By Liam Gill
Over the past week, NHL General Managers have been busy attempting to either sell their pending free agents or preparing their teams for a run for the cup. This year trade deadline week consisted of 34 trades and saw 11 goalies traded including Jaroslov Halak who was traded twice in the week. The following is the ranking of the teams and the moves they made at the NHL trade deadline.
1. Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens were expected to be quite at the trade deadline this year due to their rebuilding contender status. Mark Bergevin however was able to acquire the biggest asset available at the deadline, Thomas Vanek, for a former second round pick in Sebastian Collberg and a conditional second round pick. This steal coupled with depth moves for Mike Weaver and Devan Dubnyk make the Canadiens the easy winners of the trade deadline this year.
2. St. Louis Blues
The Ryan Miller trade is what the St. Louis Blues have been awaiting to launch them past the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. The addition of Steve Ott may also place the Blues as the favourites to win the Western Conference this year. The only reason this trade doesn’t catapult the Blues into the top spot of these rankings is the huge price paid for these acquisitions. However if the new players fit well in St. Louis they could be well on their way to their first ever Stanley Cup this June.
3. Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres where the big sellers at this years deadline with big names such as Matt Moulson, Steve Ott and Ryan Miller to trade. The returns they got on these players were well above market value and these trades coupled with the Vanek trade made earlier in the season give the Buffalo Sabres a very bright future.
4. Minnesota Wild
The Matt Moulson trade, which was highly anticipated before the deadline became a last minute deal that flew under the radar. The deal that sent Moulson to the Wild for two 2nd round picks will add some great offensive power to a team fighting for a playoff position. In addition the small trade for Ilya Bryzgalov will add character to the room and a veteran presence in net.
5. Florida Panthers
The Panthers who were expected to be sellers turned around and orchestrated what is likely the biggest steal of the deadline by acquiring two time Olympic Gold Medallist Roberto Luongo for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias. This deal will solidify the goaltending position for the next 5-10 years as illustrated by the Panthers shutout win in Luongo’s first game since the trade.
6. New York Rangers
The Rangers made a huge deal at the deadline trading their captain Ryan Callahan along with two draft picks for former Tampa Bay captain and reigning Art Ross Trophy winner Martin St. Louis. While this deal will aid the Rangers on their quest for a cup in the next 2-3 years. Once St. Louis retires, if the Rangers cannot win a cup fans will begin to ponder what could have been had they kept their captain and two high draft picks.
7. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings pulled of two big moves this deadline acquiring Marian Gaborik and swapping some prospects for draft picks. Both trades fit the needs of the Kings and if Gaborik can find his scoring touch in LA, they could be well on their way to another Stanley Cup.
8. Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lighting where on the other end of the Captain for Captain trade with the Rangers, as they acquired Ryan Callahan a 1st and 2nd round pick for Martin St. Louis who had demanded a trade. While this deal may hurt the Lightning in the short term, if they are able to resign Callahan and draft well, this deal may aid as they continue to retool for the future.
9. Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks made small but effective moves trading third string goaltender Viktor Fasth to Edmonton and acquiring defenseman Stephan Robidas for Dallas. The only questionable move they made was trading first liner Dustin Penner for a mere 4th round pick.
10. Washington Capitals
The Capitals were on the receiving end of that Penner trade acquiring the winger for nearly nothing. In addition to that great addition the Capitals also acquired veteran goaltender Jaroslov Halak for younger goaltender Michael Neuvirth solidifying that position for a playoff run this season.
11. Ottawa Senators
The acquisition of Hemsky for only a 3rd and 5th round pick will greatly aid the Senators in their quest to return to the playoffs.
12. Nashville Predators
General Manager David Poile’s hard nosed negotiation tactics in regards to David Legwand worked well as the Predators acquired a great package of a prospect, player and pick for the second line center.
13. Detroit Red Wings
Despite the high price paid for Legwand, General Manager Ken Holland knows that if the deal can get them back to the playoffs, once Zetterberg and Datsyuk return this team could fight for the cup in a weak Eastern Conference.
14. Philadelphia Flyers
The flyers got younger and better on defence by trading away Mezaros and acquiring Andrew Mcdonald. If they are able to resign him this trade could help them for years to come.
15. New Jersey Devils
The Devils acquired Tuomo Ruttu and while he may not add much to a non-contending team this year. He will be a huge part of their line-up in future years.
16. Phoenix Coyotes
The Coyotes acquired Martin Erat for a very low price adding to their offense then swapped prospect David Rundbland for a 2nd round pick. Good deals to help the team now and in the future.
17. Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks did not make the deal they needed for a second line center and instead ended up just swapping an array of prospects for picks and visa versa.
18. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs stood pat. While a trade would have been nice, this is an organization that must be patient and cannot trade the future for the present.
19. San Jose Sharks
The Sharks also stood pat. The only reason they rank lower than Toronto is that this team has a much darker future and a brighter present. Had the Sharks been willing to move young players such as Tomas Hertl, they could have potentially made a run for the cup. As the careers of Joe Thorton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle come to an end, so do the Sharks cup hopes. There must come a time when this team goes all in.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins made some small moves acquiring Stempniak and Goc however their inability to acquire a top 6 forward to play with Crosby puts them in the bottom half of the list.
21. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Jackets who claim to be going for a playoff spot decided to trade their top offensive player Marian Gaborik for a prospect and picks. This trade while it may help them in the future has likely ended all hopes of making this years playoffs despite their current standing.
22. Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars where also in a position to make the playoff for the first time in many years however they decided to trade a top 4 defenseman in Robidias and their only addition was backup goalie Tim Thomas. While this may not destroy the Stars it certainly does lower their playoff hopes.
23. Calgary Flames
The Flames failed to sell their biggest asset in Mike Cammalleri. While they may have stole a second round pick for the avalanche for Reto Berra and moved out Lee Stempniak, the fact the Cammalleri is still a Flame makes this trade deadline a huge failure for interim General Manager Brian Burke.
24. Boston Bruins
While the Bruins did acquire Andrei Mezaros to solidify their defense, that move alone will not be enough for them to improve on last years performance. Especially now that Nathan Horton has left and Dennis Seidenberg is out for the season.
25. Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes once again called it quits at the deadline by trading top 6 forward Tuomo Ruttu. I wouldn’t be surprised if a big name (Cam Ward, Jeff Skinner, Alex Semin) was moved out of Carolina this summer.
26. Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche did nothing this deadline but over pay for a backup/third string goaltender in Reto Berra. While this team is playing well, adding a veteran to solidify the team couldn’t of hurt them.
27. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets stood pat this trade deadline, that coupled with the injury to Mark Scheifele the day before the deadline likely throws the team out of playoff contention
28. Edmonton Oilers
While the Oilers did acquire Viktor Fasth to solidify their goaltending position for the future, they are real losers this deadline for the low price they got for Hemsky after over a decade of service to the organization.
29. Vancouver Canucks
30. New York Islanders
#firesnow? Garth Snow should thank the hockey gods that the post-deadline media attention is all on Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis. Snow had likely his worst season as Islanders GM this year (there have been some real bad ones). This season will likely be remembered by Islanders fans for the Tomas Vanek saga. Early in the season, Snow traded Matt Moulson, a 1st and a 2nd round pick for Tomas Vanek who this past week he traded for only Sebastian Collberg and a 2nd. Considering the Matt Moulson was also traded this week for two 2nd round picks and that Sebastian Collberg is a former late second round pick. The Islanders horrendous trades can be simplified to Garth Snow trading a top 10 pick and three 2nd round picks for two second round picks. These horrible trades will surely hurt the Islanders for years to come.