Flyers and Rangers appear ready to shake things up with a big trade

A month into the season, the NHL’s trade market might finally be ready to loosen up.

The chatter amongst NHL executives has increased as teams head toward the pivotal 20-game mark and those who were expected to be contenders limp out with the label pretender written all over them if they don’t get their act together.

The decision by the Philadelphia Flyers to acquire Steve Downie from the Avalanche for Maxime Talbot could be the tip of the iceberg. Never before have so many cap teams started off so poorly which means something may have to give.

The thinking process amongst GMs is a change (even just a minor one) may shake up the team enough to get them out of the doldrums.

So, who may be next? Not every team can fire its coach.

Coming off an ugly 7-0 loss to Washington Friday, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren (if he isn’t replaced by Ron Hextall) is willing to discuss anybody on his roster — including the big names — but Philly isn’t alone.

We’re hearing the Rangers are so desperate for help they might be prepared to move as well. Blueliner Michael Del Zotto, who has dramatically regressed and underperformed, is even among the names being discussed.

Stay tuned, folks, this could get really interesting.