Calgary Flames: 31-23-9, 71 pts, 9th in West, 3rd in Northwest
A team that was given up for dead early in the season roared to life in the second half of the year and the Flames now sit just one point out of the playoffs in the West. A team full of veterans both up front, on the blueline and in net doesn’t need much in the way of outside help given the way that they’re playing right now, and they probably wouldn’t be willing to give up anyone off the current roster at the moment. Don’t expect much from them til the offseason.
Colorado Avalanche: 26-29-7, 59 pts, 14th in West, 4th in Northwest
The Avalanche are just one year removed from a surprising season that saw them sneak into the playoffs and nearly upset the top-seeded San Jose Sharks. Still, they failed to meet expectations this season, and have already made some of the most significant trades of the season. Veteran goalie Craig Anderson was sent to Ottawa for youngster Brian Elliott, while Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk were dealt to St. Louis for a first round pick and defenseman Erik Johnson. John-Michael Liles is the most likely piece to be moved at this point, but it remains to be seen if his $4.2 million cap hit can be moved at this point.
Edmonton Oilers: 20-34-8, 48 pts, 15th in West, 5th in Northwest
The Oilers have had little doubt as to their playoff hopes for quite some time now, but the youth they have on their roster should have them in good spirits for the upcoming seasons. Draft picks and prospects will be the name of the game for the Oilers at this point, with Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, possibly Shawn Horcoff and Ladislav Smid on the trade block.
Minnesota Wild: 33-23-6, 72 pts, 7th in West, 2nd in Northwest
Just a few weeks ago, the Wild would have been considered sellers, but a timely winning streak has them right in the thick of things out West. The most important thing for the Wild would be to add a top-line caliber winger to play with star center Mikko Koivu. Martin Havlat has failed to fill that role, and there’s more than a few pieces that the Wild would be willing to part with in order to acquire such a necessary piece. Think veterans like Andrew Brunette and John Madden, who would be valuable to just about any team looking to make some noise in the postseason.