The offseason may be over and roster finalized, but that does in no way mean all discussions between general managers has stopped. Teams are still talking to each other, suggesting trades, and are looking to improve.
The trade deadline is always one of the most exciting days of the year for a hockey fan. All our hopes and fears accumulate into one day of incredible emotion and anxiousness. Leading up to the deadline, the rumor mills explode with word, often false, about potential trades in the making.
Reading these rumors give us an idea, albeit small, of some of that discussion that goes on between general managers across the league. We start to see which players are on the market; which players are likely to be dealt.
These are 10 players who will be traded before the 2012 trade deadline.
Phoenix Coyotes - LW
Ray Whitney may be 39 years old, but he is still an effective player. Several teams are looking for a top six forward to round out their offensive corps, and Whitney would bring that, along with leadership, experience and a Stanley Cup ring.
That said, it could cost quite a bit to get Whitney. Phoenix have no reason to trade him. They are coming out of a rebuilding stage and would be looking for a young replacement for him. Only a contender would be willing to pay the price to get him.
Possible Destination: Nashville Predators
Phoenix Coyotes - C
Kyle Turris will almost certainly not be a member of the Phoenix Coyotes' organization by the end of the season. His somewhat bizarre holdout has done nothing to help his relations with the club.
Clearly, they are nowhere near common ground on his valuation. Turris is asking for $3 to $4 million, while Phoenix are willing to pay only half of that amount for the player who has career highs of 11 goals and 25 points.
Even if he does end up signing, the relationship will be permanently bruised. Turris appears to be sending a message. He has yet to breakout at the NHL level, but he is still a good young player with a lot of potential, and would get a good return. Again, the Coyotes will look for young, established player in return.
Possible Destination: Chicago Blackhawks
Vancouver Canucks - G
One of the biggest questions for the Canucks heading into the new season was how long they could continue with two starter-quality goalies on their team. Cory Schneider is one of the top three backups in the league, and could net a big return from a team looking for a solid goalie. Trading him away could actually help the Canucks significantly.
It is difficult to say what the Canucks could ask for in return, as they already have a pretty complete roster. That said, one of their major downfalls last season was a lack of experience and the lack of a true fourth line. That could be something they would look to address. Regardless, Schneider will not be a Canuck by the end of the season.
Possible Destination: Phoenix Coyotes
Edmonton Oilers - RW
The former Oilers first round pick is a very good player. That said, Ales Hemsky may no longer be a good fit in Edmonton.
The Oilers are in a well documented youth movement, with two straight first overall picks, and Hemsky is entering the back end of his career. At 28, the window of opportunity for a Stanley Cup is getting smaller, and he may look for a deal sending him out of Alberta.
The Oilers would get a good return in any potential deal. Jordan Eberle is ready to step up and become their top line right winger with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but Edmonton will be looking for elite depth behind that.
They could also look to add some solid young defensive players while Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin develop. Hemsky can still be a producer, and will be well worth the price a contender would have to give up for him.
Possible Destination: Pittsburgh Penguins
Los Angeles Kings - G
The Kings appear to be following the same path the Washington Capitals did a few seasons ago, stocking up on talented young goalies.
Jonathan Quick has established himself as a solid NHLer, Jonathan Bernier is ready to step up after maxing out in the AHL and the team drafted Christopher Gibson in the second round this year.
The Caps traded Semyon Varlamov to the Colorado Avalanche this summer, and it is only a matter of time before one of the Kings goalies leaves as well.
While it is impossible to guess what GM Dean Lombardi has up his sleeve, my guess is that Quick will be sent away. He is older, and as he has accomplished more and his already established his trade value could be higher.
The Los Angeles Kings are now setting their sights on a long playoff run, and having two top tier goalies seems almost pointless.
Possible Destination: New Jersey Devils
Phoenix Coyotes - RW
Of all the Phoenix players on this list, Shane Doan is the most likely to leave. He may be their captain, and the heart and soul of the team, but he is a human hockey player and all he dreams of is the chance to lift the Stanley Cup.
He is 35, is a UFA at the end of the season and is unlikely to re-sign and has a high trade value. It seems unlikely Phoenix hold on to him.
Doan will go to a contending team in need of leadership and veteran experience. That said, he can still produce effectively and be a solid first liner, and could bring a high return for the Coyotes at the deadline.
Possible Destination: Washington Capitals
Ottawa Senators - C
The Senators are in a rebuild, and are focusing all their resources in their young players. They want to give them as much ice time as possible.
They have picked up their center of the future in Mika Zibanejad, and so Jason Spezza is no longer needed in the Canadian capital. There is a good chance he is dealt at the deadline.
Spezza is a top tier center, and most of the truly contending team have several of those. He is much more likely to go to a playoff bubble team willing to give up picks and prospects to help their cause.
The Senators would be giving up their franchise player, but the return they would get and that return's affect five years down the road would make the deal more than worth it.
Possible Destination: Nashville Predators
Calgary Flames - RW
Another captain who could leave for one last chance for a Stanley Cup, Jarome Iginla finds himself in a tricky situation up in Calgary.
The six time NHL All-Star is at a crossroads in his career. He could either stay with the organization with which he has spent his entire career, or he could demand a trade at the deadline to attempt to get one last chance at the cup.
He is a UFA at the end of the 2012-13 season, but by then he will be 36, and it could be too late.
You have to wonder what the Calgary Flames are thinking. They have repeatedly said that they will not trade their superstar, but his trade value is only declining.
He is beyond the age where you can build a rebuilding franchise around him, and the Flames drafted Sven Baertschi in the summer to be his replacement.
It seems it may be the perfect time to send him out. Look for a contender in need of a veteran leader and with cap space to burn to take a run.
Possible Destination: Detroit Red Wings
New Jersey Devils - LW
The question for the Devils will be similar to those the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings are asking themselves. How much longer can you continue with two elite, high-salary players in the same position?
Parise was a free agent this summer, re-signing on a one-year deal to stay with the Devils. The immediate reaction from NHL analysts was that it was due to an impending trade.
It appeared as though the Devils were focusing more on Ilya Kovalchuk as their franchise player. Though Parise was recently named captain, analysts fear that the previous still applies.
Lou Lamoriello will be looking for an elite replacement for Martin Brodeur. Could the Devils link up with the Kings on a deal?
Possible Destination: Los Angeles Kings
Nashville Predators - D
Much the same thing happened to Shea Weber as would happen later on with Kyle Turris. Though the extremes aren't as ridiculous, the two parties did end up having to go to arbitration to try to work out a reasonable deal.
Egos will have been badly bruised. Weber won the arbitration, so he will be happy with where he stands, but what we must remember is the reason Nashville offered such a low amount in the first place. They do not want to be paying him $7.5 million a season.
Weber would have sky-high trade value. Sure, Weber is their best and most important player, but it is worth them taking a look at the market and seeing what is available. There is a good chance they would be able to get more for less.
That extra money could then go to shoring up Pekka Rinne for the next decade. He is a future Vezina winner, and could well be the key to Nashville making a legitimate cup run sooner rather than later.
Possible Destination: Toronto Maple Leafs
Follow Jake Ware on Twitter at @JacobWare95