The NHL’s general managers resembled college students waiting until the last night to start cramming for a final exam on trade deadline day, stuffing big deals into the last couple hours. In fact, it’s possible this post might be dramatically changed by a late-breaking swap.
Still, with the information we have in front of us, here’s a look at the winners and losers:
Columbus Blue Jackets
For what has to be one of the first times in franchise history, the Blue Jackets were “buyers” during the deadline … and they landed a huge potential difference-maker. For all his warts, Marian Gaborik can be an elite scorer when healthy and happy. They also managed to get rid of Steve Mason, which is a victory in itself.
The Minnesota Wild greatly improved their chances of holding onto the Northwest Division crown by landing Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville. He brought six straight 20+ goal seasons into this condensed campaign, so he could push them closer to contender status.
Many believed that the Pens won the deadline before Wednesday rolled around with Jarome Iginla, Douglas Murray and Brenden Morrow added to the mix. With all that size and grit, Pittsburgh decided to inject a little more finesse today by acquiring Jussi Jokinen. Not bad.
Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators
The Cory Conacher-for-Ben Bishop trade is a great example of a deal where both teams won. The Bolts get a big goalie who has put up great numbers this season while the Senators received an intriguing young player for a netminder made redundant by the Craig Anderson/Robin Lehner combo.
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks managed to turn Murray, Ryane Clowe and Michal Handzus into a bevvy of picks without blowing up their playoff chances. Dealing a third-round pick for Raffi Torres doesn’t seem wise, but overall, they did very well.
They didn’t make huge gains, but Jaromir Jagr can really help their power play and Wade Redden might fill at least some of those offensive defenseman needs.
Sure, the Flames probably waited too long to do it, but they probably get the gold medal among the few selling/rebuilding teams with a nice haul of picks for Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester.
(And yes, we understand the inherent irony of associating the Flames with winning.)
St. Louis Blues
Defense has been a problem for the Blues a season after it was a big strength in 2011-12. Adding Bouwmeester (and to a lesser extent, Jordan Leopold) could change that.
No Roberto Luongo trade? That works.
Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider
New York Rangers
In the grand scheme of things, the Rangers traded Gaborik for Clowe. That’s a big step back.
Detroit Red Wings
GM Ken Holland admitted he was aiming for a high-end forward and/or defenseman. That didn’t happen, so Detroit remains a team that is a little thin beyond its big names.
New Jersey Devils
Steve Sullivan isn’t likely to stem the tide for a team that’s hurting without Ilya Kovalchuk.
Anyone who took the day off
You probably could have gotten your fill with a few PHT page refreshes in the last couple hours. Hopefully you at least slept in.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!