5 NHL Teams That Will Be Buyers At The Trade Deadline
Buyers at the NHL Trade Deadline
The new conference format in the NHL was always going to make the trade deadline different than in years past. The last wild card spot will be contentious in both conferences with multiple teams still in striking distance. There will be many more buyers than sellers as it stands now just two days from the deadline. This means the market value for certain players could go up, especially if there is a bidding war.
One could perceive that as many as 24 teams could be buyers at the deadline as they all sit within seven points of the last wild card position. This number is high though, as the outlook for the teams vary for reasons such as injuries, contracts and dismal tiebreaker situations. Add in a lower salary cap, and this could be a very interesting deadline.
There has already been one big deal as Ryan Miller was sent to the St. Louis Blues. Miller has long been the target of rumors before the weekend move. Chris Stewart was sent to the Buffalo Sabres but could be swapped again before Wednesday. Another player came off the market when the New York Rangers agreed to a six-year, $33 million contract extension with Dan Girardi.
The questions remain the same for those looking to make a deal. With many targets coming up on unrestricted free agency, each team must decide what they are willing to pay for a rental. Is it worth breaking the bank for this year or should the team focus on next year? Once teams answer these questions there should be plenty of action at the last minute as the deadline comes at 3 p.m. ET on March 5.
5. Phoenix Coyotes
The Phoenix Coyotes are one point out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. They have an aging team and may not have much time left in their current format to make a run in the playoffs. They need to infuse their team with some additional talent. A new owner would love to make a splash by bringing in a goal scorer.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets
A good recent record has the Columbus Blue Jackets looking to secure a playoff berth. They have several different avenues they could explore for a trade as they try to make the playoffs for only the second time in their existence. They could be looking to add more scoring by Wednesday.
3. Winnipeg Jets
The Winnipeg Jets are one point out of the final playoff spot and have won seven of their last 10 games. They should be looking to add a goaltender and the recently moved Jaroslav Halak could be a target.
2. New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils could be on both sides of the fence when Wednesday rolls around. Martin Brodeur would like to play more and wants to play next season. Trading Brodeur may not be the best choice for the Devils. Still, the Devils are a veteran-laden team and would love to add some personnel with the playoffs in sight. They don't score much, so adding a scoring winger would be the top choice.
1. Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild could be a destination for Martin Brodeur as they would likely be willing to plug him in as the No. 1. Cam Ward may also be on the radar. They currently own the first wild card spot and expect to get Mikko Koivu back soon.