Hockey Prospectus is taking a look at the NHL division by division and suggesting ways each team should approach the forthcoming trade deadline.
April 3 marks the NHL's trade deadline, and every team in the league -- both the playoff-bound and those likely headed to 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. All numbers here are accurate as of the morning of March 25.
Between the Ducks' surprising surge, the Sharks' recent struggles and the Kings' up-and-down results in defense of their title, the Pacific Division has seen its share of intrigue this season. All five teams could conceivably make the playoffs, setting up an exciting race to the finish. Here's how the Pacific's teams can optimize their rosters at the trade deadline for the final push:
The problem: The Ducks suffer from the same problem they have had for several seasons now: forward depth. Nearly all of their secondary forwards have been the beneficiaries of extraordinary luck this season. Players such as Saku Koivu and Daniel Winnik, who average more time on ice per game than Bobby Ryan, are best suited for a third-line role. The unsustainable play of Koivu, Winnik and Andrew Cogliano -- combined with the outright struggles of Matt Beleskey (seven points in 30 games) and Nick Bonino (10 points in 23 games) -- create a problem. Even the legendary Teemu Selanne's play has fallen off slightly. The Ducks have been an opportunistic team in 2013 -- Francois Beauchemin and Sheldon Souray have played wonderfully on defense -- but they rely too heavily on Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry for sustainable offense. Anaheim needs a scoring threat who can play second-line minutes and help it generate offense on a more consistent basis.