Lack of Big Names Will Drive Up Cost of These Players at NHL Trade Deadline

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Lack of Big Names Will Drive Up Cost of These Players at NHL Trade Deadline
Harry How/Getty Images
Jaromir Jagr may be in play prior to the trade deadline.

Jarome Iginla was commanding the headlines.

Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster finally came to the conclusion that his team was not going anywhere and the time had come to rebuild.

Iginla was on the market. With four teams on his approved list of venues where he would consider playing, Feaster was in a position to drive up the market for his star.

Iginla was ultimately traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It looked like he would be traded to the Boston Bruins, but Iginla did not want to go to Boston even though they had been on his list of approved teams (source: Boston.com).

Feaster was able to command minor leaguers Ben Hankowski, Kenny Agostino and the Penguins' 2013 first-round pick.

Not exactly a boatload of talent. Feaster is being criticized by fans and the media for his unimpressive acquisitions. Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun said in his column that the Flames' future is no brighter after the trade than it was before.

The prospective deal with the Bruins would have brought more talent (defenseman Matt Bartkowski, minor league forward Alexander Khokhlachev and a first-round pick, according to Yahoo.com), but Iginla did not want to play for the Bruins.

There don't appear to be a lot of big-name players who will be moving prior to the deadline. While there may be surprises, the top names in conversation are Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy of the Dallas Stars, Mike Ribeiro of the Washington Capitals, Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres and David Clarkson of the New Jersey Devils.

Martin St. Louis's name has been raised as a possible trade acquisition for the Bruins in light of their Iginla disappointment, but Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman told Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe that he was not interested in letting St. Louis leave the Lightning.

Yzerman says that the veteran's presence on a team with so many young players makes him extremely valuable to the Lightning and that he won't be traded.

At the trade deadline, that could be a statement of fact or a device to drive up the asking price.

Nobody will know until the trade deadline expires April 3.

But general managers don't want to be criticized as they make deadline deals. While teams that pick up veteran players don't want to overpay, teams that trade them want tangible value.

In the case of Jagr and Roy, the Stars are on the edge of keeping in them in an attempt to stay in the playoff race or making a trade and preparing for the future. General manager Joe Nieuwendyk won't want to give either player away and subject to the same criticism as Feaster.

He also needs some young talent to build for the future if he makes a move.

General manager George McPhee of the Washington Capitals is dancing with Mike Ribeiro about a contract extension. If the two can't come to an agreement by the deadline, a Ribeiro trade is a strong possibility.

Miller, a former Vezina Trophy winner, may be on his way out in Buffalo. General manager Darcy Regier is under pressure for the team's poor performance and he is not going to give Miller away without getting major compensation.

The same holds for Clarkson in New Jersey. He's a free agent at the end of the season, but general manager Lou Lamoriello is not going to get taken advantage of by any of his peers. Clarkson showed last year that he was a game-changing player and the Devils would want credible talent in return.

There are not a lot of big names in play and that means that the few there are will command a premium price.

No general manager wants to be embarrassed and taken to task for their deadline moves.

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