Central Division at the trade deadline: Plenty of Cup contenders — and buyers – ESPN

Could St. Louis native Patrick Maroon land with the Blues at the trade deadline? 

Feb 12, 2018

Greg WyshynskiESPN

The NHL trade deadline arrives on Feb. 26, and the Central Division remains the most potent group in the league this season. It’s not just that the division features five teams currently in playoff spots; four of the NHL’s top 10 teams are from the Central. Whoever makes the cut here will have earned it.

The Stanley Cup will, of course, be a possibility for any team that reaches the postseason — but it’s a more likely goal for some than others. This week we take a snapshot of the NHL trade deadline, focusing on the game plans for all 31 teams. After breaking down the Metro on Monday, we turn our attention to the Central, where it’s hard to locate a seller. Salary-cap information is from Cap Friendly, while personnel information is from media reports and our own reporting.

Buyers

Deadline cap space: $4,133,153

Biggest needs: Scoring winger, veteran defenseman insurance

Assets in play: Oh, this is tricky. The Stars have all of their draft picks this season as well as the Chicago Blackhawks‘ fourth-rounder. But given that the draft is being held in Dallas this summer, will the Stars want to hang onto that first-round pick, as is tradition for draft hosts? As far as unrestricted free agents go, they have the exasperating forward Antoine Roussel (28, $2M), defenseman Dan Hamhuis (35, $3.75M, modified no-trade clause), defenseman Greg Pateryn (27, $800,000) and goalie Kari Lehtonen (34, $5.9M, modified no-trade). Dallas could also dangle young, talented (and cheap) players like forward Devin Shore (23) and defenseman Julius Honka (22).

Deadline game plan: The first part of the deadline plan involves a player returning to

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