Tuesday's news that the Dallas Stars had traded Michael Ryder to the Montreal Canadiens was met with a healthy bit of surprise; big-name trades weren't exactly expected to start going down for at least another month.

The NHL's official trade deadline falls on April 3 but it seems as if teams are not willing to sit and wait for the official deadline to approach before making moves to address the needs the of the team. The Flyers acquired Simon Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday and almost as soon as word came down that Erik Cole was headed to Dallas, the rumor mills began to seriously heat up.

While the trade deadline coming just weeks before the end of the season, teams likely aren't willing to wait to make significant changes or additions to their team; the push for the postseason is already upon us and the pressure to keep up in the standings increases with each passing day.