The NHL trade market is finally starting to show some signs of life. A couple deals have already been made this week, including Simon Gagne returning to the Philadelphia Flyers and scoring a goal in his first game back.
It shouldn't take long for other teams to begin following suit. The season has reached a point where teams must decide whether to buy pieces for a playoff run, sell off assets with an eye toward the future or simply stand pat.
The first notable deals being made should help accelerate that process around the league. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the latest updates on players who could be on the move in the coming weeks.
As hockey fans know, Iginla is no stranger to being bantered about before the trade deadline. His strong track record paired with the Calgary Flames' struggles in recent seasons make him a prime target for contenders looking for a boost.
It appears 2013 won't be any different. James Murphy of ESPN Boston reports the veteran winger could be willing to join a team with Stanley Cup aspirations rather than use his no-movement clause to remain with Flames.
Iginla has spent his entire professional career in Calgary, so it's no surprise he's been hesitant to move in the past. If his mind is indeed changing, there's no doubt a large market of teams would be interested in a player who's scored at least 30 goals in 11 straight seasons.
Which player is most likely to get moved?
Whitney is having a forgettable start to the shortened season. He's appeared in just 12 games for the Edmonton Oilers, scoring three points and accumulating a minus-six rating. The poor play is making it tough for him to crack the lineup.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports no market has developed for the defenseman and says scouts around the league are wondering why the Oilers aren't letting him play more games to showcase him for a potential deal.
Whitney scored 26 goals over a two-season span with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in his career. His numbers haven't come anywhere close to that in recent seasons. Still, he would be a smart buy-low target for teams needing help along the blue line.
At 35, Briere's days of scoring 95 points in 81 games, as he did with the Buffalo Sabres six years ago, are over. But the veteran center is still scoring at a pretty good clip for the Flyers (12 points in 18 games), which makes his rumor mill involvement somewhat of a surprise.
Alas, Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports multiple teams have contacted the Flyers about Briere recently. He lists the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins among them, but the forward has a no-movement clause and isn't in any hurry to waive it.
While Briere would definitely provide an offensive boost to his new team if he got moved, it sounds like any potential suitors need to convince him to change his mind about staying in Philadelphia. They have to decide if it's worth the time or if they should just move on to another option.