The NHL trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and some teams probably don’t even know yet if they should be buying or selling.
But soon they’ll have to make that call, and we’re going to take our best crack at determining which teams should, buy, sell or stay put — and we’ll offer our reasoning in one (OK, maybe two, sometimes) sentences.
Anaheim Ducks — Sell
They can’t compete right now, and absolutely should be trading Rickard Rakell.
Arizona Coyotes — Sell
Turns out, they’re kind of fun. But they shouldn’t let a solid surge cloud their judgement. This team isn’t built for the long haul.
Boston Bruins — Buy
Patrice Bergeron and the like only will be around for so long. Keep buying.
Buffalo Sabres — Sell
As the great philosopher Billie Eilish once said: Duh.
Calgary Flames — Sell
They keep putting off rebuilding, and now they have a middling team with no direction. Time to sell.
Carolina Hurricanes — Buy
They once again need to find goaltending, even if they like Petr Mrazek. Jonathan Bernier, anyone?
Chicago Blackhawks — Sell
The team we’re seeing lately is more representative of who they are than the one at the beginning of the year. They need to be open for business.
Colorado Avalanche — Buy
Tough financial decisions are coming in the next few years. Go for it now while you can.
Columbus Blue Jackets — Sell
I admire that Jarmo Kekäläinen hates selling, but he needs to sell.
Dallas Stars — Stay Put
They shouldn’t be adding or subtracting because this has been such a challenging year for them. Do what you can with what you have and try again next year.
Detroit Red Wings — Sell
See: Buffalo Sabres.
Edmonton Oilers — Buy
They have two of the best players in the NHL and are in playoff position. They owe it to their group to buy.
Florida Panthers — Buy
Only thing that can sink them is bad defense.
Los Angeles Kings — Sell
They’re almost ready to turn the page on this rebuild. Acquire a few more assets now.
Minnesota Wild — Stay Put
Let the kids play. Minnesota has been fun this year, but isn’t ready to compete for a Cup. Hold tight this year, see what the young guns can do and reassess this offseason.
Montreal Canadiens — Buy
If only because Marc Bergevin is definitely getting fired if they have a bad postseason.
Nashville Predators — Sell
The last couple years, Nashville has started really poorly, then turned a corner. Since the Preds aren’t turning corners a la the 2019 Blues, they should just start shipping off assets — like Mattias Ekholm.
New Jersey Devils — Sell
Wonder if anyone is going to want Kyle Palmieri.
New York Islanders — Buy
They were going to buy anyways. Now they have a bunch of cap space because of the Anders Lee injury. They’re going for it.
New York Rangers — Stay Put
Stay the course. Anything this year is house money, especially in that division.
Ottawa Senators — Sell
Not a ton of tradeable assets because they won’t be parting with prospects and don’t have a ton of veteran rental pieces. Perhaps they’ll move Ryan Dzingel again.
Philadelphia Flyers — Stay Put
Been an awful year for them, and they might miss the playoffs. They should just ride it out with this current group and see where it gets them.
Pittsburgh Penguins — Stay Put
They’re under new management, but are sitting in playoff position. Who knows what kind of team they actually are, but hard to believe the new group will swing huge moves this April.
San Jose Sharks — Sell
They’re not that good, and they have a few tradeable assets. (Timo Meier comes to mind.) They shouldn’t go full fire sale, but they should change things up.
St. Louis Blues — Buy
They’ve made way too many big moves over the offseason to give up on this team. There’s enough talent to turn things around, but they’re too far in to start selling or even stay put.
Tampa Bay Lightning — Buy
With what cash? We don’t know. But they certainly shouldn’t be selling.
Toronto Maple Leafs — Buy
Same deal as the Bolts, honestly.
Vancouver Canucks — Sell
It’s a lost year for them, and they might as well start stockpiling assets as they prepare to retool once again.
Vegas Golden Knights — Buy
What wild move are they going to pull off this year?
Washington Capitals — Buy
A pretty loaded team without a ton of holes. Perhaps a veteran backup goalie is all this team needs.
Winnipeg Jets — Buy
We’re not kidding: They’re a defenseman away from being a legit Stanley Cup contender.