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NHL Power Rankings: How is your team feeling after all those trades?

A lot of numbers are being crunched in the NHL right now: “How many years left on this guy’s deal?” “How do we fit this salary under the cap?” 

Yes, trade deadline season is defined by cold, hard math and making dispassionate decisions aimed at improving your club any way you can. 

Just ask Jonathan Quick. 

Given all that, can we bring some feelings back into the equation? 

For this edition of the power rankings, with the actual deadline looming on Friday afternoon, let’s get entirely unscientific and ask one question of all 32 clubs: How are the vibes right now? 

1. Boston Bruins (47-8-5) Immaculate. Possible record-setting regular season; intuitive additions in Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway and now a shoot-your-shot move like getting Tyler Bertuzzi. There’s every chance Boston won’t win the Cup, but it will take a front-to-back effort from a great team to beat them.  

2. New Jersey Devils (40-15-5) The vibes were great in Jersey before they got Timo Meier without giving up an ‘A’ prospect. They’re fantastic now. 

3. Carolina Hurricanes (39-12-8) Maybe feeling a bit left out? There’s still time for a splash, but most of the big pieces have come off the board and landed somewhere other than Carolina.  

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (37-16-8) Leafs fans are experiencing the exhilaration of taking your stack of chips and shoving them into the middle. Now, we just have to see the cards.  

5. New York Rangers (35-17-9) Scoring has been the issue with the Rangers the past couple years, so GM Chris Drury added Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane; giddy up!  

6. Vegas Golden Knights (36-19-6) Surprisingly chill? Vegas hasn’t been involved with anything crazy, which is a departure from how this team has operated since joining the league six years ago.  

7. Colorado Avalanche (34-20-5) Definitely improving, though things would feel a lot better if Cale Makar wasn’t out with a concussion right now and if there was a clear path to Gabriel Landeskog returning from knee surgery before the playoffs.

8. Los Angeles Kings (34-20-8) We haven’t had an “it’s a business” moment of late quite like Rob Blake trading Jonathan Quick in the package for Joonas Korpisalo and Vladislav Gavrikov. It was a gut punch for Quick and his longtime teammates, but would you honestly rather see Blake sit on his hands when presented with a chance to improve a team that could go to the Stanley Cup Final with competent goaltending? 

9. Tampa Bay Lightning (37-19-4) Don’t stop now. Tampa has made big plays at recent deadlines for players it knew it had for multiple runs — Blake Coleman, Barclay Goodrow, Brandon Hagel — and rugged winger Tanner Jeannot is a similar type of acquisition.  

10. Dallas Stars (31-16-13) A little uneasy. Only two regulation wins in their past 13 mean this is the toughest stretch of the season for Dallas under new coach Pete DeBoer. Mind you, new winger Evgenii Dadonov does have two points in two games as a Star.  

11. Minnesota Wild (34-21-6) One reason things feel pretty good in Minny? Filip Gustavsson has the second-best five-on-five save percentage (.944) in the league since the calendar flipped to 2023.

12. Edmonton Oilers (33-21-8) There’s some measure of relief knowing the Oilers have finally landed the top-four defenceman they’ve been after for a while in Mattias Ekholm.  

13. Seattle Kraken (33-21-6) Maybe just a little nervy after the Kraken have fallen down into a wild-card spot. Still, a lot of smiles for this second-year team right now.  

14. Pittsburgh Penguins (30-21-9) A bit better now that Tristan Jarry has returned and turned in back-to-back quality starts.

15. Winnipeg Jets (35-24-2) EVERYTING IS FINE WHY DO YOU ASK?? The Jets have one win in their past seven and are 6-10-1 since mid-January, so they’ve got some work to do to recapture the good vibes they had going in the season’s first half.  

16. New York Islanders (31-25-8) The vibes would be a little better if the Isles could win a shootout; New York is 0-for-5 in the one-on-one contests.  

17. Florida Panthers (30-26-6) It’s fair to say there’s some desperation in the South Florida air. Missing the playoffs would be a disaster for this team and, right now, the Cats are on the outside looking in. 

18. Ottawa Senators (30-26-4) The best they’ve been since the Sens came within a goal of making the 2017 Stanley Cup Final? After that Jakob Chychrun deal, yeah, I think so.  

19. Buffalo Sabres (31-24-4) Hope is a dangerous thing in Western New York, but how can the vibe not be optimistic in Buffalo right now? 

20. Detroit Red Wings (28-24-8) Severely mixed. Obviously, getting Dylan Larkin inked is a huge exhale, but saying goodbye to still-young pieces Filip Hronek and Tyler Bertuzzi hurts.  

21. Nashville Predators (29-23-6) It’s got to feel like a new day in Nashville, as the David Poile era comes to an end with some tilling of very stale soil.

22. Calgary Flames (27-21-13) Ugh. An unsatisfying year; an often unpleasant coach; it kind of feels like things couldn’t be worse in Calgary.  

23. Washington Capitals (30-27-6) Being honest with yourself is always a good thing, and that’s what the Caps are doing by making some UFA sells. Rasmus Sandin was a nice get for a team trying to retool on the fly.  

24. Montreal Canadiens (26-30-4) Nowhere near as good as it could have been had the Habs been able to flip injured Sean Monahan and Joel Edmundson for strong futures.  

25. Arizona Coyotes (21-31-9) They can’t be great after a year-plus-long process to trade Jakob Chychrun didn’t return anywhere near the package Arizona was in pursuit of.  

26. Vancouver Canucks (24-31-5) Confusion is never a great vibe and flipping the first they got in the sale of Bo Horvat for Filip Hronek only invites more of it for a Canucks team that can’t seem to pick a lane.  

27. St. Louis Blues (26-29-5) A cherished chapter is closing; always a bit of a sad vibe.  

28. Philadelphia Flyers (23-28-11) There has to be a lost-at-sea feeling in Philly. The team is not good and it’s just not clear what the plan to rectify that is.  

29. Chicago Blackhawks (21-34-5) Highly sentimental. That’s what happens when you say goodbye to a franchise-defining player in Patrick Kane.  

30. San Jose Sharks (18-31-12) This rebuild has a long way to go, but Sharks supporters would surely be feeling better about it had major chip Timo Meier returned at least one prospect they could really wrap their arms around.  

31. Anaheim Ducks (20-34-8) Could be better, for sure, but everything is still in place for a bright future and a top-three draft pick would greatly enhance the long-term picture.  

32. Columbus Blue Jackets (20-35-6) Here’s why the vibes should actually be OK in Ohio: in September, the Jackets could well feature a healthy Zach Werenski, stud D-man prospect David Jiricek, a more-comfortable-in-Year-2 Johnny Gaudreau, an improving Kent Johnson as the 2C and Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli or Leo Carlsson as the future 1C.


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