Last-Minute Predictions for the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline

Allan Mitchell@@Lowetide_Featured ColumnistMarch 5, 2014

Last-Minute Predictions for the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    The deals are happening at a rapid rate now, just hours before the deadline. As NHL teams look at improving their rosters for the long drive to the Stanley Cup, these last hours leading up to the deadline are some of the most important of the season.

    The big names remain, their destinations not yet known. The major teams are wrestling each other for the impact players, and it will all be decided by Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. Eastern.

    Here are 10 last-minute predictions for the NHL trade deadline.

10. Edmonton Oilers Trade RW Ales Hemsky to San Jose Sharks

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    The Teams: The San Jose Sharks have a chance to win the Stanley Cup this spring. The Edmonton Oilers need to continue their long rebuild by trading expiring contracts. 

    The Player: Ales Hemsky is still young (30) and skilled enough to make a case that he will deliver in a new city and a fresh situation. The risk that teams face is low production. The reward comes if he blossoms with new linemates and makes a move up the depth chart. San Jose's nuclear power play should fit Hemsky's skill set.

    Prediction: San Jose acquires Hemsky for a second-round draft pick.

9. Buffalo Sabres Trade RW Chris Stewart to Boston Bruins

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    Mark Buckner/Getty Images

    The Teams: The Buffalo Sabres are in blow-out mode at the deadline and have many quality players. The club could make as many as five deadline deals in the final hours of the trade window. The Boston Bruins have a veteran group and are looking to win another Stanley Cup.

    The Player: Chris Stewart is a big right winger with skill, size and an edge. He's a veteran player who can be plugged into the lineup right away. The extra year on his contract should be attractive to the Bruins.

    Prediction: Buffalo deals Stewart to the Bruins for forward Jordan Caron and a second-round pick.

8. Calgary Flames Trade C Mike Cammalleri to Los Angeles Kings

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    The Teams: The Los Angeles Kings need goals, and youngsters like Tyler Toffoli can't be counted on to play a major offensive role in the postseason. The Calgary Flames need to continue their rebuild by selling veterans for picks and prospects.

    The Player: Mike Cammalleri is a proven scorer who can make a difference at even strength and on the power play. He was a Los Angeles King from 2002 to 2008, so there's a history with the team and player.

    Prediction: Los Angeles acquires Cammalleri from Calgary Flames for a first-round pick and a mid-level prospect.

7. Nashville Predators Trade C David Legwand to Pittsburgh Penguins

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    John Russell/Getty Images

    The Teams: The Nashville Predators are off the playoff pace this season, and that means change is in the air. The Pittsburgh Penguins badly need depth up front behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

    The Player: David Legwand was the first draft pick in team history and is a quality player. He offers a range of skills and leads his team in points. Legwand is an ideal rental and could end up signing with his new team if he has success.

    Prediction: Nashville trades Legwand to Pittsburgh for a first-round pick.

6. Buffalo Sabres Trade G Jaroslav Halak to Washington Capitals

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    Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    The Teams: The Buffalo Sabres are in scorched-earth mode and are loading up on picks and prospects. The Washington Capitals are once again wondering about their goaltending, as described by Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley.

    The Player: Jaroslav Halak is one of the best available goaltenders at the deadline, and he's an established starter. He is easily the best option available in the shrinking goalie market.

    Prediction: Buffalo deals Halak to Washington for goalie Michal Neuvirth and a second-round pick.

5. Vancouver Canucks Trade D Alex Edler to Detroit Red Wings

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    Ben Nelms/Getty Images

    The Teams: The Vancouver Canucks shocked the hockey world by trading Roberto Luongo to Florida, per That signals a rebuild on the West Coast—and a mass exit. Detroit is looking to make a deal that will improve the team for this season.

    The Player: Alex Edler is a fine player suffering through a difficult season with the Canucks. He is signed through 2019 and is young enough to be productive during the seasons leading up to that point.

    Prediction: Vancouver trades Edler to Detroit for defenseman Jakub Kindl and a first-round draft pick.

4. Buffalo Sabres Trade D Christian Ehrhoff to Ottawa Senators

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    Bill Wippert/Getty Images

    The Teams: The Buffalo Sabres are sellers at the deadline. The Ottawa Senators have been talking about adding a power forward, per SB Nation's Andrew Berkshire, but they need help on defense.

    The Player: Christian Ehrhoff is a quality NHL defenseman with a nice range of skills. He is considered one of the real gems available at the deadline and is signed long term.

    Prediction: Buffalo trades Ehrhoff to Ottawa for defenseman Jared Cowen and a first-round pick.

3. Buffalo Sabres Trade LW Matt Moulson to Anaheim Ducks

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    Bill Wippert/Getty Images

    The Teams: The Buffalo Sabres are sending out their best players at the deadline. The Anaheim Ducks have been active and will continue the pace to the deadline. Anaheim has a very good good chance to win the Stanley Cup.

    The Player: Matt Moulson is one of the best scorers available currently. The team that acquires him will be getting a quality offensive player.

    Prediction: Buffalo trades Moulson to Anaheim for winger Kyle Palmieri and the Ducks' first-round pick.

2. Vancouver Canucks Trade C Ryan Kesler to Philadelphia Flyers

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    Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    The Teams: The Vancouver Canucks are suddenly in full-on sell mode, and Ryan Kesler is a rare item in this year's talent pool. The Philadelphia Flyers are famous for making blockbuster deals, and this one fits.

    The Player: Ryan Kesler is a top-flight center who flourishes in the toughest circumstances. He's a rugged, tough player, ideally suited to the Flyer style.

    Prediction: Vancouver trades Kesler to Philadelphia for center Sean Couturier and a second-round pick.

1. New York Islanders Trade Thomas Vanek to Minnesota Wild

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    The Teams: The New York Islanders badly need to cash in Thomas Vanek for something resembling what they gave up to get him. The Minnesota Wild have been building toward a championship by acquiring impact players Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

    The Player: Thomas Vanek is the best offensive player available at the deadline. He has an outside shot at a 30-goal season.

    Prediction: The Islanders trade Vanek to the Wild for winger Dany Heatley (for cap purposes), center Charlie Coyle and a second-round pick.