3 playoff contenders that will lament standing idle at the NHL trade deadline

It’s been almost a full week after the NHL trade deadline, and a few playoff contenders are already lamenting about doing nothing on March 8th.
Detroit Red Wings v Vegas Golden Knights
Detroit Red Wings v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages
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Almost a week following the NHL trade deadline, there are a few front offices of playoff contenders who should lament not making a move to give their respective teams one final boost. Sure, it’s always tough to find ways to fit players into lineups if there is already an influx of talent or if the team is cash-strapped, but with the playoff races taking shape, you can never add enough talent. 

Some front offices, however, may have counted themselves out but could be closer to contention than they initially thought. The Buffalo Sabres are a good example of this, having ‘sold’ a pair of older players elsewhere and a top scorer, only to find themselves just five points out of a wild card following a big win over the Detroit Red Wings. 

However, you can also argue the Sabres bolstered their blue line, given newcomer Bowen Byram’s production. Others, like the Minnesota Wild, were massive sellers at the deadline despite sitting just six points out as of Wednesday with just over a month to go in the regular season. 

One potential contender could regret ‘selling’ at the NHL trade deadline

Looking at the moves Minnesota made, it implies general manager Bill Guerin may not see his team sticking around the wild card race for the 2024 postseason. While you may look at the Pat Maroon, Brandon Duhaime, and Connor Dewar trades and shrug, it’s the glue players like them, especially Maroon, who become luxuries during playoff hockey season, which, by the way, unofficially begins in March. 

This is the time of the year when teams on the outside looking in are vying for those wild card spots, and two of them are listed in the following slides. But first, let’s talk about a team that could have addressed their goaltending situation at the deadline.