Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, and as expected, the Deadline deals were a bit limited. No earth shattering “Subban for Weber” trades took place around the NHL. Lots of veterans were moved for picks or prospects, and it became more clear which teams were “buyers” and “sellers.”
Now that the Trade Deadline has passed, it is time to analyze the teams that were the winners, and teams that did not perform well. Which teams helped their clubs now and into the future? Which teams made questionable moves?
Let’s look at the winners and losers:
Analysis: The Capitals probably sent the biggest shockwave over the past 72 hours. The Capitals acquired Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who was probably the top rental defenseman on the market this season.
Shattenkirk made his Capitals debut Tuesday night in New York. He finished with just under 18 minutes of icetime and registered 4 shots on goal. Shattenkirk made an immediate impact on the Capitals powerplay, as he is the new quarterback at the point on the Capitals top unit. With the addition of Shattenkirk, Brian MacLellan has given the Capitals a strong right side for their defense core.
Analysis: Canucks GM Jim Benning seems to have finally embraced a bit of a rebuild. He traded away veterans Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen, and received two good prospects in return.
The Canucks are trying to add more speed and skill to their lineup, and they are embracing a new youth movement. With many years of playoff appearances, the Canucks became slow to adjust to the new landscape. Now, they are preparing for the future, and Jim Benning finally made the fans very happy over the long weekend.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Analysis: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was a busy man over the last week. With many key players up for contract renewals, Yzerman had to part with some of Tampa’s veterans.
Gone from the Lightning include Ben Bishop, Brian Boyle, and Valtteri Filppula. These players all played pivotal roles in the Lightning’s recent playoff runs. In return, Yzerman has gained some needed cap space and draft picks.
New York Islanders
Analysis: What did they do? Nothing. The Islanders are on the playoff bubble right now, and GM Garth Snow decided to stand pat.
Once again #Isles have no Plan B. I’m not angry about Duchene. Sounds like Garth did his job. But backup plans are supposed to work. Failure
— Jeff Capellini (@JCapWFAN) March 1, 2017
It’s amazing. Poor Garth Snow, just always mired in unlucky situations on deadline day or otherwise. Give me a break.
— Daniel Friedman (@DanJFriedman) March 1, 2017
The Islanders were rumored in the Matt Duchene sweepstakes, but nothing materialized. The Islanders have some good prospects in their system, so it is kind of shocking to see them stand pat. It will be interesting to see if the Islanders go a different direction if the club falls short of the postseason.
Analysis: This was another team that fell short at the Trade Deadline. GM Tim Murray was expected to deal away 2 unrestricted free agent defensemen – Cody Franson and Dmitry Kulikov. Murray did not get deals done with either player, which is kind of surprising. Forward Evander Kane was also a major target for a lot of teams, but no deal came for him either.
The Sabres are still rebuilding, and have struggled in recent games. The fans were likely hoping that Murray would unload some of these free agents for draft picks or prospects, but the Sabres GM stood pat and did not gain anything.
Analysis: The Wild made one of the bigger splashes by acquiring forward Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes. In the trade package that included other players, the Wild sent a 1st round pick, 2nd round pick, and a conditional pick. The conditional pick can become a 2nd round pick, depending on how well the Wild perform in the playoffs.
While the Wild addressed a need in their lineup, it was a very steep price to pay for a depth player. Hanzal, 30, has never hit over 40 points in any season, and has never hit the 20+ goal plateau. The Wild put all of their chips in on Hanzal, and he will likely be just a rental player for their club. It is a risky move, but the Wild feel like they have a good chance to win the Stanley Cup this year.
By: George Foussekis