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New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) makes a save against the New York Islanders during the second period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (USA TODAY Sports)

New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) makes a save against the New York Islanders during the second period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

(USA TODAY Sports)

NHL trade deadline: 40 players in play Add to ...

Well, the frenzy has started, at least in the media.

Now we just have to wait and see if it turns into anything.

As always, the lead up to the NHL’s trade deadline has been filled with rumours and speculation, but other than the Ryan Miller to St. Louis blockbuster on Friday, there have been very few actual moves to speak of.

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Will there be by Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET?

What we know for sure is there are a lot of names in play, including several marquee players and a whole bunch of quality goaltenders. The problem is that most teams are so tight against the cap that deals will have to be salary in and salary out, not pure rentals, and that complicates getting trades done.

What’s interesting is that the NHL waiver wire was flooded with useful NHL players on Tuesday afternoon, one sign that clubs are anxious to clear roster spots and cap room in order to make deals.

Keeping that in mind, here’s a look at 40 players that are in currently in conversations around the league and that could be moved by the deadline.

 

Goaltenders

GP

SV%

5YRSV%

Salary

Status

1

Anton Khudobin, CAR

22

0.927

0.930

0.800

UFA

2

Tim Thomas, FLA

39

0.908

0.922

3.750

UFA

3

Jaroslav Halak, BUF

40

0.917

0.918

3.750

UFA

4

James Reimer, TOR

25

0.913

0.915

1.800

RFA

5

Cam Ward, CAR

21

0.891

0.915

6.300

2016

6

Viktor Fasth, ANA

5

0.885

0.915

2.900

2015

7

Ilya Bryzgalov, EDM

20

0.908

0.914

2.266

UFA

8

Martin Brodeur, NJ

29

0.900

0.908

4.500

UFA

 

As has been the case all season, teams are flush with goalies they’d like to move.

Carolina and Anaheim, in particular, have been carrying three netminders all season, but the fact is there just haven’t been a ton of suitors (or much of a market) for all these goalies.

That’s why it was so impressive new Sabres GM Tim Murray was able to get what he did for Miller.

One team definitely looking for insurance in goal is the Wild, who could go with either Halak or Brodeur as some experience with 23-year-old rookie Darcy Kuemper, who has played very well in 18 games so far. Indications on Tuesday afternoon were that Minnesota was close to getting something done with the Sabres on Halak, who Buffalo acquired in the Miller deal.

Khudobin and Thomas, two former Bruins, are also very intriguing options as rentals, as they both have the potential to carry a team on an unexpected playoff run.

With so few homes, however, expect only one or two of these goalies to actually change teams.

 

Defencemen

GP

Pts

Mins

Salary

Status

1

Andrew MacDonald, NYI

63

24

25.4

0.550

UFA

2

Christian Ehrhoff, BUF

59

29

24.0

4.000

2021

3

Alex Edler, VAN

44

15

23.4

5.000

2019

4

Tyler Myers, BUF

56

20

21.8

5.500

2019

5

Tom Gilbert, FLA

61

27

21.1

0.900

UFA

6

Jake Gardiner, TOR

61

17

21.0

0.875

RFA

7

Lubomir Visnovsky, NYI

17

7

20.3

4.750

2015

8

Trevor Daley, DAL

47

11

20.1

3.300

2017

9

Stephane Robidas, DAL

24

5

19.9

3.300

UFA

10

Chris Phillips, OTT

51

13

19.8

3.083

UFA

11

Chris Butler, CGY

61

2

19.7

1.700

UFA

12

Henrik Tallinder, BUF

47

7

19.1

3.375

UFA

13

Mike Weaver, FLA

55

6

18.8

1.100

UFA

14

Nick Schultz, EDM

59

4

17.0

3.500

UFA

 

The curious thing about the market for defencemen is that so many of these players are under contract and not rentals, which means any deal would obviously be more substantial.

Teams will, for example, have to give up a lot to get an Ehrhoff, Edler or Myers.

The top candidates on the rental market, meanwhile, are MacDonald – who’s asking for big money on a new contract and the Isles have balked at the asking price – and Phillips.

It’s not a sexy group overall, but there are some nice complimentary players mixed in, including Robidas, whose remarkable recovery from a broken leg means he could be back sooner than expected.

(UPDATE: Weaver was traded to the Canadiens just after this list was finalized.)

 

Forwards

GP

Pts

Mins

Salary

Status

1

Ryan Kesler, VAN

62

39

22.3

5.000

2016

2

Thomas Vanek, NYI

60

53

19.7

7.143

UFA

3

Marty St. Louis, TB

61

60

22.7

5.625

2015

4

Marian Gaborik, CLB

21

13

16.5

7.500

UFA

5

Mike Cammalleri, CGY

44

22

20.8

6.000

UFA

6

Matt Moulson, BUF

55

38

19.5

3.133

UFA

7

Nikolai Kulemin, TOR

51

18

16.4

2.800

UFA

8

Sam Gagner, EDM

49

25

18.2

4.800

2016

9

Brayden Schenn, PHI

62

34

17.0

0.870

RFA

10

Mason Raymond, TOR

63

36

17.5

1.000

UFA

11

Ryan Callahan, NYR

45

25

19.0

4.275

UFA

12

Dave Bolland, TOR

15

10

16.3

3.375

UFA

13

Ales Hemsky, EDM

54

24

16.0

5.000

UFA

14

Ryan Smyth, EDM

52

20

16.5

2.250

UFA

15

Chris Stewart, BUF

59

26

14.8

4.150

2015

16

Tuomo Ruutu, CAR

56

16

14.3

4.750

2016

17

Lee Stempniak, CGY

52

23

19.4

2.500

UFA

18

Martin Erat, WSH

53

24

15.7

4.500

2015

 

Unlike the defencemen, most of the forwards available this year are true rentals, with quite a few of them offering some nice secondary offensive punch.

If you take one look at those cap hits, however, you’ll notice there’s some significant term there to absorb, which will be a stumbling block for anyone taking on a Vanek or Gaborik. (Vanek’s number is a bit misleading as the Sabres are paying nearly 20 per cent of his deal.)

Kesler is considered by most teams to be the most intriguing player available of anyone at the deadline, and there’s going to be a logjam of teams waiting to see what happens with him before moving onto other candidates.

How many of these forwards are dealt will likely determine if the 2014 deadline is one to remember. There’s the potential for a few blockbusters in here if Gagner, Schenn and others are put in play.

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