After thinking it a bit, this could be answered - which team is best going forward for now and next 4-7 years, teams having young elite players and prospects and depth are strong of course.
Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Colorado, Los Angeles, Vancouver
Edmonton, Boston, Philadelphia, NY Rangers, NY Islanders
These ten teams are in or close for top ten - also there are several other teams with good now and/or futures ahead of them (Florida, Minnesota, Chicago, Ottawa - also some others, it's pretty close so its hard not to mention almost all the teams, pretty much every team has some great pieces in tems of trade value)
New Jersey, Toronto, Calgary, Detroit and San Jose are in worst ten at least - Calgary being one of the two worsts. Being too old (Calgary, Detroit, San Jose) or having not enough of quality players (Toronto, maybe NJ Devils) or prospects (Calgary, San Jose) affects it. These teams have some great players but its not enough.
The blues have been mentioned a few times and to list the players I think most people would agree have legit value.
I left off guys like Cole/Rattie/Allen because they aren't top of the line bluechip prospects like Tank and Schwartz. I left off Steen/McDonald/Jackman/Polak because I don't know if people would legitimately consider them valuable enough to list on something like this even though they are top6/top4 players by I would believe most teams standards. The blues don't have elite talent outside Petro but they have a lot of it.
There's a bigger gap between Columbus and league average than between a TML fan's view of trade value and actual worth. Which is saying something.
"I don't like the idea of Columbus being mentioned as anything but a punchline. That's all they deserve, after all. How DARE you try to challenge this assumption, even in a self-deprecating manner?! YOU SUCK!"
Remember - when you're a hockey fan, it's not "reckless driving", it's "good forechecking".
"Viqsi, you are our sweet humanist..." --mt-svk on the CBJ boards
Thanks, Howson, for cleaning up MacLean's toxic waste. Welcome, Kekalainen; let's get good things built!
Chicago has to be up there- Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp... forwards that were all In top 30 in scoring at some point last season if I recall correctly and 3 of which are great two-way players... plus Keith and Seabrook, one a Norris winner No super high end prospects, but we have one of the deepest pools out there with a high overall level of quality.
Pittsburgh, although Washington should be up there too. One generational player > any two or three of your average all-Stars, and both teams have excellent prospects as well, though in the Caps' case one of their main ones has that whole "may not come to North America" hanging over him.
Pittsburgh, although Washington should be up there too. One generahtional player > any two or three of your average all-Stars, and both teams have excellent prospects as well, though in the Caps' case one of their main ones has that whole "may not come to North America" hanging over him.
I wouldn't put Washington up there. Outside of Ovechkin, Backstrom, Alzner, and Carlson, all of the other Caps players have pretty low value or big question marks (Green's health, for example).
Pittsburgh obviously has the two generational talents. Don't be fooled into thinking Crosby's noggin takes enough out of his trade value to make it even close.
Out of the normal teams, I'd go with (in tiers, no particular order within each tier):
LAK, VAN, BOS, NYR, SJS
WSH, PHI, STL, CHI, MIN, CAR
OTT, COL, NJD, FLA, DET, BUF
EDM, NSH, ANA, PHX, WPG, TBL
CBJ, CGY, TOR, DAL