2 Buyers and sellers for the 2nd half of the season: Eastern conference edition

As we reach the halfway point of the season, and the start of the new year, we are starting to get a clearer image of what the playoffs will look like in a few months. Let's now look at 2 potential buyers and sellers from the eastern conference that are likely to make some trades before the end of the season.

Seller #1: Ottawa Senators

It's no secret that Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion is looking to make moves to improve his team, even asking every player with a N.T.C. to submit their team lists. One thing to note is the condition on their 2018 1st round pick, which they sent to the Colorado Avalanche is that the pick is top-10 protected. That means if the pick falls into the top-10 this year (which seems very likely), Colorado will instead receive Ottawa's 1st rounder in 2019.
With this in mind I do not see the Senators going into a full scale rebuild, but rather a slight re-tooling. Moving out players on expiring contracts like Johnny Oduya, Chris Wideman, or Cody Ceci for some prospects that will be ready to make the jump next season would likely be the route Dorion would choose. If they are not in playoff contention next year, the team is in serious trouble, especially with the future of Erik Karlsson on the team in doubt.

Buyer #1: Florida Panthers

Some look at the Panthers and see the 24th ranked team in the league, but others might see a team only 9 points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 3rd Atlantic division spot, with 3 games in hand might I add. Assuming their core stays healthy, the team still has issues concerning their depth both on offense and defense. Perhaps the panthers could look to acquire some pieces from the Senators defensive depth like Cody Ceci or Johnny Oduya.

Seller #2: Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres are in a rough spot, with their elite center in Jack Eichel receiving a 9 million dollar pay raise, other teams may have a fire sale on their hands with Evander Kane at the top of the list. Robin Lehner may also be on his way out of Buffalo, with his contract expiring, and his constant complaints about the team and its lack of effort. Evander Kane could help the Florida Panthers on the offensive side, and Josh Gorges would be a decent piece for the Panthers back-end as well, especially with Gorges on an expiring contract at 3.9 million dollars.

Buyer #2: Pittsburgh Penguins

With the Penguins still in a position to make the playoffs later in the season, the team needs to sort out it's defense. With Kris Letang still battling an injury, and Justin Schultz and Chad Ruhwedel on injured reserve with him, the Penguins could really use a #3 defenseman to solidify their core. A cheap solution might be Jordie Benn from Montreal, which would take very little to acquire, though Benn doesn't really fit a #3 role.

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