The trading deadline is less than a week away, but placing it in the table is not the deciding factor in making every team go all-in. For this week's power rankings, we've identified which teams should shop, sell, or stand before the Monday appointment.
How we grow: The ESPN Hockey Editorship hands over the voting rankings of teams 1-31, and these results are listed in the list here. The teams will be judged during the games on Tuesday evening, taking into account the overall balance, recent success and context such as injuries.
Previous ranking: 1
Buy carefully: What should the team get that seems to have everything? Look, we do not worry about the chemistry that works. But a full-back would not hurt.
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Previous ranking: 4
To buy: The Flames were dynamite and there is no reason not to go all in. The team could buy a Toraltending insurance, but a center forward would also be a nice luxury – especially if James Neal fails for a while.
Previous ranking: 2
Stand pat: Part of the problem here? The sharks do not have much to offer in terms of wealth. San Jose has no first round in the next two seasons, which was replaced by Erik Karlsson and Evander Kane.
Previous ranking: 8th
To buy: The Bruins want to do a hockey trade. What they really need is someone who helps with their awful 5-to-5 rating. Boston should get involved with anyone who can score.
Previous ranking: 3
To buy: The jets have been linked to the available Senator storms – Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel – and all would be great. The lack of a solid second-line center brings Winnipeg again to the deadline.
Previous ranking: 5
Buy carefully: We know that the Leafs are still in the market for a right-handed defender. The market offers are low, so Kyle Dubas should be careful to pay too much.
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Previous ranking: 6
To buy: No one knows what Lou Lamoriello will do. He is a GM with tight lips. We know that the adorable islanders could make a serious move by earning one of the big names available.
Previous ranking: 7
To buy: The Predators were unmasked by having only one working line in last year's playoffs, and were able to consume some upgrades despite the crazy playoffs behind them.
Previous ranking: 10
Buy carefully: The caps may need to move something to get them working again, but only need something small. A third defender or sixth defender would do that.
Previous ranking: 13
Stand pat: GM Jim Rutherford is never satisfied. But he has already made enough improvements for his team this season, including the recently added Nick Bjugstad. It's time to ride and see what the penguins can do.
Previous ranking: 16
Stand pat: A glorious six-week stretch brings the blues back into the mix (a team we left for dead). Why did we study chemistry here? This list is good.
Previous ranking: 11
Buy and sell: The months-long dilemma with the pending free agents Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky will eventually come to a head. We would do our best to keep Panarin as our own "rental" of the team. Another scenario: Say goodbye to Panarin and add an Ottawa storm.
Previous ranking: 9
Buy carefully: GM Marc Bergevin has already said that he is not in the rental market. For this team, a pleasant surprise in the playoff bubble, it means only one or two more conservative steps.
Previous ranking: 12
Stand pat: George McPhee has been calculated to build this team in each move so far. His only misstep was overpaid for Tomas Tatar at the end of last season. No reason to repeat this mistake.
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Previous ranking: fifteen
Buy and sell: The Canes had the same unbalanced squad all season, so we're lurking for a playoff spot. Buy a top 6 striker and swap one of their talented defenders to claim it.
Previous ranking: 14
To buy: How do you separate yourself from the Avs, Blackhawks, Wild and others? Go Big Dallas is a sneaky fit for Matt Duchene or Artemi Panarin. Duchene could even stay long term.
Previous ranking: 19
Selling: The team has begun to scale up the ship, but is unlikely to make a long-term deal with fan favorite Wayne Simmonds. The 30-year-old will find a new home next week.
Previous ranking: 18
Stand pat: The hot start has cooled down so much. The Sabers are unlikely to be a playoff team for 2019 and should take the farsighted and long-term view.
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Previous ranking: 17
Selling: The Wild are still in the playoff mix, but GM Paul Fenton will likely want to have his stamp on this squad. Eric Staal gets interested and could find a new home despite his desire to stay.
Previous ranking: 22
Stand pat: They've shown a few moments of life, but the avalanche is nowhere near as good as they've been looking for the first 25 games. Stay on the course. The core is here and the prospects are coming.
Previous ranking: 23
Stand pat: The Blackhawks might surprise the playoffs, but this season should be more about the transition. Chicago should exercise patience and be more active in free mediation.
Previous ranking: 20
Buy carefully: It would be great for this young guy to get a taste of playoff hockey. The Canucks will want to stick to hockey moves – adding players with remaining playing time – but could benefit from a bit more depth.
Previous ranking: 21
Selling: Injured by injuries, the coyotes did not make up ground in the murky west. Once again, this could not be her year. They should test the market with players like Josh Archibald, Kevin Connauton, Richard Panic and Jordan Weal.
Previous ranking: 25
Selling: The season went wrong. The Panthers should regroup to get a big boost in the free agency. Derick Brassard should be turned over. Mike Hoffman is a bit expensive, but could also find a new home.
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Previous ranking: 24
Selling: Hey, at least the Rangers made their plans transparent. The shares of Mats Zuccarello are on the rise; Kevin Hayes is also interesting, as well as defender Adam McQuaid, right-handed.
Previous ranking: 29
Selling: How is GM (and interim coach) Bob Murray committed to turning things around? Wednesday night a deal was announced for the storage of Jakob Silfverberg in Anaheim. Other teams may inquire about Brandon Montour, Adam Henrique, Nick Ritchie, and others.
Previous ranking: 30
Selling: The most attractive player the Devils currently have to offer is probably Marcus Johansson (who has a list of five teams without trades). When teams call other depth players, New Jersey should listen.
Previous ranking: 27
Selling: This is not your year, Edmonton. Repeat: this is not your year. Now all Oilers can complete some unwanted contracts for the next GM. Easier said than done.
Previous ranking: 28
Selling: Ken Holland won last year's deadline with Tomas Tatar. Can he orchestrate another coup? Maybe not, but a few tips and / or prospects for Gustav Nyquist, Nick Jensen and Jimmy Howard would do that.
Previous ranking: 26
Selling: Jake Muzzin and Nate Thompson are already gone, but GM Rob Blake is still working on the phones. If teams offer decent returns for Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Ilya Kovalchuk or Alec Martinez, why not?
Previous ranking: 31
Selling: Matt Duchene is almost gone. Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel could be out the door with him. The good side: They should win back the first round they traded for Duchene in 2019. Disadvantage: It probably will not be as high as the one she sent to Colorado as part of the deal that brought Duchene to the city.