season could have something to do with having
one skate blade six inches higher than the other.
This year’s official deadline doesn’t arrive until 3:00 pm on February 27 for all teams except the Kings, who for some reason will get until 3:00:01. But even though we’re still almost three weeks away, the rumor mill is already churning out plenty of names, big and small.
Of course, most of those names will belong to players who won’t end up going anywhere. In fact, if history has taught us anything it’s that we should all relax and just wait to see what happens. But that’s no fun, so instead let’s feed into the hype with a dozen big name players who’ve been rumored to be on the market leading up to the deadline.
Jeff Carter, Columbus Blue Jackets – Recent reports have indicated that his no-trade clause is no longer in effect due to a loophole in the collective bargaining agreement, and also because he set it on fire on top of Scott Howson’s desk three months ago.
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks – The Duck seem to be intent on entering a rebuilding phase, and if there’s one thing we know about successful rebuilds it’s that they always start with trading your best young player when he’s at his absolute lowest possible value.
Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres – Plenty of teams will be making offers for the star goaltender but they probably won’t even have their calls returned, since nobody who takes a run at Ryan Miller ever gets a response.
Tuomo Ruutu, Carolina Hurricanes – Will be one of the most sought-after deadline players in all of hockey, according to every newspaper article read by fans around the league who are grudgingly making a mental note to Google who Tuomo Ruutu is.
Sam Gagner, Edmonton Oilers – Has been mentioned in trade rumors all season thanks to his continuing struggles with consistency, which often see him follow up a good game with one where he goes out and scores five points less.
Luke Schenn, Toronto Maple Leafs – A rumored deal that would send him to Philadelphia to be reunited with his brother Brayden makes a ton of sense, according to sports section headline writers who already have 300 variations of “City of Brotherly Love” headlines ready to go.
Evgeni Nabokov, New York Islanders – There are always plenty of teams out there looking to acquire an elite starting goaltender, so you have to figure that somebody will end up having to settle for Nabokov instead.
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators – He’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, so the team may have to move him now since teams would obviously try to sign him to an offer sheet and… wait, why are all the GMs trying not to laugh and winking at each other right now?
Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals – The enigmatic forward is in the final year of his contract and would make an ideal rental for an underachieving team that was struggling desperately to make the playoffs, so look for him to be traded to the Capitals.
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins – While the knee-jerk trade talk resulting from his controversial White House snub seems to have subsided, it’s still possible that Thomas may no longer be a fit in Boston since his glove hand has apparently made him the only pro athlete in the state who can catch anything.
Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames – Recently flipped over a table during a press conference while screaming "How many times do I have to tell you people, I’m staying in Calgary, I still think we can make the playoffs, and I’m not waiving my no-trade clause under any circumstances so stop asking me about it!", so it sure sounds like somebody wants out.
Andrei Kostitsyn, Montreal Canadiens – The pending free agent will likely be dealt just as soon as Pierre Gauthier can convince skeptical trading partners that yes, it’s perfectly normal to include a player’s nickname on the official trade agreement and yes, Kostitsyn’s nickname just happens to be "and we’re also taking Scott Gomez".