Welcome back to the Hockey Roundup! The THUNDERBLOG’s shot of hockey to go with your coffee.
The Trade Deadline came and went yesterday afternoon and similarly to the NBA Trade Deadline last week, nothing really came from it. No over-the-top blockbuster deals once again. I have a feeling our social-media based society has scared GMs into running away from making deadline deals like a scared dear. There were so impactful trades, though. We’re going run through the contenders and see what moves did or didn’t make and how their run at the Cup will be impacted:
Montreal was in a good spot coming into the Deadline and they left it in a better spot. Acquiring Jordie Benn from Dallas adds another good defensemen to an already solid D-Core and they boosted it further by getting 25-year-old Brandon Davidson from the Oilers. The only knock I could give them is trading away a couple drafts in both 2017 and 2018 but a solid navigation of the Deadline from the Habs. Hopefully their three-game winning streak is sign that they’ve turned the corner from their freefall.
The Caps made their big move on Monday picking up Kevin Shattenkirk from the Blues. Shattenkirk has been an instant fit with the Caps so far and his presence will be felt throughout the rest of the season and into the Playoffs. The Caps seemed to be destined to face the Penguins in the second again so adding defense to combat that Penguin offense is a great move.
The Caps zigged, the Pens zigged. Pittsburgh also added defense grabbing Mark Streit from the Lightning hours after the Flyers traded him. The Flyers retaining 4.7% of Streit’s contract so Pittsburgh only sending a 2018 4th rounder for him while Tampa Bay sent the Flyers two picks and center Valtteri Filppula is great for the Pens.
The Wild added depth to their lineup by picking up Martin Hanzel and Ryan White from Arizona in exchange for draft picks. Adding depth at forward with an already solid D-Core and goalie and the Wild have the tools to make a deep Cup run.
The Hawks picked up Johnny Oduya for pretty much nothing. They’re all set for a run and to make others Panik:
San Jose Sharks:
The final deep threat stood relatively still at the Dead Line. The Pacific Division is all but San Jose’s and they’ve retained most of the team from last year’s Cup run but the Sharks will be challenged much more than last year in the West Finals.
Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers:
With the Lightning selling, the final two spots come down to these four teams. The Sens are running on fumes and while they did pick up Alex Burrows from Vancouver, I’m not too optimistic about them. The Bruins haven’t made any move since firing Claude Julien but they have been red hot since then. Toronto is ahead of schedule and picked up some support pieces so the final spot out the Atlantic Division will come down to them or the Panthers. Florida made the biggest move of the four picking up Thomas Vanek so if their young lineup gets it going, they could advance along to the next round.
New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets:
None of these other teams made any serious moves and the minor tweaks they each made won’t make as huge of a difference. The Rangers are still in the best spot of the three to capture the third spot in the Met, the Isles shouldn’t be penciled into the wild card but they have a good shot. The Blue Jackets currently have the 2nd spot in the Met over the Penguins due to playing one less game but this is the sell point for CBJ. Bob is lights out for them but I think the Pens will overtake the second spot and the Rangers are more primed for a late season run.
Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues:
The Preds are sitting alone in third in the Central: Chicago and Minnesota are well ahead and St. Louis is six points behind and was a deadline seller. The Blues could still make the playoffs depending on how the Pacific shakes up, though.
Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, LA Kings:
Edmonton, Anaheim, and Calgary stayed put and should be ones battling it out for the final two spots in the Pacific. Most likely, they’ll move up and down but they’ll likely finish Edmonton at #2, Anaheim #3, and Calgary grabbing the first wild card. The Kings made a few moves grabbing Ben Bishop as an insurance policy in net and Jerome Iginla to add depth at forward. Iginla may be a bit older and slower, but he can still score.
Overall, not the most exciting NHL Trade Deadline but now we have a better idea where teams stand as the final stretch begins. What do you think was the best move? Any trades I missed? Let me know in the comments…Follow @geordo9