The NHL's Southeast Division At The 2011 Trade Deadline: Rumors And Expectations

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Atlanta Thrashers At The 2011 NHL Trade Deadline: Rumors, Needs And Expectations

First-year GM Rick Dudley made his move early, acquiring 24-year-old wing Blake Wheeler and stay-at-home defender Mark Stuart for center Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik. While the move is basically a two-for-one — Valabik had been unable to carve a spot on the Thrashers defense and had gone through waivers unclaimed earlier in the season — moving Peverley has left Atlanta thin at center. Don't be surprised if there's another move in the works.

Status: Buyer

Players On The Block: Niclas Bergfors ($900,000), Zach Bogosian ($3.37 million), Mark Stuart ($1.67 million), Brent Sopel ($2.33 million)

Needs: Peverley had come back down to Earth after a great year last season, but he was still Atlanta's top scoring center. So there's a definite need at center, especially with Alexander Burmistrov out with a broken foot. Dudley has a huge bargaining chip in Zach Bogosian, who has come up in trade rumors.

While Atlanta insists they're not actively shopping the former third overall pick, they do have eight capable blueliners and nearly $17 million already committed to four of them next season. Further complicating matters is Bogosian's RFA status this coming offseason.

Prediction: It makes sense (numbers-wise) to move Bogosian, but I don't think Dudley will, at least not until the offseason. He could use pending RFA Niclas Bergfors as a bargaining chip to land a center, and could even repackage Stuart to another team. Brent Sopel could be included in a deal as well.

For more on the Thrashers, visit Bird Watchers Anonymous. This post was written by Cory Lavalette.


Carolina Hurricanes At The 2011 NHL Trade Deadline: Rumors, Needs And Expectations

GM Jim Rutherford already dipped his toe in the trade waters by sending defenseman Ian White — who had been acquired earlier in the season from Calgary — to San Jose for, basically, young defenseman Derek Joslin and a second round pick in 2012. That leaves the Hurricanes with some money to use, if they so choose.

Status: On The Bubble

Players On The Block: Joni Pitkanen ($4 million), Sergei Samsonov ($2.53 million)

Needs: Rutherford doesn't want to mortgage his future in a season when he's unsure of how far his team can go. That being said, the Hurricanes are currently in a playoff position and the team has a knack for making postseason runs. With White gone, the Hurricanes have unproven Joslin and Brett Carson battling for the sixth spot. They could upgrade there, and may even look to add a pass-first winger to play with Eric Staal down the stretch.

Prediction: Rutherford has several expiring contracts — most notably Pitkanen, Erik Cole, Jussi Jokinen and Samsonov — but won't be an all-out seller. Rutherford could swing a deal like he did three seasons ago when he made a two-for-two deal with fellow playoff contender Ottawa that saw Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore shipped to the Senators for Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves.

But Rutherford will probably look to add a complementary player that wouldn't cost him much to land. He could try and re-acquire Stillman as the playmaking winger the team is lacking, or maybe add a physical defender to bolster the blue line.

For more on the Hurricanes, visit Canes Country. This post was written by Cory Lavalette.


Florida Panthers At The 2011 NHL Trade Deadline: Rumors, Needs And Expectations

If you have a stick-smashing cat on the front of your sweater, chances are you could be traded. While the Panthers could still make a push for the playoffs, GM Dave Tallon knows how to build a winner (see the Blackhawks) and will likely sell off some assets to move along the rebuild in South Florida.

Status: Seller

Players On The Block: Cory Stillman ($3.53 million), Bryan McCabe ($5.75 million), Tomas Vokoun ($5.7 million), Radek Dvorak ($1.7 million), Chris Higgins ($1.6 million)

Needs: Picks, prospects

Prediction: Stillman and McCabe have both come up frequently in rumors, while Vokoun is definitely the best goaltender that could be had on the trade market. Stillman will likely land somewhere (as mentioned, perhaps back in Carolina?), and McCabe will be coveted by any team in need of a power play quarterback (the Rangers?). 

But all eyes will be on Vokoun: will a contender make a play for the incredibly talented Vokoun despite his lack of playoff experience? With Jacob Markstrom in the wings ready to assume the role as franchise goalie, expect Tallon to get as much as he can for Vokoun. The Sharks, Flyers and even Red Wings could make a play. But anyone and everyone could go, with Stephen Weiss and David Booth even seeing their names tossed around.

For more on the Panthers, visit Litter Box Cats. This post was written by Cory Lavalette.


Tampa Bay Lightning At The 2011 NHL Trade Deadline: Rumors, Needs And Expectations

First-year GM Steve Yzerman added a No. 1 goalie when he acquired Dwayne Roloson on New Year's Day to shore up the Lightning between the pipes. He then bolstered the defense last week by acquiring Blues captain Eric Brewer for a pick and a prospect. Does Yzerman want, or need, anything else?

Status: Buyer/Stand Pat

Needs: Scoring wing

Prediction: Ryan Malone is on the shelf, so Tampa Bay is a little thin on the wing right now. But Yzerman has already played his cards in acquiring Brewer and Roloson, and Malone should be back. Yzerman is probably done and ready to see what his team is capable of in the postseason.

For more on the Lightning, visit Raw Charge. This post was written by Cory Lavalette.


Washington Capitals At The 2011 NHL Trade Deadline: Rumors, Needs And Expectations

The 2010-11 season hasn't gone as planned for the Caps, who are looking up at the Lightning in the Southeast. But Washington still has the firepower to be a Cup contender once they reach the postseason. But there are some holes that could use filling if the Capitals are finally going to get over the hump and go deep in the playoffs.

Status: Buyer

Needs: Top-six point producer, veteran defenseman, maybe a goalie

Prediction: Washington's search for a second-line center continues, so expect them to make a play for someone to fill that need. The Sabres' Tim Connolly is a pending UFA that could be shipped out of Buffalo, especially if the Sabres slide out of the playoff picture.

Devils center Jason Arnott has more than 100 playoff games under his belt and would provide size, skill and experience down the middle. Even though the Capitals acquired Scott Hannan earlier in the season, there is still a need for some defensive help to stabilize a young and talented group. All signs point to the Caps sticking with Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth, but if the right player came along, an upgrade in net could help their cause.

For more on the Capitals, visit Japers' Rink

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