We're just a few days from Monday's trade deadline, and it's hard to tell whether this year will be a quiet one -- though we do know that New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton and his Ottawa Senators counterpart, Pierre Dorion, both have phones that are already ringing off the hook. For this week's Power Rankings -- voted, as always, by ESPN's panel of experts -- we prescribed the moves (or non-moves) every team should make.
How we rank: We use a panel of voters, and these rankings reflect which teams voters think would win head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams are favored over lower-ranked teams. A run of wins doesn't guarantee a jump, and a couple of losses don't guarantee a fall.
Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19
Week 19 Ranking: No. 1
GM George McPhee's long-term plan was derailed when his team turned out to be good right away. Since the Golden Knights are contenders now, we think they should stand pat -- that includes holding on to James Neal, perhaps as their own "rental."
Week 19 Ranking: No. 2
If any team is poised to land Erik Karlsson, it's probably Tampa Bay, which has the assets to pull off the move, if it so chooses. New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh (who is also expensive but totally worth it) would also separate this team from the pack, making Tampa Bay the strongest contender.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 4
Week 19 Ranking: No. 5
Go all-in, Winnipeg. This is your moment. While we've been so impressed by the Jets' depth this season -- who expected rookie forward Kyle Connor to break out like this? -- adding a player like Patrick Maroon to the bottom six would be even more fabulous.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 3
Come on, you know David Poile will make a splash. The Predators' GM reportedly has his sights set on Rick Nash, and we don't see any problem with that -- as long as Poile doesn't give up too many assets to get him.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 7
Although the Penguins are looking like contenders again, they still need depth at center. How about Derick Brassard of the Senators? Pittsburgh is familiar with Brassard from his days with the Rangers.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 6
We don't expect Toronto do anything drastic, but adding a defenseman should be in the cards. Perhaps the Leafs can kick the tires to see whether Pittsburgh's Ian Cole is still available or whether they can lure Jack Johnson from Columbus.
8. Dallas Stars
Week 19 Ranking: No. 11
After the busy summer that GM Jim Nill had, don't expect much from these Stars between now and Monday. Yes, the rest of the Central Division teams probably will be buyers, but you don't have to keep up with the Joneses every time.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 8
To add a top-six winger or not, that is the question. This Blues team -- which has been tremendous at times this season -- has a few flaws. Rick Nash might not be the panacea, but ... he certainly wouldn't hurt.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 9
We don't think Brian MacLellan will make nearly the splash he did last season. This year could bring another small move. (The Caps have already executed trades for depth defensemen Michal Kempny from Chicago and Jakub Jerabek from Montreal.)
Week 19 Ranking: No. 10
The Flyers already addressed their biggest area of need (goaltending) in acquiring Petr Mrazek from the Detroit Red Wings. While Philly is (quite incredibly) poised for the playoffs, maybe now is the time to go for a big name.
12. San Jose Sharks
Week 19 Ranking: No. 16
We know the Sharks need help at center, and they acquired a fourth-line option in veteran Eric Fehr from Toronto. Is that their big move? Maybe. But we don't know whether it's enough.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 15
Week 19 Ranking: No. 13
The Devils arrived ahead of schedule, so it's still about what makes sense for the long term. Top-six scoring would aid the postseason hopes, but there aren't enough non-rental options that make sense for New Jersey.
15. Minnesota Wild
Week 19 Ranking: No. 14
This team might be scared off by last year's big move (we don't need to remind you, but the Martin Hanzal acquisition didn't pan out as planned). That said, if a scoring winger comes along at the right price ...
16. Calgary Flames
Week 19 Ranking: No. 19
The Flames need to round out their lineup, and a versatile player like Ottawa's Mike Hoffman would be ideal. Wingers Michael Grabner (New York Rangers) and Gustav Nyquist (Detroit) also seem within range.
17. Anaheim Ducks
Week 19 Ranking: No. 17
It's hard to nail down an identity for this Ducks team, which has been riddled by injuries for so long. A player like Grabner, who has terrific speed, would plug in well. It doesn't matter that he's a rental; Anaheim's core is aging and needs to win soon.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 12
It would be nice if the Blue Jackets could find a new home for Johnson, and -- as noted -- there should be suitors. Boone Jenner could use a change of scenery. As for Columbus' own needs? Scoring help is priority No. 1.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 20
So are the Hurricanes buyers or sellers? They're still in playoff contention, and new owner Tom Dundon is pumping energy into the team. Dundon wants to win -- soon -- which leads us to believe that they're more inclined to buy.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 21
Week 19 Ranking: No. 18
Week 19 Ranking: No. 22
It's time for the Blackhawks, who are almost officially out of playoff contention, to sell. We think shedding Brandon Saad after one poor season would be selling low. But fellow winger Ryan Hartman (who's only 23) could generate interest as a rental.
23. Florida Panthers
Week 19 Ranking: No. 27
Here's what coach Bob Boughner said about the Panthers' trade plans ahead of the deadline: "It would have to be the perfect kind of deal." So, yeah, we think all might be quiet in Sunrise.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 24
The Red Wings need to find a trading partner for Mike Green, that much is obvious. It might suit Detroit to part with more players than that. Danny DeKeyser, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar should generate interest.
25. New York Rangers
Week 19 Ranking: No. 23
Thanks to New York's new, direct-to-fans letter-writing trend, we know the Rangers' intentions. They already got rid of Nick Holden. Rick Nash and Michael Grabner should be next. The big "ifs" are Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 26
It has been a disappointing season in Montreal, but we don't think that means Marc Bergevin should tear it all down. So put us in the camp that doesn't want this team to part with its captain, Max Pacioretty.
27. Edmonton Oilers
Week 19 Ranking: No. 29
Considering how the season has gone (disastrously), changes should be coming in Edmonton. Honestly, every player on the roster is at risk of being moved, save for Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and probably Cam Talbot.
Week 19 Ranking: No. 25
So Jim Benning (with a new contract) decided not to part with one of the team's most prized trade chips, defenseman Erik Gudbranson, and instead signed him to a three-year deal. Does that mean a player like Chris Tanev will be on the market? It's unlikely, but he'd get some takers.
29. Ottawa Senators
Week 19 Ranking: No. 28
GM Pierre Dorion probably will be on the phone all week. Literally nonstop. Derick Brassard -- one of the few centers available -- could command a coup. Obviously Erik Karlsson would top that, but we don't think he'll be on the move before Monday.
30. Buffalo Sabres
Week 19 Ranking: No. 30
The Sabres have to find a trade partner for Evander Kane. Right? It would be disastrous if they didn't, considering he's been available for months and would walk away in July without Buffalo recouping any assets.
31. Arizona Coyotes
Week 19 Ranking: No. 31