This year's deadline was a wild one. Who were the biggest winners and losers?
A flooded market for wingers helped the Kings get a prime asset for very cheap. Marian Gaborik has his question marks, but at such a low cost you have to be the wettest of blankets to not see this as a win for LA.
In addition, the Kings added some defensive depth to their blueline by adding Brayden McNabb. It appears that McNabb is very close to being NHL ready and he’ll be a help to the Kings defensive corps next season after the likely departures of vets Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene. He’d also be a good fill-in at 7D this season should the Kings lose someone to injury.
The Kings did give up two good young prospects to get McNabb. Hudson Fasching has shown a lot of potential in his freshman year and looks like he’ll grow into a solid power forward at the NHL level. Nicolaus Deslauriers is a bit of a wild card given his switch from D to left wing this year. He’s shown a lot of potential and (dare I say it) grit in his first year at the position in Manchester. Still, when you factor in that McNabb has actually been a better point producer than both this year and that the Kings got the two 2nd round picks given up for Regehr, it’s hard not to be excited if you’re a Kings fan.
- Dean Lombardi on the Gaborik trade:
- More from Dean Lombardi on the McNabb deal courtesy of LA Kings Insider.
- Gaborik is in the lineup tonight and will skate at left wing on Anze Kopitar’s line.
- PumperNicholl from Team TRH has a great recap to the reaction from around the twitterverse to the Gaborik trade.
The Sabres best move may have been dumping Vanek all the way back in October. The Isles didn’t get much back for Vanek at the deadline. The Sabres ended up turning Vanek, Steve Ott and Ryan Miller into a bevy of early round draft picks. They also held on to Chrsitan Ehrhoff in what was a buyer’s market, which will probably show to be a prudent move over the long term.
- Sabres GM Tim Murray isn’t done making moves .
- Comprehensive recap on all the Sabres moves at the deadline.
Montreal added Thomas Vanek and Mike Weaver for peanuts. Vanek was arguably the top forward available at the deadline and the Canadiens got him for very little. Weaver is an underrated and solid defenseman who could eat up a lot of tough minutes and allow them to mercifully stop giving Douglas Murray so much playing time.
The Wild are likely making the playoffs this year but needed to address their offensive production and goaltending concerns. They brought in Matt Moulson for two 2nd round picks and Torrey Mitchell. Moulson is a a proven goal scorer and should provide a boost to the Wild who are 25th in goals per game. They also acquired Ilya Bryzgalov to shore up their goaltending which has been ravaged by injuries. Bryz has had a rough 3 years, but is a low risk option that could pay off down the stretch.
- Hockey Wilderness puts Matt Moulson under the microscope.
New York Rangers
Wow the Rangers actually did something right? They managed to trade pending UFA Ryan Callahan who they weren’t able to lock down to a reasonable contract extension for a hall of famer in Martin St. Louis. St. Louis hamstrung the Lightning with an odd trade request and the Rangers took advantage.
The Rest of the Pacific Division
Really this deadline could not have gone much better for LA.
The Ducks dumped Dustin Penner with the expectation that they were clearing room for another forward. According to Pierre Lebrun, they didn’t find out that Kesler was not an option until 15 minutes before the deadline. On the bright side the Ducks did acquire Stephen Robidas who is very solid, but it seems like they had their eye on something much bigger.
The Sharks stood pat despite the low cost to acquire a decent wing. They have some depth issues and an aging forward corp. They are also playing Brad Stuart 19 minutes a night on defense. Looking at the other deals out there, the Sharks could have easily made themselves better at a low cost but opted not to.
The Canucks are a worse team after the deadline. Sure the Roberto Luongo trade positions them better for a rebuild, but if they are rebuilding why did they choose to hold onto to Ryan Kesler despite reportedly having a decent offer on the table?
The Flames didn’t trade Michael Cammalleri who is a pending free agent and doesn’t fit into the team's long term plans. Even with a flooded trade market for wingers, it seems like something would have been better than nothing for the Flames who are on an endless rebuild.
The Oilers did ok at the deadline as they dumped Ales Hemsky and Bryzgalov and got as much value for them as could be expected. They also brought in another decent goaltending option in Viktor Fasth. Still, none of those moves have the rest of the division quaking in their boots and the Oilers have a long way to go.
I forgot the Coyotes existed until they gave away promising defenseman David Runblad to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Coyotes are 1 point out of a playoff spot and their big acquisition was acquiring Martin Erat who has 1 goal in 53 games this year.
New York Islanders
Dunn summed it up perfectly with this tweet:
You know nothing, Garth Snow— Ryan Dunn (@SharksGotMyLeg) March 5, 2014
They traded Matt Moulson, a 1st and a 2nd for Vanek. They then flipped Vanek for a 2nd round pick and a prospect who has struggled in Swedish adult leagues .
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets are actually a very dangerous team heading into the playoffs. Instead of bolstering their roster, they detracted from it by getting rid of Gaborik. Matt Frattin is better than what he showed in LA, but the Blue Jackets actually had the potential to make some noise in a weak Eastern Conference had they added to their roster.