NHL Playoffs 2011: 8 Players Who Need to Pick It Up to Earn a New Contract

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NHL Playoffs 2011: 8 Players Who Need to Pick It Up to Earn a New Contract
Al Bello/Getty Images

With the 2011 NHL playoffs field set and all of the focus directed on the teams, the matchups and the series, a lot of postseason-bound players need to improve their play during their team's stay in the playoffs and really make a difference if they want to be re-signed.

If not, they'll be dumped off to a lesser role in a lesser team for a lesser salary, and they certainly don't want that.

From the Presidents' Trophy winners to the teams who got in only in the final weekend, each team's lineup is littered with these players who are fighting, not only for a Cup, but for a contract, too.

Last year, it was Buffalo's Henrik Tallinder who was unable to make much an impact in the Sabres' first-round loss, and he was quickly dumped to New Jersey.

On the other hand, Montreal's Jaroslav Halak had pressure from younger Carey Price, an expiring contract and an eighth-seeded team with a lot of expectations when the playoffs began; by leading them to the Conference Finals, he got a $2 million raise and the outright starting job in St. Louis.

Here are this postseason's crop of eight players who need to be productive if they want an extension.

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