The best trade-deadline deals in recent history: Atlantic Division
The Bruins haven’t made a ton of great trade-deadline moves, but they did win a trade back in 2009, when they acquired Mark Recchi and a 2010 second-round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin Karsums and Matt Lashoff. Recchi’s veteran presence in the Bruins’ locker room did wonders for the team, and it’s hard to measure the true impact of his influence on Bruins mainstays like Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic.
The Sabres made the tough decision to send Brian Campbell to San Jose in 2008 in exchange for Steve Bernier and a first-round draft pick. That pick is what made the deal worthwhile for the Sabres because it turned into Tyler Ennis, who has posted 30-plus-point seasons in five consecutive seasons for Buffalo.
NHLI via Getty ImagesBrian Babineau
Detroit Red Wings
In 2008, the Red Wings needed to shore up the blue line due to some injuries, so they traded for Brad Stuart at the deadline. The defenseman came in and played with Niklas Kronwall as a top-four defenseman and helped the Wings to a Stanley Cup championship that year.
Getty ImagesRocky Widner
Judging by the position the Panthers are in this season, the biggest trade-deadline deal they’ve made in recent seasons came last year, when they picked up Roberto Luongo a day before the deadline in exchange for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias. Luongo is one of the keys to the Panthers becoming a potential playoff team.
Wilfredo LeeWilfredo Lee
The Canadiens benefited greatly in the draft from the trade deadline. In 2007, they picked up Josh Gorges and the first-round draft pick used to select Max Pacioretty. Gorges was still developing at the time and came into his own in Montreal, and Pacioretty grew to be one of the best players on this year’s Canadiens team.
Getty ImagesBruce Bennett
The Senators have made plenty of bad deals at the deadline, but one they actually benefited from was the 2009 trade of Antoine Vermette to Columbus for Pascal Leclaire and the fourth-round draft pick that became Robin Lehner. Vermette went on to have a career year in Columbus the next season, but he hasn’t matched that production since, and Lehner has proved his value as the possible goaltender of the future for Ottawa.
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Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning might have made one of the best trade-deadline deals in recent history when they took Ben Bishop off the hands of the Ottawa Senators in 2013 in exchange for Cory Conacher. At the time, it didn’t look great because Conacher was in the Calder race, but he hasn’t played nearly as well since and went to the Islanders off waivers in December. Meanwhile, Bishop has been phenomenal in net for the Lightning and finished third in the Vezina voting last season.
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Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs haven’t done well at the deadline of late. They mostly make minor moves, which makes it hard to pick the best deal out of a paltry bunch. This season’s pre-deadline trickery to unload David Clarkson looks good in the short term for the Leafs, but another mostly good year came in 2011, when the Leafs made a series of trades in the weeks before the deadline and ended up acquiring Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner. Then again, they also gave away Kris Versteeg. You win some, you lose some.
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