Trade Deadline: So You’re Saying There’s a Chance?

At this point of the season, the playoff picture is all but clear. Some teams aren’t going anywhere but some teams. have all but cemented their spots and other teams won’t go down without a fight. The teams that are in a position to lose their seat and the teams still clawing away to make the playoffs, all need a little tweaking if they want to get/stay there.

New York Rangers

6th in the Metropolitan division, one point behind the Islanders who hold the second wild card spot, but the Rangers still have one game at hand . Second last in the NHL for SA/GP with a 34.2% average their defense can really use a boost like Jack Johnson who’s rumored to have requested a trade out of Columbus. The 31 year old, 6’1″ 227 pound d-man could be the answer the Rangers are looking for. Jack Johnson‘s production isn’t quite where it should be after mid season but his value is in his size, hockey smarts and has good vision on the ice but more particularly, the first pass. Defensive woes are what’s most noticeable about the Rangers and if they want to make the playoffs, they should seriously give Jack Johnson a good look.

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Philadelphia Flyers

One point behind the New York Rangers, a game a hand, could the city of brotherly love could pass the Rangers? With 124 goals against on the season, that’s good enough for 10th in the NHL. The Flyer’s PP might give them a huge advantage coming in at 6th in the NHL but their PK has been terrible. 74.8% giving them the 3rd worse with only Edmonton and the Islanders behind them. Although a division rival, Ron Hextall might be on the phone with Senators GM Pierre Dorion inquiring about JG Pageau and/or Nate Thompson. Both players are on the PK in Ottawa and have a real knack for it. JG Pageau and Nate Thompson both having a SHG this season and tend to read opposing team’s power plays really well and could be an asset for the Flyers.

Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars: Jason Spezza was once upon a time a consistent 20+ a year goal scorer but was a healthy scratch when the Stars took on the surging Boston Bruins. Although he doesn’t seem to be on the chopping block, let’s speculate anyways because you never know. Would Dallas take an offer like Bobby Ryan and a 3rd rounder? Spezza’s contract is over next season so for Dallas to take on Ryan’s contract they would need to see him fit in with Rade Faksa and Antoine Roussel. With 51 points that gives Dallas the second wild card seat in the western conference but by no means are they safe. The Colorado Avalanche have been a pleasant surprise this year, the Avs and Chicago Blackhawks are both chasing the Dallas Stars. A middle of the pack kinda team who could really use some more offense. Adding a player like Mike Hoffman or James Van Riemsdyk could be a massive asset. Hoffman 11-18–29 and J Van Riemsdyk 19-10–29 both already have been rumored to be available come trade deadline.

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Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon is on pace for a personal season high sitting at 20-34–54 this season. The Avs are 6th in goals scored, top 5 for GF/GP, top 10 PP and top PK so what more could they need right? Goaltending! Colorado’s goaltending has been a consistent issue, Jonathan Bernier‘s GAA at 2.66 and Sv% at .914, Semyon Varlamov posting a GAA of 2.87 with a Sv% of .912 isn’t going to cut it. Carey Price has had a lot of ups and downs this year but with the way this Canadians team is going I wouldn’t be surprised if Price asks for a trade. Price is 30 years old and is currently in his 10th NHL season and has yet to win a cup. Price’s numbers haven’t been much better than what the Avs already have between the pipes but everyone knows Price is a lot better than what he’s shown us this season. The Colorado Avalanche is a young, up and coming team who could make a serious run in the next couple of years and the change of scenery might be exactly what Carey Price needs.

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On the move:

Jason Spezza: Clearly Jason Spezza is on a decline in his career, that being said, his faceoff percentage is still at 54.7%. He could just as easily slide in with Alex Killorn and Yanni Gourde.  Tampa needs someone who could win faceoffs. If he produced more I would have even throw him on the second line

Mike Hoffman: Potential landing spots for the star forward could be Dallas, Colorado, St Louis or Vegas. If the Oilers could land a shooter like Mike Hoffman to play next to McDavid, that would be one of the scariest duos in the NHL. Picture McDavid speeding down the ice and making a beautiful play that finishes with a Mike Hoffman one-timer.

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James Van Riemsdyk: A lot of teams will be inquiring about him, potential landing spots could be the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild or the LA Kings. My chips would be on Chicago, he would fit in quite nicely with Toews and Hinostroza.
Jack Johnson: The big d-man could find a home for sitting next to Erik Karlsson, perhaps the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings or the Edmonton Oilers. All three teams should be on the hunt for a big d-man with a big shot and has hockey smarts. He hasn’t earned much of a raise so if a team can re-sign him, might be a good deal on a 3 year contract. God knows Erik Karlsson needs to replace Mark Methot and fast!

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