NHL Trade Rumors: Buzz from Around League as 2017 Deadline Approaches

Kevin Shattenkirk could be traded by the St. Louis Blues.Billy Hurst/Associated Press

With the NHL trade deadline in sight on March 1, expect action to heat up in the next few days as teams try to upgrade their rosters in attempts to make runs at the Stanley Cup or at least spots in the postseason.

The action is usually fast and furious when the deadline hits, but before those deals are made, general managers have to identify the players who are available and determine if they fit their teams' needs. Then, a deal that benefits both sides—or at least one that gives that appearance—has to be consummated.

Blockbuster trades are not usually on the docket for the trade deadline. Most teams are interested in finding good players who will strengthen a weakness or enhance a strength.

One of the players who could fill a key need is St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. While he is not a superstar, he is a top-four defenseman, and the reason the Blues are willing to make him available at this point is that he is slated to be a free agent this summer.

Rather than simply lose Shattenkirk to another team that presents him with a huge contract, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is willing to trade him as an end-of-season rental, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Shattenkirk, 28, should be in line for a big payday in the offseason, as he is still in the prime of his career. Armstrong is hoping that a number of teams will be vying for his services as a right-handed defenseman. Shattenkirk has scored 11 goals and grabbed 31 assists this season, and he appears certain to blow past his career high of 45 points.

According to NHL Network insider Elliotte Friedman (h/t Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports), the Arizona Coyotes had permission to talk to Shattenkirk earlier this season, but a deal could not be worked out. 

Rutherford's report indicated that the Tampa Bay Lightning were another potential trading partner, but that deal did not get completed, either.

Jannik Hansen /Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The Vancouver Canucks are on the outside of the playoff structure once again this season, and general manager Jim Benning is apparently in sell mode with at least some of his team's talent.

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reported that Canucks forward Jannik Hansen could be available when he made a recent appearance on TSN Vancouver.

Hansen is a hard-working and aggressive forward who can handle tough play in the corners. However, he is a blue-collar player, as he has scored six goals and seven assists in 27 games this season. He does have a plus-two rating, but he is not likely to go on a hot streak and lead his team to the playoffs.

Teams that need a third-line right wing might give Hansen consideration.

Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman should also be available, according to Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Herald

Wideman, 33, has a no-trade clause, but he is willing to waive it if it will help the Flames and the team that acquires him.

Wideman has three goals and 13 assists this season. He has been an offensive force in the past but has slowed down this season and lost some of his effectiveness. 

Calgary general manager Brad Treliving recently signed defenseman Matt Bartkowski and also acquired Michael Stone, so that leaves Wideman as the team's seventh defenseman. That surplus means that he could find himself moving out of town if the Flames can find a willing dance partner.

Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2694879-nhl-trade-rumors-buzz-from-around-league-as-2017-deadline-approaches

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