Winners and Losers: NHL trade deadline edition

New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta, of Finland, looks for a rebound as Tampa Bay Lightning's Tyler Johnson reaches for it during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, March 6, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (Mike Carlson/AP)

The NHL trade deadline was on Wednesday, March 1st. The deadline is the last chance for teams to make key acquisitions as they prepare to make a final push to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With so many teams within striking distance of the final Wild card spot in both the Eastern and Western Conferences an abundance of moves took place. Some teams solidified their lineups or built for the future while others did nothing. While players have only been on their new clubs for about a week now there are already some obvious winners and losers of deadline day.

The Winners:

Washington Capitals: The Capitals had a history of acquiring a depth defenseman at the deadline to try to solidify their blueline for the playoffs. The past two seasons saw them pick up Tim Gleason and Mike Weber to fill this role. Both of these moves resulted in a defenseman that ended up doing more harm than good resulting in a second-round exit from the postseason.

This year General Manager Brian MacLellan went all in for the deadline and acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues. Shattenkirk is fifth in points by a defenseman this season and will help the Capitals continue to produce down the road. The cost to acquire Shattenkirk included a first round pick and rookie Zach Sanford, who is going to be a stud, but the Capitals realize that their window to win a Stanley Cup is quickly closing. The Capitals improved their defensive core and are in a prime position to make a deep playoff run.  

Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning made an abundance of moves with the most notable trading Goalie Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings. They also acquired Mark Streit from the Philadelphia Flyers and then traded him to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In making these moves the Lightning are allowing their younger players who they have been developing to shine. The trades also allowed Tampa Bay to free up about 15 million dollars in cap space to resign key players such as Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat.

Since the Bishop trade, Tampa Bay is 3-0-1 and the new starting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been incredible allowing just six goals and putting up a 0.956 save percentage.  

Losers:

Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche were in position to be the biggest seller at the deadline. They are already mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and have a record of 17-44-3, which is the worst in the NHL.  Rumors were swirling around their young stars Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie, and the return on trading these players would have been plentiful.

Instead of moving any of these players the Avalanche traded Jarome Iginla to the Kings for a conditional fourth round pick. In doing, this they freed up a roster spot of a player who likely would not have been back with the team next season. The Avalanche have a problem with their core players that has not resulted in wins, yet management has neglected to address the issue. The deadline would have been the time for them to sell high, but instead they sat idle.

Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens currently sit in first place in the tightly contested Atlantic Division. Their main problems this season have been registering shots on goal (they rank 24th out of 30) and scoring from depth players (48% of goals are from five of their top six forwards and Shea Weber). The Canadiens acquired Steve Ott, Dwight King, Jordie Benn, Philip Sameuelsson and Andreas Martinsen. These five players have combined for 17 goals this season.

The Canadiens needed to make a big splash acquiring a goal scorer to lock up the Atlantic and have a chance to win the Eastern Conference in the playoffs. However, they went out and got a bunch of depth grind it out players making them losers at the deadline.


Jonathan Dupont is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jonathan.dupont@uconn.edu.