Ideal Targets for the Top Stanley Cup Contenders at the 2014 Trade Deadline

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Ideal Targets for the Top Stanley Cup Contenders at the 2014 Trade Deadline
Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

They say not to grocery shop on an empty stomach. A similar metaphor applies to many a former NHL general manager who was seduced by the offerings at the NHL trade deadline. The number of bad deadline deals outweighs the good.

Someone will surely regret this year's deadline. For the majority, that "final piece" to a Stanley Cup will prove to have the same value as an old Spanish piece of eight. But the temptation will prove too strong. The what-if factor for NHL general managers isn't much different than those in line for that big Powerball jackpot. 

But for every Ray Bourque or Jeff Carter trade-deadline deal, there are Billy Guerin-to-San Jose, Ryan Smyth-to-the-Islanders, Cam Neely-and-a-pick-(Glen Wesley)-from-Vancouver-to-Boston-for-Barry Pederson kinds of deals. 

But in the same vein as another old metaphor—"It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all"—it's OK if teams take a shot at glory with the following players who figure to be wearing new uniforms come Wednesday afternoon.

To have these players on your team in a playoff run is to up your odds just a little. It may not be enough to win the big one, but you can't win if you don't play.

Click on the following slideshow for players who could be that elusive final piece to a Stanley Cup.

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