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Dreger: Ten players to watch at the Trade Deadline

Darren Dreger
1/30/2009 6:30:40 PM
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With a clear disclaimer there are no guarantees any of these men will get moved, we present ten prominent players believed by NHL sources to be in the mix.

Atlanta's Colby Armstrong has attracted interest this season, including from Pittsburgh who would like to see him reunited with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

Ottawa forward Chris Neil balances a measure of skill and toughness many teams are seeking. Neil is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in July and the Senators may not have the cap space to re-sign him.

Philadelphia's Scottie Upshall may be tough to part with, however he's a restricted free agent this summer and is expecting a raise on the $1.25 million salary.

Keith Tkachuk offers experience, grit and offence and considering the St. Louis Blues struggles this season, Tkachuk is once again a trade target.

Washington's Michael Nylander has two years remaining on his contract and he eats up 4.8 million in cap space, so he's a tough sell. But for a team like the Vancouver Canucks eager to add some offence late in the season, Nylander may be the answer.

Toronto has a plethora of players considered to be in play and Nik Antropov is among those most talked about. If the Leafs are offered a draft pick, or suitable prospect, they'll trade him rather than try and negotiate an extension.

Tomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina have no-trade clauses.  However, as the deadline approaches teams will call and if Brian Burke gets what he's looking for both Toronto defensemen will have a decision to make.

Pittsburgh defenseman Ryan Whitney's name is making the rounds. Pens GM Ray Shero may use Whitney to lure a top line forward for a late-season charge.

This list ends with perhaps, the most coveted of the group, Florida's Jay Bouwmeester.  Bouwmeester is key to the Panthers' playoff chances, but if he chooses the open market over a contract extension before March 4th, the Panthers may not have a choice other than to throw up the for sale sign and let the bidding begin.

The National Hockey League is exactly five weeks out from the trade deadline and a steady stream of trade speculation flows on daily basis.

Darren Dreger

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