2019 NHL trade deadline winners and losers: Analyzing best, worst deals of crazy day

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2019 NHL trade deadline winners and losers: Analyzing best, worst deals of crazy day

The 2019 NHL trade deadline passed Monday afternoon and there was no shortage of deals.

Many of the best players rumored to be available — including Mark Stone, Kevin Hayes and Wayne Simmonds — found new teams, while most of the top contenders for the Stanley Cup made at least one trade to bolster their chances of playoff success.

Here are the winners and losers of the 2019 NHL trade deadline.

Winnipeg Jets
The Jets are one of the best teams in the league and still sit atop the Central Division, but they have struggled of late with a 3-5-2 record in their last 10 games. The addition of Kevin Hayes from the New York Rangers is a great move for Winnipeg. It gives the Jets a versatile forward who can score goals and create opportunities for teammates at both center and the wing, and he provides excellent size (6-foot-5, 216 pounds) down the middle of the ice. The cost — Brendan Lemieux, a 2019 first rounder and conditional fourth-round pick — wasn't a ton to give up, either. Winnipeg also acquired veteran forward Matt Hendricks for additional toughness and playoff experience.

The Jets added to their already strong depth and still kept valuable trade assets — that's a win-win deadline.

Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings are in a rebuild and entered the deadline in second-to-last place in the Atlantic Division. Detroit traded two upcoming UFAs in forward Gustav Nyquist and defenseman Nick Jensen. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland did well to acquire a second-round draft pick and a conditional third-rounder for Nyquist, as well as a good young defenseman in Madison Bowey and a 2020 second-rounder from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Jensen. Detroit could have as many as 10 picks in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights swung for the fences by trading for the best player rumored to be available at the deadline: Senators right winger Mark Stone. Vegas entered Monday ranked 19th in goals scored per game and 23rd in power-play percentage, so upgrading its offense was a huge priority at the deadline. Stone was having a remarkable season for Ottawa with 62 points (28 goals, 34 assists) in 59 games, and he should significantly bolster the Knights' top-six forward group. Vegas had to make a substantial move to have a realistic chance of returning to the Stanley Cup Final, and this trade could be the catalyst the franchise needs to rediscover last year's magic. The Golden Knights gave up top prospect Erik Brannstrom to make the Stone trade, but that departure stings a lot less after Stone said Monday on TSN that he has agreed to terms on a contract extension with Vegas.

Nashville Predators
The Preds have a genuine chance to win the Western Conference and addressed their offensive weaknesses with two bold deadline day trades. Nashville acquired power forward Wayne Simmonds from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Ryan Hartman and a conditional fourth-round draft pick — not a steep price at all. The Predators also dealt forward Kevin Fiala to the Minnesota Wild for forward Mikael Granlund. The additions of Simmonds and Granlund improve the Predators' toughness and playmaking skill, and should bolster a power play that ranks dead last in the league with a 12.2 percent success rate.

Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets easily could have been sellers at the trade deadline and dealt upcoming UFAs Artemi Panarin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Not only did Columbus keep both players, it swung a huge trade to acquire star center Matt Duchene from the Ottawa Senators, then traded for his teammate and Sens center Ryan Dzingel soon after. The Blue Jackets also acquired veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid from the New York Rangers, and he'll add toughness, depth and plenty of playoff experience to Columbus' blue line.

The Blue Jackets are barely holding on to third place in the Metropolitan, and they aren't likely to win the Stanley Cup this season. That said, going all-in still is a good strategy for them. They need to show their own free agents and players around the league that the franchise is serious about winning. And with no Metropolitan team looking invincible in the first two rounds of the playoffs, Columbus might as well swing for the fences and continue to build its fan base with postseason hockey excitement. Remember, CBJ is still looking for its first ever playoff series win.

Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins are on the outside looking in at the playoff race entering Monday, and they didn't make any big trades to bolster their chances of reaching the postseason. Meanwhile, some of the teams competing for a playoff berth in the Metropolitan Division and wild card races, including the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes, all made upgrades with deadline trades. The only deals Pittsburgh made were to acquire defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Chris Wideman, but these players likely are just third-pairing pieces.

The Penguins have a ton of frontline talent and a quality coaching staff, but they lack depth, and that could come back to bite them at the end of the regular season. 

Boston Bruins
The Bruins traded for Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle and gave up forward Ryan Donato and a fifth-round pick last week. On Monday, the B's acquired New Jersey Devils winger Marcus Johansson for two draft picks. These moves improve the Bruins' scoring depth a little bit, but they don't give Boston the additional top-six forward needed to compete with the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning in a potential playoff series. The Bruins have won six of their last seven games and look like a real Stanley Cup contender, so it made sense to be bold at this deadline and capitalize on the veteran core (Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara, etc.) still being really good. Instead, B's general manager Don Sweeney made a couple small moves that aren't likely to shift the balance of power in the Atlantic. 

Calgary Flames
The Flames own the Western Conference's best record at 39-16-7, but their only move was adding depth defenseman Oscar Fantenberg in trade with the Los Angeles Kings. The Jets, Predators, Sharks, Golden Knights and Stars all made more impactful trades for the playoff push. Calgary has a well-balanced roster and didn't need a major shakeup, but acquiring a second- or third-line winger would've been helpful for the playoffs. 

Henrik Lundqvist
The New York Rangers goaltender teared up when asked about Mats Zuccarello leaving the Blueshirts and going to the Dallas Stars via trade. Lundqvist and Zuccarello clearly were close, so it was a difficult goodbye after a decade of being teammates. The legendary netminder hasn't won a Stanley Cup in his storied career, and he certainly won't win one with the Rangers this season. It's going to be a long post-deadline stretch for Lundqvist in New York.

Columbus Blue Jackets' scouting department
The 2019 NHL Draft is in Vancouver, and the Blue Jackets' scouting staff might have a lot of free time to spend in one of Canada's best cities as a result of the team's barren chest of draft picks.

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Hagg Bag mailbag: How to restore hockey when it's safe to come out again

Hagg Bag mailbag: How to restore hockey when it's safe to come out again

We are now entering our second month of social distancing and self-quarantining and there isn’t a hockey game to be seen on the horizon. 

Maybe the NHL will start up again in June or July if things go exceedingly well. Maybe they will gather all healthy and tested players, officials and essential personnel in one location for a controlled playoff tournament that would be pretty amazing? 

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At this point, there is no way of knowing what the NHL is going to do and when we will next see hockey, but the Hagg Bag mailbag is still here to entertain and answer any questions.

As always these are real questions from real readers on Twitter using the #HaggBag hashtag, real messages to my NBCS Facebook fan page and real emails to my email address. Now, on to the bag:  

Bruins opening night roster for next season? Stay safe Haggs!

--edmarshall723 (@edmarshall723)

JH: We’re already moving on to next season, eh? I kid. I kid. I suspect it won’t be all that demonstrably different from what we saw when the season was put on pause. I’m going to run under the assumption that Torey Krug isn’t going to be back based on the salary cap numbers likely dropping instead of rising next season with a chunk of this regular season canceled. It’s not a done deal by any means, but I just don’t think the Bruins are going to have a lot of cap space to deal with. And they still have to sign their own restricted free agent in Jake DeBrusk. So, here’s my stab at opening night lineup for next year:










I don’t think Joakim Nordstrom will be back, and Kevan Miller, in the last year of his contract, may not ever return to play after being out for about a year. I suspect the Bruins are going to want a younger option in Vladar, 22, backing up Tuukka Rask to gauge whether he might be the future No. 1 guy for the B’s should Rask decide to ride off into the sunset after the 2020-21 season.

Just curious but if they don't finish the season how would they determine draft standings? Would they still have a lottery? Would they just go by the last days standings? Will they even have a draft? What's gonna happen to teams that give up draft picks for rentals who would be RFAs?

--Al Volante (Message via NBCS Facebook fan page)

JH: They would have to hold a draft. I’d imagine they would go by winning percentage on the last-day standings before the season was paused, so the Bruins would have the final pick in the first round. 

It’s not really perfect by any means, but it’s probably the fairest way to do it while still holding a lottery for the bottom 10 teams. All of the little details would need to be ironed out with the draft and free agency most likely pushed back into the summer, but it’s all a fluid situation right now. 

The most optimistic plan for the NHL would be holding a playoff in July and August, pushing the offseason to September and October and then kick-starting the 2020-21 regular season sometime in November with a fairly normal regular-season afterward. That would be the absolutely best scenario if everything falls into place across our country. I’m not even sure that’s going to be possible at this point, though.

Here's my take - we are in an unprecedented time and in an effort to primarily avoid having a 1-month offseason and then a full 2020-21 schedule, I feel that there should be a 12-team format (eliminate the wild cards). 

We have to get past this "fairness" crap, because again, having a two-month playoff in August and September is simply too long. Nothing anyone can do about the times we live in, but it's too much to have the final 5 teams having a month offseason. In addition, you can also realistically re-schedule the draft, FA, awards, etc. without the season starting a month later. How this would work is all series are 7 games. You would have the 4 division winners on a bye, the other 2 teams in each division play each other for the right to go to the Conference Final.

This would mean Boston, Washington & St. Louis (more on that in a bit) and Vegas would have the byes. The first series would be (again, more on this) TB-TOR, PHI-PIT, COL-DAL, EDM-CAL. Those winners face each other in the Conference Final and then the Stanley Cup. Having 3 rounds could be done in 6 weeks. If you started a camp on July 1, playoffs start July 15 and end around the end of August. Awards & draft happen the 1st week of Sept. FA begins on Sept 15. 2020-21 season begins Nov 15. Playoffs for next season starts April 30 Now, in terms of the matchups, Boston and Vegas have a large enough lead that 1 game wouldn't change the winner.

However, Washington and St. Louis are only 1-2 points ahead of Philly & Colorado, respectively. In addition, Winnipeg is only 1 point away from Dallas. PIT, TOR, and CAL are locked into 3rd place in their divisions. So, for playoff seeding, you have ONE game prior to the playoffs starting for WASH-PHI, STL-COL, and WPG-DAL. If PHI, COL and/or WPG wins they get the division lead and bye or in WPG's case, the 3rd place spot over DAL. I leave out the other teams because, for instance, if one game were to be played, CAR couldn't catch PIT, because PIT is 5 pts up and CAR has only played 1 less game.

I understand that this would have blowback, but let's face it, any potential playoff scenario would face criticism from fans because an equal number of games have not been played. And as mentioned, the likelihood of regular-season games being played is becoming less likely each day. You have to draw the line somewhere.

--Anders Johnson (Message via NBCS Facebook fan page)

JH: I respect the thought you put into it, Anders. But there’s no way you can have any teams on “byes” at the start of the playoffs. Do you realize how much of a disadvantage a team such as the Bruins would have headed into a second-round playoff series while facing a team that had just capped off a five- or seven-game playoff series?

 It would take them two or three games just to ramp up to that level after sitting around and it would almost certainly end with them losing the playoff series while being punished as the higher seed. There would be no benefit to a bye of any kind for any teams in this playoff format. 

The best thing they could do is two rounds of five-game playoff series, then do seven games for the conference final and Stanley Cup Final. They could do that in roughly six weeks after starting in mid-July and wrap up right around Sept. 1. They could then take all of September and October off and then ramp up for a Nov. 15-ish start to the 2020-21 regular season.

Don’t forget in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, the last day of the Cup Final between the Bruins and Blackhawks was June 24. The league essentially just took two months off in July and August and then came right back to work in September the following season. And it would only be two teams that would come up a little short on their rest between seasons. 

All of this may not even be possible, but it’s the best-case scenario to get in the rest of this season and then look ahead to “a normal season” next year.

Strikes [me] that the Bruins two new additions haven't really gelled with the team. If hockey comes back, do you think it will be a problem for them in playoffs? (and lets hope Ritchie is using the time off to do Chara's workout regime)

--David Sheedy (@Devilish21ca)

JH: Ondrej Kase hadn’t played in almost a month due to a concussion injury prior to getting traded to the Bruins, so he was just getting back into midseason form when things were put on pause. Nick Ritchie seemed to just be finding his legs and his style of play while getting moved around the B’s lineup.

They definitely hadn’t jelled, but now everybody is going to be in the same boat when hockey gets going again. So, I don’t think it will be a problem specific to new guys such as Kase and Ritchie as much as it will be an issue for every player. 

Right now most NHL guys have a stationary bike, dumbbells and maybe a swimming pool to train while in quarantine. Almost nobody is skating, so you will have a mass of hockey players that haven’t skated in months by the time things get going again. 

That is going to turn into some very rusty, sloppy hockey when things do get going again…whenever that is going to be. That will be as much of a challenge as whatever the ice conditions might be if the NHL tries to hold the Stanley Cup playoffs in July and August.

Thoughts on Clone Wars Season 7 on Disney+ so far? #HaggBag

--Alissa (@CurvyMermaid617)

JH: I have not seen it yet as I hadn’t really watched all of the Clone Wars in the past. But I do now have a ton of free time. So I will be watching after I bought “The Rise of Skywalker” on the first day it was available on-demand. We are desperate for entertainment in the Haggerty house. Stay safe everybody and we’ll talk again soon!

Bruins' Brad Marchand voted best AND worst trash-talker in NHL players' poll

Bruins' Brad Marchand voted best AND worst trash-talker in NHL players' poll

Anytime you speak with Brad Marchand about trash-talking around the NHL these days, it’s a lament that nobody talks out on the ice anymore.

Some of that is probably due to players wearing on-ice microphones more often these days for NHL or team productions, and some of it is because referees tend to shut down verbal warfare pretty quickly as well. 

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Marchand continues to try his best to keep NHL trash-talking alive, however, and that’s reflected in his selection as the NHL’s top trash-talker in the annual poll released by the NHL Players Association.

Here's what No. 63 said in a Players Tribune article he wrote in 2018 that still stands as pretty relevant now when it comes to Marchand and his on-ice chirping:

I have done things that have stepped over that line, and I've paid the price for it. But you know what? There's a lot of people out there in the hockey world who love to say, 'Winning is everything. It's the only thing.' But do they really mean it? How far are they willing to go? Maybe it was my size, or just the way I was born, but I've always felt like you have to be willing to do anything -- literally anything -- in order to win. Even if that means being hated. Even if it means carrying around some baggage. If I played the game any other way, you absolutely would not know my name. You wouldn't care enough to hate me, because I wouldn't be in the NHL.

Oddly Marchand was also voted the NHL’s worst trash-talker as well, which is probably based on the nearly 600 NHL players that voted totally missing the point of the poll question.

Marchand finished with 25.87 percent of the vote while Drew Doughty (13.37 percent), Ryan Reaves (11.05 percent) and Patrick Maroon (3.78 percent) lagged behind him in the poll of all NHL players while Marchand, Doughty, PK Subban and Nick Cousins ranked as the worst trash-talkers.

Clearly, Marchand has so many NHL players rattled so much they don’t know whether he’s the best or the worst. So in acknowledgment of such an accomplishment, here are some of the greatest hit chirps from the Nose Face Killah:

  • “I played against him in the 2013 [Stanley Cup] Final and he was talking a lot, says anything to get you off your game. [He] even told me my kids were ugly once upon a time. I know he’s lying because my daughters are beautiful, but it had me thinking for a while. I only had one kid at the time, I was like ‘does he know something I don’t?’ –NBC analyst and former Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on his run-ins with Marchand.





  • Brad Marchand and PK Subban dropped the gloves in the 2012-13 NHL regular season and had a pretty good rivalry going in Subban's days with the Montreal Canadiens. Here’s a snippet from back then: "Subban was asking me to fight. Three or four guys asked to fight him, and he's running scared. But he comes after the smallest guy on the team. It just shows you what kind of character they have there."