As we have passed the midpoint of the season, things are about to get interesting in the NHL, especially with the condensed schedule due to the Olympics.
Plenty of teams will be looking to kick-on towards the playoffs while others will be in rebuilding mode already for next season. One division that has been fascinating this year and arguably the most interesting in the NHL is the Pacific.
So, what do we think will happen within this grouping in terms of trades and trading? It does not look like the Anaheim Ducks need to do very much with a 37-9-5 record. They do not look as though they will move along Jonas Hiller despite his UFA status next season – and why should they? He’s been in fantastic form this year and is more valuable within the club. In fact, do they need to do anything given their current record?
The San Jose Sharks are hot on the heels of the Ducks, although, fans who bet on NHL know that they are not quite as hot as they were at the start of the season. If they have any holes in their roster, they are not glaring ones and that’s probably a good thing, as they do have an issue with salary cap space.
Further down the division, the situation looks a little different. The Los Angeles Kings are going to need to make a move somewhere along the line and they haven’t been shy on making trades of a larger nature in the past; they could definitely do with a boost to their scoring line-up.
The Vancouver Canucks are in a state of flux and they need to be very clever with their trading as they deal with a capable but ageing core to the their team – getting enough value out of their trades is the key for them.
At the bottom end of the Pacific, plenty of business is being done at the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, both of which need considerable change to happen; the Flames have no GM in place now so it’s hard to know what will happen there but we can see considerable movement happening over the next few weeks.
The Phoenix Coyotes fall somewhere in between the two groups. They are struggling with balance this year, having traded in their excellence on defence (in the past) for some increased impetus on offence; that hasn’t quite worked but they do have salary cap space to play with and NHL betting fans should expect to see some moves to address that problem.