The NHL trade deadline is inching closer and closer. March 3rd will be here before we know it and Stanley Cup contenders will be looking to add either depth or difference-makers while rebuilding teams will want to get rid of expiring contracts or players who wish to have a playoff opportunity.
Being able to make these moves is crucial to a franchise’s future success. Here are the top three buyers and sellers at this year’s NHL trade deadline.
Minnesota Wild (BUYER)
The Minnesota Wild currently find themselves in third place in the Central Division with 54 points. They are five points out of the division lead with $3.7 million in cap space currently. This will allow the Wild to add depth to both their offense and defense to an already potent roster. They will absolutley be a buyer at the NHL trade deadline.
Buffalo Sabres (BUYER)
The Buffalo Sabres have found themselves exceeding expectations this season. They have 45 points and will be pushing for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. What makes Buffalo very intriguing to be a possible buyer at the deadline is their massive $18.8 million available cap space. This makes Buffalo an intriguing landing spot for a veteran with a massive cap hit. Possible Patrick Kane sighting in Buffalo.
New York Rangers (BUYER)
The New York Rangers almost made a Stanley Cup run last season and knew they were missing veterans and scoring depth in the playoffs. With $1.2 million in cap space currently, this team who is sitting in third in the Metropolitan Division will be looking to make moves at the deadline. Whether it is a massive star splash or veteran depth, expect the Rangers to make some moves at the deadline this season.
Philadelphia Flyers (SELLER)
Philadelphia with head coach John Tortorella has exceeded expectations this season. They currently have 45 points and sit six points out of a playoff spot. However, even with all that success the Flyers are looking to get rid of some massive veteran contracts that may be weighing the future of this franchise down. Expect Philadelphia to shop James Van Riemsdyk who has a $7 million cap hit this season.
Chicago Blackhawks (SELLER)
With two of the biggest names in the sport Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Chicago looks to have all the makings of a massive seller by this deadline. Both Kane and Toews are set to have a $10.5 million cap hit this season and both have a no-movement clause. If the Blackhawks can find trade partners for them and for Kane and Toews expect these two players to find this to be their last season in Chicago.
San Jose Sharks (SELLER)
The Sharks currently have 37 points on the season which is fourth to last in the Western Conference. They have one of the most dynamic defensemen this season in Erik Karlsson who has an $11.5 million cap hit this season. He along with other veterans are expected to be on the move in March to help jumpstart the San Jose rebuild. The NHL trade deadline should feature a few guys moved from the Sharks.