NHL Trade Rumors: Every Team's Need for a Strong Second Half

Charlie WeinmanContributor IIIJanuary 14, 2017

NHL Trade Rumors: Every Team's Need to Have a Strong Second Half

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    All-Star weekend has passed and the second half of the season is in full force. Aside from the Islanders, Senators, Devils, and Oilers, every team is either sitting pretty with a playoff spot or in the hunt for grabbing playoff spots. We are reaching the point of the season where potential playoff teams start to make moves to make their team stronger and more competitive to snag the best playoff position they can. Let us now take a look at each team's needs in order to make that crucial playoff push.

Anaheim Ducks

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    Right now, the Anaheim Ducks are second in the Pacific Division, one of the most competitive divisions in hockey. With sixty-two points, they are sitting sixth in the tough Western Conference. With Getzlaf out, Corey Perry is leading this team in both goals and points. The Ducks just picked up goaltender Ray Emery to play when Jonas Hiller sits out so they do not need another goalie.

    Biggest Need: Someone to score more goals.

    The Ducks are averaging 2.6 goals per game, making them ranked twenty-second in the NHL. Anyone that can help Corey Perry and company put more pucks in the net will make this team have a stronger second half.

Atlanta Thrashers

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     The Atlanta Thrashers are competing in the tough Southeast Division. They are currently in fourth place behind Tampa Bay, Washington, and Carolina. The Thrashers have fifty-eight points and are on the outside looking in, holding the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference. Big defensemen Dustin Byfuglien is leading Atlanta in both goals and points.

    Biggest Need: A defensemen to keep pucks out of the net.

    Atlanta gives up on average 3.1 goals a game, making them ranked twenty-sixth in the NHL. The Thrashers penalty-kill is ranked twenty-ninth in the NHL, allowing a power play goal 76.2% of the time. Atlanta needs a lot of help on the defense is they want to make a run for the playoffs.

Boston Bruins

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    The Boston Bruins are currently first place in the Northeast Division.  They have sixty-seven points and are third overall in the Eastern Conference.  Center Patrice Bergeron is their leading scorer in points with 44, and winger Milan Lucic is their leading scorer in goals with 21.  Tim Thomas is giving up on average 1.8 goals a game.

    Biggest Need: Nothing.

     The Bruins are first overall in the league for goals against, and are sixth overall with goals per game, with 3.  As long as Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic, stay healthy, there is nothing that they need to do to get stronger, because they are already strong enough.

Buffalo Sabres

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    Buffalo is right in the middle of the Northeast Division. The Sabres currently have fifty-three points and are ninth in the Eastern Conference. Thomas Vanek is leading Buffalo in both points and goals, while Ryan Miller is playing well between the pipes.

    Biggest Need: A defenseman that can score goals and play strong defense in front of Miller.

    Right now, the Sabres are fourteenth in the NHL in scoring with 2.8 goals a game. At the same time, they are nineteenth in the league by giving up 2.9 goals a game. Buffalo needs to get a player that can score the team more goals and at the same time keep pucks out of the Sabres' net.

Calgary Flames

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    The Flames are in second place behind Vancouver in the Northwest Division. Calgary has sixty-one points and have the final spot for the playoffs in the Western Conference. Right winger Jerome Iginla leads the Flames in both points and goals.

    Biggest Need: A forward to score more goals and help on the power play.

    Right now, the Flames are sixteenth in the NHL in goals per game with 2.7. Calgary scores 15.7% of the time when they have the man advantage, which ranks them twenty-third in the NHL. With rumors of lead scorer Jerome Iginla heading out of Calgary, someone needs to come onto the Flames team and score goals.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    The Hurricanes are sitting third in the Southeast Division. They are thirteen points out of first place and are ten points out of second. However, with fifty-eight points, Carolina is placed eighth in the Eastern Conference. Eric Stall is leading the Canes in goals and points, while Cam Ward is playing consistent in the net.

    Biggest Need: A solid defender.

    Even though Cam Ward is playing well in goal, the Hurricanes are ranked twenty-third in the league in goals allowed. They give up on average 3 goals a game. For Carolina to have a strong second half and hold on to their playoff spot, they need a defender to help keep pucks out of the net.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    The defending world champs are in third place in one of the best divisions in hockey, the Central Division. With fifty-eight points, the Hawks are twelve points behind first place Detroit. In the Western Conference, Chicago is currently in eleventh place and 3 points out of a playoff spot. Patrick Sharp leads the Hawks offense in goal and points. Led by captain Jonathan Toews, Chicago has the fourth best offense in the league by scoring 3.1 goals per game. The Hawks have the best power play in the league, scoring 24.3% of the time.

    Biggest Need: Help on defense.

    If the Hawks need anything, they need help on the defense. With one of the best offenses in the league, the Hawks are sixteenth in the NHL in goals allowed. They give up on average 2.8 goals per game.

Colorado Avalanche

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    The Colorado Avalanche are in fourth place in the Northwest Division. They have fifty-six points and find themselves right behind Chicago in twelfth place in the Western Conference. Scoring 3 goals a game, the Avalanche have one of the best offenses in the league. Matt Duchene leads the team in both goals and points.

    Biggest Need: A lot of help on defense.

    With one of the best offenses in the league, the Avalanche have the worst defense in the league. Colorado gives up a league high 3.3 goals a game. They also have one of the worst penalty kill percentages in the NHL, holding opponents scoreless on the power play only 78% of the time. To have a strong second half and make the playoffs, Colorado has to get a defender that will greatly help the Colorado defense.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    The Blue Jackets are in fourth place in the hard Central Division. With fifty-five points, Columbus finds themselves 6 points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Blues Jackets offense is led by winger Rick Nash, who leads the team in both goals and points.

    Biggest Need: Help on both offense and defense.

    The Blue Jackets offense is ranked twenty-first in the NHL, scoring 2.6 goals a game. They are also ranked twenty-fifth in the league in defense, giving up 3.1 goals a game. Playing in the very tough Central Division, Columbus needs to score more goals and keep pucks out of their net if they want to make a run at a playoff position.

Dallas Stars

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    Everything is going right in Dallas. After a very strong first half, the Stars are in first place in the Pacific Division and are in third place in the Western Conference. Led by superstar Brad Richards and Brenden Morrow, the Stars look very promising to make a strong run for the Cup.

    Biggest Need: If Dallas needs anything, it would be help on the defense.

    Dallas is a very strong team. If they need anything to have a stronger second half, it would be help on defense. The Stars give up 2.8 goals a game, ranking them fourteenth in the NHL. Dallas's penalty kill is ranked very high as well, holding opponents scoreless on the power play 79.7% of the time. To make the strong run for the playoffs like all of Dallas is hoping for, they need to improve their defense.

Detroit Red Wings

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    Like Dallas, Detroit had a very strong first half of the season. The Red Wings find themselves leading the Central Division by 7 points and are placed second in the Western Conference. Detroit has one of the best offenses in the league. Led by team leader in goals, Henrik Zetterberg, the Wings are ranked third in the NHL, scoring 3.3 goals a game. The Wings' power play percentage is also on of the best in the league, scoring 20.8% of the time.

    Biggest Need: Someone to improve the defense.

    To continue the strong season that Detroit is having, the Wings need to improve their defense. Detroit is ranked nineteenth in the NHL in goals allowed, averaging 2.9 goals allowed per game. Detroit's penalty kill is also ranked high in the NHL, holding opponents with the man advantage scoreless only 81.9% of the time. To make the second half of the season even stronger for Detroit, the Red Wings need to add a player to make their defense stronger.

Edmonton Oilers

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    Edmonton needs help everywhere to have a strong second half. The Oilers are in last place in the Northwestern Division and are also in last place in the Western Conference. Dustin Penner leads one of the worst offenses in the NHL in both goals and points.

    Biggest Need: Everything.

    The Edmonton Oilers need help everywhere. The average 2.5 goals a game, ranking them twenty-seventh in the NHL. The Oilers defense gives up 3.3 goals a game, ranking them twenty-ninth in the NHL. Edmonton also has the worst power play percentage (11.9%) and the worst penalty kill percentage (74.4%) in the NHL. To follow up a terrible first half of the season, to get strong the Oilers need help everywhere.

Florida Panthers

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    Even though the Panthers are in last place in the Southeast Division, Florida is in eleventh place in the Eastern Conference and are only 6 points out of a playoff spot. Center Stephen Weiss leads the team in both points and goals. Florida's defense is having a solid season. It is the offense that needs help.

    Biggest Need: Someone to score more goals.

    Florida needs to add a player to help Stephen Weiss score more goals. Florida's offense is ranked nineteenth in the NHL, scoring only 2.7 goals a game. The Panthers also struggle greatly on the power play, scoring only 12.4% of the time. To have a strong second half and to make a playoff push, Florida needs someone to score more goals.

Los Angeles Kings

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    Los Angeles is right in the thick of things in the Western Conference. Even though the Kings are in last place in the Pacific Division, Los Angeles is in ninth place and only 1 point out of a playoff position in the Western Conference.

    Biggest Need: Someone to score more goals and improve the offense.

    Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams are not doing enough offensively for the Kings.  The Kings score 2.7 goals a game (seventeenth in the NHL) and only score 17.5% of the time with the man advantage (sixteenth in the NHL). To have a strong second half and make a very possible playoff push, the Kings need to add someone that will help out the offense.

Minnesota Wild

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    The Minnesota Wild are right in the middle of the Northwest Division. In tenth place in the Western Conference, the Wild is only 2 points out of a playoff position. Left winger Martin Havlat leads the Wild in both goals and points. The Wild also has one of the best power play units in the NHL, scoring 20.1% of the time.

    Biggest Need: Adding someone to score more goals.

    The Wild are ranked twenty-third in the NHL in goals per game, scoring only 2.6 goals a contest. The defense has been very consistent for Minnesota. The only thing this team needs to do to have a strong second half and make the crucial playoff push is to go out and find someone that can score more goals.

Montreal Canadiens

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    The Montreal Canadiens are in second place in the Northeast Division. Montreal is only 2 points behind division leader Boston. With sixty-five points this season, the Canadiens are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Montreal has one of the best defenses in the league, giving up only 2.6 goals a game (ranked sixth in the NHL). After a very strong first half of the season, the Habs look very promising to keep pace and make the playoffs.

    Biggest Need: Help on offense.

    For how well this team is doing, the Canadiens are ranked twenty-fourth in the NHL in goals a game (2.5). If Montreal can get more production on the offensive side, teams better watch out because this team will be lethal. 

Nashville Predators

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    Nashville is in second place in the NHL's Central Division. With one of the best defenses in the league, the Predators are only 7 points behind first place Detroit. Nashville is in fourth place in the Western Conference with sixty-three points. Shea Weber leads the team in points and Patric Hornqvist leads the team in goals.

    Biggest Need: Help on the offense.

    Nashville has one of the best defenses in the game, on average giving up 2.3 goals a game (fourth in the NHL). What Nashville needs help with is it's offense. The Predators are ranked twenty-sixth in the NHL in goals per game, scoring only 2.5 a contest. To continue the strong season that Nashville is having, they need to add someone that will help out on offense.

New Jersey Devils

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    Sorry New Jersey fans. No matter how strong of a second half this team has, they will not be making the playoffs. New Jersey is in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. With forty-two points, the Devils are sixteen points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Patrik Elias leads the NHL's worst offensive team with thirty-nine points. The Devils are ranked dead last in goals per game, with 2.1 goals a game.

    Biggest Need: Everything.

    This team needs help everywhere.

New York Islanders

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    Like New Jersey, this team is not making the playoffs. The Islanders are in dead last place in the Atlantic Division and have a total of forty-one points, making them the laughing stock of the Eastern Conference. The Islanders have a terrible offense, and and awful defense. Ranking twenty-eighth in the NHL in goals per game (2.4) and ranking twenty-seventh in goals allowed per game (3.2).

    Biggest Need: Just like New Jersey, the Islanders need help everywhere.

    Everywhere...

New York Rangers

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    On the bright side, there is a decent hockey team in New York. The New York Rangers are in third place in the Atlantic Division. The Rangers have a total of sixty-two points and are placed seventh in the Eastern Conference.Brandon Dubinsky leads the Rangers in both points and goals. Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron are consistently playing solid in the net for the Rangers.

    Biggest Need: Help on offense.

    The Rangers have a quality defense, ranking eighth in the NHL by giving up only 2.4 goals a game. The offensive part of the game is what the Rangers need help with. New York ranks eighteenth in the NHL in goes a game (2.7). To hold on to their playoff spot and have a strong second half, the Rangers need to add someone that will help their scoring numbers.

Ottawa Senators

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    Ottawa is having a similar season to the Islanders and Devils. The Senators are in last place in the Northeast Division. Ottawa has a total of forty-two points and finds themselves in fourteenth place in the Eastern Conference. Right winger Daniel Alfredsson leads the Sens in both points and goals. Like New Jersey and the Islanders, this team is not making the playoffs.

    Biggest Need: Everything.

    This team averages 2.2 goals a game and gives up on average 3.2 goals a game. This team needs a lot of help in order to have a strong second half.

Philadelphia Flyers

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    The Philadelphia Flyers is easily one of the best teams in the NHL. Philadelphia is in first place in the Atlantic Division. With a total of seventy-five points, the Flyers are also in first place in the Eastern Conference. Led by Claude Giroux and Danny Briere, the Flyers have the number one offense in all of hockey. Philly averages 3.4 goals a game. The Flyers defense is also one of the best in the league, on average they give up 2.5 goals a game. 

    Biggest Need: To improve the power play.

    Even though they have the best offense in the NHL, the Flyers' are ranked seventeenth in the league in power play percentage. The Flyers only score 17.5% of the time with the man advantage. To continue their dominance in the NHL, the Flyers need to improve their power play.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    The Phoenix Coyotes are in second place in the Pacific Division. With sixty-three points, the Coyotes are in fifth place in the Western Conference. Led by Keith Yandle and Scottie Upshall, Phoenix is ranked eleventh in the NHL in goals per game, averaging 2.8 goals a contest.

    Biggest Need: Help with the special teams.

    With one of the best offenses in the league, Phoenix struggles when having a man advantage. Phoenix scores 16.3% of the time with the man advantage, ranking twenty-second in the NHL. Phoenix also needs help on the penalty kill. Phoenix only kills penalties 80.5% of the time, ranking twentieth in the NHL. For Phoenix to hold on to the playoff spot and have a strong second half, they have to improve their special team.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    The Penguins do not need to do anything by the trade deadline in order to have a stronger second half. They just need to get healthy. Super star Sidney Crosby is still out from feeling concussion symptoms and Evgeni Malkin just went down with a torn ACL. To continue their strong season, they just need to get healthy. The Penguins have one of the best offenses and defenses in the league. Pittsburgh scores on average 3 goals a game (seventh in the NHL) and allows only 2.2 goals a game (second in the NHL). The Penguins have the best penalty kill in the league, killing off 88.9% of power plays. 

    Biggest Need: Help on the power play.

    The Penguins, one of the best teams in the league, only struggle on the power play. Pittsburgh is ranked fifteenth in the NHL when they have a man advantage. They score 17.5% of the time on the power play. With Crosby and Malkin out, the penguins have to make up for their absence by improving their power play to have a strong second half.

St. Louis Blues

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    The St. Louis Blues are in last place in the Central Division. St. Louis has a total of fifty-four points and find themselves 7 points out of a playoff position. Even though the Blues are in fourteenth place in the Western Conference, there is a lot of hope. First, the Blues are getting back key players from injury. Second, the Blues have played 3 or 4 less games then the majority of the teams in front of them. St. Louis have struggled on both offense and defense this season. David Backes and Alex Steen are leading the way as St. Louis makes another second half playoff push.

    Biggest Need: Someone to improve the offense and defense.

    St. Louis is ranked twentieth in the NHL in goals per game. They average 2.6 goals a game. They also struggle on the power play, ranked twentieth in the NHL by only scoring 15% of the time. On defense, the Blues are ranked twentieth in the league, on average letting up 2.9 goals a contest. St. Louis needs to score more goals to produce more wins that will get this team into the playoffs.

San Jose Sharks

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    San Jose is in fourth place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks have sixty-two points and are in sixth place in the Western Conference. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture lead this San Jose team in offense, including one of the most successful power play units in the NHL. San Jose scores 23.1% of the time with a man advantage, ranking fourth in the NHL.

    Biggest Need: Someone who will put more pucks in the net.

    San Jose scores an average of 2.8 goals a game, ranking thirteenth in the NHL. Playing in the tough Western Conference, San Jose is going to need to find someone to score the team more goals in order for them to have a strong second half and hold onto their playoff position.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Tampa Bay is one of the most explosive teams in the NHL. With NHL leading goal scorer Steven Stamkos, the Lightning are in first place in the Southeast Division. With a total of seventy-one points, the Lightning are in second place in the Eastern Conference. Stamkos and the Lightning have the eighth ranked offense in goals per game (2.9) and the sixth best power play percentage (20.7%).

    Biggest Need: Someone that will improve the defense.

    Tampa Bay has done great this season. However, the defense gives up on average 3 goals a game (ranking twenty-second in the NHL). In order to remain the division leader of the Capitals, the Lightning need to tighten up their defense and allow less goals. Improving the defense will lead to a strong second half.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Toronto has struggled greatly this season. The Leafs have a losing record and are in fourth place in the Northeast Division. However, the Leafs are only 9 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Toronto's offense is led by Clarke MacArthur and is ranked twenty-fifth in the NHL, averaging 2.5 goals a game.

    Biggest Need: Someone has to improve the defense.

    Toronto has a lot of ground to make up in the East. Defense wins games and Toronto needs to start winning a lot if they want to make the playoffs. The Leafs give up on average 3.1 goals a game and their penalty kill percentage is one of the leagues worst at 76.7%. Toronto needs to improve the defense in order to have a strong second half.

Vancouver Canucks

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    Vancouver is the best team in the Western Conference. Not only are they in first place in the Northwest Division, they are in first place for the entire Western Conference. With seventy-nine points, the Canucks are practically flawless. They are second in goals per game (3.4), they are third in goals against (2.3), the power play percentage is second at 24.3%, and the penalty kill is fourth at 85.6%. Luongo and the Sedin twins had a strong first half and are continuing to have a strong season in the second half.

    Biggest Need: Nothing. They are fine.

    Vancouver is fine. They are a shoe-in for the playoffs and will continue to have a strong second half.

Washington Capitals

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    Right now, the Capitals are in second place in the Southeast Division. The Caps have sixty-eight points and are fifth in the Eastern Conference. While the offense has not been nearly as good as expected, Mr. Ovechkin, Washington's defense has been surprisingly good. Washington is ranked fifth in the NHL is goals allowed, allowing 2.4 per contest. The Capitals penalty kill has also been great, killing 86.4% of power plays.

    Biggest Need: Offense needs to score more goals.

    Ovechkin and company need to put the puck in the net a whole lot more if they want to compete with Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division. Washington may want to look into adding a player that will help score more goals.