defender, Weber is a true leader and one of few defenders you could build your team around. 

    While an abundance of teams have been speculative bidders for Weber's services, the New York Rangers currently possess the best chance to reel in the defender.

    Even though they are also trying to pry Rick Nash from the Blue Jackets, the Rangers would give up on Nash in a heartbeat if they were able to acquire Weber. 

    Not only would he bring a stalwart presence on defense, but also Weber has the laser shot and rare scoring ability that would bolster New York's power play woes. 

    While numerous franchises would love to bring in the defenseman, New York is sitting pretty right now in the Shea Weber sweepstakes.

2. Bobby Ryan, F (Anaheim)

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    I was extremely close to putting Bobby Ryan at number one simply because of his growing ceiling and youth, but the next guy on the list is too good not to be first.

    Still, Ryan is clearly a premier scorer and a tenacious, young player a franchise can build their future around.

    In 82 games played last season, the 25-year-old scored 31 goals and logged 26 assists for the Ducks. 

    While New York and Carolina could have a solid shot at acquiring the youngster, strong sentiment around the league is that Ryan's landing spot will be the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Although not much has been reported within the past couple of weeks, the Flyers have liked Ryan for a long time now and it's no surprise that they would want to bring in the player. 

    Just imagine Claude Giroux and Bobby Ryan potentially playing on the same line...

    But in reality, the only thing holding the sides back from making a deal would be Philly's reluctance to part ways with some of their youthful prospects like Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier.

1. Rick Nash, F (Columbus)

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    Rick Nash trade rumors and speculation began to get rolling before the trade period even opened and rightfully so. 

    I wouldn't be surprised if every single team in the NHL put in an offer for Rick Nash, considering how great of a player he is and what he brings to the table game in and game out. 

    In 2011-12, Nash netted 30 goals and dished out 29 assists, making everyone around him better while scoring a ridiculous amount himself. 

    According to Ansar Khan of MLive.com, the Red Wings made a "hell of an offer", but the Blue Jackets wanted nothing to do with it.

    As of right now, I don't see Nash going anywhere soon as teams are still deciding whether or not emptying their prospect tanks are worth it.

    However, Nash will likely want to be dealt to a contender, considering he's suffered enough playing for Columbus.