The big names that are associated with the Leafs right now are F. Beauchemin and K. Versteeg
Beauchemin is $3.8
Versteeg is $3.1
The Leafs have also been very vocal about taking on salary when it seems like it might make sense. There are a few major players that teams are obviously trying to get off their rosters / payrolls, being namely Sheldon Souray and Wade Redden. Do I think the Oilers will deal with Burke? No. [Would they deal with assistant GM Claude Loiselle, SVP of hockey operations Dave Nonis or VP of hockey operations Dave Poulin instead? I think they might.]
Do I think the Rangers would come up with a fancy package to take Kaberle in exchange for Redden? I do! They're crazy enough to do it - plus they'd have to move some youngsters and picks to make the deal fit under their cap. But I don't know necessarily that Kaberle is going to waive his no-trade clause to go anywhere, though I've heard
Will Kaberle move?
In Toronto, Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke expects to hear from defenceman Tomas Kaberle’s agent, Rick Curran, this week about a decision on the player’s no-move clause in his contract. If Kaberle finally decides he is ready to accept a trade, Burke will get a list of acceptable teams, which is expected to have just two or three Eastern Conference teams on it thanks to Kaberle’s aversion to leaving Toronto.Kaberle's list includes New York, Boston, Montreal and Washington, according to the list. That link also feels that F. Beauchemin for D. Setoguchi is a positive trade for everyone involved.
The rumormill has it that the Blue Jackets are the most likely to make a big more to add depth to their team with only Canadian Junior super-star Ryan Johanson (sp?), RJ Umberger and Nash.
I'm still confident that the Red Wings wouldn't be able to move enough salary out of Detroit (all of their contracts are solid and well valued - they aren't interested in shedding a bad contract) to bring on the big $6 m Giguere contract. Although, they might have banked enough $ banked from their injuries this season to carry it? I'm not sure. I wouldn't expect Giggy to head to Motown.
All of that aside - some players with big salaries that might move
NJ - P. Elias at $6
NYR - Redden
PHI - (I'd take Briere in a heartbeat, but I don't think they're moving him for any reason) - though they're looking to move somebody because they've got to resign some big rising stars, like Leino soon. If they move Briere, expect it over the summer, I think.
BUF - C. Rivet (they aren't using him, for whatever reason)
TBY - M. Ohlund is a $3.8 m 5/6 defenceman. They might want to move him.
CLB - M. Commodore is a $3.8 m 5/6 defenseman as well.
NSH - D. Legwand is a $4.5 m third line centre right now. Might want to move him?
MIN - C. Barker is a $3.1 m 5th defenseman, doesn't seem imperative, though.
ANA - L. Visnovski is a $5.6 m 6th defenseman. The Ducks might want to shed that salary.
So, there are some teams that might be looking to unload some expensive players to save some cash by year end, OR dump salary so they can make a bigger move closer to the deadline.
Here's my big suggestion: I think Vancouver could really use Kris Versteeg, and if they packaged Cody Hodgson straight up for Versteeg, that'd really fit both teams. Hodsgon doesn't really fit their lineup right now, he's been slow to develop due to injuries - the Leafs need a decent front line prospect, badly. Versteeg could certainly bolster Vancouver's chances by making an impact on their roster, and returning to a third line role similar to what he did with Chicago, where he had much more success than he has here in Toronto.