The countdown to the Feb. 27 trade deadline has begun. The list of top players available at the deadline is going to be fluid, but here's a look at five guys who present some of the most interesting situations for their teams.
1. Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils. The Devils are a bubble team and Parise shapes up as potentially the most in-demand free agent this summer. Hang onto him and risk losing him for nothing or keep him around for the playoff push? Hard to see the Devils parting with him, but it's a tough call.
2. Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators. Another potential UFA, he has said he's not interested in signing before the deadline. He wants to see what the Preds do in terms of adding to their team. Can a budget team like the Preds afford to lose him for nothing? Do they wind up using him to make that addition? Is that irony?
3. Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks. The Flying Finn probably doesn't want to go anywhere, but with his experience and enduring scoring touch (47 points in 50 games this year) he would be a great addition for a contending team.
4. Cory Schneider, Vancouver Canucks. He is going to be a restricted free agent in the summer, so the Canucks still have a little leverage, but he has shown he can be a No. 1 and will want that chance. Thing is, can the Canucks afford to move him with the way he's playing and Roberto Luongo's spotty playoff performances?
5. Ryan Smyth, Edmonton Oilers. It normally would be a no-brainer to move a veteran UFA on a rebuilding team, but Smyth is a guy with an emotional attachment to the City of Champions (remember when he left for the New York Islanders in 2007, a move brought to you by Kleenex?) The New York Rangers have interest.