Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline

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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.

Winners

source: AP
Source: AP

Buffalo

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.)

Arizona

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.

Anaheim

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

Chicago

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.

Flyers

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

source:
Via Smashfest.ca

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.

Losers

Deadline day itself

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

Ottawa

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

Boston

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.

Edmonton

Pretty quiet deadline for a team in perpetual rebuild mode.

Rangers

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.)

Pittsburgh

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.

PHT’s 2015 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

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Our running list of all the deals leading up to 3 p.m. ET on Monday, Mar. 2…

Monday, Mar. 2

To Boston: Zack Phillips
To Minnesota: Jared Knight

To Anaheim: Korbinian Holzer
To Toronto: Eric Brewer, 5th-round pick (’15) (link)

To Anaheim: James Wisniewski, 3rd-round pick (’15)
To Columbus: William Karlsson, Rene Bourque and 2nd-round pick (’15) (link)

To Boston: Max Talbot, Paul Carey
To Colorado: Jordan Caron, 6th-round pick (’16) (link)

To Vancouver: Sven Baertschi
To Calgary: 2nd-round pick (’15) (link)

To Anaheim: Simon Despres
To Pittsburgh: Ben Lovejoy (link)

To St. Louis: Olli Jokinen
To Toronto: Joakim Lindstrom, 6th-round pick (conditional, ’15) (link)

To Minnesota: Chris Stewart
To Buffalo: 2nd-round pick (’17) (link)

To Montreal: Torrey Mitchell
To Buffalo: Jack Nevins, 7th-round pick (’16) (link)

To Arizona Coyotes: David Leggio
To New York Islanders: Mark Louis (link)

To Minnesota: Jordan Leopold
To Columbus: Justin Falk, 5th-round pick (’15) (link)

To Vancouver: Cory Conacher
To New York Islanders: Dustin Jeffrey (link)

To St. Louis: Roberto Bortuzzo, 7th-round pick (’16)
To Pittsburgh: Ian Cole (link)

To San Jose: Karl Stollery
To Colorado: Freddie Hamilton (link)

To New York Islanders: Michal Neuvirth
To Buffal Sabres: Chad Johnson, 3rd-round pick (’16) (link)

To New York Islanders: Tyler Kennedy
To San Jose Sharks: 3rd-round pick (conditional, ’16) (link)

To Detroit: Marek Zidlicky
To New Jersey: 3rd-round pick (conditional, ’16) (link)

To San Jose: Ben Smith, 7th round pick (’17, conditional)
To Chicago: Andrew Desjardins (link)

To St. Louis: Zbynek Michalek, 3rd-round pick (conditional, ’15)
To Arizona: Maxim Letunov (link)

To Montreal: Brian Flynn
To Buffalo: 5th-round pick (’16) (link)

To Montreal: Jeff Petry
To Edmonton: 2nd-round pick (’15), 5th-round pick (conditional, ’15) (link)

To Tampa Bay: Braydon Coburn
To Philly: Radko Gudas, 1st-round pick (’15), 3rd-round pick (’15) (link)

To Boston: Brett Connolly
To Tampa Bay: 2nd-round pick (’15), 2nd round-pick (’16) (link)

Sunday, Mar. 1

To Detroit: Erik Cole, 3rd-round pick (conditional, ’15)
To Dallas: Mattias Janmark, Mattias Backman, 2nd-round pick (’15) (link)

To New York Rangers: James Sheppard
To San Jose: 4th-round pick (’16) (link)

To Winnipeg: Lee Stempniak
To New York Rangers: Carl Klingberg (link)

To New York Rangers: Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, 4th-round pick (’15)
To Arizona: John Moore, Anthony Duclair, 1st-round pick (conditional, ’16), 2nd-round pick (’15) (link)

To Washington: Curtis Glencross
To Calgary: 2nd-round pick (’15), 3rd-round pick (’15) (link)

Saturday, Feb. 28

To Chicago: Antoine Vermette
To Arizona: Klas Dahlbeck, 1st-round pick (’15) (link)

To Anaheim: Tomas Fleischmann
To Florida: Dany Heatley, 3rd-round pick (’15) (link)

To Washington: Tim Gleason
To Carolina: Jack Hillen, 4th-round pick (’15) (link)

Friday, Feb. 27

To Chicago: Kimmo Timonen
To Philly: 2nd-round pick (’15), 4th-round pick (conditional, ’16) (link)

Thursday, Feb. 26

To Columbus: David Clarkson
To Toronto: Nathan Horton (link)

To Florida: Jaromir Jagr
To New Jersey: 2nd-round pick (’15), 3rd-round pick (’16) (link)

To Toronto: T.J. Brennan
To Chicago: Spencer Abbott (link)

To St. Louis: Adam Cracknell
To Columbus: Future considerations (link)

Wednesday, Feb. 25

To Los Angeles: Andrej Sekera
To Carolina: Roland McKeown, 1st-round pick (conditional, ’15 or ’16) (link)

To Pittsburgh: Daniel Winnik
To Toronto: Zach Sill, 2nd-round pick (’16), 4th-round pick (’15) (link)

To Winnipeg: Jiri Tlusty
To Carolina: 3rd-round pick (’16), 6th-round pick (conditional, ’15) (link)

Tuesday, Feb. 24

To Minnesota: Sean Bergenheim, 7th-round pick (’16)
To Florida: 3rd-round pick (’16) (link)

To Anaheim: Jiri Sekac
To Montreal: Devante-Smith Pelly (link)

Sunday, Feb. 15

To Nashville: Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli
To Toronto: Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic, 1st-round pick (’15) (link)

Wednesday, Feb. 11

To Dallas: Jhonas Enroth
To Buffalo: Anders Lindback, 3rd-round pick (conditional, ’16) (link)

To Buffalo: Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Jason Kasdorf
To Winnipeg: Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux, 1st-round pick (’15) (link)

Goalie trade! Sabres send Neuvirth to Isles for Johnson

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We’ve got our first goalie-for-goalie swap of the trade deadline — Buffalo has sent the red-hot Michal Neuvirth to the New York Islanders in exchange for backup Chad Johnson and a third-round pick in 2016.

Neuvirth, 26, has played extremely well since taking over the Sabres’ No. 1 gig — following the trade of Jhonas Enroth to Dallas — posting a .938 save percentage in February. A pending UFA, he’ll now get the chance to split time with Jaroslav Halak as the Isles look to rest their No. 1 down the stretch, and potentially see some playoff action should Halak falter.

Johnson, 28, has also been very good in February — posting  a.935 save percentage — and is signed for one more year at $1.3 million, giving Buffalo an affordable goaltending option for next season. That said, Johnson has struggled at times (as evident by his .889 save percentage and 3.08 GAA in ’14-15) and has never appeared in more than 27 games in a single season.

In an ironic twist, Neuvirth and Halak will now be teammates after they were traded for one another last year, in a flip involving Buffalo and Washington.

Are the Sharks looking to go young in goal? If so, here are some options

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Interesting tidbit today on the future of San Jose’s goaltending from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, appearing on Edmonton’s CHED 630 radio:

“I think they’re looking for a 25-year-old goalie who can play for a few years for them. They’re going to let [Antti] Niemi’s contract run out. [Alex] Stalock they just don’t believe has grabbed the net.

“I think they’re in the market for a guy who can play net for them for a few years. I would guess that’s as high on their list of things to do as anything else.”

Niemi, 31, is a UFA on July 1 and it sounds increasingly unlikely he’ll return to the Bay Area. Stalock, 27, will be a UFA after the 2015-16 campaign.

All of which leads to some interesting speculation about who could be in goal for the Sharks next year — and beyond.

In terms of goalies that are 25 at the time of writing, Chicago’s Antti Raanta, Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom and Los Angeles’ Martin Jones jump to mind. Raanta appears to be in play, based on this latest report from the Chicago Sun-Times, as Scott Darling looks to have passed him on the organizational depth chart.

Markstrom, currently enjoying a bounce-back campaign in AHL Utica, could be viewed as expendable by the Canucks, who also have Eddie Lack — who, it should be mentioned, only just turned 27 and has one year left on his deal — and Ryan Miller, signed through 2017.

Jones, who’s served as Jonathan Quick’s backup in L.A. for each of the last two seasons, has great career statistics — .925 save percentage, 1.95 GAA, seven shutouts — but those numbers have come in a small sample size: 30 NHL appearances, and just 27 starts.

Moving out of the 25-year-old window ever so slightly, there are others to consider.

Like 26-year-old Jonathan Bernier, for example. At this point, it’s safe to assume no Leaf is safe as Toronto goes through a full-scale rebuild and, what’s more, Bernier’s a proven commodity, having appeared in nearly 100 games over the last two seasons.

Michal Neuvirth, also 26, could be a candidate. He’s been a No. 1 before (in Washington) and has really turned in on lately for Buffalo, posting a .942 save percentage in eight games in February (numbers that coincided with Jhonas Enroth being shipped off to Dallas.)

So, more than a few options here for the Sharks. And what makes their search really interesting is that, as Friedman notes, they’ll have money to play with this summer — at a time where other clubs could be hamstrung by a salary cap that might not rise all that much, if at all.

“They have a lot of cap room,” he explained. “And I could see them, in the summer, taking a look at some of these teams that need to clear room and saying, ‘What are you going to do for us?’”

Goalie nods: Zepp starts fourth straight as Flyers push for playoffs

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Zepp goes for Flyers

Philly will turn to Rob Zepp for the fourth straight game when it takes on the Leafs in Toronto this evening.

Zepp, 33, has fared reasonably well in his first-ever NHL campaign. He’s posted a 5-2-0 record, though his GAA (2.80) and save percentage (.893) leave something to be desired.

At the same time, the Flyers need wins right now — they head into tonight’s action four points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference — and Zepp has provided those; he’s won two of his last three starts, which included impressive victories against the NHL-leading Predators and Washington, who currently holds the east’s other wild card.

For Toronto, Jonathan Bernier will be in goal.

Elsewhere…

Canucks at Sabres: Eddie Lack vs. Michal Neuvirth (more here)

Coyotes at Rangers: Mike Smith vs. Cam Talbot

Habs at Jackets: Carey Price vs. Curtis McElhinney

Hawks at Panthers: (No word on a Chicago starter yet) vs. Roberto Luongo

Blues at Jets: Brian Elliott vs. Michael Hutchinson

Wild at Preds: (Devan Dubnyk likely) vs. Pekka Rinne

Sens at Kings: (No word on an Ottawa starter yet) vs. Jonathan Quick

Wings at Sharks: (No word on a Detroit starter yet vs. Antti Niemi