Anaheim Ducks Needs: None Trade Bait: James Wisniewski Cap Room: $3.331 million Why they WON’T be active: Last spring GM Bob Murray was busy at the deadline… so I wouldn’t rule out activity. But they don’t seem to be in a position to add on any pieces. The players who could be shipped out (Niedermayer and Selanne) are needed for Anaheim to make the playoffs. They’ve been playing really well, so I expect them to stick with what they got.
Calgary Flames Needs: Playmaking forward, depth defenseman Trade Bait: None Cap Room: $1.659 million Ideal Acquisition: Paul Kariya Why they WILL be active: Calgary already sent shockwaves through the league with a pair of trades, ridding Phaneuf and Jokinen. The results so far can’t be to Darryl Sutter’s liking, and he has some room to work with under the cap. I don’t think they’re done yet, and need to improve their club if they wish to make the playoffs.
Chicago Blackhawks Needs: True #1 goaltender Trade Bait: None Cap Room: $0.571 million Ideal Acquisition: Tomas Vokoun Why they WILL be active: GM Stan Bowman acquired D-man Kim Johnsson from Minnesota before the freeze to boost the blue-line. There’s not many more needs to be filled – outside of the crease. Will the ‘Hawks take a chance at acquiring Vokoun?? I still think it’s a long-shot, but you never know. I think Bowman will do something, even if it’s a minor depth pickup.
Colorado Avalanche Needs: Depth forward Trade Bait: Marek Svatos Cap Room: $7.465 million Ideal Acquisition: Stephane Yelle Why they WON’T be active: The Avalanche have a plan in place, and I don’t see them trading away prospects and/or picks to grab a rental. They are in a good position to make the playoffs, so I expect them to stay tight to the vest and hope what they have is enough.
Columbus Blue Jackets Needs: None Trade Bait: Raffi Torres, Fredrik Modin Cap Room: $9.344 million Why they WILL be active: Currently, sportsclubstats.com has the Blue Jackets’ chances of making the playoffs at 0.1%. Look for GM Scott Howson to try to pick up some draft picks for rentals like Torres, Modin, and maybe another veteran or two.
Dallas Stars Needs: Defensemen Trade Bait: Steve Ott, Fabian Brunnstrom Cap Room: $8.565 million Ideal Acquisition: Carlo Colaiacovo Why they WON’T be active: The organization has stated that they will be cutting salary in the near future… so I don’t think they’ll add on any salary. If anything, they’d use Ott as a trading chip to help their average defensive core.
Detroit Red Wings Needs: Depth forward Trade Bait: None Cap Room: $1.562 million Ideal Acquisition: Colby Armstrong Why they WILL be active: GM Ken Holland can’t be happy with the position his team is in – 10th place. They won’t have much wiggle room under the cap after activate Andreas Lilja from LTIR; but if anyone can find a way to make it work, Holland is the guy. Detroit needs help up front to ultimately jump over the teams ahead of them.
Edmonton Oilers Needs: None Trade Bait: Ethan Moreau, Andrew Cogliano, Fernando Pisani, Denis Grebeshkov, Sheldon Souray Cap Room: $0.785 million Why they WILL be active: Edmonton is going to conduct a fire-sale over the next few months, and it will probably start now. They have some veterans that will be wanted by contenders. Also, if Souray’s in a position where he can return to the lineup sooner than expected, he may be dealt as well.
Los Angeles Kings Needs: Top-nine forward Trade Bait: Alexander Frolov Cap Room: $5.993 million Ideal Acquisition: Raffi Torres Why they WILL be active: L.A. has a prime opportunity to grab home-ice in the 1st round with the roster they already have. But if they wish to take down a San Jose or Chicago, they have to add another forward – whether it’s a top-six or grit player. GM Dean Lombardi has a lot of assets to make a deal happen.
Minnesota Wild Needs: None Trade Bait: Owen Nolan, Petr Sykora, Shane Hnidy Cap Room: $4.876 million Why they WON’T be active: Look for it to be pretty quiet on Minnesota’s front this week. They are not in a position to be buyers, and don’t have many desired rentals beyond Nolan. This is GM Chuck Fletcher’s first deadline, so I expect him to be pretty conservative.
Nashville Predators Needs: Top-six forward Trade Bait: Dan Hamhuis Cap Room: $13.557 million Ideal Acquisition: Alexei Ponikarovsky Why they WILL be active: GM David Poile has stayed the course the last two trade deadlines. While it is possible he does so again, he shouldn’t. Those picks and/or prospects he could have used in previous years could be utilized now. He’ll likely trade Hamhuis for some forward help, or as a set-up deal with another team. Injuries have crushed them in March and April since the lockout, and Poile has to bring in some goal-scoring help.
Phoenix Coyotes Needs: Top-nine forward, depth defenseman Trade Bait: Peter Mueller Cap Room: $16.047 million Ideal Acquisition: Fredrik Modin Why they WILL be active: Phoenix is in good position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002, so they aren’t ‘desperate’ to get a deal done. But their back end is already good enough to make some noise once they get to the postseason. Adding an inexpensive veteran forward with some playoff experience would certainly help.
San Jose Sharks Needs: Depth forward Trade Bait: None Cap Room: $1.119 million Ideal Acquisition: Owen Nolan Why they WILL be active: GM Doug Wilson already acquired Niclas Wallin, who is a nice addition to the blue-line. Now with the back end solidified, I expect Wilson to make a solid move up front to add more depth. Wilson is under a lot of pressure to win the Cup this year; and as aggressive as he is, he’s going to find a way to give the Sharks a boost before Wednesday’s deadline.
St. Louis Blues Needs: None Trade Bait: Paul Kariya, Keith Tkachuk, Carlo Colaiacovo Cap Room: $9.111 million Why they WON’T be active: Like the Wild, Ducks, and Stars, GM Larry Pleau will likely stand pat. They were in a similar position (standings wise) last spring. Colaiacovo could go, but Pleau may have a hard time finding a suitor for Kariya (contract) and Tkachuk (injury).
Vancouver Canucks Needs: Top-nine winger Trade Bait: None Cap Room: $0.408 million Ideal Acquisition: Lee Stempniak Why they WILL be active: After the Sharks and ‘Hawks, the West is kind of wide-open. Vancouver, though, has the pieces in place to make a run if they can put fit those pieces in the puzzle. GM Mike Gillis will look to make something happen, and has goalie prospect Cory Schneider as a nice trading chip. Whether it’s major or minor, Gillis will find a way to add some depth.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.