Trade Deadline Pivot for Hurricanes

Detroit Red Wings v Carolina Hurricanes
Detroit Red Wings v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

The NHL season progresses to the Stadium Series portion of the schedule this weekend and that will be followed by the trade deadline on Friday, March 8th. The Carolina Hurricanes sit just four points behind the New York Rangers for the Metro Division lead after 54 games. The rumors will be wild from here on out but are the needs of Carolina changing?

General manager, Don Waddell, built this team with depth over the years and that is a luxury compared to other teams around the league. The goal at the trade deadline will be to find a better option than what is available to the Canes currently. Two deep in most positions, it will be hard to find an improvement that makes sense both talent-wise and salary-wise.

The need for a sniper will always be the top option for this team but the same can be said for every team in the NHL. Even teams with multiple snipers could always use another one. But snipers come at a high trade cost and expensive salary.

Another position of need has always been rumored to be the goalie position. Despite having 4 NHL goaltenders on the roster, the rumors still swirl for the top options on the market like Jacob Markstrom, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Juuse Saros. But so many contending teams not only need a starting goalie, but depth in the position before the playoffs.

At this point, it would behoove the Canes to not shop for a goalie but to shop for one or two of their own. Injuries are a concern with this group and you would hate to be stuck shorthanded after a trade but the room for four goalies is just non-existent.

Antti Raanta is more than likely gone from this team after the season no matter what happens from here till the Finals. His value is not exactly high but with a low salary of $1.5 million, a team may want to grab him for depth. He has playoff experience and is a good "clubhouse" guy.

Pyotr Kochetkov has the longest contract and appears to be in line for the future of the top spot in the organization. He is the closest thing to untradeable at this point. Spencer Martin is making less than $1 million towards the cap and just 28 years old. He has a brief history in the NHL and goaltenders mature later in their careers. He has shown greatness in his time with Carolina but that is brief.

Martin's continued success could make him a valuable trade asset. On the other hand, management may want to lock him up on the cheaper side now in case it turns out to be a bargain if he progresses rapidly.

Frederik Andersen is on a fair contract for a starting goalkeeper but the obvious concern is always health with him. If he can return and get a 5-10 game run to show he is the same old Freddie, he may have some trade value as well. Making $3.4 million for the following season, Andersen is not a huge financial commitment. Like Raanta, he has playoff experience and has been around the block. A team like Edmonton could be interested in the cheap. Of course, the Canes would have to be open to taking on some salary.

Some teams will get desperate on deadline day and be more willing to look past the injury history of some of these keepers. If it appears that Martin and Kochetkov's time is now, then unload at least one of the veterans for an asset or some salary cap relief.