The trade deadline will be a crucial time for Central Division contenders. The future of one of the Nashville Predators' most important players in franchise history could be decided. The Chicago Blackhawks are aggressively looking for an impact player on defense, while the Detroit Red Wings expect to be major players in the trade market for the first time in a few years.
Then there's the St. Louis Blues.
One of hockey's best stories before the All-Star Game, the Blues have matched the Central powerhouses point for point. They've played the fewest games among the Central contenders, yet sit tied with Chicago at 65 points.
Their biggest trade deadline move may be getting healthy. Andy McDonald and Alex Steen are practicing again, and both are recovering from concussions. If St. Louis gets them back in the lineup, that'll be more of an impact than anyone GM Doug Armstrong can add in a deal before Feb. 27.
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