NHL Trade Deadline: Predicting Last-Minute Deals

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NHL Trade Deadline: Predicting Last-Minute Deals
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The NHL trade deadline is upon us, and although many big names have been traded, there is still time for some last-minute deals.

Which players will be traded at the last minute?

Read on to find out.

 

Miikka Kiprusoff

The Calgary Flames are in a fire-sale, and Kiprusoff could be the next to go.

The goaltender is negotiating directly with the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to TSN's hockey insider Darren Dreger via Twitter:

Kiprusoff is struggling this year, with a 3.64 goals-against average, but he is playing behind a woeful Flames defense. Getting traded to a contender should reinvigorate him. 

Look for the Leafs to trade a few draft picks to Calgary to acquire Kiprusoff and improve their goaltending.

 

Ryan Whitney

The Edmonton Oilers are currently one point out of a playoff spot, but it shouldn't preclude them from trading Ryan Whitney.

Perry Nelson/Getty Images

The defender is potentially on the block, with Boston as a favorite to land him, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie:

Whitney could also be traded to Carolina, according to the Edmonton Journal. The Hurricanes need a defenseman after Joni Pitkanen will be out for at least three months with an ankle injury, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

However, the Bruins make the most sense for the Boston native. Whitney would help a Bruins power-play that has struggled and have a number of prospects that could entice Edmonton. 

Look for Whitney to find his way to Boston, with Edmonton receiving prospects and picks.

 

Jamie McBain

The New York Rangers are looking for a defenseman, as per Darren Dreger of TSN:

One of those options could be Jamie McBain. According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the 25-year-old defenseman is available:

The 6'2", 200-pound McBain would be a nice fit on the Rangers blueline. He has one goal and five assists and is a physical presence. The Rangers need more and better defenseman, so adding someone as talented as McBain would be a good start.

He seems to have fallen out of favor in Carolina, and probably could be had for a few picks. Look for this deal to get done by the end of the day.

 

Ben Bishop

With so many teams needing goaltending help, Ben Bishop might be on the move.

Kevin Allen of USA Today reports that Bishop might find his way to Tampa Bay. That would be a good fit. If Tampa Bay wants to make a late playoff run, they'll need better goaltending. Bishop has a 2.45 goals-against average this season.

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The Ottawa Senators are asking for a second-round pick and a player or prospect, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun. 

With the Lightning desperate for goaltending, they'll be happy to give Ottawa what it wants. This deal will get done by the end of the day. 

 

Final Thoughts

The big names—like Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Jaromir Jagr—have already been traded. But that does not mean there won't be any big deals today. Kiprusoff is probably the biggest name remaining, and while he has struggled, he could easily regain his form in Toronto, where he would be in the midst of a playoff race. 

Ryan Whitney is a top defender, and would give the Bruins more punch on the power play. They'll need that if they want to catch the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

The rest of the deals will most likely be to replenish depth, but sometimes those are the most crucial moves. Depth is absolutely essential in hockey, and if teams get the right player, it could be the difference between a Cup run or sitting home for the playoffs. 

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