With the NHL Trade Deadline Done and Over With We’re Going to Recap the Entire Day to Let You Know the Winners, Losers and the Teams that Remained Neutral.
Every year around the final week of February and the first week of March every fan of the NHL feels like it’s a Christmas day. Many people even go as far as to calling in sick on workdays just so they can stay home and see if their team made any significant deals, the deadline day for hockey fans truly is another holiday.
But while some spend a lot of time hoping and praying their favorite team gets the best available star, that’s not always the case cause some depth moves are just as good which is why we will be reviewing all the active teams from deadline day who did the best for their organizations and who did the worst, we will also cover the teams who remained neutral. What we’re going to focus on as wellis the deals that were made not hypothetical deals they could have made, cause in all reality if they could have made said deal, we would be discussing that.
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This year’s deadline was rather quiet with just 33 players moved, of years past 60+ have gone and the majority were some top names, however, GM’s are getting much smarter and moving key players before the deadline so they don’t feel rushed and end up making the wrong move. But even if there were only 10 players traded and four active teams, we would still have them covered for you here at Puck Prose!
Vegas Golden Knights: Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) celebrates with teammates on the bench after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Coyotes only made one deal on the day as well and it too was a minor one. They moved prospect Brendan Ranford to Colorado for AHL veteran Joe Whitney. Now a prospect is always better than someone destined to spend their entire career in the minors, but Joe Whitney will also be able to come in and fill a depth role for the young Yotes and teach these kids a little something, that’s always a key thing to have. So this deal leaves Arizona as a neutral team on deadline day.
They only made one deal and it was with Columbus when they shipped Lauri Korpikoski to the Jackets for prospect Dillon Heatherington. Since Dallas had been moving vets well before deadline day it’s no surprise another was going to leave. The Stars are beginning a rebuild and bringing in a young defenseman at really no cost is a win, but they did leave open a roster spot up front which leaves people wondering who may fill it and how well will they do so? So that’s why Dallas remains neutral after deadline day.
Nashville has one of the best offensive cores in the NHL that’s only rivaled by few, but they made a nice depth deal to acquire one more goal scorer when they got P.A. Parenteau from NJ for a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft. Now the reason why they remain neutral is quite simple, Parenteau still has a lot of game left in him and with Nashville’s already deep offensive talent his numbers could explode. However, that sixth round pick could have also been a fairly decent prospect, but we won’t know until the draft is over. So Nashville remains the same, they went out and got a depth scorer while moving a pick that could fill that slot anyways.
Tampa started the day off with a minor league deal in where they sent Adam Wilcox to Florida for depth goalie Mike McKenna, which was needed since they moved Ben Bishop and Kristers Gudlevskis would have to play backup now in the NHL. Where Tampa remained neutral was when they acquired two draft picks and Mark Streit from Philly for center Valtteri Filppula. Then later flipped Streit to Pittsburgh for another draft pick, so in reality, they moved Filppula for three draft picks. The reason the team remains neutral is due to the fact they have enough depth to fill the voids of Filppula and Brian Boyle (who was traded earlier in the week) while they develop those draft picks. But on the flip side of that, Tampa has become significantly weaker down the middle, but sometimes it’s all about sacrifices to keep the future in mind this is why they remain neutral.
Washington was pretty quiet on deadline day only making one move and a rather small one at that, they acquired AHL defenseman Cody Corbett for AHL goalie Joe Cannata. Both will most likely spend all their time in the AHL yet again, thus making this deal quite insignificant and leaving Washington as a neutral team.
Winnipeg also made just one deal on the day when they sent second/third line forward Drew Stafford to Boston for a pick in this year’s draft. Winnipeg has enough talent up front that the void of Stafford can easily be filled, the pick, on the other hand, will allow Winnipeg to get even younger, but how that player will turn out we will have to wait and see, this is why Winnipeg remains neutral.
Vegas Golden Knights: San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau (12) celebrates with center Joe Thornton (19) after scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
The Ducks dealt Kenton Helgeson along with a 2019 draft pick for Spencer Abbott and Sam Carrick, two AHL pro’s who have yet to shine when it’s really mattered often making some think that they are nothing more than draft busts that will remain in the AHL. Kenton Helgeson, on the other hand, has tremendous upside, but the Ducks needed some fourth line depth when needed but can they fill that void? Only time will tell but as for now the Ducks lost today.
Boston made one deal on deadline day as well, they went out and acquired some secondary scoring by acquiring Drew Stafford from the Jets for a conditional sixth-round pick in this year’s draft. Stafford isn’t who he used to be but will still put up some much-needed offense for the Bruins when needed, but what makes them losers on the day is the fact they gave up a draft pick for this years draft, the worst part is it’s a conditional one. And conditional picks are never good, cause it could easily turn into a fifth or fourth round pick, and while you may think it’s still a later pick, the majority of the best NHL players have come in the later rounds of the draft.
Florida has had a habit of late to go out and spend whatever they can on veterans instead of stockpiling youth. And they further demonstrated this when their first deal was acquiring veteran Thomas Vanek from Detroit for Dylan McIlrath and a 2017 pick. Yeah, the extra scoring from Vanek will help but for how long? They needed youth on that team and moving a top six defenseman to acquire a short term goal scorer is a loss, what makes it a bigger loss is they tossed in a pick as well. After that the Panthers just made a couple of AHL moves, first, they sent goalie Mike McKenna to Tampa for Adam Wilcox then sent Shane Harper to New Jersey for Reece Scarlett. The NJ deal is okay, they are both talented prospects and since Florida moved an extra goalie for a forward this gave them the opportunity to move an extra forward for a defensive piece which is quite smart, but it’s not enough justification for the deal they made to get Thomas Vanek which is why Florida are losers of the deadline day.
The reason why the Canadiens are losers from deadline day is quite simple, they moved a draft pick to acquire yet another depth grinder in Dwight King from LA than they used another draft pick to acquire yet another depth grinder from Detroit in Steve Ott who hasn’t done much of anything all season. Two terrible depth players for two solid picks, not a good move. However, their best move probably came when they shipped out Sven Andrighetto to Colorado for Andreas Martinsen, now while Andrighetto has more NHL experience at this point, Martinsen has the higher ceiling when it comes to overall potential, so while they won that deal they lost the other two by a landslide, thus making them losers of deadline day.
The Rangers only made one deal on the day and that was shipping Justin Fontaine to Edmonton for Taylor Beck. Fontaine is still an NHL caliber player who when on the right team can score goals, Taylor Beck has proven to be nothing more but a fourth line player and AHL veteran. The Rangers lost this deal cause they could have used Fontaine to get someone at least a little bit better, but if that’s all they could get they shouldn’t have pulled the trigger, this is why the Rangers lose deadline day.
Ottawa easily made the biggest deal of the whole deadline when they moved top prospect Curtis Lazar and AHL defenseman Mike Kostka to Calgary for Jyrki Jokipakka and a second round pick in this year’s draft. The only bright side is Jokipakka will somewhat help the Sens defense but not as much as Curtis will help Calgary offense. Mike Kostka won’t do much for the Flames but provide some much-needed depth, the second round pick though may swing things in Ottawa’s favor cause it’s in this year’s draft, but Curtis Lazar is just starting to grow in the NHL while this draft pick will be two to four years away from NHL play and by that time Curtis will be making a significant impact with the Flames, that’s a definite loss by the Sens, you should never move a top prospect for a small defensive fix and a draft pick who has a 50/50 chance of being an NHL player. But who knows maybe in the future the tides will turn and Ottawa will be the ones on top of this deal.
The Sharks only made one deal on deadline day and that was sending rising prospect and future star Nikolay Goldobin and a fourth round pick to Vancouver for third line winger Jannik Hansen. Now Hansen will be able to come in and fill a top-six role with the Sharks and provide some extra scoring. But what Goldobin is capable of doing and how great he’s going to become has San Jose losing this deal massively.
NHL Power Rankings: Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Nikita Soshnikov (26) celebrates a goal against Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (not pictured) during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary made one of the best deals of deadline day when they went out and grabbed Curtis Lazar and AHL defenseman Michael Kostka from Ottawa for defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka and a second round pick in this year’s draft. The price was always going to be high for Lazar cause he’s a top notch player. He’s going to boost Calgary’s offense big time playing alongside Sam Bennett, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and Matthew Tkachuk. The second rounder though is the second biggest piece of the deal, but what makes Calgary winners on the day is the fact that second-round pick could be a player of Curtis Lazar‘s skill level, so wait years and years for said player to develop or go out and get him now while you are rebuilding so your youth grows together? The latter is the better option.
The Blackhawks got themselves a seventh-round pick in 2019, a budding prospect in Kenton Helgesen and they only thing they had to give up were two minor league fringe players in Sam Carrick and Spencer Abbott. That’s a massive win for the Blackhawks shredding two unproven players for a solid prospect and a pick.
The Avalanche were quite active on deadline day which isn’t too surprising if you have been following the club all season. They started the day off with a minor league deal when they sent Joe Whitney to Arizona for prospect Brendan Ranford, they then made another minor league deal acquiring goaltender Joe Cannata from Washington for defenseman Cody Corbett. Next, the team moved long time NHLer Jarome Iginla to Los Angeles for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 and finished the day with a deal that sent prospect Andreas Martinsen to Montreal for prospect Sven Andrighetto. While all the buzz was around Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog (who were not moved) the Aves still came out ahead, with Iginla most likely retiring after this season getting something for him instead of nothing is always a win. Andrighetto has also been more solid this year than Martinsen and Brendan Ranford has tremendous potential upside while Joe Cannata can come in as a backup to Jeremy Smith until Calvin Pickard or Semyon Varlamov return. These moves make Colorado much stronger than they were yesterday and this makes them winners.
Columbus made some significant deals on deadline day, they moved towering defenseman Dalton Prout to New Jersey for veteran d-man Kyle Quincey and then moved prospect Dillon Heatherington to Dallas for veteran forward Lauri Korpikoski. Columbus has played all season tremendously well at the hands of their youth but they needed some more veteran presence to help these young kids grow, so they went out and got some. Moving a prospect is often looked at as a bad thing but if you have a plethora of them in the system moving one isn’t bad to put a veteran piece on your backend to help the youth. The same goes for Lauri who will come in and fill a top nine role and accumulate some points while he’s teaching, that’s a win for the Blue Jackets.
Detroit made some very smart moves on deadline day, they sign veteran forward Thomas Vanek for next to nothing, he has a tremendous season and then they flip him to Florida for Dylan McIlrath and a pick in 2017. Earlier in the week, the Wings moved Brendan Smith so McIlrath will be able to come in right away and fill that slot. They also moved Steve Ott who has been underperforming by a landslide to Montreal for a pick in 2018, that in itself is a win. Getting rid of an aging player who’s yet to hit double digits on the season for a piece of the future, this makes Detroit winners on deadline day.
The Oilers only made one deal all day and it was just a minor league deal, the reason why they are winners is due to the fact they got rid of an AHL veteran in Taylor Beck to the Rangers for Justin Fontaine who has spent this year in the AHL as well, however, Fontaine is still an NHL calibre type of player, and when he was in the NHL he could score goals. So with him now in Edmonton playing with who they have already, he’s once again going to produce like a monster.
The Kings started off the day sending depth grinder Dwight King to Montreal for a pick in 2018, this deal left open a roster slot for someone else to come in and that was tailor-made for Jarome Iginla who the Kings used that 2018 pick from Montreal to get, so in hindsight they got rid of a depth grinder for someone who can fill a top-six role and add some extra scoring for the playoffs, and the only thing it took was a pick they used from Montreal, that’s very smart thinking.
New Jersey is well outside the playoff picture so what’s their best move? Sell, and sell they did. They moved veteran defenseman Kyle Quincey to Columbus for a younger Dalton Prout. They moved veteran scorer P.A. Parenteau to Nashville for a pick that could potentially help the team in the future and they got a very solid prospect in Shane Harper from Florida for Reece Scarlett who isn’t too bad himself, but with Prout in, and Parenteau gone, they needed another forward and Shane Harper will be able to come in and fill a bottom line role, and while he may not blow minds in the last weeks of the season, he will in the future.
Philly has needed more depth down the middle since Sean Couturier has kinda slipped off his route, so the Flyers went out and got Valtteri Filppula and two draft picks from Tampa for defenseman Mark Streit (who Tampa later sent to Pittsburgh). With Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere taking over the defensive squad for the Flyers this made the aging Streit expendable, and they took full advantage of that and filled a position they desperately needed, that’s a win any day of the week.
Pittsburgh started the deadline day off with a deal that sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa for Mark Streit, he will come in and instantly fill a bottom pair role to help the Pens push for another Stanley Cup. But they also overspent for defenseman Frank Corrado who they got from Toronto for Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy, and a fourth round pick. The Pens have enough depth up front to make Fehr expendable but adding in Oleksy and a draft pick may have been too much, but the void of Oleksy can be filled with Corrado so that cancels itself out. The reason why the Pens win deadline day is simple, they didn’t have to move much to get a defensive piece that will help the team a lot come playoff time and if they win the Cup again, that’s yet another win, quite literally.
Toronto only made one deal on deadline day and they came out miles ahead. They went out and acquired Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy and a fourth round pick in this year’s draft for Frank Corrado. Oleksy can come in and play a depth role when someone gets injured much like Corrado did. Where Toronto really won was being able to finally fill out that fourth line, cause before the fourth line consisted of Ben Smith, Matt Martin, Nikita Soshnikov, Byron Froese, and Frederik Gauthier. Now that fourth line will consist of Matt Martin, Brian Boyle (acquired earlier in the week) and Eric Fehr. So now the Leafs have four solid lines up front and three in the back making them ready for a playoff push, the icing on the cake though is the pick in this year’s draft.
The Canucks also made a single deal on the day and they absolutely robbed San Jose, they gave up Jannik Hansen who usually plays anywhere from the first line to the third for rising prospect star Nikolay Goldobin and a pick in this years draft, if that’s not a win than I don’t know what is.