The April 3rd NHL trade deadline may be more than a month away, but there are some rumored deals that just need to go down as soon as possible.
With a quarter of the NHL season in the books, we have a pretty good idea of who the real contenders are and who needs to make some moves to get in the race. We also have a fairly active rumor mill involving some trades that could be in the works across the league.
So which teams need to pull the trigger on some big moves?
Here are a few.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to a 10-5 start to the season and have more than enough star power to carry them deep into the playoffs. If they want to be a true contender for the Stanley Cup this season, they need to make one more move to put them over the top.
With plenty of young talent to deal away, a move for a veteran winger to play alongside Evgeni Malkin on the second line would make the Pens one of the most dangerous and deep teams in the league.
According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, the Pens could be interested in making a deal for either Pierre-Marc Bouchard or Devin Setoguchi.
If Russo's speculation is true, this is a deal that the Penguins should move on. Both Bouchard and Setoguchi have struggled with the Wild which presents Pittsburgh with an opportunity to buy low.
Put either of those wings with Malkin and they'll be back to their high-scoring ways.
The Calgary Flames are one of the few teams in the league that appear to be completely out of the playoff hunt already.
One reason for the Flames struggles have been the general lack of production from star winger Jarome Iginla.
Former teammate Rhett Warrener told Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun that now is the time for the Flames to trade away Iginla.
Iginla has long been the centerpiece of the Flames franchise but he's really lost his groove in Calgary and it's time that the two split ways. Despite the funk, there should be a very strong market for Iginla should he hit the market.
As Warrener points out, the Flames need to ship Iginla to a contender while he still has some value. The 35-year-old winger could be a huge addition for a team in desperate need of scoring and could bring some young talent or draft picks to Calgary.
Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly is sure to be the biggest name in the rumor mill until something happens with the 22-year-old.
He's set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season and the Avalanche are unlikely to re-sign him to a deal before he hits the market (h/t TSN.ca).
Ideally, the Avalanche would love to get a king's ransom for the star center, but they may have to be willing to negotiate to get a deal done. They have a valuable asset in O'Reilly, but they aren't in a position to compete this season.
The last thing they want to do is to let O'Reilly walk away for nothing.
The Av's have to find a way to get the best possible deal for O'Reilly while making sure they secure pieces in a deal that will help them build for the future.
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