Nashville – I don’t think they are on the bubble and honestly, they’ll probably add an offensive weapon (the Oilers Ales Hemsky would be a good fit). The reason I’m including then is to let everyone know they sure as shit aren’t selling. I know EVERY NHL fan has this wet dream that the Predators will deal Shea Weber and/or Ryan Suter (I hear it in Philly daily), but it’ll never happen. I know they’re both free agents at season’s end (Weber is restricted), and the theory is Nashville can’t afford to sign them both. WRONG ANSWER… Although there probably will be an ownership change in Nashville in the next few seasons, they are so far under the cap they can sign Weber and Suter (Pekka Rinne already signed his extension so the Big Three can stay intact), to long-term extensions and STILL have cap room to address their offense. Even though it’s not an ideal hockey town, Nashville has a great future (the fans better appreciate that).
Washington - This pains me because although I hate the Capitals, they’re the team I predicted to go to the Stanley Cup. I thought on paper they were above and beyond but in reality they were a bunch of underachieving pussies. Given the season-long turmoil in our nation’s capital they’re going to be sellers.
If I was the general manager in DC I’d start shopping Alex Ovechkin. He can give the Capitals a ton in return that will help the future. I’m smart enough to know that’ll never happen because the fans might storm the Verizon Center and string up George McPhee. I do think it’s realistic they would move Alex Semin. He’s been crap this season but still has the talent other teams will salivate over. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see if Tomas Vokoun dealt to a team like Chicago who is desperate for a goalie or Roman Hamrlik to Philadelphia to help boost their defense.
Winnipeg – The Jets are an interesting case because they aren’t in the playoff picture yet they are still hanging on (it seems like all the bubble teams in the East lose at the same time). Although they’ve lacked consistency they are still only three points out of a playoff spot. Given their current situation I think a decision will be made after the next five games in which four are at home (Winnipeg is dangerous at MTS Centre).
If they’re buyers I don’t think they will add a big name, but more of a role player who adds depth. Should they be sellers I know they’re not going to move Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byfuglien, or Evander Kane. They’d more likely trade a player like Kyle Wellwood (who I’m a big fan of).
Toronto – The Leafs are currently hanging on to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference but are in a downward spiral. In saying that here’s no doubt in my mind they are buyers. There’s a ton of pressure from ownership and fans to get the Leafs back in the playoffs and should they miss it again this year it could cost Ron Wilson his job (I personally think Wilson is a jackass).
Toronto has no choice but to go balls out to add players and they’ll be bigger names. It’s possible that Jeff Carter, Rick Nash, James vanRiemsdyk, or Hemsky will finish this season in a Maple Leafs sweater.
New Jersey – The Devils have made a huge push over the past month and they’re currently only one point behind the Flyers for home ice advantage in the playoffs. Given this surge you’d think they’d be out looking to make a big splash to put them over the top but I don’t see it. Lou Lamarello is a shrewd bastard and isn’t going to make a deal for the sake of making a deal. He’s only going to pull the trigger if it benefits the team.
I know fans would love someone like Nash to play alongside Zach Parise but it’s more likely they add depth if anything.
Montreal – I have a better chance of banging Lindsey Lohan tonight then the Canadiens have making the playoffs (it’s because their coach doesn’t speak French). I don’t think they’re going to sell the farm but if they can unload disappointing scrubs like Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta they’re as good as gone. The problem here is the league isn’t stupid and both players have bloated contracts so they’re probably not going anywhere. If anyone gets traded it’ll probably Hal Gill as teams like the Flyers, Penguins, and Blackhawks are looking to add defense.
Phoenix – The Coyotes are barely hanging on the eighth spot in the Western Conference, mainly because of the play of Mike Smith. While all 15 Coyotes fans (if they have that many), would love the team to strengthen the team it’s simply not going to happen. They’re a team with no real ownership or fan base so the NHL isn’t going to do them any favors. I can guarantee Shane Doan won’t finish the season in Phoenix and Vancouver or Detroit are likely destinations.
The team will be better suited to bring in young talent and prospects before they eventually move them to Quebec City.
Calgary – The Flames are only one point out the Playoffs and have started to find their groove. GM Jay Feaster loves to make trades so I think Calgary will be active (they already dealt Rene Bourque for Mike Cammalleri). The question is will the trade help the Flames this year or is it more for the future?
Honestly I don’t know. Feaster is unpredictable so I can see him adding someone like Hemsky to boost the offense but I can also see a trade coming out of left field like dealing Jarome Iginla to the Rangers or sending Jay Bouwmeester to the Flyers.
Dallas – The Stars have been struggling and they’re playoff hopes are fading as the days pass. I don’t see them adding anything by the trade deadline but I also don’t see them trading any of their marquee players. It’s more likely they’ll deal a role player like Michael Ryder or Radek Dvorak to a team looking for depth.
Ottawa – The Senators are playing decent hockey (better than I thought), and surprisingly Craig Anderson hasn’t been a complete disaster. Even so the playoffs are no guarantee so I think the Senators will stay idle (at least for now). Should they keep the winning pace I can see them adding a role player or maybe a player like Doan, but not a big name like Nash. If they start to slide, I can see them just standing pat and not really trading away anyone.
Los Angeles – I’m disappointed in the Kings. On paper they’re a strong team but have been inconsistent and floundering in mediocrity. A lot of this has to do with the disappointment Mike Richards has been. In saying that the Kings will be making additions before the deadline. I can see them targeting Nash or Carter to help with the scoring. One of these guys would be ideal since Columbus is looking for a young goalie and with Jonathan Quick established as the Kings for the foreseeable future, Jonathan Bernier is available.
What are your thoughts? Did I not go over you team (that’s probably because they are either playoff bound or they suck)? Let me know. Email me at email@example.com and we’ll rap about it.
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