NHL Trade Deadline: winners and losers

NHL Trade Deadline: winners and losers

Andrew Forsyth, Sports Writer

The trade deadline has come and gone once again. This year saw a lot of movement before the deadline, and not much happened on the actual day. This will just be a look at the winners and losers of the deadline.


Boston Bruins:
The best team in the league by a mile got even better. The Bruins realistically didn’t have to do much of anything, although, with the looming sense that this could be the final run of this core with the question of Patrice Bergeron’s future in the air, the Bruins made some incredible moves. The Bruins gave up their next two first-round picks to bring defenseman Dmitri Orlov, forward Garnett Hathaway from the Washington Capitals, and Tyler Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings.

The Bruins did not need to do anything, yet they went all in on this core. On top of this, they also extended David Pastrnak to a monster deal for the next eight years. The Bruins were incredibly deep and got even better, and they still have Taylor Hall returning from LTIR.

New York Rangers:
With rumors of Patrick Kane coming to Broadway swirling for what has felt like forever the past few months, the Rangers got Vladimir Tarasenko from the St Louis Blues. Many thought they were done making moves as they got their top six winger and bottom-pairing defenseman, which were their two most significant needs. However, Patrick Kane forced his way to New York. This meant the Rangers could trade for him for pennies on the dollar.

The Rangers were also able to reacquire fourth-line winger Tyler Motte who adds great speed and responsibility to the fourth line, which was remarkably lacking for the first half of the year.

They got both of these players without even having to give up both of their first-round picks. As well as being able to keep their best first-round pick in a deep and highly touted draft. The Rangers bolstered their top six with two incredible wingers with Stanley Cup-level experience, and the biggest subtractions were a first and Vitali Kravtsov.

Toronto Maple Leafs:
Two words can describe the Leafs’ approach to this deadline: “all in.” With the rematch of last year against Tampa Bay locked in for the first round of the playoffs, Kyle Dubas worked his magic to ensure the Leafs have the best chance to win a series finally. The Leafs acquired forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St Louis Blues, which was an incredible deal for them as it gives them much-needed playoff experience and maturity. The Leafs also acquired forward Sam Lafferty and defenseman Jake McCabe from the Chicago Blackhawks and defenseman Luke Schenn from the Canucks. Their last big move was receiving defenseman Eric Gustafsson from Washington for young defenseman Rasmus Sandin. They also acquired a first from Washington in this deal.

Kyle Dubas went all in for playoff success this season. He knows that this is most likely his last chance if the Leafs don’t have any success. Dubas has done all he can, and now it is fully up to the Leafs to put it all together in the playoffs.

Edmonton Oilers:
The Oilers’ biggest struggles this season have been a lack of actual depth and the inability of any defenseman apart from Darnell Nurse to force a breakout from their zone into the offensive zone. Rumors were hot about Erik Karlsson to the Oilers for the entirety of the deadline. Although the deal never happened, what did happen though was the Oilers were instead able to acquire Nashville Predators defenseman, Mattias Ekholm. He is a highly responsible defenseman who can drive the play from the D-Zone and contribute to the game’s offensive side. The Oilers added great depth in fourth liner Nick Bjugstad from the Arizona Coyotes. He can add much-needed bottom-six consistency to the Oilers.

The Oilers will have no issue scoring as long as McDavid and Draisaitl continue the tear they’ve been on. Although they needed to add depth and scoring from the defense, they did just that by this deadline. Hopefully, the goaltending can hold up this time around.

Ottawa Senators
The Sens made one big move this year: acquiring Jacob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. What is so great about this, though, is it sets up the Senators for the future. Chychrun is a bonafide number-one defenseman and is signed until the 2024-25 season at a bargain 4.6 million AAV. The Sens could make a late-season playoff push and didn’t even have to give up the two firsts Arizona has been asking for over the past two years.

New Jersey Devils
The Devils got their guy. Timo Meier was finally traded to the Devils after months of rumors starting at the beginning of the season. The Devils finally have made the jump after years of disappointing play, with Jack Hughes leading the charge. Like the rest of the east, the Devils joined the remarkable arms race. Timo Meier is the scoring top-line winger they’ve been looking for now, and he should slot in perfectly in that role. Let’s just hope the goaltending can stay consistent.


Vancouver Canucks:
The Canucks have no idea what they want to be, whether it’s rebuilding or selling away some pieces. Or buy at the deadline. However, the worst option is probably doing a mix of both, which Vancouver did. Vancouver did get a decent haul for Bo Horvat, and trading for Filip Hronek was a good move.

Although where the issues lie is what they didn’t do. They had an offer on the table for JT Miller from the Penguins but didn’t take it because they didn’t want draft picks. Strange as it sounds. Boeser has been in rumors for years, and they still haven’t gotten rid of him to the point where it’s confusing as to what they’re trying to do.

This deadline was not good for Vancouver—head-scratching move after head-scratching move. I am not sure where they can go from here. They are stuck in mediocrity yet are also in cap hell. Good luck.

Philadelphia Flyers:
The only good news from the Flyers’ camp post-deadline is that Chuck Fletcher has been relieved of his duties as GM. He did nothing, literally. Even though he had a trade for James Van Riemsdyk to go to the Red Wings, it fell through at the last second. If you’re a Flyers fan, you must be utterly disappointed. Fletcher hasn’t done anything of note in years as GM. Even the Claude Giroux trade last year was terrible, and he gave up a first for Rasmus Ristolainen, then extended him for five years even though he’s been horrid in Philly. Like the Canucks it’s hard to know what the Flyers do now. Hopefully, they will fully commit to a rebuild. Danny Briere has a tough job ahead of him in Philly.

Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes continue to be terrible in every aspect of the word. They dragged the Chychrun situation for too long and got awful value for their asking. They also continue to take on dead money and contracts for teams. This team has no clear direction, and it is hard to picture any success in the desert. For the selfishness in me, I am hoping Bedard doesn’t go to a team that is playing in a college arena right now. Get it together, Arizona.

Carolina Hurricanes
What has been the biggest issue for Carolina these past few years? They don’t have that star player who can take over in big moments and win a game alone. Timo Meier is a guy who can do that. The Hurricanes didn’t get Timo Meier. Instead, they got two depth pieces in Shayne Gostisbehere and Jesse Puljuarivi.

To begin with, Carolina’s overconfidence in prospects who don’t have a roster spot is what killed them. They could’ve easily matched, if not even surpassed, the Devils’ offer for Meier, but a lack of aggressiveness and diamond hands kept the Canes from making a real move. Death by a thousand cuts only works before a Jack Hughes or Mika Zibanejad is knocking at your door.

The most significant loss for the Canes is that the best forwards available, Tarasenko, Kane, Meier, and Horvat all went to division opponents. Maybe next year, Carolina will make a big splash. Also, Svechnikov being out for the year is a tough, tough loss. If only they got a big game player at the deadline! (Tough).

Just Ok

These are just the teams where I didn’t hate what they did, but nothing stood out to me either. I won’t go much into depth here.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Bonino reunion is nice. Kulikov is a good pickup. They are still an unreasonably old team. Crosby is still unreal. First-round exit awaits.

Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning takes the LA Rams approach of F- Them Picks for Tanner Jeannot. We all laugh now, but he’ll have 35 goals for them next year.

Winnipeg Jets
I like Nino Niederreiter. The jets could very well come out of the west, to be honest. It is wide open right now.

LA Kings
I like Korpisalo and Gavrikov for them. Although I don’t know how far over the edge it puts them.

Dallas Stars
After failing to get Kane, they got the other Blackhawk in Max Domi. He’s fit in pretty nicely there. I like the move for Dallas. The West is wide open, and the Stars could sneak into the conference finals.

An arms race in the East and a do-nothing off in the West. This deadline was…strangely awesome? If I were a betting man, I’d put all my money on the Cup going to the East, but anything can happen in the playoffs. Just a little under a month, and we’re watching some gritty, physical action in the quest for the cup.