The NHL trade deadline has come and gone without a real blockbuster move that the public wows over — you know, the one with the "big name guy." That doesn't mean good teams didn't get better.In the past, teams that vastly improved themselves made great runs in the post season. The two most recent teams to make the "blockbuster" type deal on deadline day that won the Stanley Cup were the Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 — two of the past three Cup holders. The Wings were able to get Brad Stuart from the Kings for picks while Pittsburgh picked up winger Billy Guerin, who had an amazing playoff run as the Pens won the Cup.
There are obvious winners and losers from Monday's deadline and I think that a couple of teams did a good job of improving themselves for playoff runs. These moves, albeit not the sexy style, can have serious Stanley Cup Finals implications this season.
Trade Deadline Losers
Florida Panthers — Florida pretty much gave up on the season a couple of months ago and that became a realization Monday. The Panthers, who had already given up their best defenseman in Bryan McCabe to the Rangers on Friday, gave up their OTHER two top blue line guys in Dennis Wideman (Washington) and Bryan Allen (Carolina) today. While they get nice young talent back, this team will be a serious FADE down the stretch, but look out for this team next season as they got a TON of good young talent back.
Detroit Red Wings/Vancouver Canucks — The top two teams in the Western Conference did absolutely nothing this year to get better. In a battle for the top seed in the conference, I expected one or both of these squads to try and improve, but neither did. Detroit signed G Jimmy Howard to an extension, which should provide him with some confidence moving forward this season. Each of these teams still has IMMENSE value moving forward toward the Stanley Cup Finals. One of these two teams will play in the Finals, you can bet on that.
Los Angeles Kings — I thought the move to get Dustin Penner from Edmonton was the BEST move of the day by any team. Penner, who is still young at 28, won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim and is a flat out goal-scorer. While it wasn't the "big one," it still makes the Kings better immediately. Penner is on pace to score almost 40 goals this season. The Kings are HOT now and with this addition, they will continue to be a great VALUE team the remainder of the year. They are the fifth seed right now and they'll move up for sure.
New York Rangers — Getting Bryan McCabe from Florida gives this defensive line some solidity. Look, the Rangers have some talent and they will move up in the Eastern Conference from that seventh seed. Expect them to be on my list of teams on the rise for the rest of the year.
Chicago Blackhawks — If any one team needed a big defenseman, it was the Blackhawks. Jordan Hendry went down last week and Chicago really needed to bolster that back line. Getting a guy like Chris Campoli is good for this team. He's a good, young defensman and will help the Blackhawks improve into getting into the playoffs this year. Chicago will make the playoffs, and I think they are one of the teams that will have MORE value moving forward.
Surprises — I was shocked Dallas didn't move Brad Richards. I get that he wants to be there, but he's got to shut his mouth and just play hockey. Will he resign after the end of the year? I was also surprised Ottawa didn't move Jason Spezza. Also shocked Columbus got Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto from Phoenix, especially in a playoff push season.
Also Surprised Jason Arnott got moved to Washington. I think the Caps are going to be OVERVALUED moving forward in 2011. The move Vancouver made to get Chris Higgins from Florida won't have nearly the impact that the Canucks wish it would have this year.Complete List of NHL trades [ESPN]Comments . . . What did you think of the NHL Trade Deadline Deals?
Great stuff in here. RJ does not feel hockey is a real sport, so glad to see it getting some props :)
Great insight there, Matt! I agree that the Penner deal doesn't necessarily cripple Edmonton for the future but I like him on that Kopitar line in LA.
Just some insight on the Edmonton Oilers as my father and I are season ticket holders: Losing Dustin Penner doesn't drastically affect the offensive output of this team. Penner can definetally score and put up decent numbers, but as you will learn by watching him with the Kings he relies heavily on his linemates to create opportunities for him. He is not going to create offensive opportunities for himself most of the time. Oilers will now be able to play their young studs more and give them a shot at establishing themsleves in the NHL. They are a very motivated team despite their record and being in last place. The young kids are very close and I often run into them at bars on the weekends. They are going to play for eachother and you can generally count on a good effort from them every night. Sometimes they are simply out matched physically, but the talent is there and in a few years you will be talking about this team in regards to how the Chicago Blackhawks are now treated. Nice post.
Oh we're going to talk hockey in TiSB. Looking forward to repping the COALITION on the podcast.
PS the Red Wings flexed some serious muscle last night.
Yeah, I hear ya. I'm grasping that they'll some how pull it all together and can make a run in the playoffs before losing to Detroit in the finals.
Make sure you work in some hockey talk tomorrow on TiSB!
Detroit looking good in the first period (for once).
Totally get your point, Matt.
I'm just not sure about Washington. Sometimes they play like the best team in hockey and other times they are bad like Florida.
I like the Caps getting Arnott. The thing that that team has lacked has been experienced playoff winners in their locker room. This is a good move for the Caps.
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lol. Keep it coming DW.
St. Louis has done a good job this season of remaining competitive.
Bwatsand Dmoney, thanks for commenting I agree D i think they wont get in just way too many injuries hit the blues this year, Halak is still out and David Perron has been out with a concussion for several months also Oshie and McDonald missed significant time with injuries which is never a good sign. I like what GM Doug Armstrong has done in his first year with all the moves though it should set the team up nicely for the next several years
I agree that the Blues made some good moves, but in all honestly I don't see them getting in this season. I think the moves made will benefit them next season for sure and I expect them to do more in the off season as well.
I wanted to put the Blues on my list of "winners" but I thought the other clubs did a better job. Don't get me wrong, I like what St. Louis has done for next season. Plus, I'm not entirely positive the Blues are done for this season. I mean, they're only 7 points out of a playoff spot and we've got 20 games left to play. I wouldn't be shocked at all if that young team was able to get an 8th seed.
I know they arent in the playoff race, but no mention of the Blues? They moved 5 players in all and I would almost call the EJ and McClement for Stewart and Shattenkirk a blockbuster deal. Maybe i'm just a Blues homer haha