Every year the NHL provides us with a great day of television as the trade deadline approaches. The familiar face of the boys from TSN tell us about the goings on in the NHL and who’s on the move. This year will most likely be no different as there are many teams on the bubble that could use some fine tuning. With this draft being the year of lafreniere, don’t expect too many 1st round picks being thrown around unless it’s for a quality player. The question now becomes which teams are buyers and sellers?
First we’ll start by looking at the sellers, they are easier to predict and are already out of the race.
Everyone was aware that the Sens were going to be one of the bottom feeders and they are, but as a team in a full rebuild they have some legitimately useful players. With the resurgence of Anders Nilsson’s career and Marcus Hogberg finding a place in the NHL, the sens could be looking to find Craig Anderson a home with playoff hopes. A determination also needs to be made on the future of J.G Pageau and whether he fits into future plans or if they’re moving on. The same goes for Chris Tierney. Players like Tyler Ennis, Artem Anisimov, and Ron Hainsey could all have a market as rentals. The sens would love to get another 1st and if they’re trading a centre like Pageau, they could get one.
The core is aging and they are not the ducks of old, that’s for sure. The ducks are apparently a team with cap and they’re looking to flex that. With a star goalie, their fates can be changing all the time and could be contending again soon. Look for them to take on players with cap and get some picks back in return. Many of their players are aging or young enough to be part of their rebuild so who knows if they’ll be doing legitimate selling, but they can stock up on prospects and picks for this year.
Who could have seen the depreciation of the kings happen so fast. It’s odd that a team with a #1 center and #1 defenceman have had such a fall from grace, but yet here they are. The Kings were bad last year and are the same this year. They will definitely be selling off players to improve their future and the first name to go will be Tyler Toffoli. It always surprises me to see Toffoli’s name as he is a top 6 forward who can score, but he jsut doesn’t fit into their plans. They’ll want at least a 1st for his services. Alec Martinez is another name you could expect to see being moved as well. A defenceman with his cap and ability won’t be cheap either.
Another team that last decade had a few Stanley cups and is now a basement dweller. They have 20 million in cap tied up with 2 players and one of them has been underperforming for much of that contract. They have pieces that could intrigue many around the league, but its whether the blackhawks are ready to move on from them yet. The Reclamation project of Brandon Saad has gone about as well as you would expect when Panarin goes the other way. A change of scenery would do him good and teams can see if he can put up goals for them like he has in the past. Names like Gustafsson, Caggiula, and Maatta could be players that could bring value back.
Now let’s look at teams that are making a playoff push and are missing a piece or two.
Toronto Maple Leafs
It was a rough day for the Leafs finding out Morgan Reilly would be out for the next 8 weeks. With their defence being pretty questionable as it is, they just became interested in acquiring a defenceman. Don’t be surprised to see if they try to acquire a legitimate backup goalie either as Hutchinson is as inconsistent as they come. They do have prospects and picks that could help bring in some players, but they will have to be mindful of their cap situation.
Here is another team that could really use some secondary scoring. Edmonton has a great trade chip in Jesse Puljujarvi as he will not play for Edmonton but has some pretty decent value as a former 3rd overall pick. Rebuilding teams will look at that as reclamation project and swap their roster player for the possibility of a star. Look for them to acquire a winger (see Tyler Ennis). Also as a team who could use wins from their back end, their goaltending could use a real upgrade. This is a team that should be desperate to make the playoffs considering how close they are to them.
This was a team that last year was relatively stacked on defence and now suddenly it is really bad with the departures of Trouba, Myers, and Byfuglien. The Jets could desperately use an upgrade on D and there are a few teams around the league that could be ready to shop some. Ottawa has some roster D-men who vary in skill that could definitely help with their playoff push. Same goes for LA, Chicago, even New Jersey? If the Devils retain salary, do you think Subban could thrive on a team like the Jets? Who’s to say.
Florida just can’t seem to figure it out. Last year they needed a goalie to contend, now they have one and he struggles. They are underachieving but they could also use a save here and there and their back up goalie situation is pretty bad. They should be making a move for a legit backup who can push Bob for that #1. Craig Anderson comes to mind here as he lives in Florida most of the time and with his expiring contract could come in and steady the helm a bit for the panthers when Bob has nights off. Otherwise coach Q already looks a little rough in his first year of a big deal.