This deadline was a bit exciting I must say, especially at the time of the deadline, jeez I mean if you are a Lightning or Rangers fan your heart was probably beating through your shirt. Some teams made some really smart and aggressive moves and we now have a sense of what teams are all in, and what teams are well extremely confused as to what they are going to do.
In this piece, I am going to look at some teams that made good deadline acquisitions and some teams that completely sh*t the bed and probably may have been sleeping at the deadline.
It was a KNOWN fact the St. Louis wanted to add a depth winger, they were in talks with the Rangers about Nash and Buffalo about Kane but, they got cold feet I’m assuming were too scared to part ways with one of the million prospects they have and now have left themselves in the loser board. Not only are they losers for doing absolute squat, but the fact they sent over a top six veteran forward to a divisional rival! The Blues were actually dumb enough to send one of their more veteran playoff players to a team that is in their division trying to make a Cup push. The Blues sent over Paul Stastny for those that don’t know or live under a rock. While adding zero to their line up right now and no one that will help them this season. A 1st rounder this season is good but it will probably be in the range of 26-31 due to where Winnipeg finishes but they did also add Erik Foley a solid prospect. I don’t know if you are the Blues leading up to the deadline struggling and you go out and make the roster worse than yeah you are a loser in my book.
Another loser is the New York Islanders, yippie the Islanders add defenseman Brian Davidson from Edmonton, the guy was in and out of the line up in EDMONTON, and when he did play he played 15 or so minutes, on the year he has 3 goals 2 assists. For defensive depth I guess, but Johnny Oduya was out there as well so… Also, the Islanders essentially added a younger, bit more skilled Jason Chimera, Chirs Wagner the Ducks enforcer and fourth line muck and grinder. Wagner will be slotted on the fourth line for sure and not add too much to the line up in terms of production or defensive help. The Islanders two biggest concerns were defense and goaltending and they did really nothing to improve that area. When your fans are hanging signs around Brooklyn, NY saying “Snow must go” then yeah you probably can automatically be deemed a loser this deadline.
In terms of winners, the Lightning need to be up there, yeah they gave up some solid prospects and maybe two first round picks but the Lighting are looking at right now and making a run at the Cup now, not in three years or so. The Lighting adding former Ranger captain Ryan McDonagh to the blue line is MASSIVE, now the Lightning’s defense consists of Hedman-Stralman, Sergachev-McDonagh, Sustr/Coubourn-Girardi. Also adding JT Miller in the top six is nothing spectacular but it just makes this team extremely deep. Obvious winners in my book and Cup favorites now.
Another team is probably Nashville, similar to Tampa Bay a team that is making a run at it now, they had a sniff of Lord Stanley last season and want to be back there again, expect to hoist the Cup. The Predators added, forward Ryan Hartman, a player Chicago liked a lot and was a younger player in their system. Well now Nashville roster looks like a borderline All-Star team, Forsberg, Johansen, Arvidsson, Fiala, Turris, Smith, Jarnkrok, Bonino, Hartman, Jesus talk about a top six. They are obvious winners and a team that we will see deep run in the playoffs again.
The Penguins I have to note as well, I mean I can note a lot of other teams but the Penguins adding Derek Brassard makes them favorites for the Cup, once again. Yes, a top six of Crosby, Malkin, Brassard down the middle with Sheary, Rust, Hagelin, Hornqvist, Kessel, Guentzel on the wings is scary. Just a little concerning now with Matt Murray out indefinitely.
Note some other winners: Devils acquiring Grabner and Maroon, Sharks acquiring Evander Kane, Jets acquiring Paul Stastny, Bruins adding Rick Nash, Golden Knights adding Tomas Tatar. Columbus adding Ian Cole and Tomas Vanek for a playoff push.
Winners in terms of long-term look, Rangers adding five prospects, 9 picks, and two NHL ready players, Ottawa clearing cap space, and adding picks, Montreal doing the same as Ottawa, Red Wings adding five picks for two players, three in which are in the first three rounds.