Where the N.H.L. Contenders Stand Before the Trade Deadline

Each division has clear separation between the third- and fourth-place teams, but several factors may mute activity.

The last major window for N.H.L. teams to bolster their rosters is closing as the Monday trade deadline nears.

Each of this season’s four makeshift divisions has a similar dynamic, with three teams comfortably situated at the top and then a pack of aspiring clubs seeking the fourth and final postseason spot. Only six teams are seven or more points out of a playoff spot. This year’s deadline figures to be competitive, but activity is also likely to be fettered by logistical concerns.

Because of health protocols, players being traded across the U.S.-Canada border would

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