The NHL trade deadline is important for these 12 teams: Here's what they need

The rush to the trade deadline often has mixed results.

Last season, the Boston Bruins (Dmitry Orlov, Tyler Bertuzzi, etc.) and the New York Rangers went big (Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrick Kane) only to get knocked out in the first round.

The Florida Panthers, whose big moves in 2022 got them only to the second round, stood pat in 2023 and reached the Stanley Cup Final.

There, they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights, whose acquisition of Ivan Barbashev proved key to landing the sixth-year team its first NHL championship.

With this year’s March 8 NHL trade deadline rapidly approaching, here are needs for 12 teams:

The Calgary Flames celebrate a goal scored by defenseman Noah Hanifin (55).
The Calgary Flames celebrate a goal scored by defenseman Noah Hanifin (55).


Boston Bruins trade deadline need: Defenseman

Last year’s record-setting team could be cautious because of the first-round upset and the fact that their rental players left in free agency. But the Bruins rank around the midway point of the league in goals and points by defensemen. Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin, a pending unrestricted free agent, is a Boston native. He scored two goals in a game last week and has 33 points this season.

Toronto Maple Leafs trade deadline need: Penalty killing

The Maple Leafs rank near the bottom of playoff-positioned teams in penalty killing. A defensive-minded defenseman would help. Earlier, the thought was they would need a goalie upgrade, but Ilya Samsonov is playing well after earlier struggles, and Joseph Woll has been recalled after recuperating from an ankle injury. What they did: They acquired defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin from the Anaheim Ducks.

New York Rangers trade deadline need: Scoring winger

Winger Blake Wheeler is out through the regular season and possibly longer. So far it hadn't hurt the Rangers as they pushed their winning streak to 10 games before losing Sunday. There are plenty of options out there among pending UFAs. Rangers center Filip Chytil is out for the season so they could try to fill his spot, too.

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Carolina Hurricanes trade deadline need: Scoring depth

Forward Andrei Svechnikov's season-ending knee injury in 2022-23 shows you can never have enough scoring depth. If the Hurricanes make a move, they could use someone with term left on their contract because they have 10 pending UFAs on the roster.

Tampa Bay Lightning trade deadline need: Defenseman

Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev is out with a broken leg. He’s irreplaceable, and the Lightning lack the draft picks to get a top defenseman, but GM Julien BriseBois usually finds a way to get things done.

New Jersey Devils trade deadline need: Goaltending

Vitek Vanecek, currently injured, is near the bottom of the league in Moneypuck’s goals saved above expected. Nico Daws was solid in the Stadium Series but has been pulled in his last two starts. The Devils were reported to be in talks for the Flames' Jacob Markstrom, who has two years left on his contract after this season. He has a no-trade clause and would have to waive it in order to be moved. But reports said the team could hang on to Markstrom for the rest of the season. This move could happen after the season. What they did: Traded for defenseman Kurtis MacDermid.


Vegas Golden Knights trade deadline need: Injury reinforcements

Center Jack Eichel has been out since before the All-Star break but has begun skating with the team. Captain Mark Stone is week to week and TSN's Darren Dreger reports he could miss the rest of the regular season. If the Golden Knights could find some reinforcements who could help them down the stretch, they would be loaded in their repeat bid if Stone returns for the playoffs.

Vancouver Canucks trade deadline need: Additional depth

President of hockey operations Jim Rutherford, per his tradition, made moves early with forward Elias Lindholm and defenseman Nikita Zadorov. That won’t prevent him and GM Patrik Allvin from making another one, especially now that they have certainty with Elias Pettersson agreeing to an extension. The Canucks, who were in a 1-5-1 slide heading into Sunday's game, landed key defenseman Filip Hronek before last season's deadline.

Dallas Stars trade deadline need: Right-shot defenseman

Right-shot defensemen are always in demand at the trade deadline, and the Stars could use one because most of their blue liners shoot left. Nils Lundqvist and Jani Hakanpaa, their lone right-shot defensemen, are getting closer to returning from injuries. What they did: They acquired defenseman Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames.

Colorado Avalanche trade deadline need: Center, backup goalie

The Avalanche traded for Ryan Johansen in the offseason for the No. 2 center role, and he has been inconsistent. The Anaheim Ducks' Adam Henrique could be a good fit. The Avalanche also could use a veteran backup goaltender who can give No 1 goalie Alexandar Georgiev a break down the stretch so he's better rested for the playoffs. Forward Valeri Nichushkin, who had entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program, has been cleared to practice. He'll help the team when he's cleared to play. The Avalanche also would benefit if injured captain Gabriel Landeskog could rejoin the team in the playoffs after missing two consecutive regular seasons.

Edmonton Oilers trade deadline needs: Scoring winger, defensive depth

The Oilers have come back to earth since the end of their 16-game winning streak. They could use a scoring winger for their top six forwards. Corey Perry was recently signed, but he's more of a third-liner. The Oilers have given up four or more goals six times in their last 10 games, so a defensive-minded defenseman could help. Do they look for a different backup goalie than Calvin Pickard?

Calgary Flames trade deadline needs: Good returns on their trades

They have to balance getting a return for pending UFAs and staying in the playoff race. They got Andrei Kuzmenko back in the Lindholm trade. They got a prospect and picks in the Tanev trade. They'll need to get immediate help if they move Hanifin because they're within striking distance of a playoff spot.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL trade deadline 2024: Players, positions that could help 12 teams