gettyimages-1900669223-2.jpg
Getty Images

The 2024 NHL trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and teams have some big decisions to make. In this week's NHL Power Rankings, I'll do the honor of making those decisions for each of the 32 franchises.

On the college football side of things here at CBS Sports, the terrific "Cover 3 Podcast" has a segment called Day Trader Danny. In it, Danny Kanell does his best Gordon Gekko impression and gives a stock update on the top quarterbacks around the country.

In the name of content, I'll be borrowing and tweaking that idea. The NHL trade deadline can sometimes be tough for teams to navigate, so I'll serve as a clear-eyed third party to make their buy/sell/hold decisions for them.

For some upstart teams in the midst of unexpected success, the idea of adding can be tantalizing. I'll help them keep the long-term picture in mind. For others, the idea of selling the farm for a playoff run can be anxiety-inducing, but sometimes you need to adopt the philosophy of Los Angeles Rams GM Les Snead and "(fudge) them picks."

Let's break down what every team should do at the trade deadline in the updated NHL Power Rankings.

Biggest Movers
6 Jets
5 Stars
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Panthers Hold | Normally, I would encourage a team like this to buy aggressively, but that isn't the case with the 2023-24 Panthers. Frankly, I'm not sure this team needs any major upgrades, and Florida is without a first-round pick until 2026. The Panthers are already a Cup contender as it is, and I doubt that will change anytime soon since Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov are locked in for the long haul. Florida may be better served swinging a big trade in the offseason, when it will have more financial flexibility, to help keep that Cup window open. -- 52-24-6
2 Rangers Buy | As good as the Rangers have been, they do have some gaps to fill if they want to get the most out of this group. With Filip Chytil out long-term, New York has a need at the center position, and that is where GM Chris Drury should focus his attention. Tommy Novak, a skilled forward for the Predators, has been linked to the Rangers and would be a good fit in the void left by Chytil. -- 55-23-4
3 Jets Buy | The Jets have a number of key players who are at or approaching 30, and they aren't getting any younger. Two of those players, Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck, have massive extensions that kick in next season. Winnipeg needs to strike while the iron is hot and make a run at the Cup this season. Despite adding Sean Monahan already, the Jets could use another playmaker up front and another difference-maker on the blue line if they want to get past the Stars and Avalanche in the West. 6 51-24-6
4 Maple Leafs Buy | The Maple Leafs will once again be buyers at the trade deadline as they hope to strike while Auston Matthews is in the prime of his career. As has been the case in recent years, Toronto will be looking to upgrade its blue line. Assuming that is the case, GM Brad Treliving should be calling his former team, the Flames, on a regular basis. Landing Chris Tanev or Noah Hanifin would represent a step in the right direction for the Leafs. 4 46-25-10
5 Hurricanes Buy | Carolina is firmly in its Stanley Cup window, it has a little cap space, and it has draft capital. Put those three things together, and that is a recipe for the Hurricanes to be aggressive buyers at the trade deadline. I know they don't usually fork over premium assets for rentals, but the East is wide open, and Carolina has as good a shot as any team to get to the Stanley Cup Final. 1 52-23-7
6 Oilers Buy | Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are in the prime of their careers. That should be enough for any GM, especially Ken Holland, to throw caution to the wind. Adding to that urgency is the fact that Leon Draisaitl is due a rather large raise in 2025. I've thought the Oilers could be a good landing spot for Jake Guentzel, a move that would create a terrifying top-six for opposing teams, but they might need to take a second look at the goaltending market given Stuart Skinner's recent struggles. 3 49-25-6
7 Red Wings Hold | Steve Yzerman must be a happy man these days. The Red Wings are rolling, and the Yzerplan is coming is starting to yield results. However, that doesn't mean Detroit should make any kind of major additions at the trade deadline. The Wings aren't quite ready to be a true Cup contender yet, so Yzerman may want to hold onto those future assets in order to add in the offseason, when acquisition costs might be a little lower. That might be better for the team's long-term outlook. 5 41-32-9
8 Avalanche Buy | It's not a secret that the Avalanche have been searching for that elusive second-line center since Nazem Kadri left after the Stanley Cup run in 2022. Unfortunately for Colorado, it lost the Elias Lindholm sweepstakes a few weeks ago, but the team should be in the market for center depth. If the Avs can get a center with some term left on his contract, all the better. 2 49-25-7
9 Stars Buy | The Stars are one of the NHL's elite teams this season, and they should conduct themselves in that manner at the trade deadline. GM Jim Nill should leave no stone unturned in his pursuit of a Stanley Cup, especially when it comes to getting help on defense. The Stars are as loaded at forward as any team, and Jake Oettinger can steal a playoff series when he's at his best. If Dallas can get another solid top-four defenseman, watch out. 5 51-21-9
10 Canucks Buy | There might be quite a few changes to this Canucks roster in 2024-25, so they might as well go ahead and try to win it all with this group, especially if there is any inkling that Elias Pettersson might be hesitant to sign a long-term deal. Vancouver has already made a splash by adding Elias Lindholm, but getting another dynamic defenseman could put this team over the top in the West. 5 49-22-9
11 Bruins Buy | I almost went "Hold" here because the Bruins haven't exactly been playing inspiring hockey lately. That said, I want to see what this team looks like when David Pastrnak has a little more help up front. Boston's offense has been somewhat anemic this month, and it desperately needs another playmaker in the top-six if it's going to escape the gauntlet that is a deep Eastern Conference. 4 47-20-15
12 Golden Knights Buy | The injury bug has once again bitten the Golden Knights, but that also might create some financial flexibility ahead of the trade deadline. If Mark Stone does hit LTIR, that will create some cap space ahead of the deadline, and Vegas can be more aggressive when it comes to buying. That's what the Golden Knights did last season, and it wound up working out pretty well for them. They're still firmly in their Cup window. 1 44-28-8
13 Lightning Buy | Lightning GM Julien Brisebois doesn't need me to tell him to be aggressive at the NHL trade deadline. He's done that consistently throughout his tenure. I'm sure Tampa will be working the phones again at this deadline, perhaps even more than usual. Steven Stamkos is a pending UFA, and if the Bolts do want to make another run at it with this core, they will probably need to bolster their blue line. -- 44-29-8
14 Predators Sell | Nashville has rattled off six straight road wins, and it is back in a playoff spot. That aside, GM Barry Trotz can't lose sight of the larger picture. The Predators aren't going to win the Stanley Cup in 2024, and they have players that would be very appealing to contending teams. Juuse Saros would be the big-ticket item, but Tommy Novak could fetch a decent return too. Nashville needs to keep its long-term plan in mind and sell at this deadline. 4 47-30-5
15 Flames Sell | The Flames have done well to hang around in the Western Conference playoff race, but it would be a huge mistake not to keep selling before this trade deadline. Calgary already got some nice pieces in return for Elias Lindholm, but the trio of Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev and Jacob Markstrom could really set the team up for a supercharged rebuild. The Flames might wind up as one of the big winners from this trade deadline. 2 37-38-5
16 Flyers Hold | This is probably not the most prudent decision for a Flyers team that just started a rebuild, but I think the human side of things can get lost in trade deadline discussions. This team was expected to be one of the worst in the league, but the whole roster has bought into John Tortorella's vision, worked its tail off, and put itself in position to reach the playoffs. There's an argument that the players should be rewarded with the opportunity to see what they can do in the postseason. 2 38-33-11
17 Kings Buy | I still think the Kings have what it takes to compete for a Stanley Cup this season, but they are going to need some help. Their offense has lagged behind expectations by a wide margin this year, and they need another solid finisher in the lineup (hello, Jake Guentzel). The other question facing Los Angeles is how much it trusts the goaltending duo of Cam Talbot and David Rittich to hold up in the postseason. 2 43-27-11
18 Devils Buy | This "Buy" tag comes with an asterisk. Anyone the Devils might add at this trade deadline needs to come with term left on his contract or an extension. It's just not worth it for New Jersey to add a rental right now because there is more than a decent chance the team misses the playoffs entirely. Obviously, goaltending is a major position of need for the Devils, and a couple of options are out there. Jacob Markstrom and Juuse Saros would both be clear upgrades, and their contracts run beyond this season. 2 38-39-5
19 Wild Hold | The Wild seem to have really found a groove under John Hynes, and that has them battling for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. As a result, I'm not sure Minnesota needs to do anything major at the trade deadline, one way or another. Maybe the Wild find a dance partner for Marc-Andre Fleury, but other than that, they have some interesting pieces and should be positioned for a step forward when the buyout penalties of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter come off the books. 1 39-33-9
20 Capitals Sell | Washington has actually played quite well lately, Tuesday night's blowout loss aside. Although the Capitals' recent play has been impressive, it's hard to imagine them going on a deep run even if they do get into the postseason. Washington might be able to flip Anthony Mantha and/or Max Pacioretty hoping to add some forward depth. That would give a franchise in transition more firepower to work with at the draft. 3 40-31-11
21 Senators Hold | There has already been quite a bit of chatter around Jakob Chychrun ahead of this year's trade deadline, but I do think the Senators should let him stick around. For the second season in a row, I might be getting fooled by a late-season push from Ottawa, but it's hard to deny the team has some skill. I say keep this group together, tweak some things in the offseason, and make another run at it in 2024-25. -- 37-41-4
22 Sabres Sell | It has been another disappointing season in Buffalo, and it's time for the team to start selling off some of its pending free agents. The most interesting potential trade chip for the Sabres is Casey Mittelstadt, a pending restricted free agent in the midst of a strong season. Mittelstadt would have a ton of value on the trade market, between his low salary and RFA status. The Sabres might be able to get a haul for him. 2 39-37-6
23 Blues Sell | The Blues are yet another one of those teams that remained in the playoff hunt for a good while, but reality is starting to set in with five losses in their last seven games. If St. Louis is going to sell, it will have to move Pavel Buchnevich, hands down the most appealing option for playoff teams around the league. Moving Buchnevich would help the Blues restock draft capital and their prospect pool in a hurry. 4 43-33-5
24 Penguins Sell | The Penguins have held on for as long as they can, but it's time to give up the ghost. Pittsburgh isn't going to the playoffs, and Jake Guentzel would be the most sought after player on the trade market. On top of that, the Pens might be able to move out Reilly Smith and one of their goalies. I'm not suggesting a full rebuild needs to happen, but they need some ammo to reload in the offseason for Sidney Crosby to have one or two more swings at a Stanley Cup. 2 38-31-12
25 Kraken Buy | Hear me out on this one. No, the Kraken aren't likely to make the playoffs this year, but they have financial flexibility beyond this season, and they have a decent stockpile of future assets. I think it would be fun to see whether Seattle can weaponize those things and add players who might be around for a while. If they don't do it ahead of this deadline, I have to think the Kraken would start that process over the summer. 3 33-35-13
26 Islanders Hold | I wanted to say "Sell" for the Islanders, but they might have painted themselves into a corner with their contract situation. GM Lou Lamoriello has handed out quite a few long-term contracts to players approaching the age of 30 lately, and that will make them hard to move, even if they have been productive. Maybe the Isles could deal Brock Nelson, who has just one year left after this season, but even that might prove difficult. 1 38-27-16
27 Blue Jackets Hold | The Blue Jackets just recently fired GM Jarmo Kekalainen, and John Davidson is currently serving as the interim. That being the case, I'm not sure Columbus should make any big moves until the next full-time GM is in place. Besides, it's not like they have a ton of options at the deadline. Jack Roslovic might bring back a return, but I'm not sure the Jackets fully lean into the role of seller here. 1 27-43-12
28 Ducks Sell | Simply put, the Ducks have one of the more intriguing centers on the market in Adam Henrique. He has 16 goals and 22 assists this season, and he would be a nice middle-six center for a team lacking in that area. Maybe a team like the Avalanche would be willing to part with a nice collection of future assets in exchange for Henrique. 1 26-50-5
29 Canadiens Hold | The Canadiens have already made their big move by getting a nice return for veteran center Sean Monahan. As the deadline approaches, they may not be quite as aggressive. Instead of selling off any more significant pieces, Montreal may just want to let head coach Martin St. Louis keep molding this young core. 1 30-36-16
30 Sharks Sell | San Jose may not have a ton of high-end options available at the deadline, but the team can be a volume shooter. Anthony Duclair, Mikael Granlund, Luke Kunin and Mario Ferraro should all fetch modest returns. That would only give GM Mike Grier even more ammo as he orchestrates a massive rebuild for the Sharks. 1 19-53-9
31 Blackhawks Hold | How bad can one team possibly get? Do the Blackhawks really need to get rid of anyone else? Who would they even trade? Just let Connor Bedard keep what little help he has around him right now so that he can finish his rookie campaign strong and win the Calder Trophy. 1 23-52-5
32 Coyotes Sell | Can they sell the team? Kidding (not really). The Coyotes have not won a hockey game since Jan. 22. That's 13 straight losses, and I have to imagine only a handful of players are untouchable. Arizona needs some draft capital that it can use -- either by drafting prospects or trading them for established players -- to add to its young core. 1 35-41-5