NEEDS: A No. 1 center with size and offensive ability and upgrades at every position but goal. Wash, rinse and repeat.
AVAILABILITY: Some good useful veterans on expiring contracts and cap space for a team looking to dump salary at the deadline.
UFAs: T. Plekanec, (C), J. Jerabek (D), A. Hemsky (RW), N. Deslauriers (LW), A. Niemi (G)
TRADE BAIT: Depending upon how serious the Canadiens are about getting the much-needed rebuilding process underway, they could start at the deadline by holding a Max Pacioretty sweepstakes. Pacioretty is in the midst of a terrible season, but he’s a proven 30-goal scorer with leadership capabilities and still has a year left on his deal at a friendly $4.5-million cap hit. He wouldn’t fetch as much as Matt Duchene did for Colorado, but the bounty for Pacioretty would be a very large one. Montreal has another chip to play in two-way center Tomas Plekanec, and Alex Galchenyuk is perpetually in the rumor mill.