NHL trades begin after midnight on deadline day

NHL trade deadline day is underway, with rental players expected to move over the next several hours.

Arizona Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata, Detroit Red Wings winger Thomas Vanek and Buffalo Sabres defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson are among the top pending free agents available ahead of the 3 p.m. EST deadline. Already the Montreal Canadiens got center Steve Ott from the Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks acquired winger Jannik Hansen from the Vancouver Canucks after midnight.

The defending Western Conference-champion Sharks are gearing up for another deep playoff run. They sent the Canucks prospect Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional fourth-round pick that becomes a first-rounder if they win the Stanley Cup. General manager Doug Wilson thinks Hansen is a perfect fit for San Jose's style.

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