Deal or no deal?

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

Five players likely to move by Thursday afternoon's NHL trade deadline:

MIKA NORONEN, G, BUFFALO

The Sabres let all 29 general managers know last week that Noronen had agreed to a conditioning stint in Rochester. Noronen is stuck behind Ryan Miller and Martin Biron, but with the Sabres sold on Miller and overpricing Biron, the young Finn is highly sought after.

DWAYNE ROLOSON, G, MINNESOTA

Capable goalie could be a playoff stop-gap and is unrestricted. Ottawa and New Jersey have been mentioned as teams that could use Rollie the Goalie for insurance purposes. Wild are also shopping defenceman Filip Kuba, but he doesn't seem interested in changing addresses.

BRENDAN WITT, D, WASHINGTON

This time we mean it. Witt has assurances he finally will be dealt and kept his part of the bargain by playing well all year for the lowly Caps. But GM George McPhee is likely going to wait until 2:59 p.m. Thursday to get the best price.

ERIC WEINRICH, D, ST. LOUIS

An oldie but a goodie. Keith Tkachuk has long been thought of as the Blues' ace on trade day, but the 39-year-old Weinrich has been coveted a long time by old University of Maine buddy Dave Nonis in Vancouver, is a sentimental favourite of Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey and could also go to L.A. But only a fourth or fifth round pick would change hands.

OLLI JOKINEN, F, FLORIDA PANTHERS

The Panthers opted for a one-year deal on this soon-to-be unrestricted free agent and are now up to $2 million US per year apart in a long-term pact. This would be a long-term commitment for any team, but he could make a huge impact with a contender.

Four teams likely to make a deal on or before the trading deadline:

EDMONTON OILERS

Unless Ty Conklin turns into Grant Fuhr tonight against Dallas, the Oilers will go for a goaltender. Curtis Joseph, Noronen and Ed Belfour will be considered.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

Pierre Lacroix is always good for a deadline deal, but now has extra impetus with Marek Svatos' shoulder injury, though it's not thought to be as serious as currently shelved defenceman Ossi Vaananen and forward Steve Konowalchuk.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Like the Avs, a spate of injuries, particularly to defencemen, has upset the apple cart. Mattias Ohlund will be back next week, but Sami Salo and Ed Jovanovski are out until around April 1. An intriguing Todd Bertuzzi to Philadelphia rumour is popping up.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

The defending champs had concerns about defensive depth before this week and now more goaltending questions with John Grahame have arisen. They called up Darren Reid and Nick Tarnasky yesterday to give them more bite, but a trade for more muscle is a possibility.


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