Updated Jan. 31
If you didn't have your fill of good times during the All-Star break, take heart. Now the fun really begins.
|Ottawa's Chris Phillips (right) could be trade bait. (Getty Images)|
What seems certain at this point is that there will be more teams looking to buy than sell, which is probably good news for those clearly looking to the future. Most notable among the latter group are the Ottawa Senators, whose general manager Bryan Murray has made it clear he's open for business.
Ottawa's owner has indicated that Murray could be in a different role next season, but before he's eased out, the GM will try to blow up a lineup that clearly needs major changes. Several veteran Ottawa players are likely to draw interest from contenders, including defensemen Chris Phillips, and forwards Jarkko Ruutu, Mike Fisher and maybe even Alex Kovalev.
Another team with vultures circling is the Florida Panthers, who are still trying to convince themselves a 10th consecutive playoff miss is avoidable. In the meantime though, they will field inquiries about their most attractive commodities, goaltender Tomas Vokoun, defenseman Bryan McCabe and forwards Cory Stillman and Stephen Weiss.
And don't be surprised if Toronto GM Brian Burke gets in on the action as well, with Tomas Kaberle (if he is willing to waive his no-trade clause), Francois Beauchemin and goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere among the best cards he has to deal. The problem is finding someone to play with.
The rankings at the All-Star break: