Who’s on the move during the NHL’s busiest day?
Author: Mathew Lee – Contributor
The phones were busy these past weeks as teams like the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and Chicago Blackhawks are trying to make another Stanley Cup run. While teams like the Buffalo Sabers, Arizona Coyotes, and Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to rebuild for the future. So here is a quick recap of the NHL trade deadline.
This year’s trade deadline was the year of defenseman, as most of the significant trades involved D-men. The New York Rangers made the biggest splash acquiring Keith Yandle from the Arizona Coyotes. With the addition of Yandle, the Rangers defensive core could be one of the best the league as Yandle can help run the Rangers power play. The Habs made a significant trade of their own by acquiring Jeff Petry from the Edmonton Oilers. This gives the Habs more depth on the blue line, and a defenseman that moves the puck well. The Detroit Red Wings finally got a right handed shooting defenceman by acquiring Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils. The Tampa Bay Lighting got an all around defenseman in Braydon Coburn that is capable of playing in any situation. But they paid a steep price by trading first and third round pick along with defenseman Radko Gudas. Out west, the defending Stanley Cup champions finally got a much-needed replacement for Slava Voynov by acquiring Andrei Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes. Sekera’s puck-moving ability takes some pressure off of Drew Doughty. James Wisniewski is an Anaheim Duck once again, giving the Ducks some much needed sandpaper to play in the tough western conference. The St. Louis Blues acquired defenseman Zbynek Michalek from the Coyotes, and it gives the Blues some much-needed depth in their bottom six.
Some key forwards also got traded as well. Erik Cole is a Detroit Red Wing; the power forward is a good complement for team loaded with skill forwards. One of the biggest surprises for me is Chris Stewart landing in Minnesota. There was speculation that Stewart will land in Boston, and play alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci. Nonetheless, Stewart gives the Wild a top-six forward, and also some size up front. But, could the Bruins finally found a scoring winger in Brett Connolly to play alongside Milan Lucic, and David Krejci on that top line? Well, I guess we will wait and see, as Connolly is injury prone. The Chicago Blackhawks made a big splash by acquiring centre Antoine Vermette from the Coyotes; this gives the Blackhawks a solid second line centre that can take some pressure off of Jonathan Toews. Finally, the New York Islanders got some needed insurance between the pipes as they acquired Michal Neuvirth from the Buffalo Sabers.
Some of the disappointment in the trade deadline is the Montreal Canadians not acquiring a backup goalie in case of Carey Price going down with an injury like he did last year. I would like to see the Vancouver Canucks get a proven scoring winger to play on that second line to relieve some pressure off the Sedin twins. As well, the Boston Bruins should have got a more reliable scoring winger to play with Milan Lucic and David Krejci on that top line.
Like many past trade deadline years it takes time to see how these trades turn out. The bidding war for these players is done as NHL general managers can now only watch. And so let the quest for the Stanley Cup begin.