NHL Network Radio’s Two Man Advantage – Trade Deadline Notes From The Pacific Division

Mike Hoffman

Mike Hoffman #68 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Nashville Predators during an NHL game at Bridgestone Arena on February 19, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

With the NHL trade deadline less than a week away and many teams looking to add scoring, names like Mike Hoffman, Rick Nash, Evander Kane and Patrick Maroon are all expected to be changing area codes when the deadline closes at Noon Pacific/3pm Eastern on Monday, February 26.

This week, the Two Man Advantage examines the scoring needs of the Pacific Division contenders.

Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights are the only team in the Western Conference to top the 200-goal mark (as of Wednesday).  Vegas has found the back of the net 202 times.  William Karlsson’s 30 goals leads the way and three other players {Neal (24), Haula (22) and Marchessault (21)} have eclipsed the 20-goal mark. In all, seven players have double digit goals, and four players have 50 or more points (tied with Dallas for tops in the NHL).

The Golden Knights balance also extends to their distribution of ice time.  The top six forwards time on ice ranges from 17:17 to 18:25 per game while the seventh and eighth forwards play over 14 minutes a game.  With that type of balance, I wouldn’t expect the Golden Knights to make a deal for a top six forward.

Trade Deadline Targets:  Mark Letestu, Zack Smith

Los Angeles Kings

The Kings 174 goals scored sits eighth amongst the 11 Western Conference teams that are battling for a spot in the NHL’s second season.  LA has five players led by Anze Kopitar (25) with double digit goal totals and look forward to welcoming back Jeff Carter shortly after the Trade Deadline. Carter has averaged 27 goals in his five full seasons in Los Angeles but has been out since he suffered a tendon injury on October 10.

The hope is the return of Carter will help spark Tanner Pearson (10 goals) and Tyler Toffoli, who despite his 19 goals has just one goal in his last 18 games. In addition to Carter, the Kings are looking forward to the eventual return of Trevor Lewis whose 13 goals this season is a career high.  Lewis has been out since suffering an upper body injury February 9 in Florida when he was checked hard into the boards.

The acquisition of Dion Phaneuf should take care of the Kings needs on the blueline, but GM Rob Blake may look to add some forward scoring depth on the left side.  The consensus is though that Blake will not mortgage the future for any deadline deals.

Trade Deadline Targets: Tomas Tatar, Michael Grabner and Zack Smith

Calgary Flames

The Flames currently find themselves on the outside looking in on the playoffs but trail third place Los Angeles and the Minnesota Wild (second wild card spot) both by just two points.  Though the Flames have seven players with double digit goals, GM Brad Treliving would still like to add some depth scoring.

Calgary may be hampered by the fact that they don’t have a first or second round draft pick to offer from this year’s draft as a trade chip, leaving them to dip into their prospect pool.  With the injury to Mike Smith it may force the Flames to hold on to John Gillies.

The Flames are stockpiled in their system with blueliners like Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington both at Stockton (AHL).  That could allow Calgary to move a player like TJ Brodie to acquire a top six forward.

Trade Deadline Targets:  Mike Hoffman, Tomas Tatar, Michael Grabner, Andrew Shaw

Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks return home from the road winners of three straight but still find themselves just outside of the playoffs.  One issue facing the Ducks is their 26 wins in Regulation and Overtime is three fewer than Minnesota and five less than both LA and St. Louis, all teams they are chasing for a playoff spot.

Anaheim has just one player with more than 20 goals (Rickard Rakell) and the only team in the playoff chase that doesn’t have a player with at least 50 points.  The Ducks have been given a spark of late from their third line that Randy Carlyle has assembled.  The trio of Henrique, Kase and Ritchie have combined for 21 points in the last eight games.  Still, the feeling is that GM Bob Murray will look to add to his top nine.

GM Bob Murray must decide before making any type of move is if his team is good enough to make the playoffs in contemplating if he should pull the trigger on a deadline deal. The Ducks target appears to be scoring help on the wing but the health status of Ryan Kesler who appears to still be dealing with issues from off-season hip surgery may force Murray to look for additional help down the middle.

Trade Deadline Targets:  Mark Letestu, Zack Smith, Michael Grabner, Gustav Nyquist

San Jose Sharks

GM Doug Wilson has never been shy about making moves at the deadline, but the question remains while the Sharks currently find themselves second place in the Pacific Division are there are six teams in the Western Conference that have more wins than the Sharks and third place Los Angeles (three points back of San Jose) has the same number of wins as San Jose (33).

The Sharks have nine players with double digit in goals but only Logan Couture (23) has eclipsed the 20-goal mark and Brent Burns (50) is the only Sharks player with 50 or more points.

The knee injury to Joe Thornton and the uncertainty of if or when he will return could impact GM Doug Wilson’s decision to make a deal.  It’s more likely that Wilson will make his biggest moves at the June draft or July 1, when free agents to can sign with a new team.

Trade Deadline Targets:  Pat Maroon, Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner, Zack Smith

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