With the NHL trade deadline approaching ever closer, this is the time when teams start looking for pieces to help them out during the stretch run.
The Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers are two Stanley Cup contenders that could deal before the deadline. In fact, they may actually trade with each other.
Here are three Stanley Cup contenders that must make a deal before the Feb. 27 trade deadline.
3. San Jose Sharks (25-12-5)
The San Jose Sharks don't exactly need more pieces to contend for the Stanley Cup, but the situation with Antero Niittymaki has gotten a bit ugly.
Niittymaki, who was signed as a starter two summers ago, has become the No. 3 goalie in San Jose, and he doesn't figure to eclipse Antti Niemi anytime soon.
Said Niittymaki, via the San Jose Mercury News:
"I don't think it makes sense to anybody to have me as the third guy here. They know it, I know it...It's kind of getting boring, that's all it is."
The last thing the Sharks need is a distraction in the second half of the season. The Tampa Bay Lightning, among others, are looking for a goalie and the Sharks would be wise to pull the trigger.
2. Nashville Predators (25-15-4)
The Nashville Predators have an impending unrestricted free agent in Ryan Suter. If they can't sign him before the deadline there's no use keeping him around.
The Predators would be wise to ship Suter if they can't sign him and get some pieces to help them down the stretch.
Just so happens the Philadelphia Flyers would love a player of Suter's caliber.
1. Philadelphia Flyers (26-13-4)
The Philadelphia Flyers are in desperate need of a defenseman after they lost Chris Pronger for the season.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal speculates that a package including centre Brayden Schenn, a first-round draft pick, and young defender Marc-Andre Bourdon could help the Flyers land Suter.
The Flyers could also include winger James van Riemsdyk, but his confirmed concussion, as well as lingering injuries, could make him a less likely trade piece.
However, with Pronger's injury, the Flyers know more than anyone that they need a defenseman to bolster them into the playoffs.