With the emphasis on off-the-field entertainment growing with each passing year, leagues around North America have found their television niche in one way or another.
The NFL has nearly perfected the hype train they send off every February, with the NBA being a close second. The same goes for events like the NFL Combine or the various fantasy All-Star Drafts conducted over the past couple of seasons.
When it comes to trade deadlines, though, nobody does it like the National Hockey League.
Each year, months of speculation builds up to one glorious 8-10 hour TV special involving an excessive number of panelists, trades breaking every five minutes, and a nerve-racking wait to the clock striking 3:00 PM, where more deals trickle through at the last minute.
This season the trade deadline will most likely be lacking the star power of years past. Tradecentre 2014 (the term coined by TSN for the big day) featured big names like Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Ryan Miller, Marian Gaborik and Martin St. Louis. Tradecentre 2015 will lack the starpower of last season's deadline, but the anticipation and speculation leading up to the big day will certainly match that of last year - if not exceed it.
While teams won't be able to load up on big-time talent - barring an unforeseen blockbuster - they will be able to add some significant pieces for a playoff run. With the "sellers" and "buyers" mostly established already (even though we're about three weeks away from March 2nd), players around the league are preparing to ship off from an underperforming team to a playoff contender - or cringing that they might be the piece to lure a rental from a bottom-feeding team. The following names represent the former: the players who are most likely to be moved on Deadline Day.
15 Curtis Glencross, Calgary Flames
Glencross, who's had a decent season for the Flames so far, looks like he'll be on the move come Trade Deadline Day. He recently admitted, according to the Calgary Sun, that he has submitted a list of places he'd like to be traded to. The 32-year-old left winger is in the last year of his contract, and although the Flames are hovering around the playoffs, management is smart enough to realize that this team is not ready for showtime and will try to get some assets in exchange for the solid left winger.
14 Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs
13 Zbynek Michalek, Phoenix Coyotes
12 Olli Jokinen, Toronto Maple Leafs
11 Chris Neil, Ottawa Senators
10 Chris Stewart, Buffalo Sabres
9 Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers
8 Erik Cole, Dallas Stars
7 Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets
Although he's only going to be an RFA at the end of the season, Atkinson's name keeps popping up in trade rumors. The streaky right winger broke the twenty goal plateau a season ago and is on pace to break that mark again (barring any health issues). Thanks to nearly a million man games lost for the Blue Jackets this season, they sit firmly outside of a playoff spot and it's rumored that the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalance are pondering a move for the young sniper. It'll take a nice package to pry him out of Colombus as he's an RFA and the Jackets still would have control of him past this season.
6 Mike Green, Washington Capitals
Mike Green is perhaps the most intruiging name on this list. Once a perennial Norris contender, Green has fallen off in Washington and has had to take a back seat to John Carlson and Karl Alzner. No one is going to confuse Green for Drew Doughty or Shea Weber, but his offensive abilities cannot be ignored. A good defensive team would be wise to add Green on their backend to have some extra firepower during a long playoff run.
The Detroit Red Wings come to mind as a team that could reap huge benefits by adding Green. Imagine a powerplay that had Green, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Nyquist and Kronwall? Scary stuff.
5 Michael Ryder, New Jersey Devils
4 Ryan O'Reilly, Colorado Avalanche
3 Jeff Petry, Edmonton Oilers
Leave it to the Oilers to weirdly handle this situation, as they've done with every other situation they've had over the last few years. They have one quality defender on their roster and that's Jeff Petry, yet they didn't try to extend him for the longest time, according to The Edmonton Journal. According to Dreger, they've recently reached out, but it's likely too late for them. Petry is an UFA at the end of the year and likely wants to move to a contender to augment his value. The most likely destination appears to be Montreal, who currently have two injured regular defenders and a hobbled P.K. Subban.
2 Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes
1 Alexander Semin, Carolina Hurricanes
He may be the most talented player on this list. At the same time, he may be the most inconsistent and frustrating. This is a guy that's scored more than 30 goals three times and even cracked the 40 goal mark once. Here's the major problem: he's in the second year of a five year deal that pays him $7 million a year. Yikes. Apparently Carolina is willing to pay a huge chunk of that salary and there might be some lower budget teams that would love his huge cap hit and the fact that they wouldn't have to pay most of it.
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