Outlook for East Division Groups Heading Into NHL Commerce Deadline


Picture: Rob Carr/Getty Pictures

Although the NHL Commerce Deadline is six days away, there has not been a lot motion throughout the league resulting from journey restrictions, necessary quarantines, and the flat wage cap. NoVa Caps takes a take a look at the place every staff within the East Division stands main as much as Monday at 3 PM ET:

Buffalo Sabres

Standing: Sellers

Commerce Deadline Cap Area: $2,285,923

Pending UFAs: F Taylor Corridor, C Riley Sheahan, F Tobias Reider, C Steven Fogarty, D Brendan Montour, D Matt Irwin, D Jake McCabe, G Linus Ullmark, G Carter Hutton

Already dealt: C Eric Staal (Montreal Canadiens), G Jonas Johansson (Colorado Avalanche)

Wants: The Sabres at the moment sit useless final within the East Division by 10 factors and are anticipated to be big sellers throughout the subsequent week.

Corridor, who has simply two targets, 19 factors, and a -21 ranking in 37 video games throughout his first season in Buffalo, has been a significant disappointment since signing a one-year deal within the offseason and is predicted to be traded for the second time in as many seasons.

Montour, who has 4 targets, 12 factors, a -12 ranking, a 46.59% five-on-five Corsi-for proportion, and a forty five.52% five-on-five anticipated goals-for proportion in 35 video games this season and is just 26, is also a scorching commodity available on the market with groups in want of defensemen in a season the place they want group depth.

Ullmark, 27, has performed admirably this season as he has gone 7-5-3 with a .921 save proportion and a 2.44 goals-against common, so the Sabres might use him as bait to lure in prospects and property to assist them enhance their farm system.

Anticipate plenty of noise out of Buffalo throughout the subsequent week as GM Kevyn Adams has been busy working the telephones.

New Jersey Devils

Standing: Sellers

Commerce Deadline Cap Area: $37,138,944

Pending UFAs: F Kyle Palmeri, C Travis Zajac, D Ryan Murray, D Sami Vatanen, D Dmitry Kulikov, G Scott Wedgewood, G Aaron Dell

Already dealt: N/A

Wants: The Devils at the moment sit 12 factors out of the ultimate Stanley Cup Playoff spot within the East Division and are anticipated to be sellers.

There have been some loud rumblings that Palmeri, who was held out of the staff’s 5-4 loss to the Washington Capitals on Sunday for “precautionary causes,” will likely be dealt. The 30-year-old has eight targets, 17 factors, and a -2 ranking in 34 video games this season.

There has not been any important noise about their different pending unrestricted free brokers however it’s affordable to suppose that they are going to be fielding calls on the others, particularly their defenseman. Kulikov has had a formidable season as he has posted a 53.65% Corsi-for proportion, a 54.07% anticipated goals-for proportion, and a 53.01% scoring chances-for proportion in 35 video games this season and will internet the Devils a pleasant return. The 30-year-old carries a $1.15 million cap hit by way of the top of the season.

Murray, 27, has not been as spectacular as he has recorded a 47.07% Corsi-for proportion, a forty five% anticipated goals-for proportion, and a 46.04% scoring chances-for proportion in 28 video games. The Devils might have a more durable time shifting him as he makes $4.6 million by way of the top of the season.

Vatanen, 29, has additionally not been at his finest this season with only a 49.63% Corsi-for proportion, a 47.99% anticipated goals-for proportion, and a 47.23% scoring chances-for proportion in 26 video games this season.

It’s questionable whether or not the Devils will need to half with Zajac, who has performed his full 1023-game NHL profession in New Jersey, and their goalies seemingly is not going to fetch a lot of a return.

New York Rangers

Standing: Mild Consumers

Commerce Deadline Cap Area: $17,524,709

Pending UFAs: F Phil Di Giuseppe, D Brendan Smith

Already dealt: F Brendan Lemieux (Los Angeles Kings)

Wants: The Rangers have performed nicely defensively this season as they rank eleventh within the NHL with a 2.62 goals-against per sport common however they might use some extra defensive depth in a tricky East Division after they parted methods with Anthony DeAngelo, particularly on the left aspect. The Rangers at the moment have rookie Ok’Andre Miller, who has a 49.01% Corsi-for proportion, a 48.08% anticipated goals-for proportion, and a 48.16% scoring chances-for proportion, enjoying of their top-four defensive unit. Maybe it will be one of the best factor to play him within the third-pairing.

The Rangers have some strong ahead depth led by Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad as they common 3.14 goals-per-game (tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for eleventh). Although, they might use some assistance on the ability play as their 17.9% energy play effectivity is eleventh.

The Rangers may additionally search for a faceoff specialist as their 45% faceoff-winning effectivity is useless final within the NHL.

With no main unrestricted free brokers developing, the Rangers usually are not anticipated to be massive sellers as they’ve the previous couple of seasons however they nearly definitely is not going to be going all-in as they at the moment path the Bruins, who’ve two video games in hand, by 5 factors.

Philadelphia Flyers

Standing: Mild Consumers

Commerce Deadline Cap Area: $4,136,212

Pending UFAs: F Scott Laughton, F Michael Raffl, D Erik Gustafsson, D Samuel Morin, G Brian Elliott

Wants: There have been some rumblings that the Flyers will make a significant transfer when the deadline comes round. They’ve been linked to Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm as they at the moment rank thirtieth with a median of three.54 goals-against per sport and twenty ninth with a 73.2% penalty-killing effectivity.

After defenseman Matt Niskanen retired within the offseason, the Flyers signed Gustafsson to assist however he has incessantly been a wholesome scratch as he has performed in solely 24 video games this season regardless of recording a aim and 10 factors. They’ve performed Justin Braun in Niskanen’s place and the highest pairing of Braun and Ivan Provorov has not precisely labored out as they’ve mixed for a 48.4% anticipated goals-for proportion in 225.4 minutes enjoying collectively.

The Flyers might additionally search for some goaltending assist as their .8864 five-on-five save proportion this season ranks final. Carter Hart has had a down season as he has gone 8-9-4 with an .871 save proportion and a 3.92 goals-against common.

They path the Bruins by 5 factors and Boston has two video games in hand, so the Flyers are in a gap. It appears like they are going to be patrons within the subsequent week however it’ll be powerful for them to interrupt right into a top-four spot, particularly with the way in which their goaltenders have performed this season. Philadelphia is 3-5-2 of their final 10 video games, so administration might resolve to cross on massive strikes if the worth is just too excessive.

Boston Bruins

Standing: Consumers

Commerce Deadline Cap Area: $4,848,202

Pending UFAs: C David Krejci, C Sean Kuraly, D Steven Kampfer, D Jared Tinordi, G Tuukka Rask, G Jaroslav Halak, D Kevan Miller

Wants: After dropping left-handed defensemen Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara in free company over the offseason, the Bruins might use one with expertise as they at the moment have two rookies in Jeremy Lauzon and Jakob Zboril and Matt Grzelyck as their top-pairing defenseman. Whereas the Bruins rank sixth with a 2.49 goals-against per sport common, they might use extra expertise on the left aspect to get by way of a division just like the East.

The Bruins might additionally use some depth scoring as their prime line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak have mixed for 45 of the staff’s 95 targets (47.37%). Ahead Brett Ritchie (10) is their solely different ahead with at the very least 10 targets this season.

The Bruins have been rumored to be searching for a defenseman and have additionally been linked to Ekholm. They’ve fallen off after a scorching begin to the season as they’ve gone 9-9-4 since a 10-1-2 begin and are hanging on to the fourth seed within the East Division.

The Bruins must struggle off the Penguins and Flyers for a spot and they need to with their veteran expertise, prime line, and goaltending tandem of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak however they are going to seemingly want some reinforcements on offense and protection to undergo the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Standing: Consumers

Commerce Deadline Cap Area: $1,527,983

Pending UFAs: F Colton Sceviour, F Evan Rodrigues, D Cody Ceci

Wants: The Penguins’ greatest query is in aim. Whereas their tandem of Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith have mixed for a .9281 five-on-five save proportion this season, the 2  (mixed) have only a single sport of Stanley Cup Playoff expertise. If the staff desires to go far within the division, they might use a security internet in aim.

The Penguins might also want a penalty killer as they entered Tuesday with a 78.3% penalty-killing charge, which was good for nineteenth, regardless that they’ve averaged 2.68 goals-against per sport.

The Penguins haven’t been rumored to be available in the market for any particular participant regardless that goaltending seems to be the highest want main into the NHL Commerce Deadline.

They’ve been lively on the commerce deadline in years previous however that would change beneath GM Ron Hextall. The Penguins have been working scorching lately as they’re 17-7-1 of their final 25 video games however they are going to seemingly must make one other addition to get into the identical tier because the Capitals and Islanders since they are going to almost certainly should get by way of at the very least one in every of them within the postseason.

New York Islanders

Standing: Consumers

Commerce Deadline Cap Area: $2,038,434

Pending UFAs: C Casey Cizikas, D Andy Greene

Wants: With captain Anders Lee out for the season, it has been rumored that the Islanders are available in the market for a ahead regardless that their common of three.00 goals-per-game is tied for thirteenth. Phrase on the road is that they may very well be a giant purchaser within the subsequent week as they’ve been linked to Palmeri.

Nevertheless, the Islanders must get artistic so as to add a significant title as they don’t have a lot cash to herald an impression ahead. They’ll seemingly need somebody who might help their 19.2% power-play effectivity, which ranks twenty first.

The Islanders are in good condition on protection, which averages 2.34 goals-against per sport and 27.4 shots-against per sport (each third), and in aim as their .9259 five-on-five save proportion ranks tenth. Contemplating that they’ve their eyes set on a ahead with restricted cap house, the Islanders are anticipated to be quiet on strikes relating to protection.

With the Islanders looking for a alternative for Lee, anticipate to listen to their title within the information all through the subsequent week.

Washington Capitals

Standing: Consumers

Commerce Deadline Cap Area: $0

Pending UFAs: F Alex Ovechkin, F Conor Sheary, D Zdeno Chara

Wants: The Capitals don’t seem to have any gaping wants, however they’ve averaged an above-average 3.22 goals-against per sport of their previous 9. The staff has eight NHL defensemen however they might nonetheless make some modifications. GM Brian MacLellan has acquired at the very least one defenseman at every of his six commerce deadlines on the job.

There was phrase that the Capitals may very well be available in the market for an skilled goalie as Ilya Samsonov or Vitek Vanecek have but to play a Stanley Cup Playoff sport of their profession. The Capitals might additionally search for one other heart as they’ve needed to play right-wing T.J. Oshie within the center when Lars Eller missed seven video games in March.

The Capitals have scratched ahead Richard Panik for 3 of the previous 5 video games and the 30-year-old has simply three targets, 9 factors, and a -9 ranking in 36 video games this season. He may very well be moved to unencumber some cap house however it’ll seemingly price the Capitals a mid-draft choose as groups are hesitant to tackle such a contract. Panik will rely $2.75 million towards the wage cap for the subsequent two seasons after this one.

There may be not a lot want in Washington because the Capitals are one of many deepest groups within the NHL however they might improve for one final run with their core group of gamers.

By Harrison Brown


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