NHL Trade Rumors: 10 All-Stars Who Could Change Teams Before The Deadline

Eric Holden@EricHoldenContributor IJanuary 16, 2011

NHL Trade Rumors: 10 All-Stars Who Could Change Teams Before The Deadline

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    Even the most elite players in the league aren't immune to the constant stream of trade rumors circulated by fans and media members.

    The 2010-11 NHL All-Star Game, scheduled for Jan. 30 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C., will feature 42 of the best players in the sport.

    The majority of the athletes will finish out the season on their respective teams, but some may soon find themselves landing in new homes.

    Squads on the playoff bubble will be looking to bolster their rosters by the Feb. 21 trade deadline. Similarly, struggling teams will deal some of their biggest stars to bring back draft picks and prospects.

    In recent days, the New Jersey Devils dealt veteran winger Jamie Langenbrunner to the Dallas Stars for a 2012 draft pick. The New York Rangers traded defenseman Michal Rozsival to the Phoenix Coyotes for Wojtek Wolski.

    Expectations are that many more impact players will be moved around the league in the weeks ahead.

Jarome Iginla

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    Before his recent resignation, Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter insisted that he would not deal five-time All Star Jarome Iginla. 

    It is hard to dispute his reluctance to deal the team captain, since Iginla is the face of the franchise and the Flames' all-time leader in goals, points and games played. 

    Iginla has been the source of trade rumors since the 2009-10 season, when the Flames struggled and failed to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

Patrick Elias

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    Patrick Elias has a no-movement specification in his contract that will make it tough for him to be dealt.

    The All-Star will have to waive that clause in order to complete a trade to another team.  The Los Angeles Kings, desperately in need of a winger with puck-handling ability, have expressed interest in his services. 

    After a decade finishing as a top contender in the Eastern Conference, the New Jersey Devils seem poised to retool the roster and complete a salary dump.

Ales Hemsky

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    The Edmonton Oilers are the bottom-dwellers of the Western Conference. 

    Is it time to trade their best offensive player?  The rebuilding phase is already underway for the team and they should be able to reel in several high-end prospects if they deal Hemsky. 

    After 29 games this season, Hemsky has nine goals and 19 assists. 

Rick Nash

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    It is doubtful that Rick Nash will be dealt, but his name has swirled around the trade rumor mill over the last few weeks. 

    Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson needs to make a move to shake up the roster.  Nash could yield several draft picks for the struggling franchise and help a playoff team looking for a solid goal-scoring winger.

Shea Weber

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    One of the lone bright spots on a mediocre Nashville Predators team, Shea Weber has 12 points over his last eight games. 

    He is the only Predator to make it to this season's All-Star roster and a solid defenseman who could be used as a trade chip.

David Backes

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    In November 2010, Backes signed a hefty $22 million contract extension that would keep him in St. Louis through the 2015-16 season. 

    With the franchise struggling to remain in the playoff hunt, now might be a good time to try to deal the crafty winger.

Matt Moulson

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    While not officially on the All-Star roster, Moulson is the type of impact player who performs on a high level in any situation. 

    He has been a great addition to a New York Islanders team that is in a rebuilding phase. 

    Moulson was one of the biggest surprises in the NHL last season, scoring 30 goals and 18 assists in 82 games. 

    He would be a nice fit for a playoff-bound team looking for a scoring threat on the outside wing.

Dan Boyle

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    Dan Boyle is the Sharks' lone All-Star.  San Jose has lost six games in a row and fell out of the playoff picture.  

    The Atlanta Thrashers, desperately in need of a veteran defensive presence, might be a nice fit for Boyle. 

    The Thrashers have given up 151 goals this season, more than any other team in the Eastern Conference. 

    Boyle would help to keep that number from rising and boost the team's push towards a playoff berth.

Brent Burns

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    Contender or pretender? 

    The Minnesota Wild most likely are not heading to the playoffs this season.  They have lost three games in a row and have fallen five points off the pace of the No. 8-seeded Anaheim Ducks. 

    Dealing Burns, a strong defensive weapon, would easily bring in a first- or second-round draft pick for the Wild.

Anze Kopitar

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    The Montreal Canadians and Chicago Blackhawks have expressed interest in the 23-year old center. 

    With Los Angeles still hanging around in the playoff picture, it is unlikely that Kopitar will be dealt unless they go on a losing streak over the next few games. 

    He has 15 goals and 30 assists this season and is the lone All-Star representative from the Kings.