We now have four days from the trading deadline and while the market is still taking shape, the order tells us who is able to buy, sell or which teams are caught in the middle of it all.
With rumors that will surely intensify and swirl over the next few days, a playoff race is also shaping up and in the end the Power Rankings are arranged that way. Who are the best teams here and now?
We have a taste of the trade deadline on this week’s rankings, looking at the motivations of each team ahead of Monday’s action.
1. Colorado Avalanche
Buyers: Avsci are one of the first two candidates for the Cup and should enter this year. They could look for a reserve goalkeeper, depth of defense, or maybe even momentum for an offensive associate for the first six or strengthen the third line in that regard.
2. Hurricanes Carolina
Customers: Canes is a rare combination of a legitimate Cup nominee this year with a space to limit salaries. He might move the goalkeeper to do something, but Canes will try to add almost anywhere to give himself the best shot to get through Tampa Bay and toward the championship.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs
Buyers: Their CEO has already come out and said that the buyer is ready to spend the best choices and potential players for the right player and that he is in the rental market. It just seems like a matter of time until Kyle Dubas attacks, but what will it be: striker, defense or goalkeeper?
4. Tampa Bay Lightning
Customers: Usually the Cup winner nibbles the edges and adds depth within and Lightning can. But they were also mentioned as a potential landing site for David Savard. Whatever the defending champions do on time, Nikita Kucherov’s return to the playoffs will be the best goal of all.
5. Islanders from New York
Customers: They were supposed to replace the injured Anders Lee, and they did so not only by acquiring Kyle Palmieri on Wednesday night, but they also brought in Travis Zajc to strengthen the central position. Lou Lamoriello likes to do her job before the deadline so they can be done, but they have a customer mindset.
6. Florida Panthers
Customers: They may not have come almost out of nowhere this season to land in the candidate category, but, like Caroline, they also have room for almost everything. The Panthers could squeeze in a few chips and try to score their first win in the playoff series since 1996.
7. Minnesota Wild
Customers: Among the teams of the year that surprise the most, the young core is blooming for Wild, opening up the possibility for a bright future. It will still be a tough battle in the playoffs by sharing part with Colorado and Vegas, but GM Bill Guerin could try to do something to give his team any boost.
8. Vegas Golden Knights
Customers: If given the chance, the Golden Knights will pounce. One of the most aggressive teams in the trade, Vegas has little room for limitation, but every reason to buy.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins
Buyers: Pittsburgh has been golden since the beginning of the year, which under the new management must pass once again. They don’t have their original for 2021, so they’re going to need a little creativity, but it looks like the pencil window is still open.
10. Winnipeg Jets
Customers: Will Kevin Cheveldayoff pay the price of one of the best defenders available or enough to shake off a good one? Will he do something with his attackers? With the setting of Leafs for customer, the Jets might have to follow their example in the fight for the power of the North.
11. Washington Capitals
Customers: They may want to add another goalkeeper to join Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov to solidify their position for another series. There is no room for work restrictions, so all accessories will have to be creative.
12. Montreal Canadiens
Customers: Marc Bergevin has been all-in since day 1, and Eric Staal’s store from two weeks ago probably won’t be the last. Brendan Gallagher’s injury is a big loss for the rest of the regular season, but the placement at LTIR opens up more room to gain defenders. If Montreal gets better, Bergevin will strike again.
13. Arizona coyotes
In between: They were probably preparing for the sale at some point and, maybe it will be to some extent after all? They have the types of pieces that the seller would use to get future assets, and even some named players that would give them back a nice return. But the Coyotes are now in the playoffs with three points, so can you really give up?
14. Nashville Predators
In between: Two more wins last week and the Preds hold fourth place in Central with two points more than Chicago. They used to be sellers, and in the second year they could have been buyers. But this Preds team is likely to undergo some changes in the season. For now, that means Mattias Ekholm could disappear from the table, but what about the UFAs on hold, Eric Howell and Michael Granlund?
15. Edmonton Oilers
Customers: I mean, if they find a way to do that, they’ll buy. Edmonton has a hit god like everyone else to survive the Northern Division, but they have a space without any ability to do anything. They have needs for 3C, but can GM Ken Holland do that?
16. New York Rangers
In between: Overall, the Rangers have made a good small step this season and may still be in the play-off hunt. They probably won’t buy for the playoffs, but they’re also not sellers. They are positioned for next season and that probably means a quiet deadline.
17. Boston Bruins
Buyers: There is still no answer to the goalkeeper’s question, but there is no chance that this team will be the salesman. As long as Perfection Line is still at the peak of its powers, Bruins will be looking for ways to win the second cup.
18. Chicago Blackhawks
Vendors: Maybe with a little inclination to be “between” the team, as the Hawks have already taken over Vinnie Hinostroza, allowing the Panthers to clear up some space. Hawks will receive such a salary to help others, especially if it means both a selection or a potential client. Watch out for more such moves or a replacement player or two.
19. Dallas Stars
In between: The stars are so hard to read. They were in the Cup final last season, expecting the return of Tyler Seguin and Ben Bishop by May and are still somehow hovering around the playoffs. But their advantage in the games is decreasing, now to only three and seven points from the fourth. There are various types of speculation about John Klingberg or Esi Lindell, but if Stars don’t buy, they’d probably make an effort before they’re a salesperson. That said, UFAs like Blake Comeau are waiting.
20. San Jose Sharks
In between: A recent run of four wins has thrown them into the race, though five points back with one game in hand is just a little hold back. The Sharks don’t have too much effort to hire candidates, but they also don’t want to add anything. If anyone knocks for Devan Dubnyk, he is their main trade candidate.
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to many people around the world of hockey and then tell listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they think about it.
21. St. Louis Blues
Seller: We’ve already seen Doug Armstrong sell in this situation, and even at a point where he was closer to the playoffs than St. John’s current triumphs. According to The Athletic, Armstrong could now sell his renters, including Mike Hoffman and Tyler Bozak.
22. Columbus blue jackets
Sellers: Jackets make it interesting. With the win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday, they are still somehow hanging around the playoffs, but their chances are hanging in the balance. David Savard would have to go on loan, but two goalkeepers could also be relocation options. The Blue Jackets may not sell everything of their choice, but they will sell.
23. Philadelphia Flyers
In between: With playoff hopes still alive but disappearing, Flyers could be a wild day wild rock. If they sell, an attractive target would be a UFA on hold like Scott Laughton. But can I buy? If a bold “hockey trade” is made in this year’s market, Flyers would be a candidate for it.
24. Vancouver Canucks
In between: With so many exaltations regarding player health, and if and when their season can continue at all, the Canucks aren’t clear. They are in a position to be salespeople, but it is difficult to say what they can do now. Tanner Pearson could potentially be hired, although Canucks may sign him again.
25. Calgary Flames
Vendors: It’s over with the flames this year and, honestly, it’s over for this core group. You can’t re-enter the second season with the same lead. UFA will go, maybe even Sam Bennett. You have to believe that a big census operation is on the horizon, if not by the deadline then this summer.
“I think we have good players who have had a bad performance. We don’t need a rocket scientist to figure that out. We did badly.”
Questions and Answers: General Flames, interviewed by Brad Treliving @EricFrancis about the trade deadline and the shocking failure of his team https://t.co/2bH5IZgeeC
– Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 7, 2021
26. Los Angeles Kings
Sellers: The extent to which kings will sell remains to be determined. They could still re-sign UFA Alex Iafallo. They may want to keep the return season from Dustin Brown and what could be next year. There simply may not be those who take Jonathan Quick and his contract. But the Kings have faded from the playoffs and are still recovering, so they are all essential to future assets.
27. Anaheim ducks
Sellers: The playoffs are not happening and the need for younger players who are ready for the NHL or are at its peak is clear. Most of the UFAs on hold will be available, but the question is whether Ryan Getzlaf will be one of them or Rickard Rakell will be moved to one year from the expiration of his contract.
28. New Jersey Devils
Sellers: Kyle Palmieri was the biggest name available here, and Travis Rabbit was close to another – both are now in the Islands. But the devils are not necessarily over. They have a few defensive players they could also get, and Miles Wood, with 25 years and two years left, would be an intriguing target for the playoff teams.
29. Ottawa Senators
Sellers: As much as I can sell veteran rents, they will. Maybe even goalkeeper Anton Forsberg is a candidate to leave. How active they will be will be dictated by the customer market.
30. Detroit Red Wings
Sellers: Wings could include almost anyone in the store by this deadline and will be looking for as many choices as possible. It will be some time before they buy again.
31. Buffalo Saber
Sellers: Perhaps the biggest seller of all. Any UFA could be on the table, but will it get bigger than that and include characters like Rasmus Ristolainen or, dare we say, Jack Eichel?