The Western Conference is interesting following the NHL trade deadline

SUNRISE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 04: (L-R) Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov pose for photographers prior to the 2023 NHL All-Star Game at FLA Live Arena on February 04, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 04: (L-R) Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov pose for photographers prior to the 2023 NHL All-Star Game at FLA Live Arena on February 04, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The NHL is a wild place. The Eastern Conference has six teams that have dominated the standings all season long. However, the Western Conference appears to be a bit behind, but that doesn’t make the teams at the top any less dangerous once the playoffs roll around.

In theory, those six east teams are going to be cut in half by the time they reach the second round, so that makes them less dangerous as a conference. They are also going to have to go through a lot more adversity to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

In the meantime, the winner of the Western Conference Finals might be just a tad fresher when that point comes. There are some really good players playing out west that believe that they can get it done.

The 2023 NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone. Going in, it seemed like the top eight teams at that point were going to be the top eight teams at the end.

The Western Conference of the NHL is looking crazy after the trade deadline.

Those teams are the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings, Seattle Kraken, and Edmonton Oilers. The Calgary Flames are the first team out, trailing the playoff line by five points.

Everyone below that is probably done. What have some of these teams done to improve themselves? Well, almost all of them have done at least a little something.

The Dallas Stars needed a player to go with Tyler Seguin. Well, they added Max Domi from the Chicago Blackhawks, which is a solid move from them. They are as dangerous as any team in the conference.

The Edmonton Oilers are led by Connor McDavid, who may score 70 goals at this point. He also has Leon Draisaitl, who is one of the best in the world as well.

Adding a guy like Mattias Ekholm to their defense is going to greatly improve their chances of winning the West. They have better depth than people give them credit for, so it would be nice, as hockey fans, to see them take advantage.

The Minnesota Wild added John Klingberg right before the trade deadline hit. He is a good offensive player that has terrible underlying numbers for the metrics folks. He is someone who is being brought there to run a power play and help them get more goals, which they need.

The Winnipeg Jets have been slipping a little bit, so they needed to make some moves to help them put out the fire. Adding Nino Niederreiter and Vladislav Namestnikov will improve their forward group up front.

When Pierre-Luc Dubois comes back, they can be a lethal group with an elite goalie like Connor Hellebuyck in net.

The Los Angeles Kings and Seattle Kraken made some small moves, but neither of them got what they were targeting at any point during the deadline. Both of them are very good teams, but they need more from within now following this deadline.

The Vegas Golden Knights are usually in on everyone, but they didn’t make any big moves either. Adding Ivan Barbashev will help their forward depth, but they didn’t get Timo Meier or James van Riemsdyk, which is probably something they wanted to do.

However, they found a way to be the team that landed Jonathan Quick, so he might be able to help until Logan Thompson comes back. We’ll see where they go from there.

That leaves the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. They have been an injured bunch this year. We don’t know the status of Cale Makar or when he’ll be back. The same goes for Gabriel Landeskog, who hasn’t played in a long time.

They added Matt Nieto and Keith Kinkaid for some depth at certain positions in addition to bringing back Jack Johnson. They also made a trade to get Lars Eller. With how weak the West is compared to the East, they might be able to win big again in the postseason.

Following this NHL trade deadline, it is hard to peg who you think has the best chance. Obviously, Colorado is going to be in consideration because of what we know that roster can do when healthy. There is also Connor McDavid who can win games by himself.

The Devils and Rangers are very similar. light. Related Story

After that, any guess is a good guess because we just don’t know. It should make for a very compelling tournament in a few months though.