Western Conference Notebook (Feb. 9)

Wednesday, 02.9.2011 / 4:18 PM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Western Conference Notebook (Feb. 9)
With just two-and-a half weeks until the NHL's Trade Deadline, the Western Conference remains tight from top-to-bottom. Only nine points seperate third through 14th seed in the conference -- and just four points difference between fifth through 10th.

Interestingly, two of the top-eight playoff seeds in the Conference have won less than 50% of their games this season (Calgary-27wins, 55 games played; Phoenix -27wins, 55 games played), while three teams not currently in playoff seeds have won more than 50% of their games this season (Chicago-27wins, 53 games; Los Angeles-29wins; 53 games; Minnesota-27wins; 52 games).

NHL.com has been looking team-by-team at who will or won't be a buyer come Deadline Day. We'll recap their findings below.

Central Division
NHL.com views one Central Division team as a buyer, two teams as standing pat, and two teams as sellers. Nashville is the lone "buyer" according to NHL.com, "There are plenty of prospects and picks at GM David Poile's disposal -- the question will be how much, if any, salary can he add in a deal. He'll be looking to do something." Detroit and Chicago were rated as "standing pat" primarily for lack of cap space. Columbus and St. Louis drew "sellers" status. Click here for the full recap.

Northwest Division
NHL.com views three Northwest Division teams as buyers, one team as standing pat, and one team as a seller. Calgary, Colorado, and Vancouver are all rated as "buyers" by NHL.com. Minnesota is rated as a team likely to stand pat, while Edmonton is viewed as a seller come deadline time. About conference leading Vancouver, NHL.com said, "Vancouver could possibly use one more bottom-six forward, but if top prospect Cody Hodgson sticks with the team that might be less of an issue." Click here for the full recap

Pacific Division
NHL.com has not compiled a Deadline Day view of the Pacific Division, but four of the five teams in the Division were in a playoff seed entering tonight's games; the fifth team stood just one point out of eigth place. None of the five teams appear to be in seller mode and depending on cap room, all five will likely explore "buyer" options. Anaheim completed a trade earlier today -- acquiring defenseman Francois Beauchemin from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Joffrey Lupul, defenseman prospect Jake Gardiner, and a draft pick.

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