The NHL Trade Deadline has finally come and gone. Monday was a fairly slow day around the NHL, with 19 deals going down. Some of the deals were predictable and there was nothing too earth shattering.
So who performed well over the past few days leading up to the Trade Deadline? Which franchises helped their clubs for Cup runs or rebuilds? Which franchises hurt their clubs? Let’s dive in and look at the winners and losers from this year’s NHL Trade Deadline:
Calgary Flames: The Flames were sellers and got some big returns for their rentals. The Flames sent forward Jiri Hudler to Florida in exchange for a 2nd round pick and 4th round pick. The Flames also sent defenseman Kris Russell to the Dallas Stars for defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka, forward Brett Pollock, and a conditional 2nd round pick. The Flames also made a late deal and sent forward David Jones to Minnesota in exchange for goaltender Niklas Backstrom and a 6th round pick. The Flames will have 10 picks in the upcoming 2016 NHL Draft. This is a good haul for the Flames as they continue their rebuild.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Count them up. The Maple Leafs have 28 draft picks over the next 3 years in the NHL Draft. They have 12 picks in the 2016 NHL Draft, with 8 of those picks in the first four rounds. GM Lou Lamoriello is leading the rebuild for the Maple Leafs. On top of this, they have a good chance to land Auston Matthews in the upcoming NHL Draft. And maybe Steven Stamkos will fall into their hands at the start of NHL Free Agency next summer.
Chicago Blackhawks: The Hawks were busy leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline. They did not sacrifice a whole lot to land Andrew Ladd, who was one of the top rentals on the market for a few weeks. They also landed some former Habs players with Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise, which will give them added scoring in their bottom 6. While the Hawks have given away some draft picks, they can afford to do so because they have drafted well and they have made good trades.
Vancouver Canucks: What is the Canucks management thinking? Dan Hamhuis could have probably fetched a decent return via trade. There were several teams that showed interest, but the offers seemed to be low in the eyes of GM Jim Benning. Radim Vrbata also did not draw hardly interest around the league, after he scored 31 goals last season. The Canucks are most likely going to miss the playoffs, and they have young players waiting in the pipeline. Why did the Canucks management group not try to ship out veterans so their young players could come up and play?
NY Islanders: The Islanders have been a little banged up on the blueline this year. It is shocking that they did not try to acquire a defenseman via trade. They have some pretty solid young forwards like Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome. Could they have dangled one of these young guys for another young defenseman?
Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings have always been a patient organization. They have drafted and developed players well over the years. But they are in a playoff position. They also have some trouble scoring. They are familiar with a guy like Jiri Hudler, who is a good scorer. It is surprising that they did not try to go after a rental forward and maybe another rental defenseman. Are they going to be able to compete with Florida, Tampa Bay, and Boston in the playoffs?
By George Foussekis