Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images
It may feel like years ago but just two and a half weeks before the NHL paused its season due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2019-20 trade deadline passed. A lot more moves took place at this year’s deadline than in past years, but many may have forgotten about those trades as we saw some fresh faces in new places for only a few weeks. With those deadline acquisitions having more time to adjust than usual, teams may reap the benefits unlike ever before — especially with a three-week training camp before the season resumes, which will reportedly be on August 1. NoVa Caps looks back at each of the 12 Eastern Conference team’s trade deadline moves.
- acquired F Ondrej Kase from Anaheim Ducks in exchange for F David Backes, D Axel Anderson, and 2020 first-round pick
- acquired F Nick Ritchie from Ducks in exchange for F Danton Heinen
The NHL-leaders bolstered their forward depth after they averaged 3.30 goals-per-game through the trade deadline (good for seventh in the NHL), by acquiring Kase, who scored 20 goals in 66 games with the Ducks in 2017-18, and Ritchie, who posted at least nine goals in each of his first four NHL seasons. The Bruins already had a sparkling average of 2.41 goals-against per game but felt like they needed help up front as forwards David Pastrnak, who tied Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin for the league-lead in goals; Brad Marchand; and center Patrice Bergeron combined for 107 of the Bruins’ 227 goals (over 47% of the team’s scoring). They had only one other forward who had tallied 40 or more points (center David Krejci: 43) and no one else hit 20 goals, though forward Jake DeBrusk recorded 19 in 65 games. If you go deeper than Krejci, no other players on the Bruins got into the double-digit goal total. Ritchie and Kase combined for just one goal after being acquired, and Kase has dipped to 11 goals last season and seven this year after his breakout campaign. Ritchie was brought in more for his defense. Kase will need to give the Bruins the secondary-scoring they need to get past the dreaded “Presidents’ Trophy curse.”
Tampa Bay Lightning
- acquired F Blake Coleman from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward prospect Nolan Foote and a first-round pick in the 2020 or 2021 NHL Draft
- acquired F Barclay Goodrow and 2020 third-round pick from San Jose Sharks in exchange for 2020 first-round pick and forward Anthony Greco
The Lightning bolstered their already impressive forward group, which averaged a league-high 3.47 goals-per-game during the regular season. Coleman topped the 20-goal plateau for the second consecutive season with the Devils but took time to adjust to his new team as he had only an assist in nine games after the trade and none in his last five. The trade for Goodrow raised eyebrows as he has never topped more than eight goals or 24 points in his career and he posted only two assists in eight games after the Lightning acquired him. The Lightning average three goals-per-game, down from their season average, and went 3-4-1 after the trade deadline.
- acquired D Brenden Dillon from Sharks in exchange for 2020 second-round pick, 2021 conditional third-round pick
- acquired F Ilya Kovalchuk from Montreal Canadiens in exchange for 2020 third-round pick
In an effort to bolster a defense that allowed an average of 3.32 goals-per-game after December 8, the highest of any of the 24 teams left, the Capitals acquired Dillon. Even though he is not known for being an offensive defenseman and had a -2 rating after the trade, Dillon recorded a 51.12% Corsi-for percentage and a 54.44% expected goals-for percentage while playing on the top-pair with Norris Trophy favorite John Carlson. Dillon fit in well, averaging 2:40 per game on the penalty kill and bringing physicality on the back end. Though the Capitals’ goals-against per game average ticked up to 3.40 after the trade, that’s due to poor team play in their own end. Kovalchuk was brought in to add some scoring punch to the bottom-six and had a goal and four points in seven games after the trade.
- acquired F Derek Grant from Ducks in exchange for F Kyle Criscuolo and a 2020 fourth-round pick
- acquired F Nate Thompson from Canadiens in exchange for 2021 fifth-round draft pick
The Flyers didn’t make much change in the midst of their 19-6-1 sprint to the finish line but did add some depth up front with the additions of Grant, who was a nice fit with one goal, five points, and a +2 rating in seven games with the Flyers, and Thompson, who recorded an assist in seven games. Thompson led their forwards in penalty-killing ice-time while Grant averaged 1:07 per game shorthanded and the Flyers’ 82.6% penalty-killing rate after the trade was tied for 13th in the league. However, Thompson recorded a 41.96% Corsi-for percentage and a 49.26% expected goals-for percentage with the Flyers while Grant tallied a 37.42% Corsi-for percentage and a 40.39% goals-expected average after the trade. The two were cheap to get and will benefit from the pause and a full training camp, so perhaps they will fit better after the pause than they did before.
- acquired Fs Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues from Buffalo Sabres in exchange for F Dominik Kahun
- acquired F Patrick Marleau from Sharks in exchange for conditional 2021 third-round draft pick
- acquired F Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for F Alex Galchenyuk, D Calen Addison, and a first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft or 2021 NHL Draft
The Penguins bolstered their bottom-six forward group with the additions of Sheary, who posted a goal, four points, a 52.71% Corsi-for percentage, and a 45.74% expected goals-for percentage in eight games after the trade; Rodrigues, who recorded just a goal, a 63.11% Corsi-for percentage, and a 61.77% expected goals-for percentage in seven games with the Penguins; and Marleau, who tallied a goal, two points, a 51.7% Corsi-for percentage, and a 46.81% expected goals-for percentage in eight games after being acquired from the Sharks. Kahun scored two goals and four points in eight games with the Sabres.
Weeks prior to the deadline, the team acquired Zucker to replace top-six forward Jake Guentzel who was expected to miss the remainder of the season after he underwent a shoulder procedure on December 31. Zucker recorded six goals, 12 points, a 54.04% Corsi-for percentage, and a 48.84% expected goals-for percentage in 15 games after the trade while Galchenyuk posted three goals, seven points, and a +2 rating in 14 games with the Wild.
- acquired D Brady Skjei from New York Rangers in exchange for 2020 first-round pick
- acquired D Sami Vatanen from Devils in exchange for F Janne Kuokkanen, D Fredrik Claesson, conditional 2020 fourth-round pick
- acquired F Vincent Trocheck from Florida Panthers in exchange for Fs Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark, Eetu Luostarinen, D Chase Priskie
With defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce expected to be out for the foreseeable future, the Hurricanes acquired Skjei, who posted an assist, a -4 rating, a 47.55% Corsi-for percentage, and a 47.35% expected goals-for percentage in seven games after the trade, and Vatanen, who had yet to appear in a game with them due to lower-body injury. Vatanen posted five goals, 23 points, a -12 rating, a 47.78% Corsi-for percentage, and a 45.83% expected goals-for percentage in 47 games with the Devils this season but did not play after February 1. With Hamilton and Pesce now expected to return in their qualifying round series against the Rangers, head coach Rod Brind’Amour may be forced to make some tough decisions on the backend with nine every-day NHL defensemen on the roster.
Trocheck provided a clear upgrade over Haula at center but recorded just one goal, two points, a -5 rating, a 51.59% Corsi-for percentage, and a 44.84% expected goals-for percentage. He averaged 1:12 on the penalty kill and 2:06 on the power-play. Haula recorded just two assists and an even rating in seven games after the trade while Wallmark posted a goal, two points, and an even rating in seven games.
New York Islanders
- acquired C Jean-Gabriel Pageau from Ottawa Senators in exchange for conditional 2020 first-round pick, 2020 second-round pick, and conditional 2022 third-round pick
- acquired D Andy Greene from Devils in exchange for a 2021 second-round draft pick and D David Quenneville
The Islanders bolstered their top-six with the addition of Pageau, who scored two goals but had a -6 rating in seven games after the trade. He ended the season with 26 goals, tied with center Brock Nelson for the team-lead on the Islanders which is quite impressive since he was on the 30th-place Senators before the trade. Pageau didn’t play well after the deal as he posted a 44.32% Corsi-for percentage and a 43.32% expected goals-for percentage with the Islanders, both down from his numbers with the Senators.
Greene gave some depth to an Islanders defense that was ninth in the NHL with an average of 2.79 goals-against per game and fit in fine with three assists and a -1 rating in 10 games after getting dealt across the river. Greene also had a 44.4% Corsi-for percentage with the Islanders, down from his 45.26% Corsi-for percentage with the Devils this season, though his expected goals percentage ticked up a little bit (47.42% from 46.17% before the trade).
Toronto Maple Leafs
- acquired G Jack Campbell and F Kyle Clifford from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for F Trevor Moore, a 2020 third-round draft pick and a 2021 third-round draft pick
- acquired F Denis Malgin from Panthers for F Mason Marchment
The Maple Leafs were quiet around the trade deadline but made a trade in early February to fix their back-up goaltending woes as they had a combined .864 save percentage from their goalies not named Fredrik Andersen at the time of the trade when Andersen had started 42 of their first 54 games. Campbell helped take the pressure off of Andersen as he appeared in six of the Maple Leafs’ final 16 games and performed admirably with a .915 save percentage and a 2.63 goals-against average.
Clifford recorded a goal, three points, a -1 rating, a 47.04% Corsi-for percentage (he had one above 52% in each of the last eight seasons with the Kings), and a 44.86% expected goals-for percentage (he had one above 51% in his last nine in Los Angeles) after the trade. Malgin posted no points, a -3 rating, a 53.29% Corsi-for percentage, and a 48.16% expected goals-for percentage in eight games with Toronto, both up from his numbers in Florida.
Columbus Blue Jackets
- acquired F Devin Shore from Ducks in exchange for F Sonny Milano
- traded F Markus Hannikainen to Arizona Coyotes in exchange for conditional 2020 seventh-round pick
After going big at the trade deadline last year, the Blue Jackets took a much different approach this season, adding a depth piece in Shore, who posted a goal, two points, a -2 rating, a 45.63% Corsi-for percentage, and a 33.9% expected goals-for percentage, but that didn’t go as well as hoped at least for the few weeks leading up to the pause. Meanwhile, Milano posted two goals, five points, a -2 rating, a 47.41% Corsi-for percentage, and a 48.30% expected goals-for percentage in nine games after the deal. Both percentages went down following the deal.
Hannikainen did not play a game after the trade deadline.
- acquired Haula, Wallmark, Luostarinen, and Priskie from Hurricanes in exchange for Trocheck
The Panthers added some depth at center with the additions of Haula, who posted two assists, an even rating, a 52.05% Corsi-for percentage, and a 55.71% expected goals-for percentage in seven games with the team (the latter of the two both increased after the trade); and Wallmark, who recorded a goal, two points, an even rating, a 44.78% Corsi-for percentage, and a 37.23% expected goals-for percentage (the latter of the two both decreased after the trade).
New York Rangers
- acquired F Julien Gauthier from Hurricanes in exchange for D Joey Keane
- traded Skjei to Hurricanes in exchange for 2020 first-round pick
The Rangers didn’t make any major moves at the NHL Trade Deadline but acquired rookie Gauthier, who posted two assists, a -1 rating, a 46.11% Corsi-for percentage, and a 40.57% expected goals-for percentage in 12 games after the trade. He played mostly in the middle-six forward group.
- traded F Nick Cousins to Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for 2021 fourth-round pick
- traded Thompson to Flyers in exchange for 2021 fifth-round draft pick
- traded Kovalchuk to Capitals in exchange for a 2020 third-round draft pick
- traded D Marco Scandella to St. Louis Blues for a 2020 second-round pick and conditional a 2021 fourth-round pick
With slim chances of making the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs prior to the pause, the Canadiens dealt players on expiring contracts to build for the future but for a team that averaged 2.93 goals-per-game (19th in NHL) and 3.10 goals-against per game (tied for 19th), they could have used some reinforcements against a healthy and rested Penguins team, who played well this season even though a slew of injuries, even though they only traded depth pieces.
By Harrison Brown