NHL Trade Rumors: Eric Staal and Star Players Who Could Be on the Move

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IDecember 27, 2011

NHL Trade Rumors: Eric Staal and Star Players Who Could Be on the Move

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    Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal is one of several NHL stars who could be traded before the trading deadline this season.

    With many teams starting to realize their chances at making the playoffs, the decision to become buyers or sellers at the deadline will be made soon.

    Expect the rumor mill to grow in the coming weeks as NHL teams look to add the one piece needed for a Stanley Cup run.

    Let's look at six star players who could be traded this year.

Alexander Semin

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    There have been many rumors surrounding Washington Capitals winger Alexander Semin this season, and in the last year of his contract it would be foolish for the Capitals not to trade him and get good value in return.

    There was a rumor earlier this season of him maybe going to the New York Islanders, but a contending team is the best bet for Semin.

    The Detroit Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars are all contenders with good salary cap space who could use another scorer.

Shea Weber

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    With the recent news that Nashville Predators star defenseman Shea Weber will be out indefinitely with a concussion, the trade rumors surrounding him may decrease a bit but he is still a player to watch as we approach the trading deadline.

    The Philadelphia Flyers need a big-time defenseman badly with the loss of captain Chris Pronger for the rest of the season, and could be interested in acquiring Weber.

    Weber is one of the best defenseman in the NHL and is always a possible Norris Trophy candidate. He also contributes well offensively.

    He's a free agent next summer and the Predators would be wise to move him before then and upgrade their lack of scoring.

Zach Parise

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    New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise is one of the best young stars in the NHL, and as an unrestricted free agent in the summer he will likely leave the Devils since they are years away from being real Stanley Cup contenders.

    One team that could show real interest in Parise is the Minnesota Wild. Parise's dad used to be a captain on the old Minnesota North Stars franchise, and the Wild are an up and coming team who will be good for a while.

    Minnesota is second in the Northwest division and sixth in the Western Conference standings. Though they could sign Parise in the summer without losing any young talent, if they want to make a deep playoff run this season they could look to acquire the Devils star before the trading deadline.

Bobby Ryan

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    Bobby Ryan was put on the trading block earlier this season, and despite being taken off the block by the Anaheim Ducks, several teams showed interest in the young forward.

    Ryan is signed to a manageable contract that has a $5.1 million salary cap hit for three more seasons after this one.

    The Ducks winger is a proven goal scorer and will be a star for years to come. The Ducks are second to last in the Western Conference right now, and may look to create a spark and climb back into the playoff race.

Jarome Iginla

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    The Calgary Flames need to rebuild and they have several stars that could get them a great package of talent, including winger Jarome Iginla.

    Iginla is the best player in the NHL without a Stanley Cup title, and the Flames owe him a chance to play for a championship.

    He won't do that in Calgary, so the team must give him a shot with a Cup contender such as the Boston Bruins, who Iginla would be a great fit on.

Eric Staal

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    Eric Staal to the Toronto Maple Leafs was a juicy rumor earlier this month, but it was shot down by TSN's Bob McKenzie. But that doesn't mean Staal is untouchable.

    The Hurricanes are second to last in the Eastern Conference and won't go anywhere near the playoffs this season.

    The team needs a major shakeup, and trading Staal would allow them to acquire several quality prospects or NHL talents to rebuild with.

    It's unlikely Staal will be traded, but it wouldn't surprise me if he is.