Trade talk heats up as draft nears

Updated: June 23, 2010, 12:43 PM ET
By E.J. Hradek

The announcement of the 2010-11 regular-season schedule, the election of a new group of Hall of Famers (including the first women ever selected), the unfortunate oversight of another ailing candidate, the retirement of one of the greatest winners the game has ever known, a multiplayer deal, the union's decision to exercise the 5 percent inflator and extend the CBA by another year, a significant player signing and a coaching change.

Did I miss anything? (Actually, yes … the San Jose Sharks waving goodbye to longtime goalie Evgeni Nabokov.)

We can only imagine what the rest of the week will bring. The league hands out its annual awards tonight in Las Vegas before completing the trip to L.A. for the draft.

The general managers are reporting an uptick in communication with their peers. Some say it's even above and beyond the usual level of dialogue they're used to during the hectic days leading up to the draft.

With so many rumors flying around, I thought it might be a good time to give you my thoughts on five of the players we'll be chatting about in the coming days, as their names emerge in trade talks.