It’s been nearly 24 hours since the NHL trade deadline came and went, and the dust is beginning to settle.
And let me tell ya, there was some serious dust that needed settling.
The 2014 version of deadline week boasted more than 30 deals involving some 50 players, so there was no shortage of guys packing their bags for new scenery.
It’s the job of GMs league-wide to make these types of deals- some to dump contracts and rebuild, others to take those contracts on in an effort to make the postseason. Meanwhile, it’s our job as media pundits to analyze these deals.
There are winners and losers at every trade deadline, and this year was no different: here’s my two cents on who came out on top and who made a deal they’ll later regret.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings will be without their captain and leader Henrik Zetterberg for the remainder of the season and their star and alternate captain Pavel Datsyuk for at least three weeks. GM Ken Holland needed to make a move and he did just that, nabbing power forward David Legwand from Nashville.
Legwand fits the Wings’ needs perfectly: they get a veteran leader who can grind, tussle and fill the scoresheet. His physicality will bring a new dimension to the Wings’ top line and his passing ability won’t hurt either (30 assists this year).
The Flames are in no way a good hockey team, but they will have the chance to be. They acquired a second-round pick for goalie Reto Berra and a third-rounder for forward Lee Stempniak; a good move by the Flames. Berra has struggled in his first NHL season and Stempniak, a pending free agent, was unlikely to resign with Calgary.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay was one of the busier teams at the deadline, and Steve Yzerman’s club made headlines with one of this year’s blockbuster deals: the Lightning received Ryan Callahan, in turn sending Martin St. Louis to New York.
This deal would have been a small win for New York had this deal been straight up, but throw in a first rounder and a conditional second-rounder and this is a big victory for the Lightning.
Dustin Penner for a fourth-round pick? Yes please! Penner’s scoring ability will make this Washington team even harder to stop offensively, and the Caps have to score goals to stay competitive. I’m sure George McPhee would have rather gotten a defenseman like Andrew MacDonald, but Penner will help this team make a playoff run.
McPhee did, however, grab defenseman Rostislav Klesla from Phoenix, who they quickly flipped for goalie Jaroslav Halak. Halak upgrades the goaltending situation in Washington, and may make them the overall winners of the deadline.
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings had to give up two picks and Matt Frattin, but they got Marian Gaborik, who is one of the NHL’s top forwards when healthy. Gaborik has had an injury-riddled season, but if he can remain healthy, he’ll be a big boost to LA’s offense.
The Kings were also able to get a couple picks back to ease the pain of losing the two they gave up in the Gaborik deal (a 2nd and 3rd rounder). The Kings dealt two prospects in Hudson Fasching and Nicolas Deslauriers to Buffalo for two second round picks and prospect Brayden McNabb.
Yes, the Penguins got some pieces that may help them, but they overpaid to do so. To gain Lee Stempniak and Marcel Goc is fine and well, but giving up two third round picks and a fifth round pick for two rental fourth-liners is a hefty price to pay.
They gave up Legwand and got little in return: Patrick Eaves is no more than an AHL penalty killer and the third-round pick combined with prospect Calle Jarnkrok is not enough to fill Legwand’s void.
I’m not saying they lost the Ryan Miller deal, but they didn’t win it either. They picked up a first rounder, a conditional third rounder and Halak, but dealing Halak to the Capitals was the wrong move.
Then, the Sabres dished Matt Moulson out for two second rounders, solidifying the all-out firesale taking place in Buffalo. This team will look to free agency and the draft to turn things around, but right now things don’t look good.