1) Taking a look at the latest NHL standings this early Monday morning and one is struck how many teams are still very much in the playoff hunt. January is almost over and the trade deadline is a mere 4+ weeks away, and if the standings continue to stay tight, there may be very few 'sellers' at the deadline, and quite a few potential 'buyers', looking to add that final piece that they believe will cinch a playoff berth or Cup run.
2) In the East only the Flyers are out of it. The current 14th seed Panthers are a mere 6 points from the 8th spot. With 5 other teams in front of them its an admitted long shot, but it wouldn't look good for their fans if they were to fold up when the playoffs appeared within reach. The Panthers aren't alone in that category; teams that are technically still in it, but the odds are against them. The Bruins, Caps, and one could argue the Coyotes and Blues are in this category.
3) However for the sake of argument we believe any team more than 6 points out at the deadline will be a potential seller, then if that were today that would be a mere 6 teams! With 24 potential buyers, it could be a case of low supply and high demand, which could cause an escalation or a bidding war to ensue.
4) Of course the ever present trade choker, the salary cap, is still likely to limit a free for all of dealing. Either way this is going to be an interesting month or so. As always keep it here for the latest!