Metropolitan Division Trade Deadline Primer: Buyers, Sellers, and Team Needs

metropolitan division

The NHL Trade Deadline is on February 26.  Over the next week, the buyers around the NHL will load up their clubs for a chance to win the Stanley Cup.  The sellers will try to load up on picks and prospects and prepare for their Cup runs of the future.  The Metropolitan Division has been a very tight race all year, and it will likely continue that way all the way to the finish line.

While the Metropolitan Division race is still tight, it is highly likely that all of the clubs will make a transaction in order to improve their league standing.  Let’s dive in to who is buying and selling, and what players may be on the move before the NHL Trade Deadline.


Buyer or Seller? Both

Trade Chips: Justin Faulk, Draft picks

Summary: The Hurricanes have new ownership at this Trade Deadline, and it is highly likely that their new owner Tom Dundon wants to make the playoffs right off the bat.  Justin Faulk’s name has been in the rumor mill for a while.  The Hurricanes will likely want to add a young scoring forward into their lineup before the Deadline.  In addition to Faulk, the Hurricanes do have a surplus of young defensive prospects.


Buyer or Seller? Both

Trade Chips: Jack Johnson, Nick Foligno

Summary: The Jackets will likely sell more than buy, but they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot.  Jack Johnson requested a trade out of Columbus weeks ago, and it is likely the Jackets will accommodate him.  Johnson should bring a draft pick or good prospect in a trade return.  Nick Foligno is not having the best season this year, as the 30-year old’s numbers have dipped below 30 points.


Buyer or Seller? Buyer

Trade Chips: Draft picks

Summary: The Devils will more than likely stand pat, but if they choose, they will likely add to their roster.  GM Ray Shero is patient, and will only make tweaks to his roster if the time is right.  The Devils are still building, so Shero will likely not deal any of his top prospects to win now.  If Shero does look to add to the Devils lineup, expect him to add either a depth veteran forward or defenseman.


Buyer or Seller? Both

Trade Chips: Josh Bailey, John Tavares, Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Draft picks

With John Tavares’ contract renewal looming, the Islanders have some tough decisions to make.  In addition to Tavares’ contract needing an extension, the Islanders have to find a way to improve their defensive core and goaltending.  The Islanders tend to surrender over 40 shots per game on regularity, so improvements are needed in the defensive zone.  The Islanders have plenty of forwards with and without term left that other teams could find attractive.  In addition to the young forwards in their lineup, they have two first round picks, and two second round picks in the upcoming draft.


Buyer or Seller? Seller

Trade Chips: Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello, Ryan McDonagh, Nick Holden, Michael Grabner

Summary: The Rangers recently sent out a press release stating that the club is going to be rebuilding.  The Rangers have plenty of veteran forwards and defenseman that will draw interest before the Deadline.  The two biggest names are Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh.  Nash is drawing interest from teams like Nashville, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh who are seeking another scoring winger.  McDonagh has another year left on his contract, and he is a highly coveted top-four defenseman.  Teams like Tampa Bay, Boston, and Toronto are all in the mix for him.  The Rangers should be a very busy team selling off pieces and building for the future between now and the next NHL Entry Draft.


Buyer or Seller? Buyer

Trade Chips: Draft picks

Summary: The Flyers are in a prime spot to make the playoffs this year, and they are still building their franchise to get to where they need to be.  Even with goaltender Brian Elliott’s injury, the Flyers will likely stand pat with their goaltending.  The Flyers will likely stay patient, but if they did add, they will likely add a depth scoring forward or top-four defenseman.  The Flyers have some exciting young prospects and some draft picks to deal, but GM Ron Hextall has been very patient building this franchise back up.


Buyer or Seller? Buyer

Trade Chips: Ian Cole, Carl Hagelin, Matt Hunwick, Draft picks

Summary: The Penguins could still win the Metropolitan Division, and they can very likely win their third straight Stanley Cup.  The Penguins will be a buyer at the NHL Trade Deadline, as they will look to add another scoring forward.  They will probably add a rental type of forward, such as Rick Nash or Evander Kane.  The Penguins have very few flaws, and if Matt Murray can stay healthy in the playoffs, this team is poised to bring another championship to Pittsburgh.


Buyer or Seller? Buyer

Trade Chips: Andre Burakovsky, Philipp Grubauer, Draft picks

Summary: The Capitals are another favorite to win the Metropolitan Division, but their success will only be defined on how well they perform in the playoffs.  The franchise needs to find a way to get past the second round of the playoffs.  GM Brian MacLellan is likely looking to add another top-four defenseman to this group.  Another scoring forward is also needed, especially in the Capitals top-six group.  With the Capitals tight against the cap, the Capitals will need to watch every penny they send out and bring in to the organization.

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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