Well I decided to revive the Power Poll for a special occasion: The NHL Trade Deadline.
Just a reminder that the NHL Power Poll is a weekly installment on Fridays over at MVN (Most Valuable Network). The scoring system awards two points for a win, and then adds in the differential of goals-for vs. goals against.
This week we took a look at who each team might be trading (which is for a majority of clubs because they either feature a tradeable player or are on the fringe of decided whether they're buying or selling) or in a few cases, what the team needs.
We also tossed in a few speculations just for fun.
30. New York Islanders—(-19 points, Last week: -20 points): The New York Islanders could’ve been making a few moves at the deadline, but after getting ravaged by the injury bug, it’s hard to finger who might be moved.
Both Doug Weight and Mike Sillinger had potential (being free agents this offseason) but a season-ending injury for Sillinger and a sprained MCL for Weight means the probability for a deal is low (for Sillinger there’s nothing, but Weight could go for cheap).
Richard Park was on an affordable contract up after next season, but he’s also hurt, so that leaves Bill Guerin as the stereotypical “tradeable” forward: A veteran presence on the cheap with a hunger for another Stanley Cup ring. Given the right offer, Andy Sutton could be gone as well ($3.5 million next year, then free agency).
In other “if the right offer comes along” scenarios, Yann Danis or Joey MacDonald might perk the interest of teams looking for goaltending depth, while Mark Streit's future is a bit up in the air.
29. Tampa Bay Lightning—(-1 points Last week, 2 points): Two of the biggest pieces in Tampa’s “rebuilding” project could be traded. Actually, let me rephrase that, two of the OLDEST pieces in Tampa’s rebuilding project could be traded in Gary “I get $10,000 for every game played” Roberts, and Mark Recchi.
After a huge couple of weeks of rumors, the Lightning continue to try to put the Vincent Lecavalier rumors to rest.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs—8 (Last week, 4 points): No one is safe on the Maple Leafs’ roster, not even Luke Schenn (Alright he is, but any Leafs fan will admit the thought of Brian Burke entertaining the idea of swapping Schenn for a lottery pick for even five seconds has them mumbling ‘here we go again’).
Nik Antropov, Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Dominic Moore, Matt Stajan, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Jason Blake, and almost anyone else you can think of are all “maybes” right now to go at the deadline. Toronto is potentially the most interesting team to watch this trade deadline, but remember: potential doesn’t mean results.
When the Leafs don’t win, it’s disappointing. When they don’t make trades? Well, some will be disappointed.
27. Atlanta Thrashers—10 points (Last week: 10 points): Niclas Havelid remains on the block and Ilya Kovalchuk is off it for this season.
Maybe if Bryan Little keeps up his chemistry with Kovalchuk it will not only entice Ilya to stay, but it may also prompt the Thrashers to see what kind of a market there is for someone like Vyacheslav Kozlov—a player who can put up points under the right circumstances and isn’t terribly priced with one-year, $3.85 million left for a potential 65-point player.
Then you have to wonder if Colby Armstrong will go back to Pittsburgh despite Chris Kuntiz's recent trade to the Steel City.
26. Ottawa Senators—24 points (Last week, 25 points): The Jason Spezza rumors have cooled down a bit, but if the right deal comes along Spezza could be on the first flight out of Ottawa.
Chris Neil’s name keeps popping up here and there and why shouldn’t it? Despite a recent calf-injury, Neil brings years of experience and the intangible that seems to triple in value come this time of year: sandpaper.
Word is teams are looking at Christoph Schubert, and while an extension may be in the works for Filip Kuba, if that can’t be reached he may be on his way out, while I’m sure the Sens would pay someone to take Martin Gerber off of their hands for the last three months of his contract, although he may fall victim to re-entry waivers.
25. Phoenix Coyotes—25 points (Last week, 23 points): If you hadn’t heard yet, Oli Jokinen is available.
Well that lasted all of eight months.
Rumblings out of Phoenix also indicate that Derek Morris could be had as well as Ed Jovanovski (for a fair price of course), while Ken Klee could be a name who moves to his fourth team this season.
24. Colorado Avalanche—33 points (Last week, 29 points): Ryan Smyth’s name continues to surface in the rumor well, and Ian Laperriere’s name has come up as well.
Jordan Leopold is the most likely candidate for an Avalanche trade, and it’ll be interesting to see who takes a stab at him (rumors have it that Calgary is likely to).
There’s also probably some interest in players like Brian Willsie and Tyler Arnason, but it’ll be hard for the Avs to get much quality in return.
23. Nashville Predators—34 points (Last week, 28): The biggest name coming out of Predators camp right now? Ville Koistinen. And that’s only because he’s started to voice his displeasure with his recent benchings.
Aside from that, there are a few soon-to-be free agents on the roster, and while Greg de Vries and Radek Bonk may make attractive depth additions to teams, Nashville has been historically quiet when it comes to moves of consequence (Other than that guy named Forsberg and Steve Sullivan—who will most likely stay in Nashville), plus the fact they’re only three points out of the race and also have a habbit of creeping up in the waning weeks makes them less than likely to wheel and deal with the best of them.
22. Los Angeles Kings—36 points (Last week, 41 points): As far as the Kings go, they should also be a fairly interesting team to watch at the deadline. While some of their players (Kyle Calder, Derek Armstrong) are heading to free agency, the Kings are just four points out of the playoffs, meaning they may not want to tinker too much with the roster.
The other problem, is that Calder and Armstrong aren’t going to fetch the Kings much other than roster space for their younger players, which in itself is valuable. If the Kings do decide to sell, Sean O’Donnell could be an interesting player to watch.
21. St Louis Blues—40 points (Last week, 35): While all the talk is of Keith Tkachuk, it might be interesting to see if the Blues move someone off of their defense like Jay McKee. While the one year at $4-million remaining on his deal is a little much, McKee would be a great depth addition to any team’s defense, and he brings over 700 regular season and 51 playoff games experience to his new team.
You have to remember that this Blues team is also without Alex Pietrangelo or Erik Johnson right now, so it’ll be intriguing to see if space is made on the blueline now, or over the offseason for those two.
20. New York Rangers—42 points (Last week, 46 points): The Rangers are almost an unpredictable team right now: A new coach, a new attitude, but the same old results. It’s tough to tell who stays and who goes right now, just as hard as it is to tell the likelihood as to whether or not John Tortorella will let Sean Avery on his team.
19. Edmonton Oilers—45 points (Last week, 44 points): Recent reports have the Oilers and Sens teaming up as trade partners, but there are also some other teams interested in Oiler players. Erik Cole has been the most frequent name to come up, but I’d be interested to see if anyone tries to get the services of Rob Schremp from the Oilers.
After all, they aren’t using him.
18. Carolina Hurricanes—46 points (Last week, 32): The Hurricanes are in fairly solid position when it comes to contract statuses with only a few players approaching free agency.
Considering the recent injury to Ryan Miller in Buffalo and the limited resources they have to sell at the NHL level, the 'Canes may have to be wary of who and what they trade if they want to keep those playoff aspirations.
17. Dallas Stars—52 points (Last week, 51): If the Stars had remained where they were when they started the season, we’d all be pegging them as sellers and saying good-bye to Jere Lehtinen, or we may have them re-flipping Darryl Sydor, or even Sergei Zubov if he hadn’t have broken his hip.
Now? The eighth-place Stars are positioned to be buyers at the deadline with the only thing they’re hoping to shed themselves being Sean Avery.
16. Columbus Blue Jackets—53 points (Last week, 46 points): Saints be praised, the Columbus Blue Jackets are buyers at this year’s Trade Deadline.
Depending on who you ask, the Jackets are either into Sabres’ centre Tim Connolly or they aren’t. The prospect of him sliding into a Columbus lineup featuring Rick Nash, Kristian Huselius, R.J. Umberger, and youngsters Jakub Voracek and Derick Brassard (if they can retain Connolly—if they get him) oozes offensive gratuity.
As for selling? Well the Jackets may be able to use Christian Backman or Rostislav Klesa (there are a few rumors out there that have him leaving Columbus although I doubt it) to pry another top-six forward away from any dealing team.
15. Pittsburgh Penguins—55 points (last week, 49 points): Well, I was going to say Ryan Whitney, but then the Pittsburgh Penguins went and ruined everything. I doubt the Penguins sell much off in the coming days, but I’m intrigued to see if Colby Armstrong comes back to the Penguins.
14. Anaheim Ducks—57 points (Last week, 53 points): Chris Kunitz. I had that one too!
Aside from that and the potential trading of Chris Pronger, it’s hard to see the Ducks doing much else of consequence, although trading Pronger is doing something of fairly large consequence.
Word is the Ducks are waiting on Scott Niedermayer’s decision on whether or not he’ll return next season to decide what to do with Pronger.
But hey, why not do something dishonest? If Niedermayer says he wants to retire, trade him too! You double the assets you get back for two top-of-the-line defensemen, and you stick the rest of the league with a cruel joke!
I’m kidding of course, but wouldn’t that be a great way to intensify a rivalry?
13. Florida Panthers—62 points (Last week, 67 points): The Panthers are still in a playoff spot, and that may very well determine what they do in the coming days.
Jay Bouwmeester isn’t coming back to Florida, and no matter what Jacques Martin says, the prospect of even getting a draft pick for Bouwmeester outweighs getting nothing.
Obviously anyone in the league is going to be interested in Bouwmeester’s services, but Martin needs to decide if a package of lesser assets for the future, or one year of Bouwmeester will help the Cats more.
12. Montreal Canadiens—67 points (Last week, 59 points): If Alexei Kovalev keeps playing the way he has been, the Canadiens may not be trading him.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Canadiens swing a barn-burner of a deal though. They have a lot of soon-to-be free agents and some young talent they could parlay into some immediate help. Plus it might further stimulate a team who, despite winning their last two, are still 3-6-1 in their last ten.
11. Vancouver Canucks—68 points (Last week, 67 points): Aside from some injury-insurance, the Canucks are expecting a fairly quiet trade deadline. Nothing much happening here and nothing much to sell as the ‘Nucks seem content to take their chances with the Sedins and Mattias Ohlund resigning with the team.
Then again, what other option do the Canucks have?
10. Buffalo Sabres—72 points (Last week, 67 points): While Tim Connolly is definitely an asset to the Buffalo Sabres, it’s not like they’ve never played without him in the lineup.
Of all the teams attempting to cope with giving up an impact player at the deadline, the Sabres may be the best prepared because of Connolly’s injury history. That, and if the Sabres can get something for the pending free agent, (players, prospects, or picks) the Sabres should be sitting pretty.
9. Minnesota Wild—75 points (Last week, 69 points): The big name worth watching on the Wild front is Marian Gaborik. Despite his hip injury, Gaborik is skating on his own (soon to be with the team) and he (like the injured Tomas Kaberle) still has a few interested parties after him.
Niklas Backstrom is also a possibility, and while the Wild are working on an extension, it’s hard to fathom a playoff team forfeiting a goalie of Backstrom’s caliber unless the Wild are prepared to flirt with the idea of missing the playoffs.
8. Calgary Flames—89 points (Last week, 78 points): Some have said that the Flames are interested in Martin Gerber, and who can blame them when Curtis McElhinney still has yet to win a game this season. To his credit though, he’s only played two full games in the past two months (including one relief appearance), and even that’s tough when you’re supposed to be a back-up goaltender.
Other than that, the Flames are another team looking for a bit of depth.
7. Philadelphia Flyers—90 points (Last week, 78): The Flyers are rumored to be interested in Jay Bouwmeester, but they’re also getting Danny Briere back from injury finally and cap space is at a bit of a premium with only $2.8 million available.
If the Flyers can make room they may also be interested in something off of L.A.’s or Anaheim’s roster.
6. Washington Capitals—103 points (Last week, 103 points): At this point, it’s hard to decipher who exactly the second-highest scoring team in the league would target or trade for.
Aside from a few unrestricted free agents at the end of the year, there isn’t much change for the Caps, so maybe adding one or two more depth forwards, or maybe a goaltending prospect as insurance through trade is the route the Caps want to go.
5. New Jersey Devils—107 points (Last week, 108 points): The New Jersey Devils may be in the perfect situation. Not only are they getting all-world goalie Martin Brodeur back from injury, but they didn’t have to risk losing either Kevin Weekes or Scott Clemmensen to waivers.
Because of Clemmensen’s “emergency status” from when Brodeur was first injured, he didn’t have to clear waivers on his way to the NHL, nor does he have to clear them on the way back down, and Kevin Weekes stays right where he is in the backup role.
Whether this recent demotion (and his recent performance) have done anything for Clemmensen’s trade value, we’ll have to wait and see if the Devils capitalize on this, or if they let him walk this summer via free agency.
4. Chicago Blackhawks—117 points (Last week, 106 points): I guess the biggest question you could ask is whether or not Nikolai Khabibulin is still on the market, or if there are even teams interested in him, now that he’s working his way back from injury.
Although there’s not much the ‘Hawks could get for him now that he’s injured, it would be interesting to see where the ‘Hawks go (be it offense or defense) now that they’re buyers for the first time in a long time.
3. Detroit Red Wings—134 points (Last week, 119 points): Call up Ville Leino and all of the sudden the Detroit Red Wings may not need to do anything at the trade deadline.
Alright, eyeing up another goalie may be a good idea given the tumultuous few weeks Chris Osgood has been having and the unfortunate events of Ty Conklin’s past in the playoffs, but the Wings remain to be one of the most skilled teams in the league, deadline day additions or not.
2. San Jose Sharks—139 points (Last week, 127 points): Once Jeremy Roenick gets his sea legs back, he may be the only addition the Sharks need so long as their big guns (Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton) can stay healthy down the stretch.
Possibly the most amazing thing about the Sharks is that they’ve lost only nine games the entire season. Maybe the Sharks could use another finisher (imagine a healthy Marian Gaborik on this roster….like it would ever happen), but aside from that they’re looking like they’re more playoff-ready every game.
1.Boston Bruins—146 points (Last week, 142 points): There are a few rumors surrounding the Bruins but two big rumors heading into the deadline are: That they’re targeting Keith Tkachuk (although St Louis may or may not be sellers) and that they’re shopping Manny Fernandez. Both situations will be interesting to monitor, but given the choice I’d take Fernandez over the heir-apparent Tuukka Rask.
Not that Rask isn’t a quality netminder, but Fernandez’s experience will be invaluable when backing up Tim Thomas in the playoffs, and he’s rested enough to give Thomas a rest heading into the stretch run.
Teams eligible for the draft lottery are denoted in this fashion.
Teams currently in a playoff position are denoted in this fashion.
This article was written during the Chris Kunitz/Ryan Whitney announcement, and prior to the Steve Begin/Doug Janik trade.
Bryan Thiel is a Senior Writer and an NHL Community Leader for Bleacher Report. If you want to get in contact with Bryan you can do so through his profile, and you can also check out his previous work in his archives.
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