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PHT Morning Skate: Eight questions every GM should ask themselves on deadline day

The Rangers struck first, but four unanswered goal from the Capitals secured the road victory at MSG. Marcus Johansson scored twice and Braden Holtby made 29 saves in Barry Trotz's 700th win as a head coach.

--Sportsnet’s Sean McIndoe wrote an interesting piece about the questions every general manager asks themselves on deadline day. He lists eight of them and they have to do with valuing loyalty, chemistry and leadership. Also, is losing a player for nothing really a big deal? “A team that decides to hold onto a pending UFA isn’t really losing him for nothing at all. They’re getting six more weeks of regular-season work from him, and hopefully a long playoff run after that. That’s not nothing, and in the right situation it could be far more valuable than a third-round pick or middling prospect.” (Sportsnet)

--One of the best moves made during last year’s deadline was Pittsburgh getting Justin Schultz from Edmonton. Not only did the Penguins go on to win the Stanley Cup, but they also got a motivated Schultz, who has nine goals and 39 points in 58 games this season. “It was time for a change and I got a great opportunity to come here. Great teammates. They welcomed me. Obviously we had tons of success last year. I got my confidence back and I’m having fun playing again, which is good.” (

--With the trade deadline still a few hours away, USA Today’s Kevin Allen points out that most of the big dominoes have fallen. Kevin Shattenkirk, Ben Bishop, Patrick Eaves, Martin Hanzal and Brian Boyle have already found new homes,but which remaining players can provide value for a new team? Radim Vrbata and Thomas Vanek are right up there. (USA Today)

--Caps forward Marcus Johansson had a night to remember, as he scored a pair of goals and an assist in Shattenkirk’s Capitals debut. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

--On Monday, the Blues parted ways with Shattenkirk, but did they get enough in return? The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeff Gordon says it all depends on how Zach Sanford develops. Gordon says: “Sanford must become an impact player to justify this trade. After all, Arizona got first- and second-round picks, plus a conditional pick, from Minnesota for third-line center Martin Hanzal.” Sanford might become a useful player, but an impact player? That might be stretching it. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

--The Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL right now, but we all know about their inability to make a long playoff run. Even though things look good for them heading into the final stretch of the season, this might just be one their last cracks at a Stanley Cup. With Shattenkirk, T.J. Oshie and Karl Alzner all headed towards unrestricted free agency, it’ll be tough to keep this group together. (The Hockey News)

--In case you’re sick of the whole deadline angle, here’s a fun non-trade deadline related item. San Jose Sharks teammates Micheal Haley and Kevin Labanc try to read lips while wearing headphones. This made for some pretty hilarious answers: