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NHL trade deadline X factors

There have yet to be serious trade discussions regarding Sabres scorer Evander Kane. But all it takes is one phone call to change everything. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the day before the NHL trade deadline, and the best available rental center is off the market. The best available rental defenseman is off the market. The best available rental goalie is off the market. This deadline is going to need some serious help to match the excitement and pace of those in the past.

One solution would be traditional hockey trades, deals where it’s not just a player on an expiring contract being moved. Deals where good, young players with term left on their contracts are on both ends of the trade.

“That stuff doesn’t happen right now,” said an Eastern Conference executive Monday. “I think it’s wishful thinking.”

Yikes.

With so many major pieces having moved already, we’re going to need some X factors to make the final stretch of the trade deadline interesting. Here are some of the top candidates: