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As we approach the midway point of the 2009-10 season in the National Hockey League, many questions remain unanswered.
Which teams are serious about playoff contention? Who needs a massive upgrade to make the push from a bubble team? Which team should sell off the year and attempt a mini-rebuild?
Those are some thoughts circulating the League as we take a look at the state of all teams around the NHL. Now, when perusing through certain rosters some names that could bring in returns which would benefit a team in need of depth.
Today, we look at the defensemen around the NHL likely to be moved by the March 3rd, 2010 trade deadline. As a side note, be sure to tune into “The Hockey Guys” on deadline day as there will be an all day live event with a live chat room for discussion on all the rumors and news as it breaks in the NHL.
The latest from Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun discusses the injury to Daniel Alfredsson as well as the need to replace his production in the lineup. After sustaining a hit from Craig Adams on Wednesday, the Senators captain expects to miss a few weeks with a bum shoulder. The 37-year-old joins pivot Jason Spezza and wing Nick Foligno in the press box as they continue to recover from their own ailments while Chris Neil, Shean Donovan and Pascal Leclaire all returned to the lineup a mere three days ago.
Although center Josh Hennessy initially gets a call up, the rookie definitely is not and will not be the solution. If this team is to stay within the playoff picture they must make a move quickly and patch the gaping hole in their top six.
Garrioch may be onto something for once with his article. The controversial reporter discusses the merits of trading for Christopher Higgins or Alexander Frolov, both impending free agents after the season.
Larry Brooks of The New York Post discusses the shortcomings on the current Rangers roster. The controversial reporter notes that the pieces that may have value are the same that the team wants to keep.
Most importantly he discusses a trade proposal supposedly between GM Glen Sather and former assistant and current Coyotes GM Don Maloney. Sather would send AHL defenseman and promising defensive prospect Bobby Sanguinetti for struggling forward Peter Mueller.
Although the former 8th overall pick managed a measly six points in his first 26 games it will take more to land him. Still young at 21 years of age, Mueller averaged 48 points through his first two seasons. Regardless of his slump he remains a vital part of a young Coyotes core and probably would not be moved until the trade deadline if at all.
According to the Web Staff over at Sportsnet, the Montreal Canadiens are actively shopping Jaroslav Halak (H/T to crashthecrease.com).
The 24-year-old netminder is 6-4-0 in 11 games, including an impressive 46 save effort against the Ottawa Senators. Earlier in the year the Czech native amassed a four game win streak, an feat when you consider how injury riddled and weak the Montreal defense has been.
A quick look around the league shows a handful of teams needing depth between the pipes. The Flyers lost starter Ray Emery for six weeks leaving their team to the fate of Brian Boucher. The Oilers may have to rely on Jeff Deslauriers longer than they would like while Nikolai Khabibulin sits at home with a bad back. Pascal Leclaire remains on the sidelines as he watches Brian Elliot inconsistently block pucks.
Perhaps the most interesting rumor circulating involves Darren Helm and the Red Wings. As earlier whispered here. Does Halak really offer an upgrade to Jimmy Howard or the legendary Chris Osgood?
A quick look says no.