Author: James O'Brien

New York Rangers v Buffalo Sabres

Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline


The dust has settled on another trade deadline, so now it’s time for hasty judgments. Let’s name the winners and losers mere moments after everything happened, then. For all the moves, click here.


source: AP
Source: AP


Deride “tank jobs” if you must, but Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray (pictured) is doing a masterful job of amassing a staggering array of assets. It’s genuinely difficult to keep track of all the futures Buffalo now possesses, yet Evander Kane + Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel should make the Sabres fun to watch starting in 2015-16.

(Assuming Buffalo gets one of the top two picks, which is fairly safe.)


The Coyotes shifted into sellers far more abruptly than the Sabres, yet their takeaway has been resounding. They landed an enviable haul for Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle while “gently nudging” their way to the cellar by moving Devan Dubnyk before he won them too many games.


One of the biggest winners among the “buyers,” the Ducks reunited with James Wisniewski (pictured) while bolstering an already-young defense with an interesting piece in Simon Despres. They didn’t pay that big for a guy who may or may not help them in Tomas Fleischmann, who likely will get the benefit of the doubt from Bruce Boudreau thanks to their Washington days.

source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images


A reasonably healthy Kimmo Timonen could be a game-changer. Antoine Vermette may be the second-line center they were looking for. The big prices they paid might put them in the “losers” category in hindsight, however.


A nice job of “reloading” if not fully rebuilding.

The Leopolds

Jordyn Leopold’s adorable letter went viral and Jordan Leopold gets a chance to maybe make an impact with a playoff team in the Minnesota Wild.

Sven Baertschi

He clearly saw his stock plummet with the Calgary Flames, but now he gets a new lease on life with the Vancouver Canucks. Perhaps he’ll get up a little bit more for each rivalry game, too?

Teams that tweaked like Montreal, Detroit

The Canadiens grabbed some depth and also an interesting defenseman in Jeff Petry. The Red Wings get an aging but skilled puck mover in Marek Zidlicky and a top-six forward in Erik Cole. Maybe they didn’t knock their moves out of the park, but good teams like these (and maybe the St. Louis Blues?) are better equipped for the postseason without blowing up their futures.

Olli Jokinen

He went from barely playing for the Nashville Predators to complaining about being a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs to getting a chance at his first-ever deep playoff run with the St. Louis Blues.

Relocated Sabres

Chris Stewart gets a chance to inflate his value as a free agent if he can score big goals for the Wild. Torrey Mitchell could barely contain his excitement about going home to Montreal. Michal Neuvirth is a Jaroslav Halak injury away from an interesting opportunity …

Everyone involved with David Clarkson


Sure, he was traded for the essentially retired Nathan Horton, but David Clarkson gets a desperately needed clean slate. Toronto gets crucial cap space and Columbus isn’t wasting its budget on a guy who cannot play. Everyone wins?

Days before the deadline

It’s becoming a trend that the days before the deadline contain the biggest deals. When you expand the scope to the likes of Evander Kane and Keith Yandle, all of a sudden the trade deadline has some solid star power.


Deadline day itself

That said, if you took a day off to follow the proceedings on March 2 … you only have yourself to blame.


Did they know that the deadline was today? (Cue bad term paper memories.) San Jose was pretty quiet, too.


The Bruins didn’t get help on defense and it remains to be seen if Brett Connolly and Max Talbot can give Boston much of a boost on the wings.


Pretty quiet deadline for a team in perpetual rebuild mode.


OK, Keith Yandle definitely makes them an interesting team in 2014-15 (and isn’t a full-on rental) … but at some point you need to keep some first-round picks, right? GM Glen Sather isn’t being shy about going “all-in,” and we might look back at this and wonder what he was thinking.

(They’ll be a lot of fun in the short term, though.)


Penguins fans aren’t exactly thrilled about the return of Ben Lovejoy, at least for the price of a former first-rounder. Then again, if you count the David Perron trade, they’re among the bigger winners.

Chad Johnson

He was already struggling as a backup with the Islanders, now he’s going to get shelled in Buffalo, which could be a painful trial-by-fire. Not ideal for a guy who’s still trying to prove himself and stop people from making jokes about faded former NFL receivers.

Eric Brewer

Health hasn’t been on his side, and now he’s gone from being on a contender to playing out the string in Toronto.


Who else would make your lists? Share your picks in the comments.

Habs add another Sabres forward in Mitchell deal

Vancouver Canucks v Buffalo Sabres

The Montreal Canadiens are loading up on depth from the Buffalo Sabres on deadline day, with Torrey Mitchell being their latest acquisition. The Buffalo Sabres received Jack Nevins and a 2016 seventh-rounder in the deal.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Buffalo will retain 50 percent of Mitchell’s salary.

The Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno points out that it’s a homecoming for Mitchell, 30, is from Montreal.

Earlier today, the Habs got Brian Flynn from Buffalo. It’s been a busy day, in general, for Montreal as they also grabbed defenseman Jeff Petry from Edmonton.

Click here for a full list of deals.

Trade: Rangers land Yandle, Coyotes receive Duclair, first-rounder

San Jose Sharks v Arizona Coyotes

The New York Rangers made a big splash on Sunday, acquiring Keith Yandle from the Arizona Coyotes for Anthony Duclair, John Moore and a first-round pick. The Rangers also received a fourth-round pick and Chris Summers as part of the trade, according to ESPN’s Katie Strang.

The first-round pick is for the 2016 NHL Draft, HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

Various outlets including TSN’s Darren Dreger point out that the Coyotes will also retain 50 percent of Yandle’s salary, with Friedman pointing out that the retention will take place in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

(Note: Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos recanted an earlier report that Daniel Girardi was part of the trade. That turned out to be untrue.)


Yandle, 28, boasts a deal that carries a $5.25 million cap hit through the 2015-16, so it’s more than a mere rental for the Rangers.

Critics will point to his -32 rating this season (and general complaints about his defensive play), but there’s no denying that Yandle is a potent offensive weapon. He has 41 points in 63 games in 2014-15 and already has two 50+ point seasons to his name.

Duclair, 19, was the 80th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft. He already has some NHL experience under his belt after generating seven points in 18 games while also producing 25 points in 19 contests with the QMJHL’s Quebec Ramparts.

More than a few people think that Duclair will end up being the gem of the deal:

Moore, 24, was the 21st pick of the 2009 NHL Draft by Columbus. He already has 211 regular season games and 33 playoff contests under his belt, so he provides some respectable depth to Arizona’s blueline.

Summers, 27, could probably be best described as a journeyman defenseman at this point (despite being the 29th pick of the 2006 NHL Draft).

If you want to simplify the outlook of this trade, think of this way: the Rangers are going all-in now while the Coyotes are loading up for the future. Arizona also received a hefty package for forward Antoine Vermette, after all.

And, no, you’re not wrong if you’ve noticed that the Coyotes and Rangers make a lot of trades with each other:


This might also open the door for a Mats Zuccarello contract extension, as TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that they’re closing in on a deal.

Goalie nods: Ducks give another start to Gibson

John Gibson

All the latest from the crease …

Giving Gibson the ball

Could we see at least a mild goalie battle for the Anaheim Ducks, albeit a few months later than expected?

Going into the season, it seemed like John Gibson and Frederik Andersen would trade starts on a playoff-caliber team. Anaheim’s remained a playoff team, but Andersen ran with the top job when Gibson got hurt. Now Gibson seems like he’s taking advantage of the opportunity he received when Andersen was injured.

The interesting wrinkle is that Andersen seems ready to play again, yet as the OC Register’s Eric Stephens notes, head coach Bruce Boudreau is going with the “winning hand” in Gibson.

While Andersen’s record (29-8-5) towers over that of Gibson (7-5-0), his .916 save percentage is only slightly shinier than Gibson’s .914 mark. Perhaps Boudreau will merely ride the hot/winning hand for the rest of 2014-15, then?

Sunday serves as a good opportunity for another win for Gibson – at least on paper – as the Ducks face the struggling Dallas Stars with Jhonas Enroth in net.

Elsewhere …

Kings at Jets: Likely Jonathan Quick, while Michael Hutchinson is a safe bet.

Blue Jackets at Penguins: Curtis McElhinney vs. Marc-Andre Fleury.

Lightning at Panthers: A good chance of Ben Bishop, while Al Montoya is confirmed.

Leafs at Capitals: Leaning toward James Reimer vs. Braden Holtby, but neither team has confirmed those choices.

Blues at Canucks: Jake Allen vs. Eddie Lack.

Welcome Braydon Coburn back to the trade rumor mill

Braydon Coburn

The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to trade defenseman Braydon Coburn by Monday’s trade deadline, according to’s Tim Panaccio.

Panaccio notes that “teams are calling,” something TSN’s Darren Dreger can back up in a broader sense, as he reports that the Flyers are fielding calls about their defense in general.

Coburn, 30, will see his $4.5 million cap hit expire after the 2015-16 season (when he brings in a $4 million salary), so the lure would be relief next season, not just in 2014-15. Considering the staggering amounts of cash involved, this seems far fetched, but at least one journalist wonders if a team might take a rough contract off Philly’s hands to land Coburn (or another Flyers blueliner):

Coburn is currently in his ninth season with the Flyers. Injuries have caused him some obvious issues this year, limiting him to 39 games played.

He’s also seen a significant drop in ice time – perhaps due in part to injury issues – as he’s logging 20:14 per night as opposed to the 22+ minutes he’s averaged the past three seasons.

Even with that overall drop, Coburn could be quite desirable to a team hoping for a veteran to soak up tough minutes; his 3:01 shorthanded average easily tops all Flyers skaters and ranks 19th overall in the NHL.

This isn’t the first time Coburn’s name has surfaced in trade rumors – the Edmonton Oilers have been cited as a possible suitor more than once – but it’s at least a situation to watch considering how shallow the talent pool is this year.