As the 2013 NHL trade deadline approaches (April 3), the rumors about which teams must make trades at the deadline has the hockey world at fever pitch.
Huge names are being talked about as trade bait and perennial contenders are finding themselves in unusual positions in the lockout-shortened season. This will result in many teams willing to make moves.
All of the following teams should be making the biggest deals as the deadline approaches.
The Boston Bruins sit fourth in the Eastern Conference standings and could make a deep run in the postseason the way the team is currently formulated, but the organization is reportedly not satisfied with just a deep run.
Boston wants to make a blockbuster trade that would make them Stanley Cup favorites, according to James Murphy of ESPNBoston.com, including a possible move to acquire the services of Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla.
The Bruins are also reportedly interested San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe (h/t Murphy), another big body that can make things happen offensively in front of the opponent’s net.
Of the rumored trades, the common theme is that each is an offensive forward that will be able to help Boston’s mediocre offense (13th in the NHL with 2.7 goals per game) and awful power-play unit (24th in the league at just 15.1 percent).
With so much talent on defense and a lack of scoring at times, the Bruins would be remiss to not make a trade before the deadline.
The Calgary Flames currently sit 14th in the Western Conference, and while there is a chance the team could get hot at the end of the season and make a run at the postseason, Calgary's playoff hopes have been dashed.
Now that the Flames’ front office realizes the team must rebuild, the rumors that Calgary will be the biggest seller before the trade deadline are starting to swirl.
Not only are the Flames reportedly listening to offers for veteran goalie Miikka Kiprusoff (h/t Murphy), the team has asked captain Jarome Iginla for a list of teams he would accept a trade to, according to Renaud Lavoie of RDS (h/t ProHockeyTalk.com).
As hard as it may be for the franchise to part with these long-time players—Kiprusoff and Iginla have been the centerpieces of this team for a decade—the time to start the full rebuilding project is now while trading these stars will return some value (prospects and draft picks).
If the Flames wait any longer to make a move, they will get next to nothing in return.
Not only are the Pittsburgh Penguins sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference, the team already traded for talented forward Brenden Morrow from the Dallas Stars and defenseman Douglas Murray from the San Jose Sharks (h/t USA Today).
According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Penguins aren’t satisfied yet, and another blockbuster trade could be possible. With enough cap space, there is even a chance Pittsburgh could make a move for Flames star Iginla.
The Penguins aren’t desperate for Iginla’s offense, though, especially with the team averaging 3.5 goals per game and boasting the second-best power-play unit in the NHL. If the price tag is too high, look for Pittsburgh to look for a more affordable player.
The need for help in their own zone could force the Penguins to make a deal for a defenseman before the deadline, but no matter what the team deems its biggest need to be, Pittsburgh has enough cap room to make it work.