Buyers or Sellers: The Trade Deadline Status for All 30 NHL Teams

By (NHL National Lead Writer) on January 30, 2014

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Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The NHL trade deadline is set for March 5 at 3 p.m. ET. But the upcoming break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics adds a caveat, a potential second trade deadline for some teams.

Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada brought up a good point this week, citing how that break could force some teams to make trades sooner.

The league's temporary trade freeze arrives on Feb. 7 and lifts on the 23rd, 10 days before the true trade deadline. The quirk in this year's schedule means there will be one pay period while the non-Olympians are working on their tans.

And that's an added factor in all of this.

NHL players, whether in Sochi or at a poolside bar, get paid on Feb. 15, right in the middle of a stretch with no games played.

The season is 195 days (Oct. 1 to Apr. 13), with 16 of them during the freeze. Sixteen into 195 is a little above eight percent. So let's say you have a $5-million skater available for trade. He's going to collect $410,000 during the freeze. How much does your owner care about that? Some won't, not at all. But some will, affecting both buyers and sellers.

That's why it's time to look at the status of all 30 teams on the eve of the Olympic break. Who are the sellers? Who are the buyers? Where will Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller and Mike Cammalleri end up?

Right now, there are more buyers than sellers, but that will likely change over the next month.

So here's a look at each team's trade deadline situation, with each team listed in alphabetical order.

(All statistics via NHL.com, all contract and salary cap figures via Capgeek.com)

 

Anaheim Ducks

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Harry How/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Defensive depth

Deadline cap space: $10.2 million

Synopsis: The Ducks are running away with the West, but they did the same thing last year before losing in the first round in seven games, so they could use more help. The loss of Sheldon Souray for the entire season hurts, and that's the area general manager Bob Murray will likely look to improve.

A potential target could be Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell. He has two more years left on his contract with a $7.1 million cap hit and has been playing very well this season. The Panthers could be interested in a good young goaltender, and the Ducks have 24-year-old Frederik Andersen to offer. 

Boston Bruins

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Steve Babineau/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Defensive depth

Deadline cap space: $1.6 million*

Synopsis: The Bruins are in almost the same boat as the Ducks: Key defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is out for the season, leaving them with a steady but somewhat inexperienced group of blueliners. Unlike the Ducks, the Bruins have less cap flexibility, although a potential trade partner could withhold some or all of a theoretical player's salary.

If the Bruins are looking for a left-handed defensive defenseman, there are plenty out there, but none rise to the level of Seidenberg. Some candidates to fill that role include Nick Schultz of the Oilers, Tom Gilbert of the Panthers and Andrew MacDonald of the Islanders.

* - The Bruins have yet to place Seidenberg on LTIR, but when they do, they will have about $4 million in cap space on deadline day.

Buffalo Sabres

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Graig Abel/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Sellers

Pressing needs: Everything…absolutely everything

Pending UFAs: Ryan Miller, Matt Moulson, Steve Ott, Henrik Tallinder, Zenon Konopka, Cody McCormick

Synopsis: New general manager Tim Murray's biggest decision will be what he does with Miller. If Miller goes, everyone else who will be a UFA after the season may as well go, too. The Sabres won't transform themselves into a playoff contender next season, so they may as well commit to getting themselves into the running for Connor McDavid at the 2015 draft.

Miller should fetch a nice haul, as will Moulson to a lesser extent. Everyone must go in Buffalo. Whether it's picks or prospects, Murray should try to collect any helpful assets he can in the trade market.

Calgary Flames

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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Sellers

Pressing needs: Goaltending, defense

Pending UFAs: Michael Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak, Chris Butler, Kris Russell

Synopsis: The Flames are an unmitigated disaster, and unlike last season when they had Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester to deal at the deadline, Cammalleri is the only true valuable asset on the roster. Stempniak is probably worth a fourth-round pick. Russell shouldn't be going anywhere.

The Flames are devoid of a true NHL goaltender, as Karri Ramo and Reto Berra comprise one of the worst tandems in the league. The problem for the Flames is they probably don't have anything in terms of trade bait that can fetch a quality No. 1. Would the Leafs deal James Reimer for a Cammalleri rental?

Carolina Hurricanes

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Phil Ellsworth/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Defense

Deadline cap space: $5.9 million

Synopsis: The Hurricanes are a team that's right on the cusp of the playoffs, therefore likely will wait until the last minute to bolster their roster. They've already added John-Michael Liles on defense but could use some more help in that area. They're giving up 2.8 goals per game, a number that needs to drop significantly if they are to make the playoffs.

The biggest chip for general manager Jim Rutherford could be goaltender Cam Ward. He has two years and $12.6 million left on his contract after this season but has been the third-best goaltender on the roster. If a team feels he can help them down the stretch, Rutherford may decide to ride Anton Khudobin and Justin Peters.

Chicago Blackhawks

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Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: None

Deadline cap space: $495,000

Synopsis: The real terminology for the Blackhawks at the deadline is probably stand-patters. They have zero weaknesses other than the complacency that seems to have set in after a calendar year of dominating the NHL. They have four dangerous lines and three solid defense pairings.

Of course, they could use an upgrade in net, as Corey Crawford has been below average this season. It would be the boldest of bold moves if general manager Stan Bowman made a trade for a goaltender—say, Ryan Miller—to bolster the team's only weakness. Alas, that is probably a pipe dream.

Colorado Avalanche

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Michael Martin/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Defense

Deadline cap space: $59.6 million

Synopsis: As is the case with most contenders, the Avs could use some help along the blue line. They are in a great position, however, in that they have no real limitations in terms of adding salary. They may have an internal budget that would limit moves, but they have all the room in the world below the salary cap.

The problem for the Avs is the dearth of available quality defensemen. There's mostly depth players out there, something that the Avs don't need. It would make a lot of sense for the Avs to make a strong push for the Panthers' Brian Campbell, but it would probably take an attractive package in order to land him.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Forward depth, defensive depth

Deadline cap space: $1.05 million

Synopsis: The Blue Jackets have a blossoming young team that is clearly trending in the right direction. But is this the year to make the run? General manager Jarmo Kekalainen won't be mortgaging the future with the team teetering between a wild-card spot and missing completely.

The smart move here could be to stand pat and make a run with the team as it's currently comprised. Marian Gaborik is in the final year of a contract that carries a $7.5 million cap hit, so should things turn for the worse between now and early March, he could be sent packing.

Dallas Stars

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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Sellers

Pressing needs: Young defensemen

Pending UFAs: Ray Whitney, Vernon Fiddler, Stephane Robidas

Synopsis: The writing is on the wall for the Stars, who had a great start to the season but were sunk by losing nine of 10 in January. It very likely means the 41-year-old Whitney will be sent packing to a contender, although he only has six goals in 41 games. He should be worth a mid-range draft pick to a contender.

The area general manager Jim Nill needs to address is his aging blue line. Sergei Gonchar is 39 while Robidas is 36 and trying to come back from a broken leg. Nill may not be able to acquire that defenseman at the deadline and will instead look to remedy the situation in the summer.

Detroit Red Wings

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Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Defense, healthy forwards

Deadline cap space: $1.1 million

Synopsis: General manager Ken Holland is in a tough spot. It's a team built to win now with a plethora of aging forwards, but he's not really in a situation to move any of them. When healthy, the Red Wings are a playoff team, but they've been banged up all season.

Throw in the fact the Red Wings are pressed against the cap, and Holland has very little flexibility for adding help at the deadline. He may need to roll with this team and hope it comes together in time to make the playoffs and look to improve his blue line in the summer. 

Edmonton Oilers

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Derek Leung/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Sellers

Pressing needs: Defensemen

Pending UFAs: Alex Hemsky, Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones, Nick Schultz, Anton Belov, Corey Potter

Synopsis: Another potential trade candidate is Sam Gagner, who has two years and $9.6 million left on his contract. The Oilers have already done some shuffling of their lineup, acquiring goaltender Ben Scrivens and forward Matt Hendricks in separate trades. But there are endless possibilities for general manager Craig MacTavish to consider.

Will he part with one of his young offensive guns to improve his defense? Is Nail Yakupov someone he'd part with before the deadline? The Oilers are conducting a mini-rebuild right now, and they need a No. 1 defenseman in the worst possible way.

Florida Panthers

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Leon Halip/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Sellers

Pressing needs: Talent of any kind

Pending UFAs: Marcel Goc, Brad Boyes, Scott Gomez, Tom Gilbert, Mike Weaver

Synopsis: The Panthers don't have any real major chips to offer—unless defenseman Brian Campbell is made available, which is possible—but Goc, Boyes and Gilbert will be coveted by contenders looking for depth. 

The Panthers have quite a few young, talented players to build around, including Jonathan Huberdeau, Alexsander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad and Erik Gudbranson, but they are mostly devoid of useful veterans. General manager Dale Tallon will likely be getting draft picks back for his pending UFAs, but with plenty of cap space to work with next season, he may decide to eschew a sell off and look to 2015-16.

Los Angeles Kings

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Scoring forwards

Deadline cap space: $2.54 million

Synopsis: As was the case in the 2012, the Kings are a very good team that has hit a wall offensively. General manager Dean Lombardi dealt Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter back then, and the Kings went on to win a Stanley Cup. Lombardi might be looking to do the same this season.

Maybe he will go big and make a play for Thomas Vanek of the Islanders. Or perhaps he'll go small and get someone like Brad Boyes or Ray Whitney and hope his slumping scorers figure it out before April. 

Minnesota Wild

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Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Offensive help, goaltending

Deadline cap space: $5.1 million

Synopsis: The Wild are the rare team in the playoff chase that is set on defense but needs help everywhere else. They are 27th in offense and the health status of Josh Harding has been problematic in the second half of the season. Niklas Backstrom couldn't save money with a coupon and rookie Darcy Kuemper can't be trusted for a playoff run.

But with such little cap space, Chuck Fletcher will have to get creative if he wants to address both problem areas. If he were to add Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller, it would be a lot easier to accomplish if he could dump Dany Heatley's $7.5 million cap hit in return. But despite his poor season, he's still needed up front.

When it comes time to deal, Fletcher may have to decide on which area—offense or goaltender—he wants to shore up.

Montreal Canadiens

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Graig Abel/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Offense, defense, anything

Deadline cap space: $7.1 million

Synopsis: The Habs are buyers in the loosest sense of the word, as they've been stumbling for about two months and may not consider themselves contenders a month from now. They're in the bottom third of the league in offense as Daniel Briere and Rene Bourque have been among their underwhelming forwards this season.

If they decide to shed some of that dead weight, it won't be easy. Briere was mistakenly signed at $4 million through next season, and Bourque has two years at $3.3 million per remaining on his contract. Captain Brian Gionta is a pending UFA but has just eight goals on the season.

General manager Marc Bergevin will have to do some real soul searching between now and the deadline.

Nashville Predators

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Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Sellers

Pressing needs: Offense

Pending UFAs: David Legwand, Devan Dubnyk

Synopsis: The Predators aren't dead yet, but they've got one foot in the grave. GM David Poile has already made one move, shedding the contract of Matt Hendricks in exchange for Dubnyk. Once the Predators fade a bit more in the next couple weeks, there will likely be a sell off.

Legwand is 33 and could help a team that needs depth at center. The team won't solve its offensive issues at the deadline, but they could clear salary in order to have room to go after free agents in the summer. Outside of Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne, everyone is likely available at the right price.

New Jersey Devils

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Both

Pressing needs: Offense

Pending UFAs: Jaromir Jagr, Martin Brodeur, Marek Zidlicky, Stephen Gionta, Ryan Carter, Steve Bernier, Mark Fayne

Deadline cap space: $7 million

Synopsis: The Devils are on the borderline between contender and pretender. They're right on the outside of the playoffs, but they're a three-game losing streak away from being toast. They have to forfeit their pick in the 2014 draft as a result of the Ilya Kovalchuk signing, so they're not necessarily in a position to load up.

The prudent move would be to deal their veterans for whatever they can get and look to the future, but GM Lou Lamoriello may decide to make one last push in what is likely Brodeur's final season. There's no tougher team to read in terms of deadline priorities than the Devils.

New York Islanders

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Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Sellers

Pressing needs: Goaltending, defense, scoring depth

Pending UFAs: Thomas Vanek, Andrew MacDonald, Evgeni Nabokov

Synopsis: The Islanders may have the best pieces to offer at the trade deadline. They have a great scorer in Vanek, a defenseman who can play 25 minutes per night in MacDonald and a veteran goaltender in Nabokov. The Islanders want to re-sign Vanek, but he has said even if he were to be traded, he would still consider returning in the summer.

Vanek will be the most coveted player at the deadline. If he can return a first-round pick and a goaltender, GM Garth Snow has to pull the trigger on that deal. It makes zero sense for the Islanders to hold on to Vanek if they feel he will walk in the summer.

New York Rangers

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Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Offensive and defensive depth

Deadline cap space: $8.5 million

Synopsis: Ignore the talk of the Rangers considering trading captain Ryan Callahan because they're not trading him while in the midst of a playoff run. Instead, focus on the fact the Rangers are a forward and defenseman away from being serious players in the East.

They have enough cap space to add two quality players and enough prospects and picks to put together an attractive package. 

Ottawa Senators

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Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Offensive and defensive depth

Deadline cap space: $39 million

Synopsis: The Senators are buyers in theory, but they likely won't be looking to add too much salary at the deadline. But they did sign a massive TV deal with Bell this week, which could give them the financial capabilities to add pieces. There's really no way to be sure what the Senators can do in terms of adding salary.

If the Senators do make a trade, it could be a for a defenseman. Beyond Erik Karlsson, it's a mish mash of struggling youngsters and aging veterans. The Senators aren't far off from being a playoff team, and one trade could make a world of difference.

Philadelphia Flyers

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Len Redkoles/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Defense, goaltending

Deadline cap space: $2.38 million

Synopsis: The Flyers really need a No. 1 goaltender, but for some reason they decided to hand Steve Mason a three-year contract extension. That completely wipes out the idea of them trading for a goaltender, so they'll likely look for help for their beleaguered back end.

There's no true answer to the Flyers' problems on the trade market, but with the wild and crazy Paul Holmgren making decisions in Philadelphia, the team is capable of anything.

Phoenix Coyotes

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Norm Hall/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Defensive depth

Deadline cap space: $12.6 million

Synopsis: For the first time maybe ever in franchise history, the Coyotes are scoring plenty of goals to win but are one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The problem is starting goaltender Mike Smith isn't stopping many pucks, and the only way that will change is if the Coyotes start allowing fewer shots.

The Coyotes are on the fringe of playoff contention, so GM Don Maloney will likely look to keep things small and look to add a fifth or sixth defenseman for the stretch run.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Scoring depth

Deadline cap space: $560,000

Synopsis: The loss of Pascal Dupuis for the season decimated an already weak group of secondary scorers for the Penguins. General manager Ray Shero has never been shy about adding help at the deadline, and he'll likely tap into his defensive depth in order to remedy the problem.

The Penguins would need their trade partner to help with some of the salary, but they'll likely be in on every big available forward from Thomas Vanek to Devin Setoguchi to Brady Boyes.

San Jose Sharks

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Don Smith/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: None

Deadline cap space: $1.05 million

Synopsis: The Sharks are a well-oiled machine and strong contenders for a Stanley Cup. They could use a little depth at the forward position, as the losses of Raffi Torres, Adam Burish and rookie sensation Tomas Hertl could become an issue as they go deep into the postseason.

General manager Doug Wilson is in a great position to add depth in terms of assets. He acquired a host of draft picks last season while trading Ryane Clowe and Douglas Murray that he could use for immediate help this season.

St. Louis Blues

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Mark Buckner/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Stand patters

Pressing needs: None

Deadline cap space: $2.89 million

Synopsis: The Blues are rock solid in all areas. They have three scoring lines, one of the best defense groups in the NHL and two capable goaltenders. There's nothing that is preventing the Blues from making a deep playoff run.

The one caveat to all this is struggling right wing Chris Stewart. He has been demoted to the fourth line and will make $4.15 million in the final year of his contact next season. If the Blues can find a taker for Stewart and improve the roster at the same time, they would consider it.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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Scott Audette/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Depth

Deadline cap space: $4.5 million

Synopsis: The Lightning are in pretty good shape right now. They've flourished without Steven Stamkos for almost three months and are expecting to have him back in the next two weeks. As far as deadline acquisitions go, adding Stamkos is a pretty good way to solidify an already solid team.

But like everyone else, the Lightning could use some defensive depth. Look for GM Steve Yzerman to dangle some mid-round picks in order to improve his back-end defensive corps.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Any help it can get

Deadline cap space: $370,833

Synopsis: Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Leafs remain a strong contender for the playoffs. They're in the middle of the pack offensively and one of the worst teams in the NHL on defense. Yet they will probably fancy themselves buyers when the deadline nears.

Their one big chip to deal is goaltender James Reimer and his affordable $1.8 million cap hit. There has been talk of dealing Nazem Kadri, but the Leafs can't be taking away from what has miraculously helped them hold a top-eight spot in the East. 

There's no rhyme or reason to why the Leafs are having success this season, so it's fair to expect more of the same at the trade deadline.

Vancouver Canucks

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Ben Nelms/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Buyers

Pressing needs: Forward depth

Deadline cap space: $3.5 million

Synopsis: There's not much happening in the way of scoring behind the big three of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler. Alex Burrows has dealt with injuries and has zero goals in 23 games. The Canucks are 22nd in offense and need help in that area.

The Canucks don't have a lot of room to operate under the cap, but they should be in the market for secondary scoring.

Washington Capitals

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Bill Wippert/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: A bit of both

Pressing needs: Defensive help

Deadline cap space: $199,469

Synopsis: The Capitals are in the playoff mix, but they have two players who are candidates to be traded—forward Martin Erat and goaltender Michal Neuvirth. While some teams are looking to deal picks or prospects for help now, the Capitals are poised to make trades that could help them and a partner now. That's big, seeing as how they have almost zero cap space.

The only problem is getting someone to take Erat and the remaining year on his contract that has a $4.5 million cap hit. He has zero goals—ZERO GOALS—in 45 games. There's not a big market for forwards with ZERO GOALS in 45 games. But Neuvirth could be the answer to a team's goaltending problems.

Winnipeg Jets

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Lance Thomson/Getty Images

Buyers or sellers: Sellers

Pressing needs: Goaltending, depth forwards

Pending UFAs: Olli Jokinen, Devin Setoguchi, Mark Stuart, Adam Pardy

Synopsis: The Jets are rotting away in the desert and the vultures are circling. Once the Jets officially become a corpse, they will be one of the busiest teams at the trade deadline.

They have two useful forwards in Jokinen and Setoguchi who could help contenders in need of depth scoring, and Stuart is that prototypical defensive defenseman who gets shipped at the deadline. The Jets biggest need is goaltending, as Ondrej Pavelec is having yet another terrible season. They could use an upgrade there—James Reimer, perhaps—but it remains to be seen if the Jets will finally admit that Pavelec is a disaster.

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