The NHL trade deadline is a chance for teams to look deeply into their souls -- or, perhaps, into their internal budgets -- to discover who they are now and what they want to become in the future.
That's easier said than done. Sure, there are some teams that know they're in the midst of a full-on Stanley Cup championship push and will add talent accordingly, just like there are teams that are looking to trade away veterans and take on other teams' cap headaches in order to collect picks and prospects.
But there are other teams that are a little less certain about their deadline approach. Maybe they're distracted by the faint heartbeat of their playoff chances. Maybe they have new leadership that's trying to figure out which players to keep and which to jettison. Maybe they have a group of pending free agents that other teams covet but they hope to retain -- and what happens if they can't?
Here are eight NHL teams at the crossroads as the 2022 trade deadline is a week away.