10. Montreal Canadiens – New Jersey Devils. Winners: New Jersey Devils
Montreal Canadiens Trade: F Devante Smith-Pelly
New Jersey Devils Trade: F Stefan Matteau
Devante Smith-Pelly is a power forward and will fit perfectly with the New Jersey Devils. Smith-Pelly made an immediate impact with the Canadiens in the playoffs last season and the Devils will hope he can replace Lee Stempniak for their run to the playoffs.
Stefan Matteau, the 22-year-old son of former NHL player Stephane Matteau, has been benched for most of the season by coach John Hynes. Hopefully, for the Montreal Canadiens, a new environment will help his progression.
9. Carolina Hurricanes – Boston Bruins Trade. Winners: Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina Hurricanes Trade: D John-Michael Liles
Boston Bruins Trade: F Anthony Camara, 2016 3rd Round Pick, 2017 5th Round Pick
John-Michael Liles brings some offensive strength for the Boston Bruins, who are making a push to being Stanley Cup contenders. Liles is on his final year of his four-year contract and is 35 years old.
Anthony Camara, 22, was in his third season with the Providence Bruins. Camara plays a no-nonsense, keep-it-simple physical style. The 3rd Round Pick is what makes this trade a no-brainer for the Carolina Hurricanes.
8. Carolina Hurricanes – Los Angeles Kings. Winners: Los Angeles Kings
Carolina Hurricanes Trade: F Kris Versteeg
Los Angeles Kings Trade: F Valentin Zykov, Conditional 5th Round Pick
Kris Versteeg has been traded a seventh time. Versteeg will give some depth to an already strong team and his two Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks brings immediate impact to the Stanley Cup contenders.
Valentin Zykov’s combination of high-end passing and stick skills suggests he can be an elite offensive player one day. Due to the unknown and win now motivation, the Los Angeles Kings were ready to trade to make this trade.
7. Arizona Coyotes – Colorado Avalanche. Winners: Arizona Coyotes
Arizona Coyotes Trade: F Mikkel Boedker
Colorado Avalanche Trade: F Alex Tanguay, F Conner Bleackley, D Kyle Wood
The Colorado Avalanche are on the cusp of the final two Wild Card spots in the Western Conference and so felt the necessity to acquire forward Mikkel Boedker. Boedker is a power play specialist with some nice speed in his game.
The Arizona Coyotes were not going to resign the unrestricted free agent Boedker and so were forced into making this trade. In return, they received a highly skilled sniper in Alex Tanguay, who will bring some veteran leadership. Prospects Bleackley and Wood will be interesting to watch as they progress in the NHL ranks one day.
6. Calgary Flames – Minnesota Wild. Winners: Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames Trade: F David Jones
Minnesota Wild Trade: G Niklas Backstrom and a 2016 6th Round Draft Pick
The Minnesota Wild franchise leader in wins and shutouts Niklas Backstrom was traded to the Calgary Flames. Injuries have plagued Backstrom lately and has not played in any games for the Wild this year. He is still relatively young and should give Jonas Hiller some competition.
David Jones is a grinder and a strong force. Not known for his scoring, Jones brings some playoff experience with him to the Wild. He is a strong hitter as well.
5. Calgary Flames – Florida Panthers. Winners: Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames Trade: F Jiri Hudler
Florida Panthers Trade: 2016 2nd Round Draft Pick and a 2018 4th Round Draft Pick
Jiri Hudler is a pending free agent and the Calgary Flames do not have a realistic shot in making the playoffs. So the Flames found a team interested in a rental player who will give the Florida Panthers some offensive spark for their run to the playoffs. The Flames receive a potentially good pick (2nd Round) at this upcoming draft and a 4th rounder.
The Florida Panthers are in win now mode and are in first place in the Atlantic Division. Hudler will provide depth to a talented forward group. He has playoff experience and knows his way around the net. It is a hefty price to pay for a 2nd to 3rd line player, but general manager Dave Tallon has a job to make the playoffs and has done so.
4. Calgary Flames – Dallas Stars. Winners: Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames Trade: D Kris Russell
Dallas Stars Trade: D Jyrki Jokipakka, F Brett Pollock, Conditional 2016 2nd Round Pick
The Dallas Stars are looking to make the playoffs and making a trade for Kris Russell will really solidify their defense. Even though the Stars are great in scoring, their defense is something to be desired. Picking up Russell will definitely benefit the Stars because he blocks shots and seems to like it as well. This was a savvy decision by Dallas GM Jim Nill.
The Calgary Flames knew that they were not going to resign Kris Russell. Thus, he became an expendable asset to bolster the future Flames. Jyrki Jokipakka has strength, is young, and can move the puck out of the zone. Brett Pollock was a 2nd round draft pick for the Stars in 2014 and helped the Edmonton Oil Kings to win the Memorial Cup. He can definitely put the puck in the net. The Flames also pick up a conditional 2016 2nd Round Draft Pick, which becomes a 1st rounder if the Stars make it to the conference finals. Not a bad trade at all.
3. New Jersey Devils – Boston Bruins. Winners: Tie
New Jersey Devils Trade: F Lee Stempniak
Boston Bruins Trade: 2017 2nd Round Pick and a 2016 4th Round Pick
Lee Stempniak is having a really good year scoring wise for the New Jersey Devils (41 points in 63 games). Even though the Devils are fighting for their playoff lives, the chance to receive a 2nd round pick and a 4th round pick from the Bruins was too enticing.
It is clear that the Boston Bruins are trying to win now. Their core players are getting older and by picking up Stempniak, the Bruins are showing their interest in the playoffs. The Bruins have 2 1st round picks this coming draft and that is why the 2nd round pick was expendable. Stempniak brings hustle and grit to an already strong lineup. Could be the team to watch out.
2. Chicago Blackhawks – Winnipeg Jets. Winners: Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks Trade: F Marko Dano, a 2016 1st Round Pick, and a 2018 Conditional 3rd Round Draft Pick
Winnipeg Jets Trade: F Andrew Ladd, D Jay Harrison, F Matt Fraser
The Chicago Blackhawks definitely made a splash this trade deadline. By picking up a 30 year old Andrew Ladd, at his prime, the Blackhawks are definitely attacking and pushing for the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks will finally be able to have a strong body playing together with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa on the 1st line. Ladd plays a strong two-way game, can score, and is a big body in front of the net. Matt Fraser and Jay Harrison round up the trade and are good depth players that will eat up some valuable minutes.
The Winnipeg Jets receive an extremely talented player in Marko Dano. Dano has a great shot and is an elusive skater. He can play either wing or center, but does not have a big frame (5-11). In today’s NHL though, his size might not be a detriment. Receiving a low 1st Round Pick and a conditional 3rd Round Pick is a good thing for sure.
1. New York Rangers – Carolina Hurricanes. Winners: New York Rangers
New York Rangers Trade: F Aleksi Saarela, a 2016 2nd Round Draft Pick, and a 2017 2nd Round Draft Pick
Carolina Hurricanes Trade: F Eric Staal
The blockbuster trade for sure has to be the New York Rangers receiving Eric Staal for Aleksi Saarela and two 2nd Round Draft Picks. After 12 seasons, Eric Staal is leaving the Carolina Hurricanes. The 31-year-old Staal waived his full no-movement/no-trade clause to join the Rangers. He was definitely the best player out there at the Trade Deadline. Eric Staal helped the Carolina Hurricanes with the Stanley Cup in 2006. “Eric has been the face of this franchise for a long time, and we thank him for his dedication, leadership and many contributions on and off the ice over the years,” Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said in a statement released by the team. Staal is the team’s all-time leader during its North Carolina history in games played, goals, assists, and points. Eric Staal is going to help the Rangers’ center depth and will provide a strong two-way presence. The power play unit will be dynamite with joining Rick Nash.
The Hurricanes receive Aleksi Saarela who is a dangerous offensive threat. Saarela possesses good hockey sense and is a speedy skater. Saarela is a player who dominated the world juniors and is a guy who has all the tools to be a really special player. The Helsinki native won a gold medal in January at the world junior hockey championship in Finland, recording four goals and seven points in as many games. The draft picks will probably be late ones based on the fact that the Rangers are a strong team. The New York Rangers have built a legitimate Stanley Cup contender with this trade. Time will tell if the potential will meet with reality. This will be one interesting team to watch.