NHL trade targets with long-term value

The Vancouver Canucks would want more than prospects and picks for forward Ryan Kesler.

Five other players, whose contracts extend beyond this season, have been mentioned around the league in trade speculation. Their acquisition would be for both the long run and short run.

Ryan Kesler (Vancouver Canucks): Although the Canucks are open to trading the beastly No. 2 center, it might not happen before Wednesday. They are looking for more than draft picks and prospects. These kind of trades are difficult to make in-season, especially when contenders are involved.

Christian Ehrhoff (Buffalo Sabres): Ehrhoff’s contract includes a limited no-trade clause. He can veto a trade to eight teams, and the Sabres recently asked him to submit his list. Ehrhoff, 31, has seven seasons remaining on a contract with a $4 million cap hit. But his contract was front-loaded, and a team will owe him only $18 million over the remaining years. He is a noteworthy puck-moving defenseman averaging more than 24 minutes a game. The Sabres won’t give him away. They want a hefty return.

Chris Stewart (Sabres): The Sabres acquired him Friday, and he could be elsewhere by Wednesday. He was an asset they acquired with the idea that they could move him to a team looking for scoring.

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Jake Gardiner (Toronto Maple Leafs): He has not been a comfortable fit in Randy Carlyle’s coaching style. However, his skating makes him attractive as a tradable commodity. If the Maple Leafs could get a line on a blue-chip defenseman, Gardiner could be one of the pieces they move to get it done.

Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning): Despite reports that St. Louis asked for a trade, it’s difficult to imagine that the Lightning would move him before Wednesday. The Lightning are a much-improved playoff team, and St. Louis is one of the team’s best offensive players. If the Lightning are going to move him, it would make more sense to do it in the offseason, probably at the NHL draft.