Over trade deadline week the Bruins, Lightning, and Leafs all loaded up for what will be a difficult battle to make it out of the division in the playoffs.
- Traded Matt Spooner, Matt Beleskey, and a 2018 first- and seventh-round pick to the New York Rangers for Rick Nash.
- Traded Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers for a 2018 third-round pick.
- Traded Rob O’Gara to the New York Rangers for Nick Holden.
- Traded a 2019 conditional fifth-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for Tommy Wingles.
The Bruins made three minor moves and one big splash. I won’t talk about the minor moves, but I will talk about the important one. They sent Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey with half of his contract retained, and a 2018 first to the Rangers for Rick Nash to help fuel a playoff run. It was a hell of a price to pay.
Nash used to be one of the best scorers in the league, but at the age of 33, he isn’t in the elite category anymore. In 60 games with New York, Nash had 18 goals, whereas the 26-year-old Spooner had nine goals in 39 games with the Bruins. I’m not saying Spooner is as good as Nash, but is the difference between the two players a first-round pick? Probably not. That said, they did dump half of Beleskey’s hideous contract, so that’s a plus too.
- Traded Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks for a conditional 2019 first-round pick, a 2019 seventh-round pick, and Dan O’Regan.
The Sabres have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention since September, so, naturally, they were selling at the deadline. The only move they made, though, was dealing Evander Kane to the Sharks for a 2019 pick that becomes a first if he signs and a second if he walks. He’s probably going to walk.
So all the Sabres were able to get out of their fire sale was a second rounder because, let’s be honest, nobody was interested in Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Nolan, or Josh Gorges.
- Traded Tomas Tatar to the Vegas Golden Knights for a 2018 first-round pick, a 2019 second-round pick, and a 2021 third-round pick.
- Traded Petr Mrazek to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional fourth-round pick and a conditional 2019 third-round pick.
A few days before the deadline, the Red Wings dumped struggling goaltender Petr Mrazek on the Flyers for a couple of draft picks. Philly was desperate because Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott had both been injured and Detroit kinda sorta capitalized, though the return is far from impressive for a guy who appeared to be the No. 1 goalie a couple years ago. Predictably, Mrazek is killing it in Philly, as he has a .947 save percentage and three wins in three starts since the trade.
At the deadline, Detroit pulled a surprising move, sending Tomas Tatar, who was just signed to a four-year deal this summer, to Vegas of three picks. This makes sense because Tatar is getting older and next year a no trade clause kicks in on his deal, so if there was a time to pull the trigger, it was now.
- Traded a 2018 third-round pick to the Boston Bruins for Frank Vatrano.
The Panthers dealt a third for a dude who had two goals in 25 games this season. I figured he had terrible fancy stats because I know that’s the kind of thing that makes Dale Tallon’s dick move, but Vatrano actually has very good underlying numbers. Odd move. Who cares. Moving along.
- Traded a 2019 fifth-round pick to the Minnesota Wild for Mike Reilly.
- Traded Joe Morrow to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2018 fourth-round pick.
- Traded Tomas Plekanec and Kyle Baun to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Kerby Rychel, Rinat Vailev, and a 2018 second-round pick.
- Traded Jakub Jerabek to the Washington Capitals for a 2019 fifth-round pick.
The Canadiens waved goodbye to a franchise icon at the deadline by sending Tomas Plekanec to Toronto of all places. That said, if Plekanec comes back to Montreal this summer, he can still play his 1,000th NHL game in a Habs uniform. They also dealt Joe Morrow for a mid-round pick and then used another mid-round pick to acquire Mike Reilly, so it was essentially a swap of a random depth d-man for another.
- Traded Nick Shore to the Calgary Flames for a 2019 seventh-round pick.
- Traded Ian Cole to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Nick Moutrey and a 2020 third-round pick.
- Made a three-way deal with Pittsburgh and Vegas in which they dealt Derrick Brassard and acquired Ian Cole, Filip Gustavsson, a 2018 first-round pick, and a 2019 third-round pick.
The deadline came and went and Erik Karlsson is still in Ottawa. The big deal they pulled was selling Derrick Brassard in a three-way trade which netted them a first rounder, a third rounder, a prospect, and Ian Cole, who they flipped for a mid-round pick. I was hoping for a Karlsson deal but I guess we’ll have to wait for the summer.
- Traded Vladislav Namestnikov, Libor Hajek, Brett Howden, a 2018 first-round pick, and a 2019 conditional pick to the New York Rangers for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller.
The Lightning were apparently in on Karlsson but the two sides couldn’t make anything happen. Instead, Tampa pulled the trigger on an even more wild deal involving picks, prospects, and Vladislav Namestnikov in exchange for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller. That’s a great haul for Tampa considering both players are signed beyond this year. Giving up a first and two good prospects is difficult but they were smart to sell high on Namestnikov’s career season.
- Traded Kerby Rychel, Rinat Vailev, and a 2018 second-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for Tomas Plekanec and Kyle Baun.
- Traded Eric Fehr to the San Jose Sharks for a 2020 seventh-round pick.
Tomas Plekanec wearing a Leafs jersey is hilarious and it will continue to be hilarious for the rest of the season. It isn’t as hilarious as the Leafs fans getting Mad OnLine that the third or fourth best team in the Eastern Conference didn’t sell one of their best forwards because it could have netted them a pick that could maybe make a marginal difference on the team in like 2022.