In a traditional 82-game NHL season, it might not be time to panic after only two weeks. But this isn't a traditional NHL season, it's a 48-game sprint to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
So, not surprisingly, several teams off to slow starts are already looking to shake things up with trades or big free-agent acquisitions.
Here, we present you with the latest buzz surrounding some of the top names floating around in NHL rumors this winter.
Jason Arnott On His Way Back?
For a 38-year-old veteran, Jason Arnott can still play hockey at a high level. Although his tentative deal with the New York Rangers was turned down, teams are still interested in bringing him on for the rest of the truncated season.
ESPN Insider's (paid subscription required) Doug McIntyre quoted TSN hockey analyst Darren Dreger on The NHL Network recently: "I know there are teams interested," Dreger said. "And I'd be surprised if Arnott isn't back in the NHL very soon."
The vet played 72 games for the St. Louis Blues in 2011-12, scoring 17 goals and dishing out 17 assists. He's played for three different NHL teams over the past two seasons.
Is Mark Streit a Lock to Be Dealt?
Mark Streit and the New York Islanders are off to a fast start this season, but that hasn't stopped some from speculating on the veteran defenseman's future with the club.
This rumor comes from the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch:
Once the New York Islanders are officially out of the playoff picture, expect D Mark Streit to get dealt. A lot of teams are looking for somebody who can move the puck and he's in the final year of his contract. Streit is well-respected around the league for his abilities and will likely get dealt for a second-round pick...
Streit has scored three goals and handed out two assists through New York's first seven games this season. As Garrioch points out, Streit will become a free agent at season's end. But is that enough to warrant a trade if the Islanders are headed for the postseason?
Is Stephen Weiss On or Off the Market?
Will Stephen Weiss be traded this season?
Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss is set to return to the team's lineup this weekend, according to the Miami Herald's George Richards. But CBC Hockey Night's Glenn Healy suspects the 29-year-old, who will be a free agent at season's end, is available this winter.
"Weiss is on the market," he said. "Other general managers are talking about this player."
However, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has denied the trade rumors, instead claiming that the club's top priority is to re-sign Weiss, who has been suffering from a nagging groin injury to start this season and has only played in three games for the Panthers.
Florida is already sitting in the basement of the Eastern Conference standings this season, so Healy may in fact be onto something if the Panthers reach a point soon where they realize they aren't going to make the playoffs.
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