The trade deadline seems like it is so far away but in the blink of an eye it will be February 25th, therefore around this time, within the next two weeks we could see a flurry of moves. Always at the deadline there are three types of teams, sellers, buyers and teams staying put. Here are my top five sellers at the deadline and their current needs.
1. New York Rangers:
Clear as day this team is selling, they are probably performing a little above expectations but the team knows they have no intentions on winning right now nor in the next year or two. Therefore most of their roster/players that are ending or nearing the end of their contracts are on the move. For example, Mats Zuccarello is one of the many names on the list that will/is probably going to be moved. Adam McQuaid is on that list, Kevin Hayes, Vladislav Namestikov, and I believe Pavel Buchnevich should but have not heard much about him. The Rangers are going to be selling Zuccarello for sure, McQuaid more than likely, Hayes is 50/50 and same with Namestikov.
What could they use in return? The Rangers want prospects, high-end, projected top-three to six forward players. They could also use some draft picks, maybe another first rounder down the road, a first round this year, and definitely a second round pick. Essentially they want a top-three draft pick.
2. Carolina Hurricanes:
This comes of shock to me as well but the Hurricanes seem like they are in the boat to sell. They are in the market for some young prospects right now and I would say the Hurricanes want to sell because they usually are a team that comes in under the cap space and right now they have to worry about Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk and signing Sebastian Aho to a long term contract. Therefore they are looking to sell to do so. The Hurricanes are currently looking to trade Michael Ferland, Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk.
What could they use in return? The Hurricanes like forwards, young forwards, players like a Brock McGinn seems to be the Carolina fit. They said they do not want much defenseman actually and they would rather lose 5-4 then lose 2-1. Therefore the Hurricanes want top-two draft picks and high end forward prospects.
3. Detroit Red Wings:
Not big sellers but they are trying to get rid of, should not say get rid of but trade Gustav Nyquist and Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings know they cannot win right now nor next year they have full intentions and sights set on the future and with their current roster make up being a bunch of young up and coming players, it only makes sense to go after draft picks.
What could they use in return? The Red Wings do a helluva a job drafting, give this team two first round picks and they will find some gems. They got a steal in Filip Zadina last draft and would like to have some more draft picks this year. They have said the asking price for Howard and Nyquist are first round picks.
4. Florida Panthers:
The Panthers actually just made three call ups and placed Jamie McGinn on their non-roster. The Panthers are not what we expected this year they have got the goaltending, some inconsistent play and a slow start hurt this team. Even with Mike Hoffman projected for 40 goals, Yandle having a Norris season and Barkov playing well they still are not in the playoff hunt. The Panthers wanted to be a playoff team this year but like we said things did not go their way and they are essentially just one piece away from being a playoff contending team. That piece is a goaltender. The Panthers could look to sell Mark Pysyk and Nick Bjugstad.
What could they use in return? A legitimate starting goaltender, top-six winger and second or third round draft pick. Could be a Jimmy Howard, Casey DeSmith situation for them but we have not heard much from the Panthers, just speculations.
5. Ottawa Senators:
The Senators have such a difficult off-season ahead of them in terms of contract renewals, they need to sign back Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Cody Ceci and Ryan Dzingel probably only 2/4 or 3/4 players can come back therefore they are going to be selling one or two of these four names. If I had to guess after what has come out about Duchene and his agent, he could be gone and due to Ceci’s value he could be gone as well.
What could they use in return? Endless top draft picks never hurts, top-three/six forward and top-three/four defenseman prospects. You can easily get a first round, second and top-six prospect forward for Duchene and a 2nd round, bottom-six forward prospect for Ceci.