NHL Trade Rumors: Latest About Ryan O'Reilly, Ryan Whitney and More League Buzz

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2013

Although fans around the NHL are still waiting for the trade market to heat up, the constant buzz around the league suggests it's only a matter of time before the wheeling and dealing begins. It adds some intrigue to the short season.

The entire season has taken on a sprint mentality, and that carries over to the trade market. Instead of waiting for deadline day to find the one piece to bolster their roster, teams are forced to check out the available options earlier, especially if they are lagging behind in the standings.

Let's hope general managers around the league don't keep fans waiting for much longer and start making some moves. Here's a look at some of the latest updates on players and teams to watch when it comes to the trade market.

 

Ryan O'Reilly

O'Reilly should be on the ice helping the Colorado Avalanche dig out of an early hole. Instead, a contract dispute has caused him to miss the first quarter of the season. An unwillingness to compromise led to a stalemate between the two sides.

Adrian Dater of the Denver Post states sources close to the situation have changed their tone recently and calls it a "virtual certainty" that the 22-year-old center will get traded. Any sign of hope for a new deal has seemingly evaporated.

There should be a large market if the Avs are shopping O'Reilly. Teams would love to add a versatile center that scored 55 points last season and should only continue to improve. It all comes down to the asking price, which could be sky high.

 

Ryan Whitney

Whitney is struggling to lock down a regular spot in the Edmonton Oilers' lineup after struggling out of the gate. He has just three points in 10 games and sports a minus-six rating. After scoring 32 goals in his first three NHL campaigns, he has just 13 over the last four-plus seasons.

When you put all those factors together, it shouldn't be a surprise that Whitney is becoming trade fodder. Darren Dreger of TSN reports there's interest in the defenseman, who's unhappy with his playing time, but the team isn't looking to move him.

Whitney has never played a full 82-game schedule, with injuries often holding him back. He needs to play regularly if he's ever going to rediscover the form he showed during his years with the Pittsburgh Penguins. But a move doesn't sound likely, at least for now.

 

Maple Leafs' Goaltending Situation

Toronto's goalie situation is a story that's been ongoing for awhile. James Reimer was trying to put all of those questions to rest, but a knee injury has forced him out of the lineup. That leaves backup Ben Scrivens to pick up the slack.

Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun reports the Leafs are still considering the possibility of adding another goalie to the mix. He names Jonathan Bernier, Jonas Hiller and Nikolai Khabibulin as three potential options to solidify the position.

Even though Reimer is playing well—2.31 GAA and .929 save percentage—it takes more than 10 games to decide if he can carry the Leafs over the course of an entire season. Adding another goalie would be a wise move if the price was reasonable.

 

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