NHL Trade Speculation: 10 Teams That Need to Avoid Panic Trades

Kevin GoffContributor IFebruary 21, 2012

NHL Trade Speculation: 10 Teams That Need to Avoid Panic Trades

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    The trade deadline is a crucial time in the season for teams wanting to make a deep run into the playoffs.

    Teams want to make trades that will improve their team not just for the short-term, but for the long-term as well.

    This is why panic trades are so dangerous around this time of year.

    Here are some teams that need to make sure they don't fall victim to the panic trade temptation.

Colorado Avalanche

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    The Avalanche are so very close to getting back to being a legitimate playoff contender on a yearly basis, and there are some things the Avalanche could address through trades.

    However, the Avalanche should not be tempted to make a big move the same way that they did a season ago.

    In a recent piece, I explained why you shouldn't count on the Avalanche making any big moves at the deadline.

    The biggest reason not to is that the Avalanche have their core for their future in place and should not be tempted even a little bit to do anything that would jeopardize that.

    Even trading Paul Stastny, which never stops being suggested for the Avalanche, is something that would not benefit the Avalanche in the long run.

    If Colorado does opt to make a big move, then it had better be something that keeps the core in tact, doesn't sacrifice too many prospects and allows the Avalanche to hold onto at least some draft picks.

    Since doing all of those wouldn't likely be possible, making any type of big move could be considered a panic trade and could hurt the Avalanche in the long-run.

Los Angeles Kings

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    The L.A. Kings are the most enigmatic team in the league right now because there is absolutely no reason that these guys should be having as much trouble scoring as they have been.

    The Kings are loaded with talent but just can't get the puck in the net and therefore might be tempted to overspend on a guy like Rick Nash in order to try and spark the team.

    The problem with that is the price they would have to pay to get Nash.

    Nash is an elite player with a large trade value and Columbus isn't going to just send him out to Hollywood for a song, they'll want some big stuff back in return.

    A trade for somebody like Nash might get some scoring started, but it could also mess up the chemistry that the team has already built up.

    Getting rid of Dustin Penner would be a good move on their part, but there's no way Penner goes for Nash one for one.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Toronto is still in the playoff hunt as they do their best to hold on to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

    Despite their hot start, the Leafs have struggled to keep consistency throughout the year, but making a panic move wouldn't be a smart idea either.

    Toronto is third in their division and only nine points behind division leading Boston. That is not bad odds.

    Brian Burke loves to wheel and deal, but doing too much might do more to keep them out of the playoffs instead of helping them secure a spot.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    The Penguins are used to being at the top of their division in recent history, and now find themselves tied for second place.

    Without Sidney Crosby, they have still managed to be competitive though less dominant.

    The Penguins want to stay competitive and make a push to win their division, but they don't really need to make any type of desperate move.

    Pittsburgh is clearly in the playoffs and has the ability to go deep no matter what seed they end up taking.

Nashville Predators

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    With the acquisition of Hal Gill from the Montreal Canadiens, the Nashville Predators may have one of the biggest and strongest defensive cores in the NHL.

    The contract disputes between both Shea Weber and Ryan Suter and the team are well documented, but that doesn't mean that the Predators necessarily need to deal any of them.

    With this defensive core, the Predators could make a very deep run into the playoffs if Pekka Rinne is on his game.

    You could trade Suter to make sure that you get something before free agency comes around, or you could make a run at the cup and show all of the players that there is a reason to stay in Nashville.

Washington Capitals

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    The Washington Capitals find themselves in an odd position for them—they are outside the playoff picture looking in.

    They have had such a crazy season but are not far behind the Florida Panthers in the Southeast Division.

    Washington does have a couple potential trade options available to them, but they need to make sure that they aren't just trading for the sake of trading.

    They are in the hunt and don't need to make a crazy move. If the team gets hot, Florida has been inconsistent enough for them to catch.

    No need to panic in the nation's capital.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    If ever there is a team that might start to panic, it would be the Chicago Blackhawks.

    The Blackhawks have been in an absolute free-fall since the All-Star Break and have fallen out of the divisional championship picture, but are still well within the playoffs.

    Chicago might consider trying to gain a bit more depth in net, but making any type of panic trade could just make things worse for them.

    They are a championship team that just needs to regain their footing. Once they do that, they should be able to make a strong run into the playoffs.

Dallas Stars

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    Dallas is a team that not too many people expected to see a lot out of this season, especially with the loss of Brad Richards.

    They have performed very well despite the low expectations, even during a stretch when their top goalie was injured.

    Dallas is currently just outside the playoff picture but don't need to make any kind of panicky move to make a push.

    If anything, they should stand pat and just see what comes of the rest of the season. The Stars have a solid core of players that are playing very well together.

    No need to make a big change, the best days are still ahead of this group of players.

New York Islanders

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    The Islanders once again sit outside the playoff picture, but there seems to be a reason for hope for the future.

    The Islanders don't need to blow up the roster and start over, they are actually in a good spot considering where they came from.

    Their young core is starting to develop, and the team has plenty of space for offseason acquisitions.

    The main concern for the Islanders isn't making the playoffs this year, though they surely wouldn't complain if they did, it's about the big picture.

Edmonton Oilers

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    The Oilers are another team with a big picture to look forward to that is similar to the Islanders.

    While their season seems to have gone down the drain in the past couple of months, the Oilers still have a lot of good things going for them.

    They have one of the most talented and exciting core of young players in the league, and stand to get another fantastic young player in this year's draft.

    The Oilers showed that they have a lot of great potential this year, and were  even in the playoff discussion  until recently.

    With the right moves in the offseason, Edmonton could very well find themselves in a playoff spot next year.