- Will Columbus move Artemi Panarin? Where will Wayne Simmonds end up? We break down what each team should be looking to do ahead of the trade deadline in this week’s power rankings.
Because of the much-needed All-Star break, there were just a few games since the last batch of rankings. But the Feb. 25 trade deadline is fast approaching, which means it’s time for a team-by-team breakdown of who should buy, who should sell, and who would be better off staying put for now.
31. Ottawa Senators | Record: 19–26–5 | Previous Ranking: 28
At this point, not trading Matt Duchene or Mark Stone would be a huge mistake. Nothing is going well here—might as well blow it up.
30. New Jersey Devils | Record: 18–23–7 | Previous Ranking: 25
Not much to give, not much to get. Goaltending needs to be fixed here, but that’ll probably have to wait until the summer because Keith Kinkaid’s value seems to be dropping. A veteran defenseman like Ben Lovejoy could be an enticing candidate though.
29. Los Angeles Kings | Record: 20–26–4 | Previous Ranking: 31
Trading Jake Muzzin was a must for Los Angeles. So are Alec Martinez and maybe Carl Hagelin.
28. Philadelphia Flyers | Record: 19–23–6 | Previous Ranking: 27
All eyes are on Wayne Simmonds, and it's worth getting a pick and a good prospect for him. Can always re-sign him in the summer.
27. Chicago Blackhawks | Record: 18–24–9 | Previous Ranking: 30
This is going to be a very quiet deadline for the Hawks. Don't expect anything drastic.
26. Detroit Red Wings | Record: 19–25–7 | Previous Ranking: 26
Gustav Nyquist and Jimmy Howard have to go. And the Red Wings should get good returns.
25. Florida Panthers | Record: 20–20–8 | Previous Ranking: 29
Nick Bjugstad is having a down year, so now's not the time to move him. See what you can get for Bogdan Kiselevich, at most.
24. Edmonton Oilers | Record: 23–24–3 | Previous Ranking: 19
The Oilers apparently want to be a buyer, but that seems like a bad idea. That first-round pick is more valuable in an Oilers uniform at this point.
23. St. Louis Blues | Record: 22–22–5 | Previous Ranking: 20
Brayden Schenn and Colton Parayko are on the block, but the best move is no move. The Blues have been responding under Craig Berube. There's plenty of talent on this team to become a contender next season.
22. New York Rangers | Record: 21–20–7 | Previous Ranking: 24
There are lots of guys who could be on the move—Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, Vlad Namestnikov. For the first three, big returns need to be the standard.
21. Arizona Coyotes | Record: 23–23–4 | Previous Ranking: 23
There are some intriguing parts to sell, like Richard Panik and maybe even Niklas Hjalmarsson, but expect the Yotes to mostly stay put.
20. Anaheim Ducks | Record: 21–21–9 | Previous Ranking: 22
Anaheim seems to think the race isn't over. Not sure why. They should sell off and then sell some more.
19. Colorado Avalanche | Record: 22–20–8 | Previous Ranking: 18
While, in theory, adding a few defensemen and a few forwards will help, the cost of getting that might be too much to bear. Focus on the offseason, and hope that uber-prospect Cale Makar is as good as advertised.
18. Vancouver Canucks | Record: 23–22–6 | Previous Ranking: 21
Vancouver is another team that should stay the course. See what you can get for Alex Edler, but don't go crazy.
17. Dallas Stars | Record: 24–21–4 | Previous Ranking: 15
Obviously, a lot is needed. Unless the Stars decide to trade Jamie Benn or Tyler Seguin, a blowup doesn't make sense. Trade some depth pieces instead—Roman Polak, Andrew Cogliano, Blake Comeau.
16. Carolina Hurricanes | Record: 24–20–6 | Previous Ranking: 17
There's a lot to sell, but Tom Dundon is an aggressive new owner who might want to make a splash. The smart course, though, is to sell off Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk and others.
15. Minnesota Wild | Record: 26–21–3 | Previous Ranking: 16
Charlie Coyle will be a hot commodity because he's young and on a good deal. It's worth exploring for Minnesota.
14. Buffalo Sabres | Record: 24–18–6 | Previous Ranking: 14
Not the time to make a splash. Time to sell Jeff Skinner? That's a different story. Only if you're positive he's not going to re-sign.
13. Pittsburgh Penguins | Record: 26–16–6 | Previous Ranking: 13
Always a team to look out for come deadline, but it doesn't feel like they'll make a too big splash. The Penguins already traded Jamie Oleksiak for a fourth-round pick. And sure they could go for Dougie Hamilton. But it’s smarter to go for someone like Cody Ceci.
12. Boston Bruins | Record: 27–17–5 | Previous Ranking: 11
There's always a need for secondary scoring, but something to keep an eye out for is the goalie market. If Tuukka Rask is out, are the B's good with Jaroslav Halak? Watch for them to acquire some depth.
11. Montreal Canadiens | Record: 28–18–5 | Previous Ranking: 12
This is not a defense that strikes fear in opponents. It would take a lot, but Parayko and Shea Weber on the same power play would be fun.
10. Columbus Blue Jackets | Record: 28–17–3 | Previous Ranking: 8
Everyone will inquire on Artemi Panarin. The Blue Jackets need to get a lot back for him though. If they want to be buyers, it has to be on offense. Simmonds and John Tortorella could be a match in heaven.
9. Washington Capitals | Record: 27–17–6 | Previous Ranking: 10
Some sort of shakeup is needed. Will a big trade get it done? Don't think so. There's a ton of talent—no need to go crazy. Someone like Coyle or Alex Steen could work.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs | Record: 30–17–2 | Previous Ranking: 9
It would be expensive, and it would come with a risk. But Frederik Andersen has been up-and-down. What about giving Sergei Bobrovsky a fresh start? Part with William Nylander and it could get done.
7. Vegas Golden Knights | Record: 29–19–4 | Previous Ranking: 5
The Pens’ Derick Brassard was on Vegas for a few minutes at the deadline last year, so that's a logical choice again. But we know the Knights are willing to swing big, like they did (and failed) with Tomas Tatar last season. So don't rule out a big offensive help, like Duchene or Simmonds.
6. Nashville Predators | Record: 30–18–4 | Previous Ranking: 7
Special teams is an area of concern in Nashville. The power play is the second-worst in the league. The Rangers’ Zuccarello is great on the power play and could thrive with the talent around him. Carolina’s Faulk is expensive, but could easily lead a unit. What about Panarin for Eeli Tolvanen, among others?
5. New York Islanders | Record: 29–15–5 | Previous Ranking: 6
Wouldn't it be something if the Isles made a big splash? Duchene could add a level of scoring to a team that does need it. Stone would work too. How about Panarin? Why not swing big?
4. Winnipeg Jets | Record: 31–15–2 | Previous Ranking: 4
They thrived after acquiring Paul Stastny last year. Look for them to go the center route again. The Rangers’ Hayes would be the first option. Pittsburgh’s Brassard would be the second option.
3. San Jose Sharks | Record: 29–16–7 | Previous Ranking: 3
While another minutes-eating defenseman to take a bit of the load off Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson would be nice, it's probably out of the question. It might take a lot, but Ryan Dzingel has been quietly really good this year in Ottawa.
2. Calgary Flames | Record: 33–13–5 | Previous Ranking: 2
There's a large gap after the big four scorers on the Flames. Secondary scoring is desperately needed. Simmonds would add another layer of grit to a team that has a lot of it; Zuccarello, who would probably cost less, would add a ton of skill.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning | Record: 37–10–2 | Previous Ranking: 1
Obviously, not much is needed. If we had to nitpick, a bottom-pair defender could help a bit. Is the Canucks’ Edler a fit?