NHL trade deadline primer
St. Louis Blues. The Blues have not performed as well as they have in past seasons. The club currently finds itself on the outside looking in for the playoff picture. St Louis is only a few points out of both a Wild Card and a Division berth in the postseason. One or two small moves might be enough for the Blues to overcome their deficit and leapfrog either the Kings or Predators to earn a playoff spot. Kevin Shattenkirk will be the team’s biggest asset to sell. The Blues defenseman has yet to sign a long-term deal with the club and surely will be the most coveted free-agent this offseason if he hits the market. St Louis will only make a deal if the right offer comes around for the 28-year-old, and that deal would likely have to include either a top pick in the upcoming draft, and a top-tier player or prospect.
Ottawa Senators. The Sens find themselves near the top of the Eastern Conference and could even find a way to make a long run in the postseason. However, Ottawa will likely need another star to compete with all the tough teams in the East. The Sens might look to add a forward to help boost their offense against the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and possibly even Auston Matthews. Ottawa will be looking for a player like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog or Martin Hanzal. However, depending on the price the Sens will be waiting patiently to hammer out the best deal.
Colorado Avalanche. The Avs are in the midst of a full rebuild. The team is dead last in the Western Conference and will be looking not only to clear up salary but also to deal some of their top assets while they still have their value. Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene might land Colorado some top prospects and picks. Jarome Iginla will also be on the trade block for the Avs, and will surely be heading to a contender who needs help on the wing. Iginla will be wearing a new sweater by the end of the month, but finding a trade partner for their star forwards might be a tall task to accomplish.
Tampa Bay Lightning. Like Colorado, Tampa Bay finds themselves in last place in their Conference. However, unlike the Avs, the Bolts are only eight points out of a playoff spot. If the Bolts continue to perform poorly Ben Bishop will be on the move before the deadline. The club does not want to see their star goalie hit the open market. GM Steve Yzerman will be evaluating his options and will need a solid deal in place for the star goalie. Teams in need of help between the pipes will be making a few calls to Tampa and before the deadline has passed Yzerman will find a deal that he is looking for.