There is no more mentally exhausting time in the hockey season than the trade deadline.
Teams must evaluate themselves. Do they have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup? Do they even have what it takes to make the playoffs? Do they need to scrap all hope of a Stanley Cup now and make moves that will bring them closer to the goal in the future?
The trade deadline has teams weighing the present and future, money, and ambition, the value of one individual versus the value of a group of prospects or draft picks.
This year at the deadline, we will see a few players switch uniforms, but most of the big names will remain where they are.
Still, the trade deadline gets the gears in our brains turning. How much is one player really worth, especially a very good player? If the top players in the NHL were on the trading block, how would their age, contract lengths and values and versatility affect their trade value?
This list will explore and rank the purely hypothetical trade values on hockey's top stars. Highly-talented players with big contracts aren't quite as valuable as cheaper players with similar talent, or who are younger in age.
Practically none of these players will be traded this year. Few will be traded even in their contract years. Many of them will never be traded at all.
But if everyone were on the trading block, who would be the most valuable?
Contract information via capgeek.com.