Commentary

Trade deadline fixes: Northeast

Buffalo and Montreal should be thinking about moving pieces and next season

Originally Published: February 14, 2012
By Matthew Coller | Hockey Prospectus
Brad BoyesBill Wippert/NHLI/Getty ImagesBrad Boyes could be a movable piece for the Buffalo Sabres as the trade deadline approaches.

Hockey Prospectus is taking a look at the NHL division by division and suggesting ways each team should tackle the forthcoming trade deadline. On Monday, we looked at the Atlantic Division. Today, we continue with the Northeast Division.

Feb. 27 marks the NHL's trade deadline, and every team in the league -- both the playoff-bound and those likely for the draft lottery -- has needs to address. To prepare for the final flurry of transactions, we're going team by team to see which players could help fill some holes on contenders or provide some foundational stability for teams building for next season and beyond.

One statistic you'll come across in the analysis below is GVT, the main player valuation metric used by Hockey Prospectus. For a detailed explanation of GVT, click here.


Toronto Maple Leafs

The problem: The Leafs have been in the playoff picture for the entire season, but they are hardly a lock to make a run in the postseason. Finishing the season in the top eight is a must for a team with a playoff-starved fan base, but it will be difficult to do without a better penalty kill. The improved health of James Reimer certainly improves the Leafs' chances, but they have a success rate of only about 75 percent when short-handed. Only one team in the NHL has been worse on the PK this season.

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Vermette GVT