NHL Trade Rumors: 3 Teams That Are Not Looking To Make Any Trades at Deadline

Mike MacDonaldCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2011

NHL Trade Rumors: 3 Teams That Are Not Looking To Make Any Trades at Deadline

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    Arguably, the trade deadline has become one of the National Hockey League's crown jewels in terms of driving fan and media interests.

    While there are so many scenarios that will likely unfold over the next 10 days, the attention the NHL gains from this once considered "nothing event" will certain steer the league towards its annual showdown that is the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    The intriguing part of any season's time prior to the trade deadline is that there is always a key player of interest that just about everyone is waiting to see where they may end up.

    If the NHL wants more 24/7 coverage, HBO should tag along with a player who is bound to be moved and follow their life for the time leading up to and including the day of the trade deadline. That might be another story all together.

    This season is shaping up as to not disappoint us in the trade activity, with a few major deals occurring prior to the deadline. On average, there are usually two significant deals made prior to each of the last five trade deadlines, so this season seems to be right on par.

    However, there are three teams that will, in all likelihood, not make any deals as February 28 approaches. For these teams, they will wait and see how the dust settles after the trade deadline and prepare the best they can towards completing the remaining games in the NHL regular season.

    Here is a look at the three teams that will not make any trades on NHL trade deadline.

Dallas Stars

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    The Dallas Stars are a team in a difficult situation.

    Their ownership is a mess, they have a limited budget and their best asset, Brad Richards is currently suffering from an upper body injury and is listed as day-to day.

    It would be tough to think that the Stars will be any kind of a major player come trade deadline day, but stranger things have occurred.

    The once smoking hot Stars are only 2-7-1 over their last 10 games and have lost three in a row.

    So much for momentum.

    While they are still in a four way dog fight in the Western Conference (Can you believe this, the Pacific Division is so tight... How tight is it? That division leading Phoenix is only two points up on fifth place LA with LA sitting in eighth in the conference.)

    This club has great potential to do some damage if they are able to make it to play-offs, chances are it will be with the roster they have now.

    Jason Williams was added as a free agent most recently. That might be the only option the Stars have right now to add any depth for the stretch run.

    Should the Stars make any moves, it will likely be to unload salary.

Buffalo Sabres

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    Sitting now only two points out of a play-off spot, you'd think that the Sabres would be working to add some more depth to their club.

    Chances are that they are not.

    A new owner is about to take control (an announcement on NHL board approval could come a quick as today) and while that is great news for Western New York Sabres fans, they might have to wait until next year as far as any immediate help.

    The new ownership will be assessing everything Sabre over the coming weeks and it's widely believed that a cultural change is coming. 

    As for the current Sabres, having two games in hand on eight place Carolina and three games in hand on seventh place Rangers, it seems that the Sabres are poised to make a solid run towards the postseason.

    They will have some company as the Atlanta Thrashers are tied for ninth with the Sabres in the Eastern Conference mix.

    As it stands right now, Tim Connolly, Mike Grier, Rob Niedermayer, Cody McCormick, Craig Rivet and Steve Montador are all UFA's.

    While Connolly and Rivet might yield some return, the Sabres will need at least Connolly as they continue to persue postseason aspirations.

    It's likely that UFA Patrick Lalime has played his last game (barring major injuries to Miller and Enroth) in a Sabre's uniform.

    Should the Sabres make any deals it will certainly stem from them falling out of the playoff picture and looking to dump salaries.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    It's hard to believe that the Coyotes are one of seven teams that have gone, at least 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. It's also extremely difficult to figure out how the New Jersey Devils have gone 8-1-1 and won five in a row.

    Realistically, this Coyotes club is peaking at the right time. Like Dallas, they are part of that ultra tight Pacific division. One bad stretch and you're likely out of a playoff spot.

    While the Coyotes have been buyers at most of the last few Trade deadlines, it seems rather odd to suggest that they stand pat.

    After all, there are not too many clubs who say that they are not adding depth or new dimensions to their roster. Look at the Philadelphia Flyers as an example.

    This team has won six straight games and during that stretch they have relied on different players to help them along. Should they continue to be successful over the next two weeks, chances are slim that GM Don Malonley will want to tinker with his coaches personal.

    Phoenix like Tampa Bay are operating with smaller budgets and therefore they have salary cap room, but at what cost to the dynamic of your dressing room.

    Should the Coyotes make any deals, it could come at the deadline itself. If the Coyotes are out of it, they may move some of their eight UFA's.

    Radim Vrbata, Scottie Upshall, Vernon Fiddler, Eric Belanger, Andrew Ebbett, Ed Jovanovski, Jason Labarbera or Ilya Bryzgalov are all scheduled to be UFA at season's end.

    That is highly unlikely as these players are going anywhere as they are major contributors to the recent success of this club.

    Adding defenseman Michal Rozsival has proven to be a good acquisition for the Coyotes.

Chances Are...

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    While we don't know what each of these teams are thinking as the trade deadline approaches, one thing is clear... both the Eastern and Western Conferences are extremely tight with only 10 days remaining until the trade deadline.

    If the number of teams who think they're buyers is overwhelming, it could create a situation where not too many players are dealt.

    If that happens, teams like Ottawa and possibly Edmonton could maximize their return on assets. If many teams think that they're going to be sellers, then the situation could be that there is a lot of activity prior to February 28th.

    As we look at the conference standings on a daily basis, just remember that 30 NHL GM's and their hockey operations people are looking as well.

    If anything, it should be one of the more memorable trade deadlines in recent years. Maybe not by the actually trades, but by the amount of teams that are still in the hunt for postseason play.

    Enjoy the action...