Winners and losers of the 2016 NHL trade deadline


At this point, those last-minute deals have just about trickled in, so let’s do that thing where we hastily grade how general managers handled the trade deadline.

Check out PHT’s trade deadline tracker here, in case you want to do a little research before you make weirdly angry comments.


Flames: Calgary produced a resounding bounty for Jiri Hudler and Kris Russell, two players who were likely to walk in free agency anyway. The Flames now have seven picks in the first four rounds of the 2016 draft, and they received some nice pieces, including already-quite-experienced defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka.

Hurricanes: Another seller yielding huge returns, maybe the best of any team. Much like the Flames, Carolina gained a ton of futures for three players who only had months left on their deals. As many have mentioned, Eric Staal could return next summer, which would remove much of the discomfort from the toughest move.

Sellers, in general: The Leafs were quiet on the deadline day itself, and some aren’t happy about that.

Even so, they grabbed some assets, and sellers who managed to pull the trigger were rewarded more often than not. The Buffalo Sabres didn’t sell like they have before, but they still have 19 draft picks between 2016 and 2017.

Blackhawks: They didn’t need to break the bank to add Andrew Ladd, a legitimate first-line forward who brings rare familiarity for a rental. No team has more benefit of the doubt when it comes to enjoying short-term gains for some long-term pain.

Rangers, in 2015-16: It’s a hefty price, yet Staal has the ability to help the Rangers take another step as contenders. They remain in “win now” mode.

Panthers: They spent a lot of picks. That said, collecting some rentals (Jiri Hudler in particular) rather than merely getting one could increase the odds of one or more actually paying off.

Ducks: Brandon Pirri isn’t spectacular and might be a little banged up, but a young guy coming off a 22-goal season for just a six-round pick? Not a bad bargain.

Jamie McGinn also adds some depth to the Ducks’ mix, although he doesn’t stand as the same sort of value.

The phrase “standing pat:” A frustrating theme for anxious fans.

Lee Stempniak‘s landlords/real estate agents: He’s been moved three straight deadlines and the Bruins stand as his 10th team.

It’s probably inaccurate to label Stempniak as a loser or winner, really, as he does join a slightly more promising team.

On a similarly cheesy joking front, a few travel agents lost on Monday:


People who took off work: An annual tradition. Seriously, this joke makes it into basically every winners/losers list.

Even so, this specific deadline day was as slow as ever.

Jonathan Drouin: Yes, it’s true that the Lightning can technically trade Jonathan Drouin (he just wouldn’t be eligible to play), but it sure looks like he’s in limbo.

In Drouin’s case, limbo translates to “suspended in carbonite like Han Solo.” (Bonus loser: timely pop culture references.)

Canucks: Maybe you can give Jim Benning a partial pass for failing to move Dan Hamhuis, who exercised the powers of his no-trade clause. Either way, not finding an acceptable price for Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata stings for a franchise that isn’t contending and isn’t doing much to build for the future.

Vancouver likely has the most unhappy fans from a deadline perspective.

Stars: Kris Russell adds another piece to the Stars’ scary attack, but sheesh, what a price for a so-so rental. That’s an “oops, I have a month-long late fee at Blockbuster” type of price tag.

(Yeah, timely references are definitely another loser.)

All kidding aside, it’s not necessarily their fault that they missed out on Dan Hamhuis, but Jim Nill paid a lot for a marginal improvement.

Jyrki Jokipakka: He seems really sad.

Bruins: Much like the Stars, you can make a winner argument for the Bruins … but each team gave up so much to maybe only make a moderate step forward. Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles could help out a bit on defense, yet are they worth a bucket of picks? Was it really the best move to keep Loui Eriksson?

A first-round exit would make this a very costly week. Consider this more of a C- than a F grade, though.

Rangers’ future: Another annual tradition? The Rangers will now lack a first-round pick for four straight years, and they cleaned out some second-rounders, too. People thoroughly mock the Rangers for giving up guys like Anthony Duclair, so will these playoff pushes be worth it?

At some point, one would assume that the Rangers will pay for “mortgaging their future.”