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?