The NHL trade deadline is approaching fast (April 3 at 3 p.m. ET), and the rumors flying about the biggest names in the sport have NHL fans ecstatic about what promises to be a tense few weeks.
Huge stars like Ryan Miller, Jarome Iginla and more are rumored to be on the trading block, but whether or not the teams can find a partner to make a deal will depict just how wild the 2013 deadline will get.
Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres continue to fall further and further out of contention (currently 13th in the Eastern Conference with just 23 points), and it may be time for the franchise to consider making a blockbuster trade.
According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, the Sabres are considering a move that would send veteran goaltender Ryan Miller and his $6.25 million contract out of town.
It won't be easy, though, as Miller has a no-trade clause—Buffalo could still deal the veteran goalie, but Miller has the right to name eight teams he will not accept a trade to—and his large contract will have cap-strapped teams bowing out of the hunt.
Not only are the Sabres motivated by Miller’s lack of on-ice production (currently boasting a 2.83 GAA and a .914 save percentage), the fact that the veteran goalie will be an unrestricted free agent after next season proves his trade value will only diminish with every passing day.
It's time for the franchise to make a move.
Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary Flames
While the Calgary Flames sit in 15th place in the Western Conference, the team is only four points out of the final playoff spot. If the team begins to slip down the standings over the next two weeks, the Flames will likely become deadline sellers.
That means a possible deal for the always-rumored Jarome Iginla.
While the Flames have played this situation close to the vest, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that the franchise is testing the trade waters for the veteran:
Will Jarome Iginla stay or will he go? Calgary GM Jay Feaster hasn't dangled the veteran winger, but league spies confirm he has held talks with more than one team to see what he might fetch. If the Flames make this deal they aren't going to hit a home-run. "He can still contribute," said a league executive.
Iginla started the season slow, but has come on offensively lately, running up his season totals to seven goals, 12 assists for 19 points in 25 games. As talented as the Flames' captain still is, moving him may be Calgary’s only option if it plans on rebuilding.
The franchise has been in need of a major overhaul for years, and trading Iginla before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season is the only way to get the pieces needed to start a rebuilding process.
Jaromir Jagr, RW, Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars are in 11th place in the Western Conference and still within striking distance of a postseason berth, but a tough schedule and lackluster play recently will have the team heading in the wrong direction.
The team’s roster is full of contracts the organization will be looking to move before the deadline. If the Stars fall out of contention, expect a few trades from Big-D, including shipping veteran Jaromir Jagr.
While most of the league is still not in full-on fire-sale mode yet, there is a growing sense around the Dallas camp that they could be major sellers at the deadline, according to Lyle Richardson of The Hockey News:
Still, if the Stars fail to gain ground by the trade deadline, there's a growing sense GM Joe Nieuwendyk will ship out pending unrestricted free agents Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy and Brenden Morrow...As for Jagr, who leads the Stars in goals (10) and points (18), expect considerable interest from around the league if the 41-year-old is shopped on trade deadline day. Despite his age, he'd be an effective second-line rental player for playoff contenders seeking experienced scoring depth.
Jagr is the most productive player on the ice for the Stars almost every night (10 goals and eight assists in 24 games), and as seen last year in Philadelphia as well, there is still plenty of gas left in the tank.
With the offensive skill and the playoff experience contenders are looking for, Jagr is the kind of addition that can take a fourth- or fifth-seeded team and turn them into a Stanley Cup favorite.
Jagr is that much of a game changer, even at 41 years old.
All salary numbers and contract information via CapGeek.com.
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