March 1st: the NHL trade deadline grows closer as mid-February is about to hit. Many teams are currently looking for vulnerable players to add depth or skill to their team. Teams hoping to get into the playoff picture including the Florida Panthers, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, and more are looking over many players. But teams like the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Pittsburgh Penguins are looking for another deep playoff run. Here is a list of players susceptible to trade before March 1.

Marc-Andre Fleury

Goalie, Pittsburgh Penguins

After winning the Stanley Cup in 2016 but being sidelined by the great play of Matt Murray, the Penguins have a tough decision to make. He has currently posited a .906 save percentage and has a record of 14-7-4. He also is in a 4-year deal with the Penguins with a cap hit at 5.75 million per year. The team must decide if Matt Murray’s play will carry the team into the future or to stay with the 32-year-old goalie. They can either trade him to contenders, including the Stars, expose him to the expansion draft, or ride with him until the end of his contract.

Defenseman, St. Louis Blues 

Lately, the Blues are just going downhill since the start of January. After firing their head coach Ken Hitchcock, it seems like there is nothing that is going right for the team. Currently in the top Wild Card spot, the Blues will have to start shopping for a player that will help them stay in the playoff picture. Needing to free up some space, Shattenkirk’s contract is in its final year at a 4.25 million dollar contract. Posting 11 goals and 26 assists so far this season, Shattenkirk would be a great addition to any playoff team. After an interesting deadline last year and summer, the New York Rangers have been looking at him all along and might even add him come the deadline. Otherwise, he will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

Goalie, Tampa Bay Lightning 

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been saying the least very disappointing this year. Currently sitting at 24-24-6, they are dead last in the Eastern Conference. After losing their Captain Steven Stamkos, nothing has been clicking for the Lightning. Bishop is currently sitting at 13-12-3 with a save percentage at .907. He has a cap hit of 5.95 million and they must make a decision also: the Lightning will either trade him to a team such as the Stars, expose him in the draft, or try to resign him at the end of his contract.

Left Wing, Dallas Stars 

Even though this season has been plagued with concussions for Sharp, he is trying to get his production back, and now has a target on his back for the upcoming trade deadline. He has posted 6 goals and 6 assists in 28 games played this season. Dallas seems to need a goalie to solidify their back end, so Sharp’s 5.9 million dollar cap hit can be moved. The Chicago Blackhawks are a big target for Sharp since he played almost his whole career there, but they would need a big trade to clear up their cap hit.

Center, Colorado Avalanche 

At this point, the Avalanche are the worst team in the league this season- goaltending not working, defense all over, forwards not helping out. They are last in the league with a record of 15-33-2. But Duchene has been productive with 15 goals and 17 assists this season. He still has a couple of seasons remaining on his 6 million dollar contract but the Avalanche are looking for a rebuild. The Senators and Bruins seem like top contenders currently, but many teams might also pinch in before the deadline.

Honorable mentions: Shane Doan (Arizona Coyotes), Martin Hanzal (Arizona Coyotes), Ondrej Pavelec (Tampa Bay Lightning), Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche), Jarome Ignila (Colorada Avalanche), Patrik Berglund (St. Louis Blues), Thomas Vanek (Detroit Red Wings), Radim Vbrata (Arizona Coyotes).

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-Autumn

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