Final Trade Deadline Predictions for Every NHL Team
With the NHL's March 2 trade deadline fast approaching, fans and pundits are making predictions about possible moves by each team.
Playoff contenders will attempt to bolster their rosters and thus their chances of winning the Stanley Cup this spring. Non-playoff clubs will search for deals to help them rebuild with younger, more affordable talent.
The following slideshow will look at the needs of each NHL team leading up to the trade deadline, It provides analysis of aims and trade candidates, as well as predicting if teams will be buyers, sellers or standing pat on deadline day.
What they need: The Anaheim Ducks need a top-four defenseman, preferably with a right-handed shot. Blueliner Sami Vatanen (lower-body injury) is out four to six weeks.
Analysis: The Ducks are among the top teams in the league, but they've struggled defensively of late. They must address that weakness if they're to have a legitimate shot at a Cup run this year. General manager Bob Murray has depth in promising young forwards to offer up as trade bait.
Prediction: They will be buyers. Murray already shipped winger Devante Smith-Pelly to Montreal for skill forward Jiri Sekac. He could pursue a playoff rental defenseman like Zbynek Michalek of the Arizona Coyotes or Jeff Petry of the Edmonton Oilers.
What they need: The Arizona Coyotes are a rebuilding team. They will be pursuing young players, prospects and draft picks.
Analysis: General manager Don Maloney told Arizona Sports 98.7 (h/t Pro Hockey Talk's Dhiren Mahiban) he wants to bring in young talent. He's made several veterans like center Antoine Vermette available but hasn't received offers to his liking.
Prediction: The Coyotes are sellers. Pending free agents like Vermette, defenseman Zbynek Michalek and winger Martin Erat are among those available. To drive up their trade value, Maloney could hang onto these players until deadline day.
What they need: The Boston Bruins need a first-line center, a top-line right wing and a top-four defenseman.
Analysis: The Bruins are in danger of falling out of playoff contention, especially with first-line center David Krejci out with a knee injury. CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty speculates they could pursue Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette. Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reports they could shop aging defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and struggling winger Loui Eriksson.
Prediction: The Bruins will be buyers for affordable rental players. They could also target Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart or Columbus Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson.
What they need: The Buffalo Sabres need young players, draft picks and prospects as they continue their roster rebuild.
Analysis: The Sabres need depth at every position. They recently acquired Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian in a blockbuster move with Winnipeg. General manager Tim Murray could be working on other deals leading up to deadline day.
Prediction: The Sabres might be buying as well as selling. TSN's Pierre LeBrun reports Murray is interested in Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly and could offer up one of his two first-round picks as part of the deal. Murray could trade pending free-agent forwards Chris Stewart and Torrey Mitchell for draft picks.
What they need: The Calgary Flames could use more size at forward, particularly at right wing, and additional depth on the blue line.
Analysis: Flames general manager Brad Treliving won't part with his young players, promising prospects or high draft picks for a rental player. Pending free-agent left wing Curtis Glencross is his best trade chip. The Calgary Sun's Wes Gilbertson reports the team asked Glencross to provide a list of trade destinations.
Prediction: The Flames will be buyers, using Glencross as trade bait for either a rental right wing or defenseman. Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart could be a trade target.
What they need: The Carolina Hurricanes must begin rebuilding their roster, especially on offense. They're among this season's lowest-scoring teams.
Analysis: Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis didn't wait for the trade deadline to shake things up. He shipped defenseman Andrej Sekera to the Los Angeles Kings and winger Jiri Tlusty to the Winnipeg Jets for draft picks and a prospect in moves announced by the team. The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reports goalie Cam Ward is available but no one wants his $6.3 million cap hit.
Prediction: The Hurricanes could still be sellers at the trade deadline. Francis might attempt to find takers for free agents like center Jay McClement and winger Patrick Dwyer.
What they need: The Chicago Blackhawks need a top-six winger as Patrick Kane (above) is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury. They could also use a third-pairing defenseman.
Analysis: ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reports the Blackhawks could look at Arizona Coyotes forward Antoine Vermette as a short-term replacement for Kane. LeBrun also speculates they could pursue a depth blueliner such as Scott Hannan of the San Jose Sharks.
Prediction: The Blackhawks will be buyers. With Kane on long-term injured reserve, they'll have some salary-cap relief to pursue a scoring forward and perhaps a low-cost defenseman.
What they need: The Colorado Avalanche need experienced defensemen.
Analysis: The Avalanche are among this season's worst defensive teams. Lack of veteran skill and experience among their top four defensemen is a key factor. TSN's Darren Dreger reports center Ryan O'Reilly could be available, but most likely they'll wait until the offseason to move him.
Prediction: The Avalanche will stand pat. Management seems willing to let this season play out and avoid making short-sighted trades. They could bolster their defense in the offseason.
Columbus Blue Jackets
What they need: The Columbus Blue Jackets need a healthier lineup. Injuries decimated their roster and crippled their playoff hopes this season.
Analysis: The Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline reports the team asked defenseman James Wisniewski to provide a 10-team no-trade list to management. The Jackets could trade unrestricted free agents Mark Letestu, Jordan Leopold and Jack Skille.
Prediction: The Blue Jackets will be sellers, but don't expect a fire sale. If Wisniewski is traded, it would free up $5.5 million in salary-cap space. The team could use those savings to re-sign Letestu and restricted free agents Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert.
What they need: The Dallas Stars need a proven starting goalie, secondary scoring and a top-four defenseman with a right-handed shot.
Analysis: The Stars are fading in the playoff race. Leading scorer Tyler Seguin is sidelined with a knee injury. Starting goalie Kari Lehtonen is struggling. They lack scoring punch beyond their first line, and their defense corps is young.
Prediction: The Stars could be sellers. Seguin's knee injury is likely the death blow to their postseason hopes. Management could trade pending free-agent forwards Erik Cole and Shawn Horcoff for draft picks.
Detroit Red Wings
What they need: The Detroit Red Wings need a top-four defenseman with a right-handed shot.
Analysis: Of the defensemen on the roster, only Alexey Marchenko is a right-handed shot, and he's not a top-four blueliner. It hasn't hurt the Wings' performance this season, but it is something general manager Ken Holland could address by the deadline.
Prediction: The Red Wings will be buyers, but only at the right price. Holland won't part with his good young players, top prospects or first-round picks for a rental player. Trade targets could include Edmonton's Jeff Petry and New Jersey's Marek Zidlicky.
What they need: The Edmonton Oilers need depth at every position. Their priorities are a proven starting goaltender, a top-two defenseman and a top-six left wing.
Analysis: Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish could wait until the summer to address his roster needs. He is expected to trade pending free-agent blueliner Jeff Petry. Sportsnet's Mark Spector reports MacTavish intends to retain forwards Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon, plus he hopes to re-sign center Derek Roy.
Prediction: The Oilers will be sellers, but Petry could be the only player MacTavish ships out of Edmonton.
What they need: The Florida Panthers need a proven goal scorer and more defensive depth.
Analysis: Panthers general manager Dale Tallon could use some of his pending free agents as trade bait to address his needs. There was speculation the Panthers had interest in Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel. Sportsnet's Mike Johnston reports Tallon denied the rumors during an appearance on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.
Prediction: The Panthers could be sellers. Tallon already made a pre-deadline move, trading Sean Bergenheim to Minnesota. Depending on their playoff chances, he could ship out pending free agents Tomas Fleischmann, Scottie Upshall and Tomas Kopecky.
Los Angeles Kings
What they need: The Los Angeles Kings would like to move center Mike Richards and his $5.75 million annual salary-cap hit.
Analysis: Kings general manager Dean Lombardi could continue trying to find a taker for Richards, who was demoted to the minors in January. Lombardi recently bolstered his defense by acquiring Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Prediction: Having added Sekera, the Kings could stand pat. Lombardi could continue in his quest to trade Richards, but such a move seems unlikely.
What they need: The Minnesota Wild need depth at forward.
Analysis: Forwards Jason Zucker, Matt Cooke and Ryan Carter are sidelined by injuries. To bolster the depth up front, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher acquired left wing Sean Bergenheim from the Florida Panthers, according to Dan Myers of NHL.com.
Prediction: The Wild could be buyers, as Fletcher might be looking for another affordable rental forward.
What they need: The Montreal Canadiens could seek blue-line depth. Injuries have sidelined veteran defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Alexei Emelin.
Analysis: TSN's Pierre LeBrun believes the Canadiens seek a defenseman and perhaps another forward. The Montreal Gazette's Pat Hickey reports call-up blueliners Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn have performed well so far. The Habs added muscle to the forward lines by shipping Jiri Sekac to Anaheim for winger Devante Smith-Pelly.
Prediction: The Canadiens could be buyers in search of a defenseman. Thanks to Tinordi and Pateryn, that need might not be as urgent as originally thought.
What they need: The Nashville Predators could use a top-six winger.
Analysis: General manager David Poile made a significant trade on Feb. 15, acquiring defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli from Toronto. Prior to that move, ESPN.com's Scott Burnside speculated Poile could pursue a forward like Arizona's Antoine Vermette or New Jersey's Jaromir Jagr.
Prediction: The Predators could stand pat. Poile already made his big move by landing Franson and Santorelli. He could pursue a scoring winger, but it's not a pressing issue.
New Jersey Devils
What they need: The New Jersey Devils need to rebuild. They're poised to miss the playoffs for the third straight season.
Analysis: General manager Lou Lamoriello remains tight-lipped over his plans, but it's expected he'll shop several pending free agents. The Devils have one of the league's oldest rosters and require an overhaul with younger talent.
Prediction: The Devils are sellers. Lamoriello could trade veterans like Jaromir Jagr, Marek Zidlicky, Michael Ryder and Martin Havlat for draft picks and prospects.
New York Islanders
What they need: The New York Islanders require depth at forward.
Analysis: Forwards Kyle Okposo, Mikhail Grabovski and Casey Cizikas are currently sidelined by injuries. The Islanders also need help with their penalty kill, which is among this season's worst. ESPN.com's Katie Strang suggests Ottawa's Erik Condra as a versatile and cost-effective addition.
Prediction: The Islanders could stand pat. The New York Post's Brett Cyrgalis cites sources that claim general manager Garth Snow won't pursue a deal at the deadline. Still, expect Snow to keep his options open.
New York Rangers
What they need: The New York Rangers need a checking-line forward and another experienced defenseman.
Analysis: Rangers general manager Glen Sather could pursue a rental defenseman like Arizona's Zbynek Michalek or Edmonton's Jeff Petry. Newsday's Steve Zipay claims the Rangers have long had interest in Calgary Flames left wing Curtis Glencross.
Prediction: The Rangers will be buyers. Sather could use one of his two second-round picks as trade bait for a rental rearguard or checking-line forward.
What they need: The Ottawa Senators need more scoring punch. On January 11, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported Senators general manager Bryan Murray was looking for a top-six forward.
Analysis: Murray is carrying eight defensemen and could use one as trade bait for a forward. Garrioch reports blueliner Patrick Wiercioch is available. Murray can also offer up checking-line forward Erik Condra and little-used winger Colin Greening.
Prediction: The Senators could be buying and selling. Murray could use Wiercioch, Condra and Greening as bait in hopes of landing that elusive scoring winger.
Analysis: Despite the Flyers' recent improvement in the standings, general manager Ron Hextall told the Philadelphia Daily News' Frank Seravalli he's not a buyer at the deadline. Hextall will try to build up his blueline from within.
Prediction: The Flyers could be sellers. Hextall has several players with expensive contracts (like Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn and Vincent Lecavalier) he would like to move.
What they need: The Pittsburgh Penguins could use another defenseman.
Analysis: ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun claims Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford was interested in Ottawa defenseman Marc Methot before he re-signed with the Senators. Rutherford could seek an affordable depth defenseman like Colorado's Jan Hejda.
Prediction: The Penguins could be buyers in search of a low-cost blueliner. With the team having announced the acquisition of forward Daniel Winnik from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rutherford has limited cap space and not many on-roster assets to part with.
San Jose Sharks
What they need: The San Jose Sharks must continue the roster shake-up promised by general manager Doug Wilson last year.
Analysis: The Sharks are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002-03. They've been regressing since reaching the 2011 Conference Final. Having no-trade clauses for Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau gives them control over their trade status.
Prediction: The Sharks will be sellers. Wilson could peddle pending free agents like goalie Antti Niemi and forwards Tyler Kennedy, Andrew Desjardins and James Sheppard by deadline day.
St. Louis Blues
What they need: The St. Louis Blues could use a depth defenseman.
Analysis: ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun speculates Blues general manager Doug Armstrong could seek a short-term replacement for sidelined rearguard Kevin Shattenkirk. LeBrun notes the Blues have $5.9 million in cap space to take on salary if needed.
Prediction: The Blues will be buyers. Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch lists New Jersey's Marek Zidlicky and Arizona's Zbynek Michalek and Keith Yandle as options.
Tampa Bay Lightning
What they need: The Tampa Bay Lightning could use a defenseman. Matt Carle (abdominal surgery) and Radko Gudas (knee injury) are sidelined by injuries.
Analysis: The Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson reports it's no secret general manager Steve Yzerman wants to add a defenseman. Yzerman could be interested in Arizona's Zbynek Michalek or Edmonton's Jeff Petry, but he won't overpay to land a rental blueliner.
Prediction: The Lightning will be cautious buyers. Yzerman won't make a trade just for the sake of doing so.
Toronto Maple Leafs
What they need: The Toronto Maple Leafs need a complete roster overhaul. They're poised to miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years.
Analysis: The Globe and Mail's Cathal Kelly reports Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan has been given ownership approval to employ a “scorched-earth” roster policy. That means entertaining offers for a number of players, from pending free agents like David Booth to stars like Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf.
Prediction: The Maple Leafs are sellers. They already shipped defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli to Nashville and Daniel Winnik to Pittsburgh. They will entertain offers on nearly everyone except perhaps young players like Morgan Rielly, Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk.
What they need: The Vancouver Canucks need an experienced defenseman and a top-six forward. Injuries have walloped the defense corps, with veterans Kevin Bieksa, Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev sidelined.
Analysis: The Province's Jim Jamieson reports the Canucks have made do with call-up blueliners Alex Biega and Adam Clendening. Young forwards Bo Horvat and Ronalds Kenins have also stepped up. With starting goalie Ryan Miller also sidelined, Eddie Lack takes Miller's place with Jacob Markstrom as his backup.
Prediction: The Canucks will be cautious buyers. TSN's Darren Dreger reports general manager Jim Benning would like to add a scoring forward. With his younger players showing improvement, it might not be a pressing priority.
What they need: The Washington Capitals could use a top-line right wing and a second-line center.
Analysis: The Washington Post's Alex Prewitt reports the Capitals will enter the playoffs without a top-line right wing unless general manager Brian MacLellan acquires one via trade. The same likely goes for their second-line center role, which is currently filled by rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Prediction: The Capitals could be buyers. They have two third-round picks in this year's draft to use as trade bait. Options could include right wings like Buffalo's Chris Stewart and New Jersey's Jaromir Jagr.
What they need: The Winnipeg Jets could use a top-nine forward.
Analysis: Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff made a significant move on February 11, shipping Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian to Buffalo for Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford. He also acquired Jiri Tlusty from Carolina. Losing forward Mathieu Perreault to a lower-body injury could have the GM testing the trade waters again.
Prediction: The Jets could still be buyers. Prior to Cheveldayoff's recent moves, TSN's Darren Dreger (h/t Scott Nichols of Nichols on Hockey) reported the Jets GM was in the market for a top-nine forward.