The NHL trade deadline looms near and it’s always fun to see what the return for certain players ends up being at this time of the season. It’s even more fun to see which teams are desperate enough to risk it all.

We went back to the start of the 2013-2014 season (when the divisions were realigned) and looked at each team, tallying who their trade partners were. We’ve broken their total trades down to divisional trades and trades within their conference (including their division). In doing so, we’ve uncovered a lot of interesting patterns.

Total trade average: 33.26

Divisional trade average: 5.23

Conference trade average (including trades within own division): 14.1

*Including all trades from October 2013 to February 22, 2019.

anaheim

Most Trades: Toronto Maple Leafs

Divisional Trades: 8

Conference Trades (including own division): 19

While Anaheim has traded the most with Toronto, they’ve still traded a significant amount within their own division and conference. This can be slightly excused since three out of the eight trades were with Vegas who, at the time, had just joined the league. Anaheim hasn’t traded with rivals San Jose or Los Angeles in five-and-a-half-years. They also have a well-above-average trade count, but considering they’ve been contenders for the last few seasons, it’s likely this is due to them fine-tuning and retooling on the go.

arizona

Most Trades: Chicago Blackhawks

Divisional Trades: 7

Conference Trades (including own division): 25

Almost half of Arizona’s trades were within their own conference. They’re tied for most trades since the 2013-2014 season with 54 trades. Given all of these roster changes, Arizona is still struggling to become an all-around competitive team. It’s possible in attempting to gain talent and switch out players who didn’t work for them, they’ve gotten a bit lost. Not all issues can be solved with trades.

boston

Most Trades: Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers

Divisional Trades: 4

Conference Trades (including own division): 12

Boston hasn’t made a lot of trades compared to the rest of the league. They’ve traded three times with the New York Rangers, which is surprising because, while they aren’t divisional rivals, they are geographic rivals. Boston has had more trades within the Eastern Conference than the Western.

buffalo

Most Trades: Montreal Canadiens

Divisional Trades: 9

Conference Trades (including own division): 18

Buffalo has traded the most with Montreal who was in their own division even before the realignment. It’s odd that they’ve been so willing to trade with a divisional opponent yet have no trades with Western teams like Calgary, Chicago, and Vancouver.

calgary

Most Trades: Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators

Divisional Trades: 6

Conference Trades (including own division): 14

Calgary seems willing to trade to any and all teams in the league. They’ve even had a few trades with divisional rivals, Edmonton and Vancouver. Their trading numbers are all pretty average, so there’s nothing too revealing about their decisions.

carolina

Most Trades: Chicago Blackhawks

Divisional Trades: 5

Conference Trades (including own division): 11

Carolina doesn’t seem to be trading with a lot of teams. It looks like they’ve got a good relationship with a few teams in the league and have stuck with it. They’ve done a great job of not trading within their conference.

chicago

Most Trades: Arizona Coyotes

Divisional Trades: 4

Conference Trades (including own division): 23

Chicago seems reluctant to trade within their own division, but have no problem trading within the Western Conference. While they’ve traded with most of the league, they seem dependent on a handful of teams, both in the Western and Eastern Conferences. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern or reasoning as to why they choose to trade with Arizona, Columbus, Los Angeles, Carolina, Montreal, etc. over and over. They have a high trade count compared to others but this is likely due to them rebuilding while competing.

colorado

Most Trades: Arizona Coyotes and Nashville Predators

Divisional Trades: 3

Conference Trades (including own division): 12

There’s not much to say about the trading pattern of Colorado. They’ve done a good job of not trading within the Western Conference. Nashville was not in their division prior to the realignment, so it’s possible there was no real tension between these two teams at the time of these trades.

columbus

Most Trades: Chicago Blackhawks

Divisional Trades: 3

Conference Trades (including own division): 12

Columbus also has done well in keeping trades out of their own division and conference. They used to be in the Central division with Chicago so it’s interesting to see that they let go of any animosity and were so quick to start trading.

dallas

Most Trades: Anaheim Ducks

Divisional Trades: 3

Conference Trades (including own division): 14

More than half of Dallas’ trades have been within the Western Conference. They seem to be selective with trades, trading only a total of 27 times compared to the league average of 33.

*Chart does not include Connor Carrick trade.

detroit

Most Trades: Arizona Coyotes, Florida Panthers, and New York Rangers

Divisional Trades: 4

Conference Trades (including own division): 10

Detroit has the lowest amount of trades since October of 2013 in the league. It doesn’t seem like they have much of a strong relationship with any one team, either. The three teams they’ve traded the most with have had far more trades with other teams.

edmonton

Most Trades: Montreal Canadiens

Divisional Trades: 8

Conference Trades (including own division): 17

Edmonton has had a lot of trades over the years, most of which have been with the Metropolitan Division. They’ve also traded with every Canadian team except for Winnipeg.

florida

Most Trades: Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers

Divisional Trades: 10

Conference Trades (including own division): 19

Florida has traded far too much within their own division. This is likely because they’ve mostly been sellers at trade deadlines. During this time of the season, Florida is likely to trade with any team who proposes a decent trade, the division and conference lines are usually ignored.

los angeles

Most Trades: Montreal Canadiens

Divisional Trades: 6

Conference Trades (including own division): 14

Los Angeles, San Jose, and Anaheim haven’t traded once with each other in the last five-and-a-half-years. This is partly why the rivalry between these teams continues to thrive. They have a strong relationship with Montreal, but as you’ll see soon, who doesn’t?

minnesota

Most Trades: Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, and Buffalo Sabres

Divisional Trades: 0

Conference Trades (including own division): 10

In the time frame we’re examining, Minnesota has never traded within their division. This is remarkable considering for many of these seasons, they’ve been playoff teams and potential contenders. It would be easy for them to grab a rental from a divisional team at the deadline, not caring about the impact it would have in the long run, but it doesn’t seem like this was ever the case.

montreal

Most Trades: Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers

Divisional Trades: 11

Conference Trades (including own division): 18

Montreal is tied with Arizona with the most trades since the 2013-2014 season. They have a similar problem to Arizona: when a player doesn’t fit in their system or meet their expectations, they are quick to trade them. A revolving roster could be a factor to why this team has been so inconsistent these last few years. Many teams throughout this league have Montreal listed as the team they’ve traded with the most.

nashville

Most Trades: New York Rangers

Divisional Trades: 5

Conference Trades (including own division): 15

Nashville has had an average amount of trades and, while it looks like they’ve done well with keeping trades out of the West, their second most frequent trade partner is a tie between three Western Conference teams and New Jersey.

new jersey

Most Trades: Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators

Divisional Trades: 6

Conference Trades (including own division): 15

New Jersey is another team that seems willing to trade with anyone. They’ve only traded once at the very most with a team in the Eastern Conference. Any team they’ve traded with more than once has been in the West.

*Chart does not include Ben Lovejoy trade.

new york islanders

Most Trades: Edmonton Oilers

Divisional Trades: 2

Conference Trades (including own division): 10

New York Islanders don’t trade as often as most other teams. This is especially odd considering they’ve been in and out of the playoffs for the last five seasons. Their performance inconsistency is similar to Montreal’s, but instead of trading often to figure out a solution, they seem to be taking a different approach.

new york rangers

Most Trades: Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks

Divisional Trades: 4

Conference Trades (including own division): 17

While the New York Rangers don’t trade often within their division, they do trade a lot with Eastern Conference teams. They’ve never traded with the Islanders or Pittsburgh, and only traded with their biggest rivals, New Jersey, once. They seem to be comfortable trading with the same handful of teams.

ottawa

Most Trades: Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, and Vancouver Canucks

Divisional Trades: 5

Conference Trades (including own division): 15

Ottawa also is reliant on a few teams across the league for trades. It looks like they love trading with Canadian teams the most, even trading a few times with Toronto, their divisional rival. They have yet to trade with Winnipeg, but that’s probably not from a lack of trying. As you’ll see later, Winnipeg is more stingy with who they trade with.

philadelphia

Most Trades: Arizona Coyotes

Divisional Trades: 3

Conference Trades (including own division): 12

Philadelphia has one of the least amount of trades. Their trades are scattered across the league and have traded the most with Arizona. There are 13 out of 30 teams they have yet to trade with in the last five years.

pittsburgh

Most Trades: Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks

Divisional Trades: 5

Conference Trades (including own division): 16

While it looks like Pittsburgh does trade within their own conference, they do a good job of limiting the amount of trades with each team and have spread it across the Eastern Conference.

san jose

Most Trades: Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs

Divisional Trades: 4

Conference Trades (including own division): 11

It’s surprising to see that San Jose hasn’t traded much over the last few years. They seem like a team who, when they do trade, it always involves notable players.

st. louis

Most Trades: Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Washington Capitals

Divisional Trades: 1

Conference Trades (including own division): 7

St. Louis has traded with another Central team (Winnipeg) once in the last five seasons. They traded well below the league average and have limited those trades to only what seems like five teams. This is another team that has continually been in the playoff picture and seems to be okay with what they have almost every year.

tampa bay

Most Trades: Arizona Coyotes

Divisional Trades: 6

Conference Trades (including own division): 14

More than half of all of Tampa Bay’s trades have been within their own conference. They don’t trade often and when they do, it looks like they don’t have any team restrictions.

toronto

Most Trades: Anaheim Ducks

Divisional Trades: 7

Conference Trades (including own division): 18

Toronto has traded well above the league average amount. They have the strongest relationship with Anaheim who returns the favor. There’s nothing too revealing about Toronto’s trade patterns.

vancouver

Most Trades: New York Rangers

Divisional Trades: 13

Conference Trades (including own division): 16

Vancouver has traded more times within their own division than conference. Out of the 36 trades they made, 13 of them were divisional and 3 were in the West but not in the Pacific. That’s the most out of all teams in the league. Besides the New York Rangers, their strongest trade relationships are with their own rivals, Edmonton and Anaheim.

vegas

Most Trades: Carolina Hurricanes

Divisional Trades: 3

Conference Trades (including own division): 10

For being in the league for only two years, Vegas has traded more than a slew of other teams. It’s too soon to truly analyze Vegas trade relationships since most were done within the first few months of the team entering the league.

washington

Most Trades: St. Louis Blues

Divisional Trades: 5

Conference Trades (including own division): 11

Washington hasn’t traded all too much over the years. This is probably because they’ve been cup contenders for some time now. The team has always been content with the group they start a season with, adding maybe one or two players throughout the year.

winnipeg

Most Trades: Montreal Canadiens

Divisional Trades: 2

Conference Trades (including own division): 5

Winnipeg has traded the least amount of times than any other team in the league since the 2013-2014 season. Montreal and Arizona each have traded more than twice the amount of times that Winnipeg has. Their strongest relationship with with Montreal who doesn’t return the favor. Winnipeg is tied with two other teams for fifth most on Montreal’s side of things. Winnipeg being this reluctant to trade assets or players around given their inconsistent regular season success is truly astounding.

By looking at trades done starting from the 2013-2014 season, the sample size is relatively small. We want to show where teams are trending in recent years without including trades from an era where there were three divisions in each conference and rivalries weren’t as strong as they are now.

When looking at all of these charts, a few patterns are apparent. Teams with the highest trades in the last five years tend to be those who are either struggling to find their identity or those who are rebuilding on the move. On the other hand, teams with the least amount of trades seem to range from ones who have no regular season success to ones who are constant contenders and see no reason for change. While there’s no real restrictions teams likely put on themselves in terms of who they’re willing to trade with, it’s obvious that some would need a truly enticing deal to trade with a rival.

This year’s trade deadline is Monday, February 25, at 3 p.m. EST. By looking at the above charts, you could get a feel for who your team might trade with, but take all of this with a grain of salt since this time of year everyone is desperate.

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