The NHL Trade Deadline is just two weeks away as the season begins to hit the home stretch. Which teams across the league NEED to make a move in time before the February 25th deadline?
The FPC NHL Staff gives their thoughts on what should be a fairly active deadline in the National Hockey League.
Ian Glendon: The Vegas Golden Knights had a magical first season in the NHL last year as they were, wire-to-wire, one of the best teams in the league. Ultimately, they reached the Stanley Cup Finals only to be bested by the Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. This year, they sit third in the Pacific Division behind San Jose and Calgary after running away with the division a year ago. Part of the issue for the Golden Knights is that they have fallen to the middle of the pack in the conference when it comes to goal scoring whereas last year they finished tied for fourth in the entire league last year.
The entire year they have been inconsistent and have lost three of their last five games heading into Tuesday night. However, they are still well positioned to make a deep playoff run if they can climb the standings a bit. In order to do that, they need some depth scoring. A guy like the Flyers, Wayne Simmonds comes to mind as a good fit for Vegas. In addition, the Golden Knights have decent assets to trade and the ability to sign someone like Simmonds to a long term deal. General Manager, George McPhee has already acknowledged that they will be active. Whether or not a deal gets made is another story.
Jack Woods: Nashville has been looking for secondary scoring for the whole year, and it was obvious they needed another scoring forward when Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg went down for November and December. The acquisition of Brian Boyle and Cody McLeod addressed a physicality problem, which was another lingering issue for the Predators, but they’re still without a reliable goal scorer. While players like Colton Sissons and Ryan Hartman are having positive years, it won’t be enough if they want to reach the Stanley Cup Final.
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Ethan Nash: The Boston Bruins are in desperate need of a trade ahead of the February 25 deadline. The Bruins currently rank 17th in goals per game with 2.88 and are 18th in total goals with 161. While the defense and goaltending have been solid, the offense will need to produce if the Bruins want to make a deep playoff run. To add insult to injury, the Bruins leading goal scorer and point getter, David Pastrnak, is out for at least two weeks after undergoing an operation on his left thumb.
Chris Bugajsky: All bias aside I do believe that the Dallas Stars need to make a move at the trade deadline. One of the league’s best defenses is supported by one of the worst offenses. The Stars are tied for 2nd with the Boston Bruins with a 2.55 GA/GP. They are the 2nd worst team offensively posting a 2.58 GF/GP.
The Stars have three players in the top 100 in total points so far this season, but only one of those players is top 50. Tyler Seguin sits 47th with 51 total points. Alexander Radulov (44) and Jamie Benn (38) sit 72nd and 93rd respectively. Seguin is the only member of the Stars who has scored 20 goals so far this season. Only three other players on the team have 10 or more goals. That being Benn, Radulov and rookie defenseman Miro Heiskanen.
Stars GM Jim Nill did not make any moves at last years deadline and saw his team fall out of a playoff position because of it. He definitely will not make that same mistake twice. A move is needed for the Stars in order to boost their scoring.
Some players that come to mind are Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Gustav Nyquist, or Chris Kreider among others. Bottom line is that there are guys available for the Stars to acquire, and if they want to try and make a playoff run they are going to need to add some scoring very soon.