By: Josh Chodor
As we reach the end of February, the contenders and the pretenders are quickly drifting apart from one another. While teams like the Blackhawks, Capitals, and Stars look to play deep into the Spring, teams like Buffalo, Edmonton, and Columbus look to retool in the draft. However, for the teams in the middle of the standings (Fifteen teams have between 64 and 74 points), there is room to improve for the playoff stretch. Here are some potential impact players that can be moved at this year’s deadline, February 29th.
Edmonton (again) looks to be in prime position to win the draft lottery (again), which could spell the end for some wearing the Oilers uniform. Winger Teddy Purcell can be a cheap producer for any team, and even big name players such as Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Nail Yakupov could find themselves on the hot seat. The Oilers’ dreadful defense could also see overhauls, with Justin Schultz being the top name on that list to go. Look for Edmonton to try and nab some young D-Men in return.
Winnipeg Captain Andrew Ladd is a hot commodity as well around the league. The two-time cup champion is drawing offers from contending teams such as Florida and Chicago. A trade to the Blackhawks would be a return for Ladd, who won a title with the Hawks in 2010.
While other forwards Eric Staal and Mikkel Boeddker are generating interest around the league, the biggest target still on the market is Boston’s Loui Eriksson. Eriksson has 48 points for the Bruins, who are still sitting on the edge of the playoff picture. While the Bruins may look to be movers at the deadline, cap-strapped teams such as the Rangers will look to make a cheap acquisition in hopes of a title run.