On Monday, the trade deadline came and went and while 37 players changed addresses, the crown jewel in this year’s class was not one of them. Ottawa Senator Defenseman Erik Karlsson was the only franchise type player up for grabs but while there was a lot of buzz, ultimately the Senator’s asking price was too high. The expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights reportedly made a late push and the Capitals were in the mix but never pulled the trigger. There were some surprise players like the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets. Some teams got winning marks for standing pat. Here’s a recap of this year’s trade deadline winners and losers.
The Tampa Bay Lighting: The Lightning got a top five two-way defenseman Ryan McDonagh and 20-goal scorer J.T. Miller for just one roster player, two draft picks, and two mid-level prospects. That’s quite a haul for a talented Bolt outfit that is sending out a message to all that their time to win the Stanley Cup is now.
The Columbus Blue Jackets: With 20 games to play in the regular season, the Jackets still had the eight and final playoff spot in the East. The team’s major weakness is a non-existent power play. That was addressed with Thomas Vanek and Letestu while giving up almost nothing.
The New Jersey Devils: Michael Grabner is a speedy winner that will add some offensive punch to the Devils along with Patrick Maroon who is on pace to score 25 goals. Both players are rentals but bring immediate help at the cost of some down the road draft picks.
The New York Rangers; The Broadway Blues were not kidding last week when the organization said that it would clean house in a full scale rebuild. The Rangers traded four players, Rick Nash, Ryan Mc Donagh, J.T. Miller, and Nick Holden into two first-round draft picks, one second-round draft pick, three other picks and eight players. Addition by subtraction ??? We’ll see.
The Winnipeg Jets: One of the league’s top five offensive squads picked up a 20-goal scorer in Paul Statsny. It used to be impossible to get players to go to “Winterpeg” at gunpoint but the Jets got Statsny to waive his no-trade clause so maybe there is something special going on with the Jets.
The Ottawa Senators and Erik Karlsson: The Senators have dropped from conference finalists last year to 29th in the league in points this year. It’s hard to see how Karlsson will have any more value during the summer when the top two teams in the league were fighting to get him with 20 games left in a Cup run. Karlsson is under contract for next year but this could be a case of pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.
The New York Islanders: Offensively, the team is having a great season and there were several pieces that were primed to be move to help a defense that has given up a whopping 225 league leading goals. Just a couple of inconsequential deals that meant nothing by an “on the hot seat” Garth Snow.