Assessing the Notable Deals of 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Day

by | Feb 26, 2018 | Rumors, Soapbox | 26 comments

New York Rangers deal defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Tampa Bay Lightning made the biggest move of the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline by acquiring Ryan McDonagh from the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images)

The biggest move of the trade deadline, as Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman passed on the whopping great asking price for Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson in exchange for the more affordable McDonagh. Signed through 2018-19, he should make a solid addition to the Bolts blueline for two playoff runs. Getting Miller, a versatile two-way forward who can play center or wing, was another good pick-up by Yzerman. Best of all, the Tampa Bay GM only gave up one roster player in Vladislav Namestnikov without touching prized young assets such as Brayden Point or Mikhail Sergachev The Lightning were already considered the favorite to win the Stanley Cup this season. This deal could help them clinch it.

The Rangers, meanwhile, add two promising prospects in forward Brett Howden and defenseman Libor Hajek, along with a first-rounder and a conditional second-rounder next year in this year’s draft. As per Cap Friendly, they now hold three first-round picks, two seconds and two third-rounders in this year’s draft. Not a bad base to work with for a rebuilding club. They could retain some of those picks and perhaps use the others as trade chips heading into the 2018 NHL Draft, perhaps for good young NHL talent.

Winnipeg Jets acquire center Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues.

The first “Wow!” moment of this year’s deadline day and a big addition for the Jets. No one saw this coming, as Stastny wasn’t mentioned in any trade chatter leading up to deadline day. Stastny (when healthy) should be a good fit as their second-line center. Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff did a fine job adding a talented veteran playmaker, improving his club’s chances for a lengthy playoff run this spring.

As for the Blues, they’ve tumbled down the standings and began deadline day sitting one point out of a wild-card berth. Without bringing in anyone to offset Stastny’s departure, this move won’t help them climb back. Yes, they get a 2018 first-round pick along with prospect winger Erik Foley, but it does nothing to overcome their current offensive woes.

Detroit Red Wings ship winger Tomas Tatar to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Definitely mixed reactions on Twitter over his move. Golden Knights fans don’t mind the addition of an established, speedy 20-goal scorer like Tatar, but they’re not happy with GM George McPhee giving up a three draft picks (a first, a second and a third) to get him. Still, he should fit well into the Jackets’ up-tempo style. He’s also signed through 2020-21 with a $5.3-million annual cap hit, suggesting perhaps he’s a potential replacement for a pending UFA such as James Neal or David Perron.

While Red Wings GM Ken Holland was unable to move pending free agent defenseman Mike Green, he got a nice return for Tatar. The Wings now have two picks in each of the first four rounds in this year’s draft. Some of those selections might get used as bargaining chips for established young players heading into the 2018 NHL Draft.

Buffalo Sabres deal left wing Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks.

A surprising move, as Sharks GM Doug Wilson had insisted he wouldn’t move any first-round picks or prospects for a rental player. Unless Wilson intends to re-sign Kane, who’s an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, he’s done the opposite of what he said he wouldn’t do. The Sharks need additional scoring and Kane can provide that, though he’s lacking NHL playoff experience. Still, if he can rise to the occasion he could be at least a good short-term pickup for San Jose.

The Sabres, meanwhile, get a young forward in Daniel O’Regan, who played with Sabres forwards Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues at Boston University. They also get a first-round pick in next year’s draft (provided Kane re-signs with the Sharks; it’s a second-rounder if not) and a fourth in 2020. Hardly the big return the Sabres originally sought.

Edmonton Oilers ship left wing Patrick Maroon to the New Jersey Devils.

Leading up to the deadline there was some expectation Maroon might fetch the Oilers a second-round pick or maybe a low first rounder. Instead, they get a third-round selection and a college prospect in J.D. Dudek. Oilers fans won’t be doing handsprings over that return.

Jockeying for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, the Devils further bolstered their lineup after adding winger Michael Grabner last week. Maroon lacks Grabner’s speed but his big frame and decent scoring touch should be a welcome addition to their offense, especially on the power play.

Columbus Blue Jackets acquire winger Thomas Vanek from the Vancouver Canucks.

The much-traveled Vanek lands with yet another team at the trade deadline. The Blue Jackets are in a dogfight for a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. Sitting near the bottom of the league in scoring, especially with the man advantage, they’ve brought in Vanek in hopes he’ll help them improve those numbers.

In return, the Canucks received forwards Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen. Motte, 22, has struggled to establish himself as an NHL player. Jokinen, meanwhile, is on his fourth team this season and coming to the end of his career. Unless Motte blossoms in Vancouver, this move won’t silence the critics of Canucks GM Jim Benning.

Chicago Blackhawks ship forward Ryan Hartman to the Nashville Predators.

A nice little move by the Predators, adding an agitating two-way, third-line winger in the 23-year-old Hartman. He can also skate at center if needed. Flirted with 20 goals last season and might reach that total down the road. He’s a good pickup for Nashville now and over the long term.

The retooling Blackhawks, meanwhile, got a first-round pick in 2018 and prospect Victor Ejdsell as part of the return. That could become a very high pick if the Preds should go all the way to the Stanley Cup Final this spring.



  1. That is a pretty good breakdown for most of the trades… Would be interesting if did a winners/losers type thing. I’m glad I wasn’t the only person who was “wow” when Jets got Stastny. I wasn’t shocked so much in he was traded in a way compared to Winnipeg getting him :). Blues I guess decided to throw in the towel figuring they wont get far even if make playoffs. They started pretty well it was looking great then I guess Nashville made that trade teams like Wild/Stars climbed up standings.

    Vegas is my second favorite team… I’m not happy about them giving up what they did for Tatar… Nor am I really optimistic about him doing well or living up to that contract. I’ll be sad if they lose some players to other teams who are doing well… Though I don’t think Neal, Perron or some others will get as much money or interest from other teams as they think. Let some test the market or see if the grass is greener who will always be welcomed back :).

    Devils I have to give lots of credit for getting nice value trades. I didn’t expect them to be in the playoffs or in 1st for long as they were. I’m mad that some other teams didn’t get Maroon, Vanek or some of these others who were gotten at pretty low costs…

    Sharks I was pretty sure would get Kane since Ducks seemed to be getting players 35 to 40 :). He ended up going for about what I expected his value had slumped to. I hope King Karl leaves Senators without them getting anything for him. Being too greedy should only get people shafted. I’m a bit let down a few people expected to get traded were not. Though real happy for Winnipeg Jets, would be great to see them win Cup. Canada might not be able to get Gold being inferior to Germany along with Russia… Yet Jets deserve to finally get a Cup if count the time prior to Atlanta moving there :). Until Coyotes give up the JEts history to them they will never win anything cursed by The Finnish Flash along with Bob Essensa the Shut Out King :).

    • Maybe the new Jets should have adopted the thrasher thing? They haven’t exactly been blessed with winning anything?

      • This fake JEts franchise at least has as many Division Titles as the LA Kings :). Who only won once, not until the Silver & Black era :). I don’t like the logo as much as the Original JEts. I like how Chris Jericho uses that in some merchandise though. I do have a tie dye Winnipeg Jets t-shirt but its bad luck so don’t wear it much. Coyotes can have the Thrashers history if they give up the Winnipeg Jets for it :). I used to love those teams in the video game too winning Cup w/ myself or friend.

        Jets used to have a real issue w/ traveling more than any NHL team… So since moving from the East to the West that has helped them vastly. Nobody wants to play there which makes it harder to lure or keep players. They had some real bad goalies w/ Pavelec among others failing. I thought this year they would be better since they seemed more secure in net. They got some real nice players, though that former Chicago guy has been real fat at times. Central Division has had some really good teams like Chicago’s Cup Winning ones… Nashville losing in Cup, Blues were solid franchise until recently. I think Detroit moved to the East before they were in it… Avalanche won under Roy, Dallas Stars had some stacked teams even Minnesota Wild. Jets would have been better off in the weak Pacific where even Expansion Vegas won it in first year :).

      • The travel thing lasted a year or 2? Hardly an excuse for years of crap!

      • In all seriousness the Jets could be dangerous this year! Although every ounce of me does not want to see them on the finals this year.

  2. Disappointed pens don’t get another d. The West didn’t do all that much?

    • That 3rd pairing combined with Murray being hurt, is no beuno!

      Not sure how hurt Murray is?

      • Honestly… and I’ll come off mg and deeee his momer here… I don’t care. Jarry and de smith have been fine. Murray remains inconsistent. This team is it’s offence.

      • Wow. That was the worst cell phone correct ever. Yuck.

      • I have no idea what you are trying to say but Murray is fine. It was precautionary because he took a Maatta slapper to the side of the head. Murray is 9-1-1 since he got back from his leave of absence with a .925 spct. He is not “inconsistent” he is a young kid, dealing with the illness and death of his father while trying to figure out how to be the number one goalie in the best league in the world. Nice compassion though. And the Pens d 1-5 is pretty solid so they are not just offense. Jarry got destroyed his last game. Not that I am down on him but you have a clear and obvious prejudice against Murray that you need to get over because he is going to be the guy for a long time.

      • Murray is fine.

      • compassion has nothing to do with it. the reason for his inconsistency is irrelevant… the fact is he is inconsistent. 2.82 and .909 spells it out in black and white. I feel wuite bad for the guy… young to losde your father… I positively got misty eyed when I read about Staal and his child. That touched home real bad as I have a new infant daughter.

  3. So that was trade deadline day.

    I’m a confused Senator fan. I was thinking for sure some guys would get dealt but not much happened. Should I be mad, happy, what should I feel.

    Through out the day I was kinda upset the Sens couldnt put together any substantia deal. They lost Oduya to waivers got a 3rd rounder in 2020 and an AHL player for Cole. The pundits had me expecting a 2nd rounder this summer. Shore got moved. Yet nothing of substance was moved.

    Then Dorion’s press conference gave me hope again. Hope the Sens arnt going full fledged rebuild and want some hockey trades. Some solid players in return for what we move out. With colorado having our pick in 2019 I don’t want to do a blow it up tank job. But still nothing substantial lost, nothing gained. Talk of youth coming in and stepping up. A move I never liked. Instead of youth pushing out older forwards because they played better the tactic is to move out older players to make room for youth who may beable to play steady at the NHL level.

    Hmmm….hope and apathy all rolled up in a neat presentation

    • How do you feel about the Brassard trade?

      • I’m ok with it. But frustrated with Dorion. He seems to be moving out all they guys he brought in.

        My team sucks pretty hard so taking a chance on a promising goalie when we need one isnt a bad choice to attempt.

        Yet I hate taking young goalies. They tend to take till there mid 20s to finnally grab a starter spot. This one is only 19. That is along time to wait. Of coarse there are exceptions. They normally have exceptional talent. So one can hope.

        Yet its all hope. But the Sens fan base needs hope. Too much apathy.

  4. It was nice to hear Dorion say he never actively shopped karlsson. He only listened when others phoned with offers.

    Perhaps the scism in Ottawa between the captain and managment iant as bad as it seems.

    Other teams need to.feel karlsson may stay in Ottawa if Doeion wants to get their beat offers.

    • Cause we should believe him… why?

    • No reason, but his smirk while he said it came across as a pretty honest reaction.when one lies body language gives the lie away not the words. Watch Trump. Crosses his arms, puts his nose up and stands as if awaiting a challenge to his statement.

      Doruon smiled shook his head and laughed at the notion. He seemed to think it was quite funny we all thought that and enjoyed popping the bubble. He leaned forward in his chair went completely casual with the remark.

      I beleived him but there isn’t any reason anyone should have to.

      All that needs to be done is to have a seed planted that Karlsson isnt 100% certain to be leaving the Sens. So when negotiating the trade Dorion can play his hand stronger. Teams can take the gamble on getting him at free agency when it happens if they don’t like Dorion’s price or maybe having a chance at free agency.

      Part of the problem with Dorion getting the proper return is if teams think he is handcuffed and must get something, anything in return before losing him.

  5. Lovin what the rangers did, long Tim win the making. Think they might have been ble to squeeze Tampa for a bit more but all in all a pretty good catch. Kudos to Gordon

  6. Anybody else miss the excitement of a 20-30 trade deadline day? Remember when that used to be a thing?

    Thank you cost certainty/cap.

    • I dont miss the stupid over inflated deadline day where it was just Detroit and New york throwing loads of $$$ (pre-cap era) setting a feeding freny for the rest of the league just on that day

  7. Namestinkov has inflated stats from starting the season with Kucherov+Stamkos. I hope he can continue his production on the Rangers without either of them

    Miller had only 7 of his 56 pts on the powerplay last year.
    Tampa could be his coming out party

    • I’m shocked Miller was traded. I think if Namestikov can play 3rd line center (for now) he’ll be a good addition. This is an area NY is hurting. And I have zero desire to see Andersson or Chytl rushed into the NHL. Barring a miracle, it’s going to be a couple of ugly years in NY. Then again a full rip down rebuild isn’t supposed to be pretty.

      This is going to sound strange from a fan, but I do not want them even sniffing success or playoffs in the next year or two.

      All that said, I like AV, but I don’t know that he is the guy to lead a rebuild. Next moves should be fire him, trade Shattenkirk and Zuccarello.

      How in the hell did Deharnais survive yesterday? They couldn’t find anyone looking for a depth 3-4 center?

      • I agree with not moving Chytil and Andersson up this season.
        Miller I saw potentially as the next captain.

        Its an odd team because it is still good enough to be just out of the playoffs and just good enough to not finish at the bottom of the league. Aka no way to get gamebreakers @ the draft without some luck.
        Pitts, Chicago , LA all made their way with top 3 picks(Kopitar was some luck @11th).

      • Here’s the answer for a re-build: win the draft lottery.

  8. Jets lose in the finals to the Lightning! Just another lost Cup for a Canadian based franchise! Hope I’m wrong.