by Thomas Sarver
In one of the most exciting trade deadlines to date, it was easy to get lost in all the commotion. When your team’s GM makes two major trades during the last twenty minutes is absolutely a fair reason to not really notice what other teams had done/ were doing. Needless to say, the Preds were not the only busy team this year.
Key Players moved in/out: Mats Zuccarello, Ben Lovejoy
These are really solid moves for really solid players. Dallas did catch a bit of bad luck as Zuccarello went down in his first game and will miss around a month due to a broken arm, but Lovejoy remains and is a fantastic player to shore up this defensive unit.
All Dallas has to do is simply survive over Colorado or Minnesota. One of those two teams sold heavily at the deadline and the other did not make a move despite just ending a streak of games where they won four out of twenty-five games.
Given that information, I think it is safe to say that Dallas can squeak into the playoffs and may even possibly give Nashville/Winnipeg a rough time when they return back to being healthy.
Key players moved in/out: Ryan Donato, Kevin Fiala/ Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund
Minnesota is attempting to rebuild. Good for them for being able to realize that they are not ready to go head to head in the “arms race” we are seeing in this division. Thankfully for their GM’s sake, Donato and Fiala are good pieces to get early on into your rebuild.
The bad news though is that Minnesota could’ve gotten much more for Granlund than just Fiala. I would’ve expected a pick to be attached with that. To make things worse for the Wild, as long as Suter and Parise remain on the team with those anchors called contracts, then the Wild will not be able to be relevant.
Key players moved in/out: Mikael Granlund, Wayne Simmonds/ Fiala, Hartman
Nashville moved two of its more exciting, younger players in order to get more matured and consistent versions. Granlund is the same player as Fiala, but the main difference is Granlund knows how to use his smaller frame to set up scoring chances and has some position flexibility, whereas Fiala easily can be bullied on the ice.
On to part two. While Wayne Simmonds is slower and regressing at a fast pace, he is a bona fide game changer. Much like the first trade mentioned, Simmonds is a more matured version of Hartman and even though Simmonds is on the back burner of his career, he should be able to step in a give the third/ second powerplay lines a much-needed boost. This move makes me believe that Poile is trying to get Rinne a cup.
San Jose Sharks
Key players moved in/out: Gustav Nyquist
This team did pretty much all their trading for the season when they acquired Erik Karlsson before the first dropped puck. However, this is a sneaky good smaller move for San Jose.
For a second round and a conditional third pick, the Sharks were able to add another scoring option on the wing which just adds to the depth on this team. This one move doesn’t suddenly make them the best team in the league, but by judging all the moves made in the last 12 months, I’m assuming that San Jose is making another cup push this year and they think Nyquist is the missing piece.
I would not be surprised to see San Jose be one of the last four remaining teams this year.
Vegas Golden Knights
Key Players moved in/out: Mark Stone/ Erik Brannstrom
Vegas lost a really good prospect, but they just got a lot better. The Golden Knights haven’t looked bad this season, but they look nothing like the team we saw make the final in their first season. Acquiring Stone, who was the number one target at the deadline, is the type of move that can get this team back in gear.
When Vegas lost James Neal and David Perron last year in free agency, they lost two players who brought a distinct skill to the game and Stone will be able to help fill that void of scoring and two-way play that seems to be taking over on Vegas’ wings. Stone may be able to even step in as a captain in the future, especially since he has committed 8 years to the city and franchise.
Key Players moved in/out: Kevin Hayes/ Brendan Lemieux
Kind of weird to think about a team like Winnipeg and the trade deadline. This team who has one of the most stingy GM’s in the league when it comes to trades triggered a rule on Monday’s deadline due to trading. That rule is that teams are only allowed to make six trades in a twenty-four-hour period. What did Winnipeg do with all those trades? Pretty much nothing!
Getting Kevin Hayes has the potential to have the impact that Paul Statsny had as a rental last year and that’s what Winnipeg wants again. Unfourtatnly for Jets fans though, the Jets focused on adding more depth players who could be used in the event of an injury instead of getting another starting piece or two for the playoffs.
A day like this tells me that Winnipeg believes that they are the best team in the West and are just trying to make sure injuries don’t derail their chances at a cup before they lose their young core.
Those were the teams who made impacting moves when it comes to looking at the western playoff bracket. What is just as interesting though is that Chicago, St Louis, Colorado, and Calgary had relatively quiet deadline days and that Calgary was one of the last teams in on Stone. Thankfully for the rest of the West, that did not happen. But now that the trading season is over we will now be watching to see who actually won on deadline day and who lost.
Here is our quick take on what happened yesterday.