Eric Stephens’ NHL power rankings (Feb. 13, 2018)

Gentlemen, charge up your cell phones.

General managers are on the clock these days. Those who are presiding over real contenders are expected to bring in a difference-maker who is going to improve their chances at making a Stanley Cup run. Perhaps even be the final piece for a champion.

Those overseeing teams whose players have already booked tee times at their favorite golf courses are expected to sell off a veteran in exchange for a hot prospect (or two) who is on the verge of breaking through and a first-round draft pick to select the franchise’s next future star.

Less than two weeks remain until the NHL trade deadline and this is an important time for executives across the league. Truth be told, those cell phones have been humming for a while. This isn’t the only time of the year when GMs are talking with their brethren.

But with so many teams still on the playoff bubble – including the Ducks and Kings – it will be interesting to see which teams do what or which teams don’t do anything. Bob Murray and Rob Blake, you’re on the clock. (Records in parentheses are as of Monday’s games):

1. Lightning (38-15-3): On another fine run, this one 7-3-0. I don’t know how Andrei Vasilevskiy made that save on the Kings’ Anze Kopitar but if that clinches the Vezina Trophy for him, I’m fine with that.(1)

2. Bruins (34-12-8): Two years ago, Anton Khudobin was buried on the Ducks’ AHL team. Boston agrees with him. Second tour has been great with a 12-3-4 record and 2.32 goals-against average. (4)

3. Predators (33-12-9): Just one regulation loss in their past 15 games. More important, they’ve got 10 wins over that span to keep pace in a terrific race for the Central Division title. (3)

4. Golden Knights (36-15-4): Marc-Andre Fleury’s return to Pittsburgh wasn’t triumphant but it was emotional. Deservedly so for a longtime fan favorite and three-time Stanley Cup winner. (2)

5. Jets (32-15-9): What team has a 10-game homestand these days? Winnipeg does. Even great ones can’t…

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