The NHL trade deadline is Wednesday, April 3, which means we’re officially less than one month away. It could be an odd trade deadline given the fact that we’re dealing with a shortened season. A lot of teams are still trying to figure out whether they are going to become competitive or whether it’s best to give up the short-term goals and focus on the future.
On that note, here’s a look at two teams — one from each conference — that are likely to be sellers come trade deadline time.
The Calgary Flames will be the talk of the town come deadline day as all eyes will be watching to see if they move Jarome Iginla. Rumors are already swirling about the Flames franchise player and while the fans would be devastated to lose him, the grim reality is that this team is nowhere near being able to compete — even with him.
Iginla is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and he should be part of a fire sale that possibly includes Miikka Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester. While the latter two will be hard to move because of their massive contracts, Iginla is definitely one player who could swing the balance of power in the Stanley Cup race.
Early rumors have the Pittsburgh Penguins eyeing the power forward and if they managed to acquire him while keeping their current roster intact, they’d surely be the unequivocal Stanley Cup favorites.
When most people evaluate the New York Islanders’ 2013 season, the general sentiment is that the team is improved. On one hand, they are no longer the worst team in the Eastern Conference, but on the other hand, they’re still a middling team that has a barely visible skeleton of a foundation.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that believes this team is going to compete this year — even if they happen to squeak into the playoffs — and there are even fewer experts who think their future is bright. That likely means they’ll be sellers at the trade deadline.
Look for veterans like Brad Boyes, Mark Streit, Lubomir Visnovsky and maybe even goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to be on the market. All four are heading for free agency this offseason and the Isles would be wise to try to get something in return as they all won’t be back. Teams looking for some veteran reinforcements will find a willing partner with the Islanders.
The odds will change as teams make their moves. Keep an eye on the NHL futures at Bovada.