Every year there are at least one or two bigger names that get moved. That has already happened with the swap of Thomas Vanek for Matt Moulson. Judging by how both teams have been trending, I think both of them will be moved again. Buffalo is looking for more picks and young talent. On the other hand, if the Islanders can't get Vanek locked up by the deadline and they aren't in playoff contention, there's no way Garth Snow can risk losing Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, and a 1st and 2nd round pick, respectively. Other well known forwards I can see moving are Mike Cammalleri, Marian Gaborik, Ray Whitney, Ales Hemsky, Brad Boyes, Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy, Milan Michalek and Dany Heatley. Whitney and Jagr will go to playoff teams (if they're not contending) and Cammalleri and Boyes will be moved for prospects and picks. Gaborik will find himself with a team like Detroit for added playoff scoring punch. If the Wild decide to move him, they may find a team fighting for a playoff spot to take Heatley. Maybe Ottawa takes another crack at him.
Defensively, there aren't a lot of big names out there. Nick Schultz and Kimmo Timonen headline what is likely to be a thin crop of talent. Minnesota may be in the market for defensive depth and may look to the past at Nick Schultz. Timonen will likely be part of a bigger package earlier in the season or moved at the deadline to the highest bidder if the Flyers can't get it turned around. They're showing signs of life, but the last three games isn't enough to pull them into contention.
There are some big goaltending names who may be available. Anaheim is in the best position to make a deal with Jonas Hiller's contract coming due and the rise of Viktor Fasth, Frederik Andersen and John Gibson. Credit to Ken Hill from LastWordonSports.com for suggesting Hiller would be a good fit for Nashville while they wait for Pekka Rinne to return. Hiller is the easiest of the big names to move between him, Ryan Miller and Martin Brodeur. Miller can submit a list of eight teams he can't be dealt to, which is hurting Buffalo's opportunity to move him right now. They should try to move him as soon as possible since he's being peppered in the Sabres goal and every game they keep him, they risk his injury and thus losing him for nothing. Can the addition of Ted Nolan entice him to stay around? Does Buffalo want him to stay around? It's going to be a very telling season in Buffalo. I believe Lou Lamoriello has too much respect for Martin Broduer to let him finish possibly his last season on a non-playoff team. Could he be had? I'm not counting the Devils out just yet, but if they are out of it around the deadline, I believe Chicago may come calling. Remember, when he was an unrestricted free agent in July of 2012, there were rumors Brodeur was considering an offer from the Hawks. Depending on what happens with Semyon Varlarmov, could you imagine Brodeur and Roy teaming up for the Avs? Either way, they will try to fit him on a playoff team that has a legitimate use for him. Last and least, there is Ray Emery. He's a bit of a maniac, but could be a solid backup for a playoff team. Again, Chicago?
Of course there are other names out there. The Oilers and Flyers have been linked for weeks already and there is no doubt that other names will come into the fold as the season goes on. The rest of this season will be us keeping an eye on the Yakupov talks and waiting to see if Paul Holmgren blows up the Flyers...again. Until then, it's fun to suggest and guess, but here's hoping that your favorite team makes the right deal!
Let me hear about where you think some of these guys are headed and we can revisit your guesses as the season goes on. Either post here on the article or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org