Trade deadline day gets of all the attention, but it’s the moves an NHL general manager accumulates over the course of an entire season, the sum of it all, that matters most.
Below is a team-by-team breakdown of all the trades each Western Conference club has made throughout the course of the year.
Traded: Bryan Allen, Jesse Blacker, Future Conditional Pick, Dany
Heatley, 3rd (2015), 3rd (2015), Devante Smith-Pelly, Ben
Lovejoy, Rene Bourque, William Karlsson, 2nd (2015), Eric Brewer, 5th
(2015), Mat Clark.
Acquired: Colby Robak, Tomas Fleischman, Jiri Sekac, Simon
Despres, James Wisniewski, 3rd (2015), Korbinian Holzer, Michael
Sgarbossa, 7th (2015, Conditional).
Analysis: The Anaheim Ducks and general manager Bob Murray were busy this season, completing nine in-season trades.
Anaheim seemingly spent all year trying to find a left winger to play with Ryan
Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and they wanted defensemen. Trading a 3rd
for Eric Brewer then flipping Brewer and a 5th for Korbinian Holzer
was a terrible piece of asset management, a series of deals that cost them picks for no reason.
Trading the final year of Bryan Allen and his deal for Rene Bourque and the
additional year in his contract was also short-sighted, even though Murray almost
single-handedly made up for it by acquiring a true top four, high-scoring defenseman in
James Wisniewski for Bourque’s deal, a depth prospect, and a pick (and he got a
pick back too!).
With a strong finish, Wisniewski has the opportunity to push
for 40 points this season. He needs to be used more on the offensive side of
things to maximize his play, but he’s averaged over 20 minutes per game since he
was 24 (he’s turning 31 this year), and he has a career Corsi For percentage above 51, though it was just a touch below water in his four years in Columbus.
So Anaheim added an immediate upgrade on D,
then traded a 31-year-old Ben Lovejoy for a 24-year-old Simon Despres. Lovejoy
is better than Despres today, but the age gap and potential of Despres gives
Anaheim the edge long-term.
The team also added Jiri Sekac, who has real top
six forward upside, for Devante Smith-Pelly, a nice player but more of a bottom
The really interesting add for the rest of the season though is
Tomas Fleischmann. He only has 21 points this year and has a career negative team relative Corsi For percentage (though he’s in the black by raw shot attempt differential over the course of his
career), but Bruce Boudreau had him before and could use his scoring punch. In
Washington during the 2009-2010 season, Fleischmann had 20 power play points
for Boudreau; this year Anaheim has the 21st ranked power-play unit
and one issue is they have a lot of right handed shots (Getzlaf, Perry, Kesler,
Vatanen). Now they’ve added a scoring veteran that is left handed, along with
The Ducks are going for it, and overall they added a top four
defenseman, a top nine forward that can possibly still be a top six forward, a
young forward with top six upside, and a young defenseman with second pair
upside. That’s a pretty good season of work overall.
Traded: Rob Klinkhammer, 2016 Conditional Pick, Devan Dubnyk, Antoine
Vermette, Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, 4th (2015), Zybnek Michalek,
Conditional Pick, Mark Louis.
Acquired: Phillip Samuelsson, 3rd (2015), 1st
(2015), Klas Dahlbeck, Anthony Duclair, John Moore, 1st (2016,
Conditional), 2nd (2015), Maxim Letunov, David Leggio.
Analysis: The Coyotes haven’t tanked quite like Buffalo, but
they are also better positioned to move backwards in the standings quickly in part because of the
moves they made this season.
General Manager Don Maloney should be commended
for trading Yandle with a year left on his deal in order to maximize the return
as best as he could. John Moore only has 212 NHL games to his name and is
turning 25, so he still has some time to show he has another level, but even if
he doesn’t, he is an NHL defenseman. Anthony Duclair is a bit of a hot prospect
right now and is being blown up a little too much, but he has true top-six
potential, and maybe even top-line potential, he’s not a center or defenseman
but in terms of upside you can’t ask for much more.
The organization must love
Maxim Letunov because he’s going to college next season and is a few years away
from the NHL, but that’s what they got back for a fringe top 4 defenseman. The
concussion was clearly a concern and Maloney was handcuffed, but compared to
the conditional pick New Jersey got for Marek Zidlicky it’s not a bad return. The caveat here is that when you trade for drafted prospects, it’s logical to target
guys in the AHL that have proven they can produce in pro hockey.
That is what
Coyotes did with Klas Dahlbeck, who had 10 goals in the AHL last season, but his
production has fallen off a bit this year, he is turning 24 and needs
to start proving himself in the NHL. It looks like the Coyotes are going to
give him that chance now. Considering Antoine Vermette’s pedigree in the trade
market, I did think they would do better than a 1st and a prospect.
Maloney has stacked the draft pick cupboard though, adding Duclair to Max
Domi, Lucas Lessio, Tobias Rieder, a stable of young defensemen and, they hope,
one of Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel this summer. It is a good start, though I
bet they wish they could have traded pending UFA Martin Erat and maybe David
Traded: Curtis Glencross, Sven Baertschi.
Acquired: 2nd (2015), 3rd (2015), 2nd
Analysis: In the short-term it hurts that Calgary wasn’t able
to flip any of the picks they received for additional depth, but in the
long-term, they won’t mind.
Calgary will be in tough to make the playoffs,
especially with Mark Giordano injured. From the outside looking in, it wouldn’t
be a surprise if that injury changed their plans. With Giordano out, they don’t have a real chance of making the playoffs and actually advancing,
it’s the sad reality for a team that has battled hard all year. Brian Burke has been quoted
before saying if you’re going to acquire deadline rentals you better be sure
you are advancing past round one, and with this team you can’t be sure.
Two high-value pick for the 2015 draft is a huge return for Glencross, considering how his role and
production had diminished in Calgary.
The Baertschi deal might blow up in their face
as the 22-year-old forward has 28 points in 66 NHL games , which is not bad at all, and he has produced relatively well
in the AHL. It’s a boring trade deadline for Calgary, but they have a collection
of young players they can now play in big games and get some experience, and
they added a mess of draft picks to their arsenal. Expect them to be busy on the draft floor in June.
Traded: Jeremy Morin, Tim Erixon, Adam Clendening, 2nd
(2015), 4th (2016, Conditional), 1st (2015), Klas
Dahlbeck, TJ Brennan, Ben Smith, 7th (2017, Conditional).
Acquired: Gustav Forsling, Kimmo Timonen, Antoine Vermette, Spencer
Abbott, Andrew Desjardins.
Analysis: Last year in the Western Conference Final, Toews and
Kopitar went head-to-head, but the Hawks had no answer for Jeff Carter because
they had no centre depth. In those seven games Carter had 11 points and 27 SOG. It was a mismatch and Chicago had nobody that could match-up against him.
Enter Vermette and Brad Richards,
who was signed in the summer, two veteran pivots that now provide them the Blackhawks with options. The Blackhawks also added
Andrew Desjardins for good measure and even more insurance at pivot. Last year in the
playoffs, the Hawks were running Toews-Shaw-Kruger-Handzus down the middle. Now
they can potentially run Toews-Vermette-Richards-Kruger with Desjardins and
Shaw around just in case. They might be the deepest team at centre in the entire league, now.
The Kimmo Timonen acquisition reminds me of when the Leafs
acquired Calle Johansson over a decade ago. Johansson was an excellent player who appeared in over 1100 games and had over 530 NHL points, but he had not played
at all that year. When they got him they interviewed him and asked how long it
would take for him to be ready, and he said a couple of weeks. I thought he was
nuts. He played eight games to end the season, and had 6 points. In the
playoffs he played four games, and then was healthy scratched in favour of Aki
Hopefully that analogy isn’t illustrative for Chicago. Timonen is an excellent player, but he’s old and hasn’t played all year.
The only guy I can think of that was able to miss the season then have a strong
playoff is Peter Forsberg, a Hall of Famer, and one of the best players of his
era. (Side note, what Forsberg did really needs to be discussed more often).
Timonen is a good player, he’ll have a stretch of decent play, but it’s hard to
imagine the grind of the playoffs and playing every other night not catching up
to a guy that has missed the entire season to this point.
You can’t replace
Patrick Kane, but Chicago did well to stack up at centre and go for
it. Chicago had little choice but to go all-in for the Cup, considering that Toews and Kane’s extensions kick in next year and where Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp are in their careers.
Traded: Karl Stollery, Max Talbot, Paul Carey, Michael
Sgarbossa, 7th (2015, Conditonal).
Acquired: Freddie Hamilton, Jordan Caron, 6th
(2016), Mat Clark.
Analysis: The only pending UFAs on the Avs are Daniel Briere,
Jan Hejda, and Ryan Wilson. If nobody was interested in Ryan Wilson, that is
understandable, but Briere has the playoff hero label attached to his hip. The
safe assumption is that nobody wanted to deal with what is left of his $4M
salary, the question is if Colorado was at all willing to eat half.
on the other hand is still a reasonable second-pairing defenseman, and very
good third pairing guy that any team would love. He’s big, can play PK, plays
shutdown hockey, and you can load up his DZ starts to free up your offensive
defensemen. The Avs are eight points out of the playoffs right now and there
are two teams ahead of them that are also on the outside looking in.
don’t make it, which is highly likely, it will have been a lost opportunity to
stock up on some picks in a good market. Based on other trades, Hejda should
have been able to net at least a 3rd that could turn into a 2nd,
or a 3rd along with another pick.
Trading Max Talbot for a younger,
bigger winger makes sense considering their forward make-up (they have four
strong centers and are already playing one on the wing to balance ice time). I will
also be keeping an eye on the Sgarbossa move, as he tore up the OHL (102 points
in 66 games his last season), and had a strong rookie AHL season; he’s turning
23 this year. The Ryan O’Reilly cloud still hangs over the team, so now we wait until the
Traded: Sergei Gonchar, Brenden Dillon, Anders Lindback, 3rd
(2016, Conditional), Erik Cole, 3rd (2015, Conditional),
Acquired: Travis Moen, Jason
Demers, 3rd (2016), Jhonas Enroth, 2nd (2015), Mattias
Backman, Mattias Janmark
Analysis: The sum of the Stars’ acquisitions point to a team that
was caught in no-mans land between what they were trying to achieve this season and what they actually are at the moment: a flawed club likely to miss the playoffs.
Dallas bought and they sold, and they shifted assets and contracts, but overall it feels somewhat directionless. Originally the Stars made moves attempting to salvage
their season, bringing in a right handed defenseman to fit a need in exchange
for a superior player, ridding themselves of Sergei Gonchar but taking on extra
term to do so, and acquiring a solid backup in Jhonas Enroth while sacrificing picks
in the process.
Then they sold off pending unrestricted ffee agent Erik Cole, who was having a
really productive season, for futures. Ultimately, they downgraded on defense,
downgraded at forward and upgraded at goalie, plus they came out ahead draft
pick wise.Other pending unrestricted players include Patrick Eaves and Enroth, so
they didn’t miss much selling wise.
Dallas will have to leapfrog SJ and LA and
then kick a current playoff team out of the top eight to make it, which seems
unlikely. So the Stars won’t make the playoffs this year, and their in-season activity is
a flurry of confusion, just like their defensive play.
Traded: Will Acton, Mark Arcobello, David Perron, Jeff Petry.
Acquired: Kellen Lain, Derek Roy, Rob Klinkhammer, 1st
(2015), 2nd (2015), 5th (2015, Conditional).
Analysis: Selling off more good players for draft picks is
about the last thing Oilers fans wanted to see again, but their options were
extremely limited. The only pending unrestricted player of consequence was Jeff Petry, whom
they traded for a 2nd and conditional pick.
Petry should be the Habs
third defenseman on paper and they are Cup contenders, plus he was the Oilers
best defenseman so that is a disappointing return all things considered.
only other notable unrestricted player is Derek Roy and he has helped Nail Yakupov’s game come
alive, plus he wouldn’t have returned much in a trade, so keeping Roy was
understandable. David Perron pushed his way out and getting a 1st-round pick back was a solid return considering they got Rob Klinkhammer too,
but the question there is if they can flip that pick for immediate help come the
Klinkhammer is a sneaky good player as he’s an effective bottom six
forward at pushing play, brings speed and size, and has balanced their roster a
little bit with some of the other grinders on the team.
The Oil will have picks
to play with and they’ve accumulated enough youth to justify packaging anything
but their highest 1st rounder for NHL-ready help. The only real questions
are if they could have moved Andrew Ference, why didn’t they? And if there was
any extra value to be had for Teddy Purcell considering he has another year
left on his deal.
Los Angeles Kings
Traded: 1st (Conditional, 2015), Roland McKeown.
Acquired: Andrej Sekera.
Analysis: It was a classic Kings deadline, selling off some non-roster
assets to bring in a legitimate difference maker to fill a need on their team.
career high 44 points last year is an aberration as he’s more of a 20-25 point
player, but he’s always been strong at pushing play in tough minutes.
The Kings have missed Slava Voynov badly and while Sekera isn’t as good of an
overall player, he’s a solid minute eater and solidifies their defense. At
forward they are deep and versatile, returning essentially the same group that
won the Cup last year.
I’m going to assume that they recall Mike Richards at
some point too, even if it is during the playoffs. Richards has 13 points in 13 games in the AHL, and had 10 in 26 during last season’s
Cup run playing over 15 minutes per game. Say what you want about Richards, but
he has consistently been a difference maker in the postseason.
First things first though, the Kings have to actually make it. If they don’t and then lose Justin
Williams, Jarret Stoll and Robyn Regehr for free though, they’ll be kicking
themselves. They should have taken a page out of Glen Sather’s book and pushed
the issue here more than they did.
Traded: 3rd (2015), 3rd (2016), 2nd
(2017), Justin Falk, 5th (2015).
Acquired: Devan Dubnyk, Sean Bergenheim, 7th (2016),
Chris Stewart, Jordan Leopold.
Analysis: The Wild made possibly the two best acquisitions of
the season when it comes to getting bang for their buck on the trade market.
Obviously Devan Dubnyk has been lights out
since coming to the Wild with a 15-3-0-1 record, .937 save percentage and 1.64 goals against average. And
Dubnyk is only turning 29 this year, which is relatively young considering he’s
Sean Bergenheim is a top 9 forward that can easily play in the top 6,
and he can play either wing. Bergenheim drives play, can play PK, can match up
against top lines, and even produce (.47 points per game in Florida). His biggest issue has really been staying
healthy; this is his seventh season and he’s played over 70 games twice.
Stewart is a polarizing figure as he’s big and strong with nice hands, but his
possession numbers are awful and his teams regularly gets outscored when he’s on the ice. He is a
legitimate 15+ goal scorer though, having done it the last three years in a row and being on
pace to do it again. The Wild are a strong possession team, but don’t score
easily (Calgary is the only team in the West in a playoff spot with less goals
than them). The betting with Stewart is that he can score a few key goals and
they can mask his deficiencies somewhat; considering the pick is in 2017 they
have plenty of time to get something similar back.
Adding Jordan Leopold for a
player that wanted out and a depth pick is a nice veteran addition to round out
the defense and get ready for the playoffs. The Wild are a better team and it
didn’t cost them much, they might even bring back a few of thee players they
have acquired – Dubnyk in particular.
After a frustrating start it looks like Fletcher has pressed the right buttons to make Minnesota a legitimate playoff team.
Traded: 1st (2015), Brendan Leipsic, Olli Jokinen.
Acquired: Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli.
Analysis: The Preds made just the one move this year, but they
added a top four defenseman and a top nine forward that can easily play in the
top 6, so what else could they have done, really?
In the process they
were able to get rid of a bad contract and unhappy player, and they didn’t
touch the rest of their roster. Considering they have Shea Weber, Seth Jones
and Ryan Ellis a lefty would have been a more a seamless fit (Sekera?), but they
know Franson and he’s a good player so that’s nitpicking. Same thing with
Santorelli, they know the player and he can effectively play any position.
the way Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher have been playing, rounding out the center
position with Santorelli and Paul Gaustad creates a strong, deep and versatile
The Preds are tied for the highest goal differential in the league and
are an elite possession team. There is every reason to believe in them and in that situation it’s justifiable to give up a 1st and prospect to
go for it. Maybe this is the year that David Poile finally gets the selling thing right.
San Jose Sharks
Traded: Jason Demers, 3rd (2016), James Sheppard,
Andrew Desjardins, Tyler Kennedy, Freddie Hamilton
Acquired: Brenden Dillon, 4th (2016), Ben Smith, 7th
(2017, Conditional), 7th (2017, Conditional), Karl Stollery
Analysis: The Sharks made some strong moves on the whole, but
what they are trying to accomplish this year is a big question mark.
essentially cleared out bodies in their bottom six so that kids like Chris
Tierney and Barclay Goodrow can play, which in the long-term is smart since they’re trying to turn over the roster to youth. Ben Smith is turning 27 this year
so I won’t say that he has “upside” but there is some untapped ability in his
game. In his NHL career he has started over 70% of his non neutral zone faceoffs
in the defensive zone, and last year he had a 14 goal season. In Chicago he was
always caught in a numbers game, to little fault of his own, but there is
reason to believe that he’s a player.
Between Smith and the increased roles of
their young players, that’s a good plan to building back-of-the-roster depth. If Raffi Torres
was ever healthy that would be nice too.
Trading Demers and a pick for Dillon
is a tremendous move too; Dillon is younger and has averaged over 20 minutes
per game for his career while Demers, two years older, has yet to do it over
one entire season. Dillon has matched up against top lines and held his own,
and he hasn’t even played 200 NHL games yet so there is room to improve.
Sharks’ third pairing defenders Matt Irwin and Scott Hannan are both unrestricted, and they could have
upgraded on defense. At forward unless they were willing and/or able to finally
trade one of their big ticket items, there wasn’t much they could do other than
change the depth like they did. Considering how the teams above them loaded up
and they didn’t, it’s tough to see San Jose making the playoffs, but it’s not
impossible. Either way, they made all their moves for the future, not this
St. Louis Blues
Traded: Jordan Leopold, Max Lapierre, Future Considerations, Maxim
Letunov, Ian Cole, Conditional Pick (2015), Joakin Lindstrom, Conditional Pick.
Acquired: 5th (2016), Marcel Goc, Adam Cracknell,
Zybnek Michalek, Conditional Pick, Robert Bortuzzo, 7th (2016), Olli
Analysis: The only potential black eye on the Blues’ deadline
was swapping Ian Cole for Robert Bortuzzo. Cole is firmly a third pairing defenseman, but had excellent results in a prescribed role this season. Meanwhile Bortuzzo, who is actually born the same year as Cole
and is a scrapper playing around the same minutes per night, was even more
sheltered, and wasn’t doing as well when he was on the ice Either way, it’s splitting hairs
The rest of the moves though? Zybnek Michalek is an upgrade on defense. Goc is a
better player than Lapierre, capable of moving up and down the lineup whereas
Lapierre was strictly a fourth-line centre. Then they managed to add some extra depth in Olli
Jokinen for free and farmhand Adam Cracknell.
In sum the Blues, who lead the Western Conference in
goals for, added a top four defenseman plus swapped out depth defensemen to stabilize their blue-line.
feels like they could have done more and maybe they should have considering that Kane is out and the Kings might not make the playoffs, but the team pretty well
has it all on paper and they made a good blue line even better. Last year they
supposedly added a top flight goalie and it didn’t help them one bit, so it is tough
to argue that they should have done so again.
Now they hope to stay healthy, and for
Kevin Shattenkirk to successfully return.
Traded: Kellen Lain, Alexandre Mallet, 3rd (2016), Gustav
Forsling, 2nd (2015) , Dustin Jeffrey.
Acquired: Will Acton, Andrey Peden, Adam Clendening, Sven
Baertschi, Cory Conacher.
Analysis: Vancouver is caught in a tough spot between being in
a playoff spot, needing to capitalize before their veterans fall off a cliff,
and needing to build the youth back up.
They held onto pending unrestricted free agents Shawn
Matthias, Derek Dorsett and Brad Richardson, but they probably didn’t miss out on
much of value. It seems like Matthias is the only name on that list that would’ve netted a really good draft pick.
The Canucks really just made a few depth moves, but acquiring
Baertschi and Clendening offers some intriguing upside. Clendening was
drafted 36th overall in 2011 and has not disappointed in his
transition to the professional game as the 22-year-old blue-liner had 12 goals and 59 points in his rookie AHL season.
In Chicago Clendening was caught in a roster squeeze and the Canucks swooped in. Similarily, Baertschi
has not been bad in his pro career by any means, he has 55 points in 73 AHL
games and 28 in 66 NHL games, which is decent production.
So Benning didn’t do anything drastic or help the
team much, but he took a few reasonable shots at young players with upside and is
going to bank on his injured players returning and contributing, and young guys
like Bo Horvat continuing to improve. It’s a boring plan and it’s unfortunate for
vets on the back nine like the Sedin twins, but it is the right organizational
Traded: Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Jason Kasdorf, 6th
(2015), 3rd (2016), 5th (2015, Conditional), Carl
Acquired: Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Brendon Lemieux, Joel
Armia, 1st (2015), Jay Harrison, Lee Stempniak, Jiri Tlusty.
Analysis: Considering the situation they were in with Evander
Kane, the Jets did well to get a player in Tyler Myers that at least has the
opportunity to be the best player in the deal (though in all likelihood it will
Winnipeg has been bedevilled by injuries this year and some of these
moves would not have happened if it weren’t for all the bodies going down,
particularly the Jay Harrison and maybe even Lee Stempniak deals, even though
they wanted him in the summer.
The Jiri Tlusty trade was an excellent
acquisition for two picks that were not in the top-two rounds, he’s a fringe
top six forward that can score at 5-on-5 and drives play well, and he’s only turning
27 this month. If they aren’t able to retain him, it’s a good deal because he’ll
help the rest of the season, but if Chevy can re-up Tlusty the trade will be a
Winnipeg is firmly in a playoff spot at the moment and has games in hand
on some of the teams below them. In his first foray into the trade market general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff did
well to add some depth and address the Kane situation by bringing in a
long-term immediate NHLer, rental help, and a few promising prospects.