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Trade Deadline Preview: Pacific Division needs, availability and trade bait

Look for the Flames, Sharks and Golden Knights to buy big with wide-open Stanley Cup windows. The rest of the Pacific Division, however, will be selling, particularly the lowly Kings and Ducks.

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Cap Space: $0.1 million

Needs: What Anaheim really wants, it can’t have: good health and its big three stars closer to their primes. The second-lowest scoring NHL team needs producers. It’s conceivable the Ducks finish without a 20-goal man.

Availability: Any veteran forward in the bottom-six can be had for cheap.

UFAs: J. Silfverberg (RW), R. Miller (G), M. Del Zotto (D), C. Johnson (G), B. Gibbons (C), D. Grant (C)

Trade Bait: After setting the bar as a 20-40 guy a few years ago, Jakob Silfverberg was expected to break through closer to the 30-60 range on Anaheim’s first or second line. That hasn’t happened. But the pending UFA is 28 and looking to cash in based on unrealized expectations. The Ducks can only afford to give him a modest hike from $3.75 million.

ARIZONA COYOTES

Cap Space: $6.9 million

Needs: The Coyotes are effectively a team without a first line. Clayton Keller is approaching the periphery of that classification, but everyone else is playing above their weight class. Now is not the time to overpay to secure first-liners.

Availability: Arizona has scant depth on the blueline, but it should be shopping veterans Niklas Hjalmarsson and Alex Goligoski.

UFAs: R. Panik (LW), J. Oesterle (D), J. Weal (C), M. Kempe (LW), C. Pickard (G)

Trade Bait:Richard Panik has been traded in two of the past three Januarys and he’s a prime candidate to pack his bags this winter as well. He has scored at nearly a 20-goal pace over the past 200 NHL games and would be an inexpensive addition for any contending team looking to boost its secondary scoring. His cap hit is a reasonable $2.8 million, and at 28 he’s a pending UFA.

CALGARY FLAMES

Cap Space: $1.8 million

Needs: The Flames have gone with an all-rookie third ‘D’ pair, and with Michael Stone’s iffy return from a blood clot, they could use defensive depth. And help is needed in goal if David Rittich regresses and/or Mike Smith continues to struggle or gets hurt again.

Availability: Calgary lacks high-end prospects and doesn’t want to continue trading draft picks. So, just spare parts.

UFAs: M. Smith (G), G. Hathaway (RW)

Trade Bait: More than a dozen teams were interested in the services of UFA Austin Czarnik last summer. A one-way, two-year deal offered in person by GM Brad Treliving was enough to win over the dynamic AHL producer. Czarnik hasn’t been able to gain traction under coach Bill Peters, but his reasonable $1.25-million cap hit should attract former suitors.

EDMONTON OILERS

Cap Space: $0.1 million

Needs: The Oilers are in a dire need of bodies to ease the load on Connor McDavid – and not just from an offensive point of view. Edmonton lacks leaders, veteran savvy and keen hockey IQ. It also needs cap room.

Availability: With Mikko Koskinen just signed, Cam Talbot is available for teams seeking goaltending depth.

UFAs: C. Talbot (G), A. Chiasson (RW), A. Petrovic (D), K. Gravel (D)

Trade Bait: Functional toughness is a hot commodity in the post-season, and Zack Kassian is as intense as they come. He’s a hardworking soldier for the fourth-line wing, and his puck skills are better than you’d expect from someone not shy about chucking the knuckles. He has another year remaining on a contract that pays a not-outlandish $1.95 million.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

Cap Space: $2.2 million

Needs: The young forwards haven’t progressed, which has dried up secondary production for the NHL’s lowest-scoring team. The best remedy is long-term: secure and develop high draft picks. The Jake Muzzin trade started that process.

Availability: Jeff Carter could draw interest if L.A. retains some salary. Trevor Lewis is a playoff-proven warrior.

UFAs: C. Hagelin (LW), O. Fantenberg (D), P. Budaj (G)

Trade Bait: During his seven years in the NHL, Carl Hagelin has advanced past the first playoff round every spring – including making the Cup final three times. Teams know that. His speed adds to his versatility, either to supplement the big names on the top two lines or as a secret weapon on the third line. In recent seasons, though, his finishing skills have eroded.

SAN JOSE SHARKS

Cap Space: $1.5 million

Needs: There’s balance and depth everywhere. With this stacked roster sure to fragment in at least two key spots in the summer, it’s crucial to go hard for the Cup this year. Reserve goaltending would be a wise consideration.

Availability: The Sharks are light on prospects and future picks. Don’t be shocked if they sell more than buy.

UFAs: E. Karlsson (D), J. Pavelski (RW), J. Thornton (C), J. Donskoi (RW)

Trade Bait: GM Doug Wilson has never hesitated to offload talent, even with the Sharks on the cusp of a playoff run. (See Ryane Clowe, Douglas Murray, et al.) That’s how Wilson manages the cap so well. So even with Melker Karlsson finishing his fifth year as a Sharks regular, his $2-million cap hit next year will be needed elsewhere in Wilson’s plans.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Cap Space: $10.0 million

Needs: Like many other teams, Vancouver lacks the secondary scoring to keep up with the movers and shakers. While the Canucks have a decent committee on the blueline, they need a top-pair special-teams leader who can eat minutes.

Availability: Staying in the playoff race hinders the selling spirit, but Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev garner interest.

UFAs: A. Edler (D), T. Pyatt (C), L. Schenn (D)

Trade Bait: The Canucks have plenty of cap space at the moment, but that’s sure to change in coming years when Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and an anticipated top-pair defenseman get new deals. So it makes sense to move Jay Beagle if the right offer comes along. Beagle has three more years with an AAV of $3 million, but contenders need playoff battlers like him now.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS

Cap Space: $3.6 million

Needs: The Golden Knights have the cap space to add a difference-maker on defense, but they’d have to be creative about keeping him in future seasons. A master blaster from the blueline would diversify their attack.

Availability: Vegas has nine picks in the first five rounds of the 2019 draft. It could sacrifice its top selection to acquire that ‘D’ depth.

UFAs: B. Pirri (RW), R. Carpenter (RW), P-E Bellemare (C), O. Lindberg (LW), D. Engelland (D)

Trade Bait: With so many forwards at their disposal and a few promising prospects almost ready, Vegas should trade a spare part like Oscar Lindberg, even if the return is only a late-round draft pick. The Knights should also consider selling high on Brandon Pirri. He’s lit it up in limited games and may have priced himself out of Vegas for next year. He’ll be a 28-year-old UFA in the summer.

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