A 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators Thursday night has made the hill that much harder to climb for the Dallas Stars.
Sitting 12th in the Western Conference and eight points back of a playoff spot, the Stars could officially enter the seller's market in the coming days.
With the NHL trade deadline two and a half weeks away, veteran forwards Patrick Sharp and Patrick Eaves know there's a good chance they're moved by March 1's deadline.
"I've been around long enough to know the drill," Sharp, 35, told the Dallas Morning News. "It's there, I'm aware of it, but I also am very committed to helping this team get into the playoffs. That's my only thought at this time, to do everything I can to help this team."
Sharp, 35, is in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He's earning $5 million in salary this season, though his cap hit is $5.9 million.
Eaves, 32, is also set to become a UFA this summer. He's making only $1 million this season and ranks second on the Stars in goals with 19, just one behind Tyler Seguin.
"Obviously I want to be in Dallas," Eaves told the Morning News. "I like Dallas a lot, but there's many things out of my control. I'm just focused on what I can do out on the ice.
"I've been getting a lot of great opportunities to play in situations, like the man-advantage. I've been playing with great players all year."
Several teams are in the market for extra fire power up front and have kept a close eye on both Sharps and Eaves, with the Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators among the teams interested.
The Stars have other players on the block, including veteran defenseman Johnny Oduya and forward Jiri Hudler.
"I came here to win, so that's what I want to do," Hudler, 33, told the paper. "But I also know it's a business and I know anything can happen, so I understand."