The trade deadline is so much fun, especially when your team is adding players. For some NHL teams, today was a chance to load up for the marathon run through the spring and early summer. For others, it was a chance to gather third and fourth and fifth round picks that are unlikely to add up to winning down the line.
A few thoughts:
My winner is Los Angeles. They needed a scorer and they acquired a very good one. Marian Gaborik is just back from injury, but he can score goals in his sleep and the Kings badly needed that one thing. I have the Kings in a cluster of Stanley Cup favorites with Chicago, San Jose, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Boston. I think the Kings did more to help themselves than any other team.
Montreal got Thomas Vanek for a low, low price compared to value. Garth Snow had a terrible day as Islanders GM. Lordy.
The defensemen traded today were ghastly. Honestly. There are expansion drafts that offered better.
Ottawa picked up a nice player in Ales Hemsky. The third round pick in 2015 has real value, but the 2014 pick isn't much so that's a good deal for the Senators.
New York Rangers picked up Martin St. Louis for Ryan Callahan and a first round pick in 2015. There's also a conditional second in 2014 heading to TBay. The deal is a head scratcher for me on a couple of levels. The Rangers have an increased chance of making the postseason this year, but give up one of their best players plus a first round pick in a deep draft year. I think it's too early to be going for it. We'll see. The Lightning were forced into the deal, and Yzerman made out well considering the circumstances.
The worst trade of the week (for me) was the Flyers acquisition of Andrew MacDonald. I'll watch this one with interest.
Boston added Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter to the blueline. Interesting additions, it was such a tough deadline for teams looking for defensive help. I wonder if anyone has thought about calling Lidstrom?
Edmonton fans are upset tonight about the return for Ales Hemsky. I get that, but the market was weird this season and that has to be factored in. Mike Weaver and Nick Schultz both went for 5th round selections, Dustin Penner went for a 4th round pick, it was strange based on the past deadline prices.
Chicago had an interesting deadline. They got a 2nd and a 5th earlier in the week for Brandon Pirri, and then acquired David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisebois for a 2nd.
Did any of these deals impact the playoffs? Sure. Did they impact the eventual SC winner? That's a very good question. We'll talk in June.