Much like the NBA trading deadline that came in with a slew of rumors and went out with a barely discernible whisper, the buzz surrounding any future NHL trades seems pretty meek.
It's hardly surprising. The season is young, the teams are bunched together in the standings and most teams don't want to take on big contracts for next season.
Still, if you look in the right places, you can find a few rumors bouncing around out there. Teams are always talking, reporters are always listening and I'm always trying to pass them along to you.
With that in mind, let's take a look at a few big names potentially on the block.
Dan Boyle and Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Will the Sharks be sellers this season? Darren Dreger of TSN thinks that is a possibility, and both Boyle and Thornton have come up in talks around the league:
Depending on who you talk to, there are teams that say some big names are potentially in play. Certainly the Sharks are willing to consider just about anything. San Jose is willing to part with a defenceman—Dan Boyle's name, believe it or not, has been thrown out there—but they would need to get a forward in return and preferably someone who could fit in their top nine.
Joe Thornton's name was also thrown out there by an Eastern Conference team but that's not likely to happen. There's no way San Jose is going to put themselves in that position.
The Sharks would be the sixth seed in the Western Conference if the playoffs started today, so it's hard to imagine the team doing anything that wouldn't make them better. With that being said, the team did just end a seven-game winless streak with a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues Tuesday.
Still, this is a team still in the mix. I would be very, very surprised if Thornton was traded.
Boyle, on the other hand, seems like a real possibility. While I'm sure the Sharks would prefer to move a different defenseman, if the team is committed to improving its top-nine at forward, Boyle could be expendable.
The Sharks could be players. Stay tuned.
Ryan O'Reilly, Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche continue to handle the Ryan O'Reilly situation in a truly bizarre manner. They're basically acting like a spoiled child that didn't get its way in contract negotiations and is now being huffy with everyone—because I really wanted him to agree to my terms and it's not fair, Mom!
Or something like that.
With the whole situation somewhat of a mess, it's no surprise the Avalanche have approached trading O'Reilly in an odd manner, as Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun reports:
Strange: The Avalanche haven't told GMs what the price is for Ryan O'Reilly. They're saying: Make an offer. Most GMs are puzzled by this.— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) February 19, 2013
For Avalanche fans hoping something can be salvaged here, don't hold your breath. Adrian Dater of the Denver Post wrote on Tuesday, "I don’t have anything exciting to report on the O’Reilly situation. Talks seem to have broken off for good and the only thing left is a trade or an offer sheet."
It's insane that it has come to this, and the Avs are going to part ways with an exciting young forward, but it's inevitable at this point.
It's pretty ridiculous as well.