As the trade deadline approaches many teams are determining last minute whether they are buyers or sellers. Some teams already know but for others, that question is still up in the air.
The state of the Pacific division is pretty much set with the top three teams being Calgary, San Jose, and Vegas. While the rest of the teams are trying to fight for a wildcard spot. The team that is closest to a wildcard spot is Vancouver who sits 1 point behind Minnesota. While the L.A Kings who sit last in the division are 8 points out of a wild-card spot.
Here is one trade each team in the Pacific Division should make before Monday’s trade deadline:
- Calgary Flames- Acquire Richard Panik – The Calgary Flames currently sit atop the division with 79 points and are averaging 3.7 goals per game. They don’t have any glaring needs but the team has expressed interest in adding another top 9 forward or another goaltender. Now if they were to get another goaltender they would need to decide if they want to get a number one guy like Sergei Bobrovsky, or a backup guy like a Petr Mrazek.
A move for Richard Panik would solidify the Flames 3rd line and give them solid lines to roll out each game. The Flames have the cap space to do it and Panik shouldn’t come at a steep price. His is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. His cap hit is at $2.8 million which is not too bad. Panik on the year has 11 goals and 13 assists while averaging just under 17 minutes of ice time a game.
The cost for Panik should be relatively cheap. A mid-round pick and a mid-level prospect should get the deal done.
- San Jose Sharks- Acquire Jimmy Howard – The San Jose Sharks have been battling neck and neck with Calgary this season and sit below them in the standings by just one point. The Sharks have one of the best offensive attacks in the NHL and have two of the best defenseman in the league. It seems that the goaltending position is where the Sharks could use a refresher. Martin Jones is not having a bad year, but at the same time, he is not having a great one. Jones has a 2.95 GAA and a .896 SV%.
Acquiring Jimmy Howard would be in the Sharks best interest to not only give them one of the better goaltenders at the moment. He would also come in and give the Sharks a scary 1A 1B plan at the goaltending position. This season with Detroit Howard is posting a 2.80 GAA with a .913 SV%. Howard represented the Red Wings at the All-Star game this year and overall has had a good season. The Sharks should definitely consider acquiring him or another goaltender to solidify the position for a deep playoff run.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland said he wanted a first-round pick in exchange for Howard. Unfortunately, the Sharks first-round pick this season belongs to the Buffalo Sabres. Their first-round pick next season belongs to Ottawa. So a move for Howard would need to start with a second-round pick plus a prospect.
- Vegas Golden Knights- Acquire Nick Jensen – Vegas is not having as good of a season compared to last year’s inaugural season. But by no means does that say they are playing poorly. They are playing quite well actually. They are currently 3rd in the Pacific division standings and are in a comfortable position looking ahead at the playoffs. There are a few moves Vegas could make to bolster their team. Just like last year, you do not want to mortgage the future for now since Vegas is only in their 2nd season and looks like they can compete for a while. A top 4 defenseman is a position of need which is why Nick Jensen is a perfect fit.
This season Nick Jensen is playing good hockey for the Detroit Red Wings. He averages over 20 minutes of ice time a game and is very valuable being a right-handed defenseman. Jensen is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and is on a very team friendly contract. His cap hit is just $812,500. What a move like this does is gives Vegas a chance to strengthen up this season without giving up very much in return.
What the Red Wings are asking for Jensen is up in the air but the Golden Knights have a lot of draft capital and can certainly make a deal without giving up a prospect.
- Vancouver Canucks- Acquire Micheal Ferland – Vancouver is in a weird situation when it comes to playoff positioning. They are a point behind Minnesota for the 2nd wildcard spot. But it does not make any sense for this team to necessarily buy a big piece. I propose the idea of Ferland because he is due for a pay raise at the end of the season and I think Vancouver would be a team that could offer him what he wants.
This season with Carolina Micheal Ferland has 16 goals and 17 assists in 50 games played. If Vancouver wants to make a playoff run Ferland is a guy that would be a nice addition. Going back to the other point of the Canucks acquiring him and then they would be able to have that extra time to negotiate a contract extension. The Canucks have a lot of cap space and could be suitors for Ferland in free agency. So why not cut out the middleman and get him now and lock him up long term.
Carolina would most likely ask for a player in return instead of assets. The idea of giving up Nikolay Goldobin and a draft pick for Ferland is not that bad. That probably would be the deal straight up but that could be the base of a deal.
- Arizona Coyotes- Trade Richard Panik – Arizona is another team that is a few points out of a playoff spot. If it weren’t for an injury-plagued season these Coyotes could be higher in the standings. They are a young team with a number of young guys that they can build around. It makes no sense to go all in or to completely sell. There are not many players that the Coyotes could sell but Panik seems to be the most likely candidate.
Panik is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. As previously mentioned Calgary would be a nice suitor for Panik. He shouldn’t command a big return but is a player that the Coyotes can give up and get something in return instead of losing him for nothing.
- Anaheim Ducks- Trade Jakob Silfverberg – The Anaheim Ducks have made a few moves earlier in the season and they have not paid the dividends they had hoped. At this point in the season, they should be in full lose for Hughes mode. Silfverberg is the player that makes the most sense for Anaheim to sell and he will also yield the biggest return.
This season Jakob Silfverberg has 15 goals and eight assists in 50 games this season. He would fit nicely on most teams second line on the left side. Silfverberg has a $3.75 million cap hit this season and will hit free agency this offseason.
His value is up in the air and could vary depending on what teams call the Ducks about his services. He could get a return as high as a first-round pick. A more realistic return would look like a prospect and a second-round pick.
- Edmonton Oilers- Trade Alex Chiasson – A few weeks ago many thought the Oilers to be buyers. After a 10-game stretch that saw the team go 1-7-2, they now sit near the bottom of the division. Scoring has been one of the Oilers biggest problems. The emergence of Alex Chiasson has been a silver lining to the team this season.
Chiasson is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. His cap hit is very team friendly at $650,000. Chiasson has already eclipsed a career high with 17 goals this season and is on pace to be a 20 goal scorer. Chiasson would fit well on a number of teams 2nd or 3rd line and could help in the goal-scoring department.
Now that the Oilers are more than likely not making the playoffs it would be smart to sell Chiasson while he has a high value. The only reason to keep Chiasson would be if the Oilers wanted to extend him which could happen. However, if they don’t think they can resign him then the front office should look at dealing him before Monday’s deadline.
- Los Angeles Kings – Trade Carl Hagelin – The Kings are at the very bottom of the Western Conference and have been since the beginning of the season. They have already made some moves this season including the most recent one being sending Nate Thompson to Montreal. There are not many players that the Kings should consider trading. They only player the Kings should consider trading is Carl Hagelin.
Hagelin was acquired from the Penguin early in the season in exchange for Tanner Pearson. Hagelin has a goal and four assists this season with the Kings. His cap hit is at $3.75 million which is not awful but is definitely not worth his production.
The Kings should explore the idea of dealing Hagelin even if it is for low draft picks. It is always better to get something instead of nothing.
Cover photo credit: calisportsnews.com
Chris Bugajsky covers the Dallas Stars and the NHL for Full Press Coverage. Follow Chris on twitter @CBugajsky14.