NHL trade deadline day didn’t create any fireworks.
Even though there were many trades, no marquee players were dealt. All of the major deals happened in the days leading up to Wednesday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline.
Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers of all the notable trade deadline deals (all trade details via TSN.ca).
Iginla waived his no-movement clause to go from the last-place Colorado Avalanche to the Los Angeles Kings. The veteran forward is one of the best players never to win a Stanley Cup, and he’ll have a much better chance of doing that this season in L.A. The Kings aren’t the favorites in the West, but they have a solid team — including several players from their 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup championship squads — and an excellent coach in Darryl Sutter. They’ll be a tough out in the playoffs, even more so with Iginla on the top line next to Anze Kopitar.
Los Angeles Kings
In addition to Iginla’s move above, the Kings also added a solid goalie in Ben Bishop for Jonathan Quick insurance. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi has done very well at the deadline throughout his career, and 2017 could end up being another example of that.
The Blackhawks didn’t have much to trade, like most seasons, yet GM Stan Bowman still found a way to add a meaningful peace for a potential Stanley Cup run. The ‘Hawks gave up just a third-round pick and a former first-round selection (center Mark McNeill) in exchange for Dallas Stars defenseman Johnny Oduya. Oduya is a well-rounded, reliable D-man who actually was a key part of two Stanley Cup titles in Chicago from 2012 through 2015. Chicago bolstered a weakness with a player who should make a seamless transition, and the cost was small.
The Panthers have been playing well of late, surging into the playoff race with a 9-4 record in their last 13 games, which includes a 5-0 road trip. Florida entered Wednesday ranked 22nd in goals scored per game and 25th in power play percentage, and those figures should improve with the acquisition of veteran winger Thomas Vanek. Florida gave up just a conditional third-round pick and a depth defenseman in Dylan McIlrath to pry Vanek from the Detroit Red Wings. He’s tallied 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in 48 games this season, and he’s tortured the Boston Bruins — a team Florida will be chasing in the playoff race — throughout his career. Vanek also is a UFA this summer, so this deal carries no long-term risk for the Panthers.
The Caps are all in and rightly so. With several players eligible for free agency this summer, the Capitals’ best chance to win for a while likely is this season. With that in mind, Washington acquired the best player available in St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The cost was two draft picks, including their 2017 first-rounder, in addition to prospect Zach Sanford. It wasn’t a small cost for the Capitals, but they did hold on to their best prospects.
Shattenkirk provides fantastic offensive production and playmaking skill to a Washington blue line that might be the deepest unit in the league.
The Wild have the best record in the West and a real chance to make the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in team history. Instead of going after a real impact player to put them ahead of the Blackhawks, the Wild acquired a veteran bottom-six forward in center Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes. He had 26 points in 51 games at the time of the trade, yet Minnesota gave up a 2017 first-round pick, a 2018 second-round pick and a conditional 2019 selection. That’s a ton of assets for a rental UFA who’s nothing more than a third-liner. Ryan White also went to Minnesota in the deal, but he’s a fourth-liner at best. The Wild should’ve spent their top draft assets in a much more meaningful way, or just kept them.
Trading for veteran center Steve Ott, who has scored just three goals this season, will add grit and nothing else. The Habs also acquired bottom-six forward Dwight King from the Kings, and that isn’t likely to add much scoring punch. Jordie Benn and Brandon Davidson were added, too, but both are nothing more than third-pairing defensemen.
The Habs added a lot of size and toughness to their roster for not a huge cost, but they didn’t make any moves that will make their team that much better. In fact, these trades could easily lessen Montreal’s overall team speed and skill, both of which have played a huge role in the team’s recent success. Today’s NHL is a game built on speed and skill, and moving away from that could prove costly for the Canadiens. A lot of their top competitors in the East made better moves.
Arizona Coyotes right winger Radim Vrbata would’ve been a perfect add for a Canadiens team that lacks scoring depth.
Trading for Alexandre Burrows and giving up a young, skilled prospect to make the deal was a mistake. To make it worse, Ottawa gave him a two-year, $5 million extension without seeing how he fits with the team. They also gave up on former first-round pick Curtis Lazar, which could turn into another mistake given his potential. He didn’t get much of a shot to impress with the Senators.
Adding veteran forward Viktor Stalberg, who has scored just nine goals with three assists in 57 games this season, isn’t going to improve Ottawa’s forward group all that much.
The Sens have a legit chance to end their playoff drought this season as they entered Wednesday tied for second place in the Atlantic Division. But these moves likely won’t do much to increase their chances of securing a playoff berth, though, especially with the Boston Bruins playing well and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Panthers upgrading a bit with deadline deals.
Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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