Every trade deadline, no matter the sport, will always have teams coming out on top and teams getting the short end of the stick. This year's NHL trade deadline was no different.
This year's deadline was an interesting one that saw a flurry of trades early in the week lead to a stagnant morning before a crazy final hour. With the added caveat of the Expansion Draft this summer, there was an extra caveat in the sense that teams didn't move certain players because they want to ensure they can expose enough players in the Expansion Draft to Las Vegas. That made trades very difficult and is perhaps the reason many cheap options weren't dealt.
Nevertheless, there's always the offseason to look forward to and that's where the big trades will really come.
There were teams that picked up big pieces to help them for the stretch run. There were teams that missed out on their targets and had to look elsewhere. There were players that moved from a last place team to a Stanley Cup Contender, and there were players that got the short end of the stick.
There were only a few big names moved at this deadline, but some of the teams that overpaid, or underpaid, really stood out. We will look at who made a great move now and who will make one in the summer.
15 Now - Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are finally starting to sell, and they’re doing a fantastic job at it.
Earlier this week the Canucks swapped a veteran pest in Alexandre Burrows for a promising prospect in Jonathan Dahlen with the Ottawa Senators. Dahlen was an early second round pick last season and is putting up great numbers in Sweden. He has 42 points in 44 games in the Allsvenskan league and had six points in seven games at the World Junior Championships.
That trade would put them on this winners list by itself, but they also traded Jannik Hansen to the San Jose Sharks for prospect Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional 4th round pick. Goldobin was a first round pick in 2014 and had 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) for the San Jose Barracuda so far this season in the AHL.
The Canucks have parted with two pieces that had no place in their future and got two promising European youngsters.
14 Summer - Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers were looking to make a few moves at the deadline, but came away scratching their heads. They had several pending free agents, including three defensemen and two goalies, but ended up only trading one of them while extending two others.
Defenseman Mark Streit was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Valtteri Filppula, a 4th round pick and a 7th round pick. Streit was then immediately flipped to the Flyers’ rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Flyers did get a center back in Valtteri Filppula, but his $5 million cap hit is troublesome.
It wasn’t a huge disappointment in Philadelphia, but the Flyers would’ve liked to make more moves at this year’s deadline given their crop of free agents coming up this summer.
13 Now - Jarome Iginla
Jarome Iginla is getting out of the hellscape that is the Colorado Avalanche. The veteran winger has been traded to the Los Angeles Kings and will have a chance to compete in the playoffs.
Iginla only has 18 points this season, but he will fit in perfectly on the slow, big-bodied Kings team. The aging winger is now is now 39 years old, and will turn 40 on July 1st. This could be one of Iginla's last chances to close out his career as a Stanley Cup Champion with the Los Angeles Kings.
Iginla last made a playoff run in 2014 with the Boston Bruins, scoring five goals and adding two assists for seven points in 12 games. The year before that he played 15 playoff games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, recording 12 points.
12 Summer - Peter Budaj
Peter Budaj was a loyal soldier for the Los Angeles Kings. After Jonathan Quick got injured in his first game of the season, Budaj filled in admirably.
Budaj went 27-20-3 in 51 starts with a .917 save percentage and a 2.12 goals against average to keep the Kings afloat in the playoff race. But he would soon be forgotten. The former Kings savior will now be a backup for the Tampa Bay Lightning while he watches his old team make a run for the playoffs.
As soon as Quick was ready to be activated, the Kings sent Budaj to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade for Ben Bishop. Budaj has gone from a split-starting role on a playoff team to a backup on a team that will likely miss the playoffs. All's not lost for Budaj though, as his time in L.A will earn him a better contract this offseason.
11 Now - Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings appear to be giving up on their long playoff streak, but it's paying off. The Red Wings have traded Tomas Jurco, Brendan Smith, Thomas Vanek, and the worst captain in the last five years, Steve Ott, for five draft picks.
They shipped Jurco to Chicago for a 3rd round pick, Smith to the Rangers for 2nd and 3rd round picks, Vanek to Florida for a 3rd round pick and Ott to Montreal for a 6th round pick.
The Red Wings didn’t have too many sellable pieces going into the deadline and they have come out of it with a decent haul. Essentially they traded away very movable pieces that they only would have had for about 20 more games for various draft picks that could become regular NHLers in the future.
10 Summer - Anaheim Ducks
While the contenders around them were gaining pieces for the playoff run, the Ducks were quiet. Their only trade came a week ago when they traded a 2nd round pick for Patrick Eaves.
A lot of the teams around them in the standings added pieces, and that could make a huge difference for the Ducks moving forward. The Ducks are sitting pretty right now at the third spot in the Pacific Divison, but the teams around them are adding while they're standing pat. The Wild, Blackhawks and Sharks are all big threats that could take down the Ducks this spring.
I’m not sure if they’ll be able to compete with their current squad against the rest of the conference’s stacked teams. The Ducks in turn, will have to make a big move this summer to try and regroup and best their western rivals.
9 Now - Ryan White
Ryan White was a lost soul on free agency day last summer. He wanted to return to the Philadelphia Flyers, but the Flyers instead went a different route in signing free agent Dale Weise.
White then signed with the Arizona Coyotes, and had himself a stellar season. The well-travelled winger scored seven goals and added six assists for 13 points in 46 games with the Arizona Coyotes.
He was already winning at that point, but then he got traded to a serious contender and will now be playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. White is already making quite the impact on his new team, scoring two goals and adding an assist in his first two games with the Minnesota Wild. It looks like a match made in heaven at this point.
8 Summer - Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche were one of the big teams to watch heading into the trade deadline. Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog were both rumored to be potentially moved, but they are both still with Colorado after the deadline.
The trade they did make was veteran winger Jarome Iginla. While it’s a good situation for Iginla, the Avalanche only received a conditional pick in return for the winger.
The league’s worst team will continue to remain stagnant and hope for a pick me up from somewhere. Duchene and Landeskog are both still relatively young and could be a part of the future, along with Nathan MacKinnon, but it would’ve been great for the Avalanche to get multiple pieces for either the 26-year old center or their captain. There is a silver lining though, as the Avs could potentially land a better deal for the two in the summer, when teams don't have to worry about crunching salary cap space.
7 Now - Ron Hainsey
Ron Hainsey will finally get a chance to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In his 14th season, after over 900 games, he will finally be able to play for Lord Stanley's Cup.
Hainsey has been a model citizen throughout his NHL career and it will finally pay off. The Hurricanes traded Hainsey to open up an opportunity for their younger defensemen and he will gladly take it.
Hainsey only has 14 points this season with four goals and ten assists, while carrying a minus-16 rating through his 58 games. He has been averaging over 22 minutes of ice time per night, however.
He has gone from a defenseman on the Carolina Hurricanes, who are in the last few years of a rebuild, to the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
6 Summer - Pittsburgh Penguins
After making a few savvy moves last season that helped win them the Stanley Cup, the Pittsburgh Penguins were rather quiet this trade deadline. They are already in a good position, but a move here or there could have put them over the edge.
They only made a few trades for depth defensemen. Their first trade was for a veteran defenseman, Ron Hainsey, but they gave up a 2nd round pick in order to get him. Then they traded a 4th round pick for another aging defenseman in Mark Streit.
The Penguins have some injury problems right now and were put into a bit of a pickle, but the lack of moves at the deadline could cost them come springtime. Their few small acquisitions may not be able to match up against their opposition’s big moves.
They'll inevitably have to make some moves in summer with the expansion draft looming, so we'll see what they do come June.
5 Now - Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings only made two trades at the deadline, but it was a tall order. The Kings acquired the best goalie on the market, Ben Bishop, to back up their already great goalie in Jonathan Quick. They also picked up veteran winger Jarome Iginla.
Quick is coming off an injury and will likely need a solid backup, and Bishop provides that and then some. Peter Budaj had done a great job for the Kings so far this season, but he was shipped to the Tampa Bay Lightning along with Erik Cernak, a 7th round pick and a conditional pick for Bishop and a 5th round pick.
That’s right, the Kings essentially swapped Budaj for Bishop, and upgraded their draft picks by two rounds. It seems too good to be true. The Kings now have two good, proven goaltenders going into the playoffs.
4 Summer - Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning entered the trade deadline with one of the biggest players, Ben Bishop, but ended up receiving a better return for their fourth line center, Brian Boyle.
It wasn’t a horrible deadline for the Lightning thanks to the Boyle deal, fetching back a second round pick, but the poor market for Bishop put a damper on things. They also lost veteran center Valtteri Filppula to the Flyers, trading a fourth round pick and seventh round pick to get rid of him for Mark Streit.
The Lightning only received back Peter Budaj, a mid-level prospect, and a two-round downgrade in picks for their once-franchise netminder. Bishop was the best goalie on the market and Tampa should’ve held out for more. Perhaps the Lightning will make a big move this summer, especially if they miss the playoffs.
3 Now - Arizona Coyotes
The Arizona Coyotes went to the trade deadline looking to sell some of their pieces, and boy did they ever cash in.
First the Coyotes traded underperforming defenseman Michael Stone for a 3rd round pick and a conditional pick if he re-signs with his new team, the Calgary Flames. Then, they made a big splash.
The Coyotes traded away center Martin Hanzal, who has a career-high of 41 points, for a 1st round pick, 2nd round pick, and a conditional 4th round pick. They also traded away Ryan White and a 4th round pick in that deal, acquiring Grayson Downing as well.
The Arizona Coyotes stockpiled a handful of extra draft picks by trading away just a few of their minor pieces while keeping their loyal captain.
2 Summer - New York Rangers
The New York Rangers missed out at this year’s trade deadline. While all signs pointed to top trade target Kevin Shattenkirk landing on Broadway with the Blueshirts, they came up short and he landed with their divisional rival. Instead they settled for defenseman Brendan Smith from the Detroit Red Wings.
Smith is a decent player, but he's no Shattenkirk. The Rangers had to give up quite a bit to get him as well, trading a 2017 3rd round pick and an 2018 second round pick to Detroit for the defenseman.
Shattenkirk vs. Smith could be a huge difference come an important playoff series. Henrik Lundqvist can only carry the Rangers so far, hopefully his defense in front of him doesn't break down.
The good news is the Rangers will likely have a good shot at landing Shattenkirk as a UFA this summer.
1 Now - Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals are all-in. After years and years of second round exits, this is looking like another promising run for the boys from our Nation’s capital.
The Capitals made a small trade last week acquiring depth defenseman Tom Gilbert for future considerations, but that was nothing compared to their other trade.
Washington landed the most sought after trade target, defensively at least. Kevin Shattenkirk is now a Washington Capital. The Capitals had to give up a 1st round pick, two mid-to-low level prospects and another conditional pick to acquire him, but it will all be worth it as they are now the Stanley Cup Favorites.
The Capitals have been stagnant in their progression in the playoffs, failing in the second round every season, but it finally looks like this is their year.