The NHL trade deadline is a chance for teams that are struggling to turn things around, and for potential contenders to turn into favorites.
Of course, this season is a little different due to the lockout-shortened schedule. At only 10-15 games into a season, no team is willing to give up and sell its best players.
However, there are still moves to be made, and the following teams desperately need to make one before April 3 to improve their fortunes for the rest of the year.
With the worst record in the NHL, it is obvious that the Capitals need some help. However, there is more talent on the roster than the squad has shown to this point.
Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are still elite players, they simply need to get back into their old form.
However, the real problem is in the net. Braden Holtby is starting to show that last postseason's 1.95 goals against average was more of a fluke than anything else. In seven games, he has a 4.04 mark this season.
Michal Neuvirth has been a little better, but not much. The team needs an experienced goaltender that can keep opponents off the scoreboard and give the offense a chance.
Only two teams have allowed more goals per game than Washington this season. It is time to make a move.
Jason Spezza hopes to return by the end of the season, but that is no guarantee after undergoing back surgery (via Sporting News).
Ottawa needs to plan for the rest of the year as if he will not be back.
With Craig Anderson playing out of his mind to start the year—he leads the NHL in both save percentage and GAA—the Senators still have a chance to go deep in the postseason. However, they will need to replace the team's leading point-scorer from last season.
The young Kyle Turris is doing an alright job filling in at center, but the squad needs a big-time player to distribute the puck and put it in the back of the net.
We have seen what a team with a great goalie can do in the playoffs. The Senators just need an extra offensive piece or two to be successful.
Los Angeles Kings
Teams that win a championship in any sport have to deal with a certain degree of complacency the next season.
That seems to be what is happening with the Los Angeles Kings, who are in 12th place in the Western Conference to start the year.
While you would think that fans would be happy about winning a title, all it does is raise expectations for the future. In reality, it's embarrassing that the squad is playing this poorly.
The biggest problem has been the lack of scoring. Jonathan Quick is no longer playing like Superman, and there is less margin for error due to the lack of firepower.
Los Angeles currently ranks 24th in the NHL in goals per game. If the front office can find anyone that can improve this statistic, it should make a deal at any cost.