Atlantic | Metropolitan | Central | Pacific
With the Olympic break giving the hockey world a reprieve from endless trade speculation and innuendo, NHL general managers have had plenty of time to analyze their roster strengths and weaknesses and put themselves in position to strike as soon as the roster freeze lifts after the Winter Games.
From that moment until 3 p.m. ET March 5, those same GMs will be in a mad scramble to address their various roster holes and either strengthen their rosters for a hopeful postseason push or sell off extraneous pieces as they build toward better days in future seasons. Hockey Prospectus has scoured the league to find good fits for each of the 30 teams.
The Pacific Division is chock full of Stanley Cup competitors such as Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles, teams that will be looking to stock up on talent for the postseason. There is a huge gap, however, between the haves and have-nots of the division. Two teams are in full-on rebuild mode, looking for future assets.
Note: Goals versus threshold (GVT) is Hockey Prospectus' proprietary player valuation metric.
The need: Two-way, bottom-six forwards
Anaheim relies a great deal on its superstars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry at both the offensive and defensive end, but they have two other lines with capable offensive players such as Andrew Cogliano (17 goals), Nick Bonino (16 goals) and Mathieu Perreault (12 goals). They have elected to fill out the bottom six with young, offense-minded players such as Kyle Palmieri and Jakob Silfverberg instead of defensively skilled checkers. While running four scoring lines can make life miserable on playoff opponents, depth forwards still need to bring shutdown capability to the table. The Ducks do not have a true shutdown forward in their bottom six.
Once categorized as a first-round bust, the 30-year-old impending free agent has found a niche as a bottom-six forward in Florida. Goc adds some offense, with 21 points in 58 games this season, and plays a solid two-way game. He is strong in the faceoff circle at 52.3 percent, which could help the Ducks a great deal as they rank 22nd in the NHL on draws. Though they have the best win-loss record in the NHL, Anaheim is only 13th in puck possession, and Goc has been one of Florida's top possession forwards over the past three seasons, despite starting the majority of his minutes in the defensive zone. With Florida in seller mode, the price should not be more than a mid-round pick or middling prospect.