At this point in the NHL season most teams are aware of their surroundings. The Ducks, Coyotes, and Blackhawks are clear sellers, and on the flip side, the Golden Knights represent the group of buyers.
I think they are at least considering taking a big shot at something. They were looking at Ivan Barbashev and now what I think they’re doing is ‘do we have a big move in us? Can we do two or three things.’ I think they’re looking at what’s the best way to maximize our opportunities. –Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet
Not only will Vegas be competing against other contenders for available impact players but they’ll be looking to maximize their new-found flexibility. The Golden Knights and other postseason hopefuls have been linked to certain individuals but some of those names are now off the board. While active teams are scheming and strategizing, middling teams are facing difficult decisions.
For example, take the Nashville Predators. Nashville’s offense exploded on Saturday, scoring seven goals in their 7-3 victory over Florida. However, ignore that outing because the Predators’ GM has. Longtime general manager David Poile announced this week that the Predators are open for business.
I do not think we are a buyer. I think if things don’t change more favorably we certainly could be a seller, but that’s not today. -David Poile, Predators GM
In his 24 years behind the scenes with the Predators, Poile’s teams have reached the Stanley Cup Finals once. So, he’s seen his share of mediocrity. With 11 days before the trade deadline he’s telling Cup contenders that he’ll be taking calls, not making them.