Credit ... Keith Srakocic / Associated Press figcaption>
The Islanders will be without Anders Lee, their captain, for the remainder of the season, and they have lost a strong contributor to defenseman Devon Toews over of the off season. The silver lining is that Lee's move to curse long-term reserve list gives them the option of accepting pro-rated salaries.
A top six forward to replace Lee and reinvigorate the Islanders 'middle attack and power play seems like an obvious choice. An attacking defender could do the same, but defense is usually both less available and more expensive by the deadline. The Islands have medium organizational depth and an additional second-round pick in the 2022 draft.
The Capitals and Penguins are each against the salary cap. Washington could use depth the mostat center, where a pair of injuries exposed the team early in the season, and at goal, where its two main goalkeepers had just 61 combined N.H.L. experiment that begins this month.
Pittsburgh is reaching its prime at the right time, and its recent game hasn't shown many shortcomings. In years past, the Penguins were bold on the trade deadline, but they are under new leadership, that of first-year general manager Ron Hextall, who in the past with the Flyers was traditionally more conservative than his predecessor, Jim. Rutherford. The Penguins also don't have a first, third or fourth round pick in the 2021 draft, but could have some salary cap flexibility if center Evgeni Malkin remains on the long-term injured reserve until after. in the playoffs.
The Devils and Buffalo will belikely sellers, with the Taylor Hall of the Sabers the Most Valuable Player of 2018, and the Devils' Kyle Palmieri having already been preemptively wiped out from recent games, according to several reports.
Candidates: Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers Image Winnipeg has been aggressive in the past, including acquiring Pierre-Luc Dubois, right, earlier this season in a trade with Columbus. Credit ... Fred Greenslade / The Canadian Press, via Associated Press
The Maple Leafs have been the most formidable team in
Second place Jets should have around $ 3.5 million in flexibility, which could be used to acquire a solid piece if they are creative. CEO Kevin Cheveldayoff has been flawless in pursuing big jobs, acquiring Paul Stastny in 2018, KevinHayes in 2019 and Pierre-Luc Dubois this eason.
The Jets also have some flexibility for next season, should they choose not to charter. The Jets will likely focus on their blue line, and the most coveted bilateral defenseman would be Mattias Ekholm of Nashville. But the Predators went on a six-game winning streak to close out March and set a hefty price tag.
Candidates: Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes Image Florida Panthers are having one of the best seasons ever franchise history. They haven't won any playoff series since their third season in the 1996 Finals. Credit. .. Jim Rassol / Associated Press
The Lightning turned in a magnificent title defense, even without having wing Nikita Kucherov, their best striker, all season. Carolina were Central's best team in March, with the performances of forward Martin Necas - 17 points in 14 games - and goalkeeper Alex Nedeljkovic, who posted a 6-1-1 record with an average of 1. , 85 goals against. Florida led the combination of wingers Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov to another successful month in what has been one of the best seasons in franchise history.
While Tampa is against the salary cap, Carolina and Florida, in particular, are flexible. Most Carolina defenders would likely be exposed to the expansion draft, so it's possible the Hurricanes will make one at the deadline to avoid a situation where they lose.ent one of their regulars during the off season. They would likely look for a striker in return, as their goalie situation has solidified between Nedeljkovic and the now healthy Petr Mrazek, who returned to the roster this week for the first time since January 30.
Florida has the most caps of any team in the playoffs, but also has significant holes in its lineup. Panthers' top defenseman Aaron Ekblad will be out until June with a broken leg, creating a significant void. Nashville could shape the deadline as a whole, as it can chart its course based on whether or not its late March push continues. If the Predators choose to sell and reconfigure, they could put talented players like Ekholm, forward Mikael Granlund and defenseman R yan Ellis on the line.
Candidates: Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild Image Colorado's Mikko Rantanen led the league in goals last month. Credit ... Harrison Barden / USA Today Sports, via Reuters
Opposing coaches and players like the Kings' Todd McLellan and Drew Doughty have publicly admitted that Colorado, Vegas and the Minnesota have virtually stalled the sleeper playoffs. That leaves St. Louis, Arizona and San Jose in a three-way scrimmage for last placein the playoffs.
Colorado had the top scorer in March, right winger Mikko Rantanen, top goalie Philipp Grubauer, who won all 12 games in the league with a goals against average of 1.56.
Vegas, which has been aggressive in its historical memory, has a deep but already expensive list. While Colorado has a few options, they are also one in more talent in almost every position, with the possible exception of the substitute goalie, given that Pavel Francouz has been injured all season.
Minnesota desperately needs help on a playing power that ranks in the bottom five in the league. Despite the emergence of Joel Eriksson-Ek, the Wild lack a true No.1 cross, and a smooth passer could open up opportunities for playing pilots like winger Kirill Kaprizov and defender.r Jared Spurgeon. A creative and game-making hub would likely be high on Minnesota's wishlist, but the hub market is expected to be slim.
Anaheim is the most likely seller, despite his position has been complicated by injuries as forward Rickard Rakell and defenseman Hampus Lindholm are ruled out.