NHL Power Rankings: Trade deadline fallout
NHL Power Rankings: Trade deadline fallout
The NHL trade deadline is over, and it was underwhelming on many different levels.
Some of it was about bigger named players like Loui Eriksson, Dan Hamhuis and Jonathan Drouin that never actually moved after mountains of rumors, and some of it was about teams that only decided to become sellers in the last few days leading up to the Feb.29 trade deadline.
There were still some winners, of course.
The Blackhawks far and away took the crown based on Stan Bowman’s preemptive trades, and the Rangers really helped themselves for another run by picking up Eric Staal without also dealing a first round pick. There’s also Florida getting a pair of veterans forwards without giving up a first rounder, and getting All-Star forward Jiri Hudler in exchange for the same second round/fourth round trade package Don Sweeney was forced to pay up to Jersey in exchange for Lee Stempniak.
So we’ll refrain from grading teams for their NHL trade deadline performance until we know how all these rental players pan out across the NHL this season.
Without further ado here are this week’s power rankings:
1. Washington Capitals (47-12-4, rank last week: 1)
The Capitals lost to the Blackhawks in the battle of the NHL’s best last weekend, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters for Washington now is staying healthy, and getting ready for the playoffs.
2. Chicago Blackhawks (39-20-5, rank last week: 2)
Big win over the Caps last weekend whets the appetite for a Washington/Chicago matchup in the Stanley Cup Final, doesn’t it? A long way away, but it would be an entertaining series. Beyond that, Stan Bowman flat got it done at the deadline.
3. St. Louis Blues (37-20-9, rank last week: 7)
Huge break with Alex Pietrangelo returning from injury much sooner than expected for the Blues, but Doug Armstrong didn’t get the scoring help that St. Louis desperately needed.
4. New York Rangers (37-20-6, rank last week: 6)
The Rangers are hot again at 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, and added Eric Staal at the deadline. If the move reenergizes him the Blueshirts could really be in business.
5. Dallas Stars (38-20-7, rank last week: 3)
The Stars have lost four in a row, and have really exhibited some concerning signs down the stretch as the games get heavier, tougher and more competitive.
6. Florida Panthers (36-19-8, rank last week: 5)
The pickups of Teddy Purcell and Jiri Hudler were smart ones for Dale Talon at the deadline as the Panthers ready themselves for the playoffs.
7. Los Angeles Kings (37-21-4, rank last week: 5)
So the Kings have Kris Versteeg to fill in with Marian Gaborik out, and they’re taking another go-round with Rob Scuderi. Why not? He’s been good luck to them in the past.
8. Anaheim Ducks (34-19-8, rank last week: 8)
Eight wins in a row for the Ducks, and they landed Brandon Pirri and Jamie McGinn ahead of the deadline. They didn’t get the high end scorer they were looking for, but they also didn’t sacrifice one of their good, young D-men.
9. Tampa Bay Lightning (37-22-4, rank last week: 10)
No move to ship out Jonathan Drouin, and really no move at all for Steve Yzerman. They have won seven games in a row, though, so they have that going for them. Which is nice.
10. New York Islanders (34-20-7, rank last week: 9)
The Islanders didn’t do much, but they didn’t deal Kyle Okposo either. So they’ll be making another run with a group that’s primed for it.
11. San Jose Sharks (34-22-6, rank last week: 11)
Interesting move for the Sharks to land James Reimer at the deadline, and use that as their final prep for the playoff warfare that’s brewing in the Western Conference.
12. Detroit Red Wings (33-20-11, rank last week: 14)
Ken Holland the Red Wings stood pat at the deadline, and that was an interesting play given the market.
13. Boston Bruins (35-23-6, rank last week: 12)
The Bruins have the toughest schedule for the rest of the season, and whiffed on not trading Loui Eriksson at his peak value.
14. Nashville Predators (32-21-11, rank last week: 13)
Five wins in a row as the Predators are getting major contributions from guys like Filip Forsberg and Pekka Rinne.
15. Pittsburgh Penguins (32-22-8, rank last week: 15)
Justin Schultz could really be a helpful player for the Penguins down the stretch, and helps fortify Pittsburgh’s defensemen situation.
16. Minnesota Wild (29-25-10, rank last week: 17)
The Wild only have Matt Jones to show for their trade deadline efforts, and that’s not good enough for a team that’s showed a little lift since the coaching change.
17. Colorado Avalanche (32-29-4, rank last week: 16)
I’m intrigued by their trade for Eric Gelinas, who is still a young D-man with a lot of potential after hitting a bit of a wall for New Jersey this season.
18. Philadelphia Flyers (29-22-11, rank last week: 19)
The Flyers are the dark horse candidate to knock out one of the top eight East playoff teams in the East this season, but they’ll need to really catch fire in order to do that kind of damage.
19. Ottawa Senators (30-27-7, rank last week: 21)
As time goes on the Dion Phaneuf trade continues to defy space, logic and time.
20. Carolina Hurricanes (29-26-10, rank last week: 18)
Sellers again in Carolina. Better luck next year, but good job by Ron Francis getting value for a fading Eric Staal ahead of the deadline.
21. New Jersey Devils (30-27-7, rank last week: 17)
The Devils have lost three in a row, and knew it was “better luck next year” once Mike Cammalleri had his season cut short due to injury.
22. Montreal Canadiens (30-28-5, rank last week: 23)
The Bruins are certainly happy to see the Canadiens move Dale Weise out of the Atlantic Division at the trade deadline.
23. Vancouver Canucks (24-26-12, rank last week: 24)
It might take a while for Jim Benning to shake off that trade deadline performance. Not getting a deal for Dan Hamhuis was a tough one to take.
24. Columbus Blue Jackets (26-30-8, rank last week: 25)
The Blue Jackets were stuck with Fedor Tyutin and Scott Hartnell because of the no trade clauses. It’s not a good spot to be in for a Blue Jackets team hoping to rebuild.
25. Arizona Coyotes (27-30-6, rank last week: 22)
The Coyotes have lost six games in a row, and are again on the down cycle of the turbulent season performance expected with such a young group.
26. Calgary Flames (26-33-4, rank last week: 26)
The haul for Kris Russell at the deadline was a big one for the Flames, and keeps them steady in the power rankings.
27. Winnipeg Jets (26-32-4, rank last week: 27)
The Jets got a nice return on Andrew Ladd, and that was their last high point of the season.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (21-31-10, rank last week: 28)
The Brooks Laich trade may end up being one of those smaller deals that makes a big difference in Toronto over the next couple seasons.
29. Edmonton Oilers (24-34-7, rank last week: 29)
The Oilers got good value for Teddy Purcell and Justin Schultz, but have much bigger fish to deal in the offseason as they bust up the losing culture that’s been fostered with the Oil.
30. Buffalo Sabres (25-31-8, rank last week: 30)
One of these days the Sabres will find a way out of the basement.