The NHL trade deadline has come and gone. While a number of transactions transpired in the days leading up to it, some thought it might be a quiet day. However, there were still a flurry of trades as the official cutoff passed.
The Stanley Cup futures are going to change as some teams improved their rosters while some downgraded. Here’s a look at the winners and losers of trade deadline day:
Winner: Pittsburgh Penguins
Is there any arguing that the Penguins were the trade deadline winners considering their haul? They were already the Stanley Cup favorite beforehand at 3-1 but supplemented their roster with a slew of veterans.
The prize of this year’s trade deadline was Jarome Iginla, and the Pens stole him. Not only did they acquire the former Calgary Flames captain early on to defuse the suspense, they also added Brenden Morrow from Dallas, Jussi Jokinen from Carolina and Douglas Murray from San Jose.
Although the Pens have now dropped two straight after their impressive 15-game winning streak, they are still clearly the team to beat in the NHL.
Loser: Dallas Stars
There was plenty of excitement in Dallas at the start of the season, but that’s completely fizzled out now. The Stars were big deadline sellers, trading away Morrow, Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy. After getting fleeced at the trade deadline two years ago when the Stars sent James Neal to Pittsburgh for minimal returns (he’s scored 58 goals for Pittsburgh since), they were cautious with their decisions this time around. However, general manager Joe Nieuwendyk shipped off his trio but still got little in return. Kevin Connauton is the only decent prospect they can hang their hat on.
Now the Stars are in no-man’s land where they aren’t good enough to make the playoffs and aren’t bad enough to fully rebuild. They clearly lack an identity.
Surprise Move of the Day: Rangers Trading Gaborik
With a number of deals breaking in the days leading up to the deadline, a lot of pundits figured that the actual day would be quiet. It was, for the most part, until the New York Rangers dropped a bombshell.
New York had previously acquired Ryane Clowe, which gave the impression that the team had upgraded. The Rangers were desperate for scoring, as no team in the NHL has scored fewer goals this season.
However, they shipped off Marian Gaborik, who was third on the team in scoring and led the Rangers in points last season. Some people close to the team suggest that Gaborik never meshed well with head coach John Tortorella, so he was expendable but only time will tell. The Rangers entered the season as Stanley Cup favorites but are now just 20-1 to win the Cup.
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