The NHL trade market is heating up before the March 1 deadline, with both big names and small potentially on the move.
While there is some separation at the top of the standings, the majority of teams are still looking at potential playoff spots with less than two months remaining in the regular season. This could lead to some aggressive dealing in the open market.
Based on the latest rumors from around the league, these are the players who could be changing teams in the next week.
Patrick Eaves, RW, Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars season hasn't gone as planned, but Patrick Eaves has been as good as ever. The 32-year-old veteran has already set a career high with 21 goals scored to go with 16 assists, which is only two off his best.
As Pierre LeBrun of TSN noted, this emergence—combined with his cap hit of only $1 million—has made him a sought-after target.
"As the Stars inch closer to becoming official sellers, no player is garnering more interest than Patrick Eaves," LeBrun said on Insider Trading.
The Stars had 109 points a year ago but only 56 in 60 game so far this year, making it difficult to reach the postseason.
General manager Jim Nill was unwilling to give up on the season in early February but noted, per LeBrun: "We're taking it game by game." Unfortunately, the team has lost seven of its last nine games and the chances of contention seem slim.
Eaves should become one of the first players on the move, giving a real contending team a quality scorer and playmaker for the rest of the season and possibly beyond.
Greg Pateryn, D, Montreal Canadiens
Not all trade targets are thriving in their current situations. In fact, Greg Pateryn has struggled to see playing time with the Canadiens.
The 26-year-old has played in parts of four seasons in the NHL but has only totaled 81 games. He has six points in 23 games so far this year.
This makes it little surprise he was made available by general manager Marc Bergevin, per Frank Seravalli of TSN Sports.
Despite the inability to get into the lineup, Pateryn has performed well when given a chance. Andrew Berkshire of Sportsnet noted how the team has been better with the young player on the ice:
If Montreal remains committed to Nikita Nesterov, the organization probably wouldn't mind dealing Pateryn for cheap. Considering the upside still apparent for the defenseman and a relatively cheap salary, someone could get a steal at the deadline.
Kevin Shattenkirk, D, St. Louis Blues
Few trades could end up as impactful for the rest of the 2016-17 season as Kevin Shattenkirk.
The All-Star helps out both defensively and offensively, and he is especially helpful on power plays, where he has seven goals and 13 assists this season (20 of his 42 total points).
Craig Custance of ESPN.com named him the top rental player on the market, meaning he will be a free agent at season's end. While this might scare off squads who want more of a long-term addition, the contract situation might be the only reason the St. Louis Blues make a deal at all, getting some value in return instead of nothing in the offseason.
With that said, the price tag is still extremely high. Steve Zipay of Newsday reported the New York Rangers' interest in the 28-year-old while noting the asking price is currently "a No. 1 draft pick, a regular young defenseman and a top prospect."
Not many organizations will be willing to part with this much for a player they might not be able to re-sign in the summer.
Still, Shattenkirk makes perfect sense for the Rangers, a team that has an elite offense but could use some help defensively and ranks only 15th in power-play percentage. The trade could upgrade the team's biggest weaknesses and turn the squad into a real contender.