Trade speculation and rumors are bigger than ever in 2011. If one searches the Internet on the topic, you can find everything from credible, legitimate information to pure, unadulterated nonsense. It can get a bit confusing to decide what you want to put stock in to and what is pure silliness.
For example, earlier this offseason there were plenty of rumors that Jeff Carter or Mike Richards would be dealt from the Philadelphia Flyers. In early May, Sam Carchidi was saying "not yet" to the question of whether there was any truth to the rumors that either player could be moved.
By the NHL draft, both players were moved.
Conventional wisdom would have speculated that if one were to be traded, the other would stay put.
That is the type of confusion you deal with when wading through rumors and speculation.
Then there is the other end of the spectrum. TampaBay.com mentioned the widespread "rumor" that the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins would swap Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin and an unknown commodity (assumed to be "????—Profit" from the "Gnomes" episode of South Park).
So with that in mind, I venture into the ever-dangerous territory of assessing the odds that the top rumored (or speculated) players will actually be traded. This is tricky, because in case you cannot tell, I am not an NHL insider.
Based on that alone, I would hope that you do not get too worked up about the list that follows. If you think someone is or is not more likely to be moved than I do, leave a comment and we can have a good old fashioned chat on the "Interwebs."