NHL Trade Rumors: Marty Turco and 10 Goalies Who Could Be Dealt at the Deadline

Joe Favia@joe_faviaCorrespondent IIDecember 16, 2010

NHL Trade Rumors: Marty Turco and 10 Goalies Who Could Be Dealt at the Deadline

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    The trading of star netminders in the NHL does not happen but once in a blue moon...

    Yes, the likelihood of any high-profile goalie switching sweaters this season in the NHL are small. But, I did not say it is impossible.

    In comparison, let us look at the position of quarterback in football. It is a fair comparison because of the integral roles that the goalie and quarterback play for their teams. Without performing at the top level, the team will lose and fail because of the ineptitude of the player in question.

    Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, for example, was traded in the prime of his career from the Denver Broncos, changing the fates of those two organizations forever.

    This year in the NHL, the league is wide open. The dominant four or five teams that used to rule every year are non-existent as everyone has a fighting chance at Lord Stanley's Cup, except a select few. And, maybe, just maybe, a goalie or two will change sides and lead teams to hockey immortality.

    So let's have fun and look at some goalies that could or perhaps should be moved before the deadline.

Colorado Avalanche: Craig Anderson

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    The glory years in Denver are long gone. Patrick Roy is no longer in net for the Avs, and that is something that is not going to change any time soon.

    The Avalanche are not dominant anymore, but they are a quick and young playoff contender. But right now, they have two veteran goalies in net. Both Craig Anderson and Peter Budaj are adequate goalies that can get the job done.

    Anderson proved his worth in tremendous playoff outings last year and that could be intriguing for teams. Budaj has spent his entire career as an Avalanche player, and it should continue.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Jean-Sebastien Giguere

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    In what has been another tough season for the passionate fans of the Leafs, trading one of the team's goalies could go a long way in shoring up some of the issues that the team has.

    Despite always giving his team a chance to win and being one of the best goalies in the league, Jean-Sebastien Giguere could get Toronto a lot back in a trade.

    The only problem would be getting his lofty contract on another teams salary cap. Young Jonas Gustavsson would have to pick up the slack for the rest of the season if "Gigy" were moved.

Ottawa Senators: Pascal Leclaire

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    Ottawa is a team in limbo right now. Do they go for the playoffs or should they try to rebuild?

    It can probably be assumed that the team needs the revenue and will try to make a run at the Cup.

    Pascal Leclaire is the current goalie for the Sens, and throughout his career, he has under-acheived up to the hype that has been put on him.

    He makes nearly four million dollars, three million more than he should, and some feel that his backup, Brian Elliott, is the better player at the moment.

New York Islanders: Rick DiPietro

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    Poor Islander fans. The team that is in last place in the Eastern Conference has their money in the wrong places.

    Unfortunately for the team on Long Island, the two players that are making the most are goalies that have done little to deserve it.

    The 15-year contract to former No. 1 overall pick Rick DiPietro could go down as the worst contract in the history of the NHL, and seemingly continues to hurt the team. DiPietro is often injured and disgruntled. His backup Dwayne Roloson is 40-plus years old and is clearly not the future of the team.

    If DiPietro somehow, someway, were to be shipped off the island, it would go a long way to restoring the glory for the Islanders.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Dan Ellis

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    The Lightning are a team that is on the cusp of getting to the next level, and being a real contender to get the Stanley Cup. Their offense is one of the best in the league, and defense is coming along beautifully.

    Now they need one more thing.

    You guessed it. The Lightning should be looking to add a goalie that can take over a game.

    Dan Ellis a very competent netminder, who they picked up in the offseason, and Mike Smith is solid as well. But, general manager Steve Yzerman has proven he is willing to do what needs to be done to win, and a trade or signing a player like Evgeni Nabakov are options possibly on the horizon.

New Jersey Devils: Martin Brodeur

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    Yes, everyone would like to see the man, who many consider to be the best to ever put on the pads, finish his career in the only uniform that he has ever known.

    But, in this day and age that usually does not come to pass. Brodeur may want to take one more shot at the Cup before hanging them up. The Devils are not going to make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, and a deal could still bring back some talent for the future.

    Whispers over the past few seasons have sent Brodeur to the Capitals, which would definitely shake things up!

Boston Bruins: Tim Thomas

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    A fan favorite for many, a Tim Thomas departure from Boston would be a sad day for the people of New England.

    The veteran goalie has definitely endeared himself over the years to the fans, but maybe, this is the season that the reigns are completely given to Tuukka Rusk. Thomas would not hit another team's salary cap that bad and still has top level talent in the league.

    The Bruins in the past have shown that they are not afraid to trade away people that the fans love, and in the coming months, a trade of Tim Thomas most certainly could happen at any time.

Edmonton Oilers: Nikolai Khabibulin

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    When the Edmonton Oilers got "The Bulin Wall," Nikolai Khabibulin, they believed that he had some of his past skills left in the tank.

    At this point in his career in Edmonton, he has been shaky at best, whether it was his drunk driving arrest or his slowing down on the ice. The exciting future of the team featuring Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall will not reach its peak with Khabibulin in net.

    So it would be wise, of team GM Steve Tamberelli, to somehow convince a team that the former Cup winning goalie with Tampa Bay has something left to give in the NHL.

San Jose Sharks: Antti Niemi

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    The Sharks are fighting desperately to get back to the playoffs, to show that they can get over the hump that plagued them over the past five years.

    Antti Niemi certainly knows about helping end long suffering streaks for teams with his championship run with Chicago last season. This year with the Sharks, Niemi has been inconsistent and has been replaced by Antero Niittymaki for much of the year.

    But, Sharks fans must remember that Niemi got blazing hot at the end of the season last year, and if they were to run him out of town, he could catch fire somewhere else.

Chicago Blackhawks: Marty Turco

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    The defending Stanley Cup champions are trying to find their identity this season, after the mass exodus of so many of the familiar faces in the offseason.

    One of the few big name additions was goalie Marty Turco. Some said that the former Stars goalie had lost his famous agility that made him one of the best of his generation. Those people who said that appear correct to this point.

    Turco has not produced to the level that the team needs, and young Corey Crawford has made the most of his opportunities. Crawford was passed over for the start when Niemi made his run last year, and the rest is history. But, this could be Corey's time to make a little history of his own.