With the trade deadline being on February 29th, this article will be the beginning of a four part series of where I preview what each team needs, where they stand, and what they could acquire or move. The order of teams will go by where they stand in the standings. For February 20th, the Metro goes as follows:
1. Washington Capitals
2. New York Rangers
3. New York Islanders
4. Pittsburgh Penguins
5. New Jersey Devils
6. Carolina Hurricanes
7. Philadelphia Flyers
8. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Washington Capitals are the best team in the league period. They have the right mix up front with stars including Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Evgeny Kuznetsov. The backend was weakens over the summer with the departure of Mike Green, but John Carlson has stepped up nicely. Both goalies have been extremely good for Washington in Braden Holtby and Phillip Grubauer. Looking at this team, here's what could happen.
What They Need: Defensive Depth
Who Could Be Moved: Draft Picks
Who Makes Sense to Acquire: Dan Hamhuis, Roman Polak, Carl Gunnarson
The New York Rangers have been a fatigued club as of late with multiple trips to the Eastern Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals. They lost a lot of speed in Carl Hagelin and dealt the future in Anthony Duclair. Captain Ryan McDonagh has been in and out of the lineup recently with concussions, and with Keith Yandle rumors everywhere, should he stay or should he go.
What They Need: Offensive/Defensive Depth
Who Could Be Moved: Keith Yandle, future picks
Who Could Be Acquired: Michael Grabner, Jamie McGinn, Dale Weise, Lee Stempniak
The New York Islanders are a young team that has a couple years yet until they could be contenders. They have some top UFAs on their team in Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen. They have to deal with the Travis Hamonic trade request as well. And this is all challenging for a team who is in the playoffs and just moved into Brooklyn.
What They Need: Young Players, Depth, Top Line Left Winger
Who Could Be Moved: Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, Travis Hamonic
Who Could Be Acquired: Jacob Trouba, Andrew Laad, Jamie Oleksiak
The Pirrsburfh Penfuins are a team in limbo. They had a slow start and fired their coach. They made a couple trades, and are still not in a playoff spot. They acquired Carl Hagelin, Trevor Daley, and Tom Sesito at the cost of Rob Scuderi, Adam Clenndening, and David Perron. But with all of this, they need more to get into the playoffs.
What They Need: Better Defensemen
Who Could Be Moved: Future Picks, Beau Bennett
Who Could Be Acquired: Roman Polak, Dan Hamhius, Nicklas Grossmann, Christian Ehrhoff, Jack Johnson,
The New Jersey Devils have exceeded expectations this year; however, it looks like they will be sellers at the deadline as they are in a tight race, and at the same time, looking get better in the long run. They will have lots of UFAs on the block.
What They Need: Youth, Draft Picks,
Who Could Be Moved: Lee Stempniak, Jordin Tootoo, Tyler Kennedy, David Schlemko, Patrick Elias, Stephen Gionta,
Who Could Be Acquired: Jonathan Drouin, Sami Vatanen, Cam Fowler
The Carolina Hurricanes have also been exceeding expectations, and they are still in a rebuild. They have big UFAs too, in the likes of Eric Staal and Cam Ward. They have lots of prospects, and getting rid of these guys may add on to the list.
What They Need: Prospects, Draft Picks
Who Could Be Moved: Eric Staal, Cam Ward, John Michael-Liles, Kris Versteg, Nathan Gerbe, Riley Nash,
Who Could Be Acquired: Prospects, Draft Picks,
The Philadelphia Flyers are rebuilding, even though they are not saying it. They have already dealt Vinny Leclavier and Luke Schenn. Last year, they moved Kimmo Timonen for 2 second round picks. They have multiple high draft picks and could look to add more.
What They Need: Prospects, Depth Defensemen/Offense
Who Could Be Moved: Michael Raffl, Evgeny Mevdev, Michael Neuvrith, Braden Schenn, Sam Gagner, Mark Streit, Matt Read, Ryan White, Colin McDonald, Jason LaBarbera
Who Could Be Acquired: Jonathan Drouin, Prospects, Justin Schultz, Draft Picks,
The Columbus Blue Jackets are "building" according to John Davidson, and are looking to acquire younger players to get better in the long run. They are not making the playoffs, but might be making a run late, but they are looking to move players with term.
What They Need: Young NHL players, goaltending depth, draft picks
Who Could Be Moved: Scott Hartnell, Justin Falk, Gregory Campbell, Fedor Tyutin, Jack Johnson, Cam Atkinson,
Who Could Be Acquired: Lars Eller, Eric Gelinas, Sami Vatanen, draft picks, prospects
What are your thoughts on the trade deadline? What are your thoughts on the Metro Division? What do you think will happen?
Comment below… More to come…