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NHL Trade Deadline 2014 Countdown

Ben Ebert |
March 2, 2014 | 5:05 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

Martin St. Louis could be in New York by Wednesday, if the rumors are true. (Facebook/Lightning)
Martin St. Louis could be in New York by Wednesday, if the rumors are true. (Facebook/Lightning)
With six weeks remaining in the regular season, the trade deadline is approaching fast for teams looking to add to their rosters in order to make a strong playoff push. However, some teams are faced with decisions of what to do with their upcoming unrestricted free agents, while others seek to unload major players in exchange for prospects and draft picks. The deadline is set for Wednesday, March 5th, so here is some of the trade buzz floating around the NHL.

The Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues were the first teams to make a big splash in the trade market, as the Sabres sent captain Steve Ott and goalie Ryan Miller to the Blues, receiving in return forward Chris Stewart, goalie Jaroslav Halak, young prospect William Carrier, a first-round pick in 2015, as well as a potential first-round pick in this year’s draft, pending on whether or not Ryan Miller resigns with the Blues or they make it to the Western Conference Finals this season. St. Louis has added a proven reliable netminder as well as a hard-hitting forward to their lineup; they are currently one of the top teams in the Central Division. The mission for Buffalo seems clear, as they sit at last place in NHL. This is a team in rebuilding mode and we should expect general manager Tim Murray to make more moves before Wednesday. The Sabres already had and still have 18 first and second-round picks between 2012 and 2015 and could add one more with the conditional pick from the Blues.

Martin St. Louis seems to be another big-name star that could potentially be moved. Rumors have spread that St. Louis put in a request to be traded to the New York Rangers after he was left off the Canadian Olympic roster by Team Canada and Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, although he ended up playing for injured teammate Steve Stamkos in Sochi. To add more fuel to this rumor, the Rangers and their upcoming unrestricted free agent captain Ryan Callahan have yet to agree on terms for a new contract; Callahan is asking for seven years for more than $42 million. It seems strange to trade a team captain while trying to make a playoff push, but it is understandable why the Rangers are hesitant to resign Callahan to a long-term deal with his history of injuries. The very idea of a Callahan-St. Louis trade between the Lightning and Rangers has made some quite angry, i.e. Phil Esposito.

Some other players we might see moved before Wednesday include Thomas Vanek, who has already denied any possibility of an extension with the New York Islanders, Mike Cammalleri of a struggling Calgary Flames franchise that also looks to be in rebuild mode, Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks, although he and his agent have denied any trade talks, and likely Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur, who has lost the starting goalie spot on the New Jersey Devils to Cory Schneider.

Expect to see the Detroit Red Wings make some noise in the coming days, as they want to continue their 22-year playoff streak. The Red Wings are holding onto the second wild card spot in the East right now and will be looking for some backup on offense, with Pavel Datsyuk in and out with a knee injury and Henrik Zetterberg out for the season after undergoing back surgery. Meanwhile the Minnesota Wild should be looking for a first-string goaltender, as both Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding have been sidelined, leaving the young Darcy Kuemper to man the net. Look for the Wild to make a run at Halak or the veteran Brodeur.

The Los Angeles Kings hold a somewhat cushioned lead over the Canucks in the Pacific Division for third place. However, it is very probable that L.A. will look to add some firepower to their lineup, as they are well in the lower end of the NHL in scoring so far this season. With the San Jose Sharks holding the same-sized lead over the Kings and with their roster getting healthy, as seen with the returns of Logan Couture and Raffi Torres, the Kings will have to change their offensive production if they hope to catch the Sharks or the first-place Anaheim Ducks.

ALSO SEE: Olympic Hockey Injuries: Costly But Worth It For NHL

Reach Staff Writer Ben Ebert here.



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