Analysis of Notable NHL Trade Deadline Day Deals
The NHL’s 2017 Trade Deadline is history and boy, was it ever a dud. Notables stars such as Kevin Shattenkirk and Ben Bishop were dealt before deadline day, leaving little available talent in the trade market. Anyway, here’s my take on the day’s few noteworthy deals.
The Philadelphia Flyers trade defenseman Mark Streit to the Tampa Bay Lightning for center Valtteri Filppula and two picks in the 2017 NHL draft. The Lightning then flip Streit to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a fourth rounder in 2018.
Analysis: A rare three-way deal that sees Streit go from the Flyers to their long-time rival in Pittsburgh via Tampa Bay. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman deserves a round of applause for his creativity. He cleared Filppula’s $5 million cap hit from his books for next season, giving his club more cap space to re-sign young forwards such as Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat. They also rid themselves of Filppula’s no-movement clause, allowing them to protect a younger player in the expansion draft.
The Penguins win as well, adding an experienced puck-mover blueliner to their banged-up defense corps. As for the Flyers, Filppula could help take some pressure off center and team captain Claude Giroux in Philadelphia. He’s got another year remaining on his contract, but it remains to be seen if he’ll still be with the Flyers after this season. They could leave him exposed in the expansion draft if his no-movement clause is voided by accepting a trade to Philadelphia.
The Detroit Red Wings trade left wing Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Dylan McIlrath and a conditional third-round pick in 2017. The Wings also pick up half of Vanek’s $2.6 million cap hit.
Analysis: Panthers GM Dale Tallon sought a scoring forward to bolster his club’s sagging power play. Vanek, 33, enjoyed a bounce-back performance with the Wings this season, netting 38 points in 48 games, with 11 of those coming with the man advantage. Despite Vanek’s improvement, he still has a reputation for inconsistency and soft play in tough games. If he can help the Panthers clinch a playoff berth, anything after that is gravy.
The Colorado Avalanche trade right winger Jarome Iginla to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2018.
Analysis: The Kings are among the league’s lowest-scoring clubs and could’ve used a scorer with more speed. Had this move taken place a year or two ago, when Iginla was still an effective scoring winger, it would’ve garnered more hype. Instead, this is seen almost as a pity move, as a once-great star gets his last chance to chase that elusive Stanley Cup championship. Kings coach Darryl Sutter coached Iginla during his glory years with the Calgary Flames. Maybe Sutter can help Iggy regain some of his offensive spark. Otherwise, this deal does nothing to help the Kings reach the postseason.
The New Jersey Devils trade P-A Parenteau to the Nashville Predators for a sixth-round pick in 2017.
Analysis: The Predators were in the market for a top-nine forward. Parenteau put up decent numbers this season with the Devils (13 goals, 27 points in 59 games). If he adjusts quickly with his new club, he could provide a nice offensive boost for the Preds down the stretch and into the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Kings trade forward Dwight King to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018.
Analysis: The Habs need a scoring center but such commodities are rare and costly. GM Marc Bergevin opted instead to give his struggling roster more size, grit and character. Leading up to the deadline, Bergevin also acquired defenseman Brandon Davidson from the Edmonton Oilers, blueliner Jordie Benn from the Dallas Stars and forwards Steve Ott from the Detroit Red Wings and Andreas Martinsen from the Colorado Avalanche. While the Habs will be bigger and tougher down the stretch, it remains to be seen if they’ll be any better.
Ottawa Senators trade Curtis Lazar and minor league defenseman Mike Kostka to the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka and a second-round draft pick.
Analysis: Lazar, a former first-round pick (17th overall in 2013), struggled through three seasons with the Senators. He gets a chance at a fresh start with the rebuilding Flames, where he could be a good fit among young forwards such as Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett.