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Canada keeps a close watch on NHL trades as deadline nears

NHL teams are preparing for the league's trading deadline today ?? Shanghai time ?? with hockey crazy Canadians expected to follow the furious dealing more closely than fans in the US.

Canada's three all-sport television networks will offer live coverage with detailed analysis of each transaction.

The final 24 hours have produced a record 25 deals in each of the last three years with some general managers gunning for a Stanley Cup place and others dumping players for draft choices and prospects.

"The notion that you're going to add to your team and hope you win a (playoff) round, the math defies that," Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke said during a conference call to discuss the deadline.

"But the human element is there's that optimism we all share, that belief we're missing that one piece. So we all get sucked in. We all make poor decisions and brilliant decisions. It's an awful day, it's an exciting day, it's a day full of magic and a day full of very poor decision making."

Plenty of marquee names are linked with moves including a trio of all-star defensemen, Anaheim Ducks Hart and Norris trophy winner Chris Pronger, Florida Panthers Jay Bouwmeester and Toronto's Tomas Kaberle.

There is speculation that Tampa Bay Lightning's three highest scorers, captain Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Mark Recchi, could be traded while Maple Leafs manager Burke said he is willing to let players go as he seeks to rebuild the NHL's richest franchise.

Stanley Cup champions Detroit Red Wings could be in the market for a netminder while Eastern conference leaders Boston Bruins are also looking to add a player.

"We're going to try (to make a trade)," said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. "Last year we looked at some deals and we decided they weren't worth messing with the chemistry. That certainly will be in the equation this year.

"I would like to add a couple things if I can."


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