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Trade Possibilities Remain

We are now less than a week away from the start of the unrestricted free agent signing period. While most fans are concentrating on talent that will be available on that day, it appears that a fair number of defensemen are being shopped for cap reasons.

For example, the latest chatter is that Scott Neidermayer is returning and the Ducks don't have room for three $6 million defensemen under the cap with Perry to re-sign. So that suggests that Matheiu Schneider (who has one year left on his $5.6 million) would be moved.

Another D that is probably out there is Pavel Kubina by the re-building Maple Leafs, although they are reportedly not going to give him away.

There remain persistent rumors that Bouwmeester wants out of Florida but even if that were true I have a very hard time believing the Panthers would trade him within the division.

As I've mentioned before the Red Wings are about to have 10 defensemen under contract and they plan to carry only 8 during the season which means somebody is likely to be traded if Brad Stuart and Chelios both re-sign in Detroit.

Then of course there is talk that the Sharks are allowing four Eastern Conference teams to talk to Brian Campbell's agent before the deadline in hopes of working a sign and trade deal.

Lastly, there is the rumor that the Leafs would love to move Bryan McCabe and the Thrashers were interested last season (when their defense was terrible). Off the top of my head I'd be very concerned about McCabe turning into Alexei Zhitnik 2.0 an aging veteran with a big contract who isn't producing that much on the ice.