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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.