3 NHL Teams Who Should Buy At The Deadline – And 3 Who Should Sell

(Image via Bill Wippert/ Getty Images)

Volunteer Writer: Thomas Dunford

Email: tdunford@umassd.edu

In the NHL, any team can win on a given night. It’s a team sport: if every player comes and gives 100% effort, the chances of winning skyrocket. 

But talent is talent, and sometimes gaining a superstar can help a team win those tight, grit games that become prevalent come April. 

Today, we are going to talk about three NHL teams who should go out and get talent and three that should sell their stars for future draft picks and prospects. Let’s begin.

Los Angeles Kings: Buy 

The Los Angeles Kings are the blueprint for a full team rebuild. They are 28-18-7 and second in their division, with a lot of hope for now and the future. 

The x-factor come playoff time has been goaltending, and the Kings have struggled to find consistency in that department. 

For as good as he was, Jonathan Quick has not been himself this season. In 27 games played, he has goals saved above expected of -14.5 and goals against an average of 3.41. 

If the Kings are looking to win in a defensive battle, they need to go out and get a goaltender who can provide that service. 

Vancouver Canucks: Sell 

To say this season has been a disaster would be an incredulous understatement. 

The front office believed they had the core, goaltending, and coaching to make them a true contender. They are 20-26-6 and have made history with the most multi-goal leads blown in a season. 

After rushing Tanner Pearson back from an injury, it’s unlikely he plays at all this season, as well as the next season. 

The team has stalled out, trading captain Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders for a package that included a top 12 protected first-round pick. 

No matter who is behind the bench, this team has failed to show pride and the mental drive needed to win. 

The best thing to do is to uproot this core and start over. 

Buffalo Sabres: Buy 

When the season started, the Buffalo Sabres were written off as an irrelevant franchise that was going to be at the bottom of the barrel; however, halfway through the season, it’s clear that this team is clicking. 

Former first-round pick, Tage Thompson, has blossomed into a superstar, scoring 68 points in 50 games. 

Forwards Jeff Skinner and Dylan Couzens have both bounced back after mediocre seasons, along with the development of Rasmus Dahlin. 

Goaltender Uuko-Pekka Luukkonen has played above expectations. His goals saved are above the expected 3.5, and the goals against the average of 3.3. He is proving he can win every night. 

This team is fighting for a playoff spot. Expect them to make noise in acquiring the missing piece. 

St Louis Blues: Sell 

This team is the equivalent of slamming your head on a wall and expecting it to cure your headache. 

They are consistently inconsistent, with star forwards struggling to find the back of the net and the goaltending crumbling. 

Right winger Vladimir Tarasenko has struggled to maintain health over the past seasons, and this one is no different. He has played 38 out of 51 games this season. He has scored 29 points with the team and looks to be a potential trade deadline target for contending teams. 

Despite talking a lot off the ice, Jordan Binnington hasn’t been able to back it up this season so far. He’s plotted a -9.4 goals saved above expected and a 3.27 goal against average, with an 18-18-3 record. 

If this team can admit its flaws and sell, it will benefit them in the long run. Until then, hold off on playing Gloria.

New York Rangers: Buy

The New York Rangers are in a tough predicament right now. They are 27-14-8, sitting third in the Metropolitan division. 

Teams like the Capitals, Penguins, and Islanders are right behind them and are preparing to bolster their core to make a run for the playoffs. 

If the Rangers want any chance to succeed, they need to get help to bolster their powerplay, which ranks 17th in the league. 

Goaltender Igor Shesterkin has been playing at an elite level, with a goals-saved above expected of 17.3 and goals against average of 2.45, proving he is the guy they can trust come April. 

However, players like Kaapo Kaako and Alexis Lafrenire have both been underwhelming. They have been unable to generate scoring chances and generate offensive momentum. 

If the Rangers want to win close games, they need major help on the offensive front. 

Chicago Blackhawks: Sell

This team is the NHL’s version of a failed Ponzi scheme. 

They persuaded players to believe that they were a contender and convinced themselves that they were one step closer to being at the top of the league once again. 

Then, they fell apart almost as quickly. 

The faces of the franchise, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, have given up – their stats prove it. 

Defenseman Jack Johnson is the worst analytical defenseman, with 19 defensive zone giveaways and an on-ice goals percentage of 25.3, and is a -20 on the year. 

In the long run, a loss this season will serve as a long-term victory for the team. They are fighting for last place in the league, and expect them to sell off game-changing talent to do so.


Leave a Reply