Adam Pyde

Breaking Down The Biggest Trades Of The NHL Trade Deadline

Breaking Down The Biggest Trades Of The NHL Trade Deadline

The NHL trade deadline has officially passed. It helped to cap off a pretty eventful week of player movement that involved some expected, surprising and truly shocking trades. So why were some of these trades made? Which trades were good? What about the bad trades? Hint: The answer is below.

By: Adam Pyde  – @Adam_Pyde

Toronto Maple Leafs: Nathan Horton
Columbus Blue Jackets: David Clarkson

This is a big deal. Mainly because David Clarkson is at best a middling 3rd line player, and quite honestly more closely resembles a fourth liner, and he makes 5.2 million dollars against the cap for another 5 years. Horton is a very good winger that has a back injury that has forced him into unofficial retirement. It is almost a certainty that he will not play again considering the doctor’s advice was “wheelchair by age 45 or never play again” basically.

So the Leafs got out of an impossible contract hell because Columbus could not spare the cash to pay someone not to play because they could not get Horton’s contract insured because of his injury history. It’s the kind of move I’ve been tremendously surprised that the Leafs have yet to exercise more often considering the Leafs have like a kajillion dollars in annual revenue. The Leafs make out real well here getting 5+ million in cap relief.

As for the Jackets, meh. I guess they made the best of a bad situation. Unfortunate for them that it came to this.

Los Angeles Kings: Andrej Sekera
Carolina Hurricanes: Conditional first round pick, Roland McKeown (prospect)

This helps fill the void of Slava Voynov, which has been an issue for LA all season. Drew Doughty has been forced to play extra minutes and any potential injury to their top four being even more devastating than it normally would be.

Then Alec Martinez got injured with a concussion and their defence got especially thin quickly. They give up futures which may hurt in three years, especially with a lot of expiring cheap contracts. But Kings GM Dean Lombardi had to do this. You’ve seen what this team has been able to do in the last three years once they get into the playoffs: Stanley Cup, conference final, Stanley Cup. You could not afford to miss the playoffs, at all.

The Hurricanes add a defensive prospect and get a draft choice that will be this year, if the Kings make the playoffs, or next season if the Kings miss. It’s rebuild time!

Philadelphia Flyers: Radko Gudas, first round pick, third round pick
Tampa Bay Lightning: Braydon Coburn

I like it when team’s make trades where both of them do well.

The Bolts load up their defence and now have easily the best six defenders in the Eastern conference. Coburn is also signed for another season at a very reasonable $4.5 million dollar cap hit. So now in Tampa, this is the defence:

Hedman-Stralman
Coburn-Carle
Garrison-Sjustr

That will alleviate any qualms they may have in net.

For Philly, they pick up a warm body in Radko Gudas who, while strong as a bull, is not very good at hockey. The real prize is the draft picks as this can allow the Flyers to try to make a few moves at the deadline for roster players, or attempt a quick little two-year rebuild.

Florida Panthers: Jaromir Jagr
New Jersey Devils: Second round pick, conditional third round pick

Not sure if it is enough to get Florida into the playoffs, but it allowed them to move Fleischmann and basically recover the price they paid. So it was almost a free upgrade.

What I like about this trade is that I can see Jagr sticking around and he’s the perfect kind of scoring veteran you want a team with as many young players as the Panthers have.

For the Devils, I hope this signifies the long overdue rebuild. This team is plagued by terrible contracts and GM Lou Lamoreillo needs to be relieved of his duties.

Chicago Blackhawks: Antoine Vermette
Arizona Coyotes: Klas Dahlbeck, first round pick

With Patrick Kane injured and Brad Richards not quite able to play at the top-six 5-on-5 pace that the Blackhawks wanted, it was important for them to find another NHL player that could play fast and play center.

They did that with Vermette, although they paid heavily for him. He provides everything you could ask for: sound defensive play, middle-six center capabilities, offensive touch, good skater, strong on faceoffs.

He is not quite going to replace what Kane brought, no one could, but I don’t know if he’ll bring a dynamic to the team that can really fill the gap. I will be really interested in how he adapts.

Arizona gets a nice haul in a first round pick and a defenceman that has some room to grow for them. Dahlbeck could become a steady everyday NHL defender. Nothing special, but nothing to sneeze at.

Edmonton Oilers: Second round pick, conditional fifth round pick
Montreal Canadiens: Jeff Petry

Hab’s GM Marc Bergevin is a genius. He absolutely robbed the Oilers blind here. If you could acquire a #3 defenceman for some spare picks you do it. Petry can play all over the lineup and since he isn’t on a tire fire of a team he will probably look a lot better. He was asked to do too much as the Oilers defacto #1 but as a second pairing player he can be excellent.

In Edmonton, this either says how little of an asset manager GM Craig MacTavish is, or just how bad the rest of the Oilers defence is viewed by the rest of the league if this was the best offer for their #1 defenceman.

Or both. He painted himself into a corner with Petry, who is good, and this was all he could do considering how poorly he mangled the rest of the defence.

Either way, its embarrassing to be an Oiler fan with this man making the decisions. Many lesser players went for more on the trade market. I think this can officially mark the beginning of Rebuild 3.0

Boston Bruins: Brett Connolly
Tampa Bay Lightning: Second round picks in 2015 and 2016

Vancouver Canucks: Sven Baertschi
Calgary Flames: Second round pick in 2017

Why are these trades together? Because I wanted to make note of something I think is smart. If you are going to pay up future considerations in any kind of significance or quantity, you could do a lot worse than this.

What is this? Spending a couple of draft picks to acquire former top prospects that still have potential. Not 27-year-old “prospect” potential. But 22-year-old young player who still has potential to be a good contributor.

It is something the Canucks have done a few times now, actually, with previous trades of a 2nd round pick for Linden Vey and a prospect for Adam Clendening.

What you essentially do is just speed up the maturation process of your picks. Will it always pay off? No. But its more likely to do so than some picks you’re waiting 4-6 years on.

New York Rangers: Keith Yandle, Chris Summers (minor leaguer), fourth round pick
Arizona Coyotes: John Moore, Anthony Duclair (prospect), first round pick in 2015, second round pick in 2016

When it came out at first, the rumour was Dan Girardi, Duclair, first round pick, some other pick for Yandle and spare parts. I went “Wow, Sather you done it again!”

Then the real deal came through and now I’m less impressed, but it’s still a good move for the Rangers. They get the player they wanted Dan Boyle to be and the Coyotes get some picks, a solid prospect and a warm body to run out the season with. Tank mode. John Moore still has some untapped potential, although he’s probably less of a #3 in the making as much as a #4/5 quality.

The Rangers are loading up again to try to make it through the Eastern Conference, but I think their fate may be the same as last seasons. I’m not sure they have what it takes for a long series against one of the big teams from the West. They better hope they can win a Cup though…

Anaheim Ducks: James Wisniewski, third round pick
Columbus Blue Jackets: Rene Bourque, William Karlsson (prospect), second round pick

The Ducks finally get the defenceman they have been looking to add for a while. This really solidifies their unit and when healthy they will be rocking a pretty enviable top-six of:

Beauchemin-Wisniewski
Lindholm-Fowler
Vatanen-Stoner

And that leaves Simon Despres and Josh Manson on the outside looking in. They finally have a defence that I can see them going deep into the playoffs with.

This is a bit of a puzzling move from the Blue Jackets perspective. The team in Columbus is pretty solid, but was ravaged by injuries through the first 4 months of the season. Otherwise it could have very easily made the playoffs again, and James Wisniewski would have been a big part of that as their top defenceman.

So what do you think? Any big winners or losers I missed? What about how wrong I am? Make sure to let me know.

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