NHL trade rumors 2014: Rumblings increase as Olympic break nears

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the 2014 NHL trade deadline will be quiet, but that hasn't stopped the rumors from being loud. Here's a dose of what's being talked about around the league.

There are two trade deadlines in the NHL this season, as the league will initiate a roster freeze on Feb. 7 in conjunction with the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The official trade deadline comes at 3 p.m. ET on March 5, which is only 10 days after the Sochi freeze is lifted and gives NHL managers limited time to deal.

This has created increased speculation about pre-Olympic trade activity and permeated Twitter as rumblings turned into rumor before degrading to ruin. Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller was a popular name, because he is one of a handful of players that includes Matt Moulson, Thomas Vanek and Mike Cammalleri as likely trade candidates.

This means you're probably gonna be seeing a lot of random crap being thrown against the wall. Here's a primer for where we're at as of Tuesday:

The Usual Suspects

- Miller is the most intriguing name on the market, as he is having a fantastic season and the Sabres are not. He is 31 games away from unrestricted free agency and is getting older. The chances that he sticks around for a complete rebuild in Buffalo are not good. Of course, the goaltending market matches in kind, as few playoff contenders are looking for a starting goalie. St. Louis and Minnesota have been floated as possibilities.

- Buffalo dealt Vanek for Moulson earlier this year and the possibility remains that both players could be on the move again. Vanek ended up with the Islanders and has expressed that he would be open to re-signing with the team, but isn't willing to do so at this time. Moulson made similar statements about the Sabres. Both players are unrestricted free agents and many have identified them as Grade-A rentals.

- Cammalleri is also an unrestricted free agent this summer and has engaged in contract talks with the Calgary Flames. However, nothing is done and the Flames are looking to rebuild their roster. Dealing Cammalleri to a contending team would be a step in that direction.

New names on the scene

The Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens reportedly engaged in a proposal that involved Rene Bourque going to Colorado in exchange for P.A. Parenteau. Reports are conflicting, as TVA states Montreal rejected that trade, while RDS reports Colorado turned down the trade. Regardless, Parenteau is believed to be on the trade block and was a healthy scratch on Monday, which only fueled speculation. Head coach Patrick Roy stated the team's upcoming schedule and Parenteau's recent knee injury were factors in his sitting Monday night.

Thomas stays

The Sabres have one fewer competitor in the goalie market, at least, according to Panthers general manager Dale Tallon, via ESPN's Craig Custance. Tallon stated that the team has no intention to trade goalie Tim Thomas unless Thomas asks to be moved. Thomas is playing out a one-year contract and has a no-movement clause. He hasn't decided whether he would like to be traded yet.

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