Midpoint is no time to stand still

As season's second half begins, teams must pick a path and make moves accordingly

Originally Published: January 6, 2010
By E.J. Hradek | ESPN The Magazine
With the second half of the NHL season upon us, teams have a better sense of their 2009-10 destinies. Some find themselves prime contenders for Lord Stanley's Cup, while others are surprisingly scraping for a playoff spot. Others ... well, there's always next year.

Here's a look at five teams on different paths with moves they can make to help them best succeed.

Cup contenders

San Jose Sharks
What they need: I still think the Sharks could use another second-pair defenseman for support. There's no rush to make a move, though. I would monitor the trade market closely until the March 3 deadline. The type of player I'm talking about might become available.

How they might get it: The Sharks are so close to getting where they want to go: deep into the playoffs. After their past disappointments, the Sharks should be willing to make a push and can afford to deal a draft pick or good prospect to add an important piece. They just need to add the right type of player, who hopefully would have some big-game experience.

What moves could teams such as the Flyers, Red Wings and Devils make in their quest for the postseason? To learn more, you must be an ESPN Insider.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.