NHL Trade Rumors: Tomas Kaberle and 10 Defensemen on the Move

Matthew FairburnCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2011

NHL Trade Rumors: Tomas Kaberle and 10 Defensemen on the Move

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    NHL trade rumors continue to surface as the NHL Trading Deadline is fast approaching.

    The buyers have separated themselves from the sellers and there are a handful of teams that are just a player or two away from turning their roster into a Stanley Cup Contender.

    Those teams looking to improve on the blue line have a number of lucrative options. A handful of talented defensemen have heard their names mentioned in trade talks and could be moved by the deadline.

    Here are the 10 defensemen most likely to be playing elsewhere by the end of the season.

10. Erik Johnson, St. Louis

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    One of the most talented young defensemen in the league, Erik Johnson, surprisingly continues to be discussed in trade rumors.

    Johnson, a former first overall draft choice by the Blues, is just 22 years old and is developing into an elite defenseman despite his disappointing season.

    However, Johnson has not developed quite as quickly as St. Louis was hoping. In addition they have a surplus of talent on the blue line and need more fire power up front.

    Erik Johnson would likely bring back the most in a trade.

9. Kevin Bieksa, Vancouver Canucks

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    Kevin Bieksa has been constantly mentioned in trade rumors for the past couple of seasons but the talks seem to be subsiding. Still, he is definitely a candidate to be moved.

    With all of the injuries to Vancouver's defensive core, Bieksa still has value to the Canucks. Combine that with the fact that Vancouver does not need many upgrades in its lineup and Bieksa looks like he has a shot at staying put.

    But still, one never knows in the NHL.

8. Bryan McCabe, Florida Panthers

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    With the Florida Panthers in a youth movement and Bryan McCabe's contract set to expire at the end of the season, the Panthers' captain could be moved by the deadline.

    Currently on the shelf with a broken jaw, McCabe is a talented defenseman that could help out a team like Chicago or Boston who are both in position to make a playoff run.

7. Chris Phillips, Ottawa Senators

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    The Ottawa Senators are rebuilding and with Chris Phillips's contract expiring at the end of the season, he does not appear to be a likely piece of that rebuilding project.

    It makes sense for the Senators to attempt to move the reliable defenseman to get some value for him before he walks at the end of the season.

6. Sergei Gonchar, Ottawa Senators

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    Sergei Gonchar is no stranger to being traded.

    The 36 years old blue liner has been bounced around the league constantly throughout his career.

    This year, Gonchar has been one of the most disappointing offseason signings in the NHL. Despite signing a 16.5 million dollar contract in the offseason, Gonchar has accumulated just 21 points to go along with his minus 17 plus minus.

    If there is a team willing to take on his contract amid hope that he has something left in the tank, Gonchar will be traded.

5. Mike Commodore, Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Mike Commodore desperately wants out of Columbus, but there may not be any interest from other teams.

    The Blue Jackets waived the disgruntled veteran back in January and he passed through waivers. There is still a decent chance he gets moved to a team that is in dire need of blue line help.

4. Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks

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    Brent Seabrook is a strong possibility to be moved before the deadline.His contract is set to expire and the Blackhawks are going to have trouble fitting him under the cap.

    The Blackhawks have denied interest in moving their talented defenseman but that does not mean he won't be moved, whether it be before the trading deadline or after the season (he is a restricted free agent).

    If the Blackhawks and Seabrook can't work out a deal, the two sides will have no choice but to part ways.

    Seabrook would bring back a healthy return in a trade and Chicago would be smart to get some value for him while they still can.

3. Alex Goligoski, Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Alex Goligoski has been the center of trade talks in Pittsburgh for the past couple of weeks, and for good reason.

    The Peguins are deep and have a lot of money tied up on the blue line. In addition, Pittsburgh needs help on the wing.

    A handful of teams would love to have a guy like Alex Goligoski.

2.Robyn Regehr, Calgary Flames

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    Jarome Iginla has been the focus of most Calgary Flames trade rumors, but Robyn Regehr could be the most likely candidate to be moved as the trading deadline approaches.

    The Flames are out of the playoff race and if they have an eye for the future they could part ways with the veteran defender.

1. Tomas Kaberle, Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Surprise! Tomas Kaberle trade talks are once again heating up around the NHL.

    The Leafs have fallen out of the playoff race, and plenty of teams could use the services of the talented puck moving defenseman.

    Whether he gets traded or not, Kaberle's contract is set to expire at the end of this season, making it very likely that he will be playing elsewhere next season.