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Pacific Division deadline preview: Vegas the ultimate X factor

From ESPN - February 15, 2018

The National Hockey League trade deadline arrives on Monday, Feb. 26. So far, we have taken a look at the Metro, Atlantic and Central divisions, which means it's time to take a deep dive into the Pacific.

How deep will the Oilers go in their roster refurbishment? Which California team is the next one to make a significant move? And do you realize we live in a world where the expansion Golden Knights might actually be ... buyers?

Note: Salary cap information is from Cap Friendly, while personnel information is from media reports and our own reporting.

Buyers

Anaheim Ducks

Deadline cap space: $15,850,622

Biggest needs: Scoring winger

Assets in play: The Ducks have all their picks for the next two years, save for a third in 2019 and both seventh-rounders. They also own the Devils' third this season. They have a trio of veteran unrestricted free agents: Center Antoine Vermette (35, UFA, $1.75M, modified no-trade), defenseman Kevin Bieksa (35, UFA, $4M, no-move) and defenseman Francois Beauchemin (37, UFA, $1M).

Deadline game plan: The Ducks are one of those teams in that nebulous space between contention and regression, between buying and selling. If GM Bob Murray seeks to add a piece, Rangers forward Michael Grabner (30, UFA, $1.65M) would seem like an ideal fit with his speed. But Murray sounded downright pessimistic about this Ducks group and using the trade deadline to give them a boot to the rear. Which is weird when the window to win would seem to be right now, given the age of the core.

Calgary Flames

Deadline cap space: $9,454,110

Biggest needs: Top scoring winger, depth center

Assets in play: The Flames are in a bit of a pickle when it comes to draft picks. They do not own their first or their second this year, their second next year and potentially a third next year as well (if they make the playoffs). So it could be a player-for-player route for Calgary instead. Among their UFAs are center Matt Stajan (31, UFA, $3.25M, partial no-trade) and defenseman Matt Bartkowski (29, UFA, $612,500). But the real intrigue is around goalie Jon Gillies, 24, the Providence product who's ranked behind Tyler Parsons in the goalie pipeline.

Deadline game plan: Mike Hoffman from Ottawa (28, 2020 UFA, $5,187,500) would be an ideal fit, with the ability to play both wings and serve as an asset on the power play -- the Flames are 27th in the league, at 16.6 percent. Other than that, perhaps a rental center that, as Eric Duhatschek writes, "could win a few more faceoffs and take some of the defensive pressure off rookie center Mark Jankowski." Paging Carolina's Derek Ryan (31, UFA, $1.425M) ...

Los Angeles Kings

Deadline cap space: $9,454,110

Biggest needs: Depth winger

Assets in play: The Kings have all their picks for the next three years, minus a fifth and a seventh this season. Among their UFAs are forward Torrey Mitchell (33, UFA, $1.8M) and defenseman Christian Folin (27, UFA, $850,000).

Deadline game plan: Will the Kings do anything as impactful as the trade that netted them defenseman Dion Phaneuf and forward Nate Thompson for veteran winger Marian Gaborik and center Nick Shore? Well, the Kings were reportedly in pursuit of Evander Kane at one point. Rick Nash is hanging out there, too, and that's an L.A. Kings-style player if we have ever seen one. But it's most likely going to be a less impactful forward, what with the Kings' other deadline "acquisition" -- a healthy Jeff Carter -- on the way back.

San Jose Sharks

Deadline cap space: $26,177,789

Biggest needs: Center

Assets in play: Sharks are missing their second- and third-rounders this year, but otherwise have all their picks for the next three years. Among their UFAs are forwards Jannik Hansen (31, UFA, $2M) and Joel Ward (37, UFA, $3.275M), and goalie Aaron Dell (28, UFA, $625,000).

Deadline game plan: The Sharks are in a playoff spot, but a tenuous one. As they wait for Joe Thornton to return from injury, they could be in the market for a center -- even if GM Doug Wilson is usually loathe to rent players. But it should be a quiet deadline in theory, with Wilson ready to liberally spend that projected $24.3 million in cap space he will have this summer -- throwing much of it at center John Tavares, one imagines.

Vegas Golden Knights

Deadline cap space: $37,871,465

Sellers

Arizona Coyotes

Edmonton Oilers

Vancouver Canucks

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