By virtue of a shortage of likely sellers, the number of satisfied shoppers after the 2013 NHL trading deadline will surely be dwarfed by the number of determined buyers.
Such is the result of a compressed season where everybody is at or barely beyond the halfway mark of a 48-game schedule with the April 3 deadline coming a mere three weeks from Wednesday.
At the start of Sunday’s NHL action, the occupants of the last playoff spots in each conference were only seven and six points apart from the cellar dwellers of the East and West, respectively. Nonetheless, the way some teams are trending, whether the mess is a result of overwhelming injuries or plain underachievement, there are some whose only realistic deadline activity is exporting.
Even if they are in the playoff picture, other teams boast one or more assets that other teams, namely the clear-cut buyers, will be and/or have been targeting. Not all of the well-to-do clubs will necessarily be keen on a marquee move, but enough of them should be to make this a competitive culmination to the trading season.
Assuming the landscape does not drastically shift in the coming weeks, here is an assessment of the likeliest playoff no-shows (sellers) and the Stanley Cup contenders with the greatest needs and/or cravings for an added piece (buyers). And there is still time for more parties to join either projected category at a later date.