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2010 NHL Entry Draft: Columbus shopping 4th pick, Ribeiro trade still likely

With news that Tim Thomas and Jason Spezza are looking less likely to be traded, the number of big moves we were expecting before (or after) the draft is dwindling. Teams are locking up their potential free agents and the big names that might have been traded appear to be staying put -- for now.

So what is left out there that we could see happen before, and during, tonight’s draft?

- It appears that Kris Versteeg is still being made available for trade by the Blackhawks, but that Chicago doesn’t appear in dire need of trading the winger. With the blockbuster trade with Atlanta, the Hawks gave themselves some needed space under the cap -- although that’s just $6 million under with just 13 players under contract. We’re still expecting some sort of move by the Hawks to further alleviate their salary issues, but it doesn’t seem that Versteeg will be the one to go.

There’s also been talk that Patrick Sharp isn’t going anywhere either. So who knows exactly what the Blackhawks have planned as far as their roster goes, but for now it seems this team is going to look just a bit different a few months after winning the Stanley Cup.

- There are a number of first round picks being made available to be traded, which is either a sign that team’s aren’t happy with the first round depth this year or are more concerned with getting maximum value out of the draft. It’s been known for a while that Columbus is shopping the 4th overall pick, while Atlanta (#8) and Florida (#15) are also looking to trade down as well. Columbus will want a high caliber, NHL-ready player for that fourth pick as whichever team slides into that spot will have a choice at a prime defensive prospect.

- I’m still getting word that a Mike Riberio trade is very likely, although there have yet to be any rumblings of anything resembling a legitimate offer for the center. With Spezza and Marleau off the market, Ribeiro’s value via trade has significantly risen and the Stars could be poised to get a handsome return, although GM Joe Nieuwendyk won’t hesitate to keep the center if the offers aren’t as high as he’d like.