This is a unique season for the NHL. The last time there was a roster freeze for the Olympics, the unofficial trade deadline was the day before the freeze. This year, the same thing appears to be happening, as teams are beginning to make trades. The difference between four years ago and today is that unlike four years ago, this is a “salary cap correction” season.
For those unfamiliar with cap space, it is accrued over time. It is why Capgeek has a “deadline space” section for each team. As each day passes, the team accrues more cap space. Without getting into the intricate details, teams have the most cap space to work with at the actual trade deadline. That’s important because this year is one where teams desperately need cap space due to the lockout.
Due to this, we are likely going to see action at both deadlines. But which teams are sellers? The Bettman Bonus Point has blurred the lines between pretenders and contenders.
Your sellers are your bottom feeders, the ones we know won’t be making the playoffs this year. These are teams that will likely be looking to deal their UFAs for picks and prospects. I made the cut off here 50 points or less.
Florida Panthers - Marcel Goc, Brad Boyes, Scott Gomez, Krys Barch, Jesse Winchester, Mike Weaver, Tom Gilbert, Mike Mottau, Tim Thomas, Scott Clemmensen
New York Islanders – Thomas Vanek, Peter Regin, Eric Boulton, Radek Martinek, Andrew MacDonald, Evgeni Nabokov
These are teams that are more than five points out (assuming each team wins their games in hand) with multiple teams to leap-frog in the standings. It’s not that they don’t have a shot, it’s just unlikely they overtake multiple teams in the standings.
Nashville – David Legwand, Devan Dubnyk, Carter Hutton
Yea, that’s it for bona-fide sellers at the Olympic deadline. Pickings are pretty slim right? There’s three, maybe four that might be worth it for the Rangers. Problem is, those are the only players really worth it to the other 22 buyers at the moment.