With less than three weeks until the NHL’s March 3 trade deadline, we’ve got you covered at Daily Faceoff with at least one trade-focused story each day leading up to Deadline Day.
Today, we check in on the contending teams, be they elite-tier Stanley Cup threats or Wildcard bubble teams hanging on for dear life. If we grade the idea of being “all-in” on a scale, which teams are the most all-in? Which might behave more conservatively approaching March 3?
2023 Trade Deadline Countdown: 19 days
Introducing the Trade Deadline Pressure Gauge, created through a combination of (a) Intel, (b) Reading the tea leaves based on the standings and (c) information already publicly available.
Tier 1: ALL-IN
These teams need to win this year. They’re willing to throw caution to the wind, trade 1st round picks and/or prospects if it gets them the pieces they need.
(Tier 1A, already all-in)
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
The Islanders and Rangers ponied up with first-round picks as part of the packages they used to acquire Bo Horvat and Vladimir Tarasenko, respectively. The Isles are so all-in that they sacrificed their top prospect, Aatu Raty, despite sitting outside a playoff position on the day of the trade. With Horvat signing an eight-year extension at an $8.5 million AAV, GM Lou Lamoriello is all-in for more than just this season.
(Tier 1B, soon to be all-in)
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Winnipeg Jets
- Dallas Stars
- Vegas Golden Knights
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Boston Bruins
Note GM Kyle Dubas’ phrasing earlier this week when asked about top prospect forward Matthew Knies and Toronto’s 2023 first-round pick. He said they likely weren’t in play for rentals. The Leafs seem to be hinting at playing it conservatively in the coming weeks, but with Dubas’ contract up and Toronto under immense pressure to break a streak of six consecutive opening-round playoff exits, Dubas must leave no stone unturned, whether he’s replacing Jake Muzzin on defense or acquiring another impactful top-nine forward.