Winners and losers of 2017 NHL trade deadline
Ah, the trade deadline. A day where people make jokes about the lack of things happening while pundits get caught on camera with food on their faces. It is a glorious time of year for message boards but not so much for anyone taking the day off for the (in)action.
It should go without saying, but assessing the trade deadline so soon after it expires is about as calming as defusing a bomb.
Let’s get rolling with subjective opinions that will inevitably make people angry ...
(For the full list of trades, click here.)
The team on top of the NHL’s standings nabbed the top target of the trade deadline in Kevin Shattenkirk. Oh yeah, they did so without giving up an arm and a leg. You won’t find a richer example of the rich getting richer during this deadline.
*takes a breath, rubs eyes in bewilderment*
Prolific punching bag Jim Benning flips the script by getting great returns for Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows. It would have been even better if he did more, but moving Ryan Miller and similar dented cans is easier said than done.
The Ben Bishop return was ... not good. The wizard known as GM Steve Yzerman worked some magic overall, however, flipping Mark Streit to get rid of the last year of Valtteri Filppula’s contract while amassing a war chest of mid-round draft picks.
Look, the Capitals were bigger winners. People may only remember that considering Pittsburgh’s smaller victories, but the Penguins added potentially crucial defensive depth in Mark Streit, Ron Hainsey and Frank Carrado.
Also ... your mileage may vary on this, but keeping Marc-Andre Fleury might be for the best. After all, what if Matt Murray gets hurt?
Struggling prospects like Frank Corrado and Curtis Lazar (and their former teams)
Uncomfortable situations turn into refreshing changes of venue. Meanwhile, the Leafs and Senators get some decent assets to part ways with struggling prospects. Everyone wins?
It’s a letdown not to move Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan, but goodness, that Martin Hanzal trade was deft. After surveying the assets moving during the deadline, the Michael Stone swap looks pretty nice, too.
Benning and Ken Holland are finally seeing the light about rebuilding. Detroit still has a ton of work to do, but this is a promising start.
They got something for Jarome Iginla and didn’t panic-move Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog. Sometimes the best move is standing pat.
A lot of these winners are sort of like a struggling math student getting a sympathy pass from a teacher to graduate from high school. Chicago is a good example ... they did OK, but Johnny Oduya’s banged up and past his prime, so they didn’t exactly set the world on fire.
In other words, another year where you made a mistake if you took the day off just for the deadline. Honestly, at this point you don’t deserve much sympathy.
Buffalo has been killing it at selling, but this year they couldn’t get anything for Dmitri Kulikov or Cody Franson. Before you post an angry comment, note that even Tim Murray seemed disappointed.
The good news is that Ben Bishop came cheaply. Still, Jarome Iginla has lost about a thousand steps (as painful as that is to admit), to the point where you wonder if he’s even an upgrade over Dwight King. Missing the playoffs would really hurt a team with an aging core ... did they really improve their odds?
Then again, the team they’re chasing is in a dour state of mind. That Shattenkirk trade flat-out stings, and they did very little other than re-signing Patrik Berglund, so fans don’t even enjoy valuable distractions.
Anaheim didn’t clear up its questions on defense and overpaid for Patrick Eaves. In an unusually wide-open West, the Ducks barely even waddled forward.
Consider them “winners” if you’re sold on Brendan Smith. Otherwise, they lag behind other contenders.
Time will tell about Lazar, but the Burrows trade and immediate extension is a real head-scratcher.
Conditions on the pick: Should Caps sign Shattenkirk to an SPC that includes the 2017-18 season OR (1/X)— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) February 28, 2017
(click the above tweet for deep confusion.)
This is not a typo: the Flyers retained 4.7 percent of Streit's remaining salary/cap hit in that Filppula trade. Just 4.7 percent.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 1, 2017
Teams dealing with the Canadiens
Montreal might not be clearly improved after the deadline, but few teams are going to be as annoying as this group. Steve Ott and Dwight Kings make an already cantankerous group borderline nuclear.
This post, in June
Looking back over the years, deadline day analysis almost always looks dumb in retrospect. Maybe this will reverse-jinx it?
(Oh no, this post was just reverse-reverse-jinxed, wasn’t it?)