The April 3rd NHL trade deadline is just around the corner, and the trade rumors are in full swing. Given the big names generating buzz, it could be an exciting couple of weeks.
At this point in the season, it's time for fringe playoff teams to decide to buy or sell. If teams like Calgary and the New York Rangers continue to slip, it could be huge for the trade market.
Here's some of the big names currently making noise in the NHL rumor mill.
Jerome Iginla, RW, Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames are currently just outside of the playoff picture, and the thinking around the league seems to be that if they slip, Jerome Iginla will become available.
Late last week, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported that, even though he's not shopping Iginla, Flame's GM Jay Feaster is testing the waters to see what kind of return he could get.
In a more recent article by CBS Sports' Adam Gretz, Boston, Pittsburgh and L.A. are all listed as possible landing spots for the 35-year-old veteran.
Iginla has amassed quite the career and would bring veteran leadership to any team.
And despite his age, he still has something to bring to the ice. He's currently second on the Flame's in points (19) while tied for first on the team in assists (12).
The one road block to any trade is that Iginla, who has spent his entire career in Calgary, has a no trade clause. But if it means heading to a contender, it wouldn't be surprising if he waved it.
If he does become available, Iginla could be a game-changer to whatever team lands his services.
Marian Gaborik, RW, New York Rangers
With 28 points, the Rangers are just outside of the top eight in the Eastern Conference standings. That puts them in the awkward position of deciding whether to buy or sell.
When it comes to winger Marian Gaborik, it seems they're selling.
In a recent article, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports that though the Rangers aren't shopping Gaborik, they are letting it be known that he's available.
The Blueshirts covet a right-handed, top-four blueliner and would also like to add a couple of bottom-six, grinding type forwards.
If Gaborik can be flipped in any trade to get those assets, I believe the Rangers would move him.
And in referencing Gaborik's $7.5 million owed next season, LeBrun adds:
... I’m not sure how easy it would be to move his contract with the salary cap going down next season, although he still remains an electrifying player when he’s on his game.
Gaborik is currently third on the Rangers in points (17) and goals (eight). With depth at right wing, and if it helps to fill another hole, trading the 31-year-old makes plenty of sense.
Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres continue their poor season, and as a result, a team-wide fire sale could be in the making.
Not surprising is the name headlining that sale, goalie Ryan Miller.
During last night's Canucks-Blue Jackets game, Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos was adamant that Miller's days in Buffalo were numbered, and the Sabres will not tender him any kind of extension after next season.
Despite a consistent career, the veteran's production is starting to slip. Miller is saving just 91.4 percent of shots, and he's yet to have a shutout on the season.
Set to make $6.25 million next season, Kypreos mused that if Miller doesn't get traded during the season, there's a very good chance it happens this summer.
Steve Ott, C, Buffalo Sabres
Another Sabres player generating interest is center Steve Ott.
In the same article by LeBrun that mentioned Marian Gaborik's availability, he also discusses the Canuck's desire to trade for a center.
Headlining that list is Ott, though Buffalo has yet to make him available. LeBrun states:
I’m also told the Canucks checked in with the Buffalo Sabres recently. Steve Ott would be a perfect fit as the No. 3 center in Vancouver, and the Canucks had conversations with the Dallas Stars last season about him. But at this point, it doesn’t appear as though the Sabres are making Ott available.
Even though he isn't currently available, Buffalo could change its tune if the price is right. The 30-year-old Ott currently has 13 points on the season.
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