It was a whirlwind day in the National Hockey League, as it was trade deadline day and there were likely a lot of nervous players getting very little sleep. A lot of times we forget the human aspect of the trade, and simply want players to play for our favorite team and/or help us do better in fantasy. We don't think about the movement from one zip or postal code to another, how it uproots families, or separates them temporarily, especially for those players with young children. They're human beings, too, they just make a little more money than most of us, and they're quite a bit more skilled than a third-liner in a beer league like me. Anyway, let's get started!
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Monday's Fantasy Five
Mike Hoffman of the Florida Panthers had his name bandied about leading right up to the 3:00 p.m. ET trade deadline on Monday, and the Panthers were open to a deal if one was too hard to pass up. It wasn't. Hoffman remained a member of the Florida Panthers and he certainly appeared to be relieved not to be moving on. He posted a goal with two assists and a plus-2 rating with seven shots on goal and two blocked shots in a 4-3 overtime road victory against the Colorado Avalanche. He has managed two goals and seven assists over his past six games. The offense has been wide open for the Panthers, and Hoffman is leading the charge along with Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck and even All-Star Keith Yandle, who had his first consecutive multi-point performances since March 6-8, 2018.
Jacob Markstrom wasn't likely to be moved on Monday, but if he keeps playing like this on a regular basis there will be plenty of teams hot on his trail in the coming seasons. The backstop turned aside all 29 shots he faced in a 4-0 victory against the toothless Anaheim Ducks. The Canucks didn't move a whole lot of assets, so what you see now is what you'll get the rest of the way. That's good news for Markstrom, as his fantasy value will remain basically the same. He's a decent No. 2 backstop across most pools.
Leon Draisaitl accounted for his team's only goals, as he continued holding down the fort while Connor McDavid served the last of his two-game suspension. He and McDavid have been the only constants in yet another lost season for the Oilers. Draisaitl has managed six goals with 10 points during a seven-game point streak, as he has proven that he is not just riding the coattails of McDavid and can be a great standalone player in this league.
Steven Stamkos won't be getting any new teammates, as the Tampa Bay Lightning stood pat at the NHL trade deadline. It's not that they need any. The Lightning have racked up nine consecutive victories, matching the longest in franchise history. They have posted a 48-11-4 record to become the fourth team to reach 100 points in 63 games or less. Stamkos has rolled up seven goals with 18 points in 14 contests since the All-Star break. He is rolling along, hitting on all cylinders, and the Lightning are also hurtling toward a President's Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Of course, the road to the Stanley Cup always goes through Tampa, Fla., right?
Cory Schneider no longer has Keith Kinkaid breathing down his neck, as the latter was shipped to Columbus due to the strong play of Schneider. He turned aside 34 of the 35 shots he faced in Monday's 2-1 victory against the Montreal Canadiens to pick up his third victory in the past four starts. He also has four victories over his past five appearances, turning it around after a long losing drought. With Kinkaid out of the picture it will not be the Schneider show down the stretch, although his fantasy appeal isn't terribly great still. The Devils will likely want to look at Mackenzie Blackwood down the stretch, and they also traded Ben Lovejoy and Marcus Johansson at the deadline, so it will be an AHL-caliber club down the stretch with plenty of long nights for the goaltenders.
Trade Deadline Day Aftermath
The Vegas Golden Knights probably made the biggest impact, and just in the nick of time, announcing their trade with the Ottawa Senators right before the deadline. Apparently the Knights really liked Stone, as they not only acquired him to boost their offense right now, they agreed to a lucrative eight-year contract extension which will be signed March 1. The Sens received defenseman Erik Brannstrom, forward Oscar Lindberg and a second-round pick in 2020. Stone's fantasy appeal will increase slightly, as his plus/minus rating should see some improvement. Brannstrom is the key to the deal and a nice long-term keeper.
The Winnipeg Jets are trying to keep up in the Western Conference arms race. They added forward Kevin Hayes from the New York Rangers, who dealt Hayes, Mats Zuccarello and Adam McQuaid in recent days. The Jets coughed up Brendan Lemieux, a first-round pick in 2019 and a conditional fourth in 2022. Hayes might be one of the most important additions on deadline day, as the Jets were badly in need of an injection of offense. Hayes will help, and the Jets also added some organizational depth with Matt Hendricks, Par Lindholm and Alexander Broadhurst at forward and Nathan Beaulieu at rearguard. The big prize is obviously Hayes, however.
The Nashville Predators also helped themselves with forward Mikael Granlund from Minnesota and forward Wayne Simmonds from Philadelphia. The latter will give them an irritant in the playoffs, as the opposition is likely to see plenty of hits and stinky gloves. Granlund is quite the upgrade over Kevin Fiala, so the Predators did well to keep up in the arms race out west. The playoffs are going to be an absolute war, and the Preds are positioned nicely to do just as well as anyone. Granlund and Simmonds see a bump in fantasy appeal simply going to be a better team with a better plus/minus rating.
Quick Hits: Jack Eichel registered a pair of goals with a minus-1 rating, a blocked shot and three hits in a loss to Toronto. He appeared to tweak his back during the game, and was in considerable pain for a bit, but he was able to finish the game and didn't miss a shift. He has three goals and six points during his current four-game point streak. … The Sabres didn't have Brandon Montour from the Ducks just yet, and they shipped Beaulieu out of town. Montour could debut on Tuesday in Philadelphia. … Rasmus Dahlin had two helpers in the loss, and he has two goals and two assists in a three-game point streak. … Carter Hutton was yanked midway through the second period after allowing his third goal on just 12 shots. He was visibly upset on the bench as he was replaced by Linus Ullmark. … Kasperi Kapanen remains a member of the Leafs, and he shined with a goal and an assist while posting a plus-3 and three hits. That's four goals and five assists with a plus-3 rating over the past eight games. … Trevor Moore's call-up caused a stir in Toronto, as Leafs Nation thought a big deal was in the offing. It turns out Moore was needed to simply fill in for Lindholm. He had an assist with a plus-2 rating in 6:29 of ice time across 12 shifts. … Carey Price allowed two goals on 22 shots in a loss to the beleaguered Devils, losing his sixth game in the past eight starts. … Miles Wood left with a lower-body injury, which is exactly what the Devils did not need. Consider him day to day. … Connor Carrick made his debut for the Devs, and had an assist on each of the team's goal to endear himself to his new teammates. He still has a way to go before making toes tingle for fantasy owners. … Jack Campbell did a good job in a rare start, allowing three goals on 34 shots in a shootout loss, especially considering the Kings were limited to five defensemen following a trade of Oscar Fantenberg to Calgary. They'll have reinforcements headed to join the team in Raleigh for Tuesday's game against the Hurricanes. … J.T. Miller scored a goal for the Lightning, and he has three goals and seven points during the club's nine-game win streak. … Mikko Koskinen allowed two goals on 38 shots in a loss, but he is still a solid 2-1-1 with a 1.93 GAA and .938 save percentage over the past four starts. … Pekka Rinne allowed two goals on 27 shots to pick up a win, and he has allowed three or fewer goals in nine of his past 10 outings. … Roberto Luongo allowed three goals on 39 shots to nail down career win No. 485, moving past Ed Belfour for third-place on the NHL's all-time wins list. … Derick Brassard played against the Panthers, just hours after being traded from Florida. He scored a goal for his new team, posting a plus-1 rating with three shots on goal across 13:20 of ice time across 18 shifts. … Tyson Jost scored a goal, giving him three goals and five points with a plus-6 rating over five outings. … Carter Rowney (neck) was back in action after being hit by a slap shot last time out. … Bo Horvat posted two goals with a plus-2 rating, two penalty minutes and three hits in the 4-0 win over Anaheim. He has five goals and six points across the past eight outings.