NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 26, 2018

NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 26, 2018

Today’s trades involving NHL players will be compiled here. Analysis of the notable deals will follow following the 3 pm ET trade deadline the Soapbox.

The New York Rangers have dealt defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Vladislav Namestnikov, prospects Libor Hajek andBrett Howden, 2018 1st round pick and a conditional second round pick.

Edmonton Oilers trade left wing Patrick Maroon to the New Jersey Devils for a third-round pick and college prospect forward J.D. Dudek.

The Detroit Red Wings traded winger Tomas Tatar to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a first-round pick in 2018, a second in 2019 and a third in 2021

The Vancouver Canucks have dealt winger Thomas Vanek to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen.

The Buffalo Sabres have traded left wing Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks for “a conditional first-round pick in 2019, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020 and center Daniel O’Regan. 

The St. Louis Blues trade center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets “in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, forward Erik Foley and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.” The Blues also retain half of Stastny’s $7 million cap hit. 

The Chicago Blackhawks trade forward Ryan Hartman and a fifth round pick in 2018 to the Nashville Predators for prospect forward Victor Edjsell plus the Predators first- and fourth-round picks in 2018.

The Ottawa Senators trade defenseman Ian Cole to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a third-round pick in 2020 and minor league right wing Nick Moutrey.

The Montreal Canadiens acquire defenseman Mike Reilly from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019 (previously acquired from Washington).  Canadiens trade defenseman Joe Morrow to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2018.

The New York Islanders trade forward Jason Chimera to the Anaheim Ducks for center Chris Wagner.

The Calgary Flames acquire forward Nick Shore from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2019. 

The Boston Bruins acquired forward Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2019.

The Vancouver Canucks trade minor league defenseman Philip Holm to the Vegas Golden Knight for forward Brendan Leipsic.

The Carolina Hurricanes trade forward Josh Jooris to the Pittsburgh Penguins for minor-league forward Greg McKegg.


The Thrill is Gone from the NHL Trade Deadline

The Thrill is Gone from the NHL Trade Deadline

Fading star Jarome Iginla was among the few notable players on the move during the NHL’s 2017 trade deadline day.

The NHL trade deadline day used to be an exciting day for NHL fans. Even the slowest deadline gave us the possibility of a star player changing teams. Playoff races and even Cup contenders could be decided by these deals.

But in recent years, deadline day has become a bust. This year’s best trade was a rare three-way deal involving the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.  The Lightning shipped center Valtteri Filppula to the Flyers for defenseman Mark Streit, then flipped Streit to the Penguins for a draft pick.

It was a creative way for the Lightning to shed Filppula’s bothersome contract. The move freed up $5 million in cap space for next season to put toward re-signing restricted free agents such as Tyler Johnson, Jonathan Drouin and Ondrej Palat. The Bolts also rid themselves of Filppula’s no-movement clause, which would’ve forced them to protect him in June’s expansion draft at the expense of exposing another player.

A slick move by Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, but hardly the sort of pulse-quickening deal fans expect at the trade deadline.

The few notable players available in this year’s trade market – defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and goaltender Ben Bishop – were dealt days before the deadline. By the big day, fading stars such as Jarome Iginla and Thomas Vanek were the only noteworthy names on the move.

It’s not unusual for talented players to be dealt leading up to deadline day. In the past, however, that day would dawn with still a couple of notable stars still up for grabs. Where they would go and how much teams would pony up to get them provided plenty of buzz for pundits and fans as the 3 pm ET deadline drew near.

That trend has changed in recent years. Nowadays, the few stars available are usually gone well before deadline day.

Parity among the teams contending for playoff berths is one factor affecting deals at the deadline. The expansion draft in June certainly affected this year’s trade market. 

The biggest impediment remains the salary cap. Since its imposition in 2005, the cap has made it increasingly difficult to swing substantial deals on deadline day involving star players.

At first, the cap appeared to have little impact upon the trade market on deadline day. Mark Recchi moved from Pittsburgh to Carolina in 2006, Ryan Smyth from Edmonton to the NY Islanders in 2007, Marian Hossa from Atlanta to Pittsburgh and Brad Richards from Tampa Bay to Dallas in 2008, Olli Jokinen and Justin Williams in 2009 and Lubomir Visnovsky in 2010.

But things were starting to change by the dawn of this decade. In 2011 and 2012, the notables moved on deadline day were declining stars (Jason Arnott, Sergei Samsonov, Fredrik Modin) or second-tier talent (Dustin Penner).

Deadline day business improved in the two years following following the 2012-13 lookout. One reason was a new collective bargaining agreement containing a provision allowing teams to absorb part of a player’s salary in a trade. 

On deadline day 2013, Marian Gaborik was traded from the New York Rangers to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Meanwhile, Jason Pominville was traded from Buffalo to Minnesota and goaltender Steve Mason was moved from Columbus to Philadelphia.

Gaborik was on the move again at the 2014 deadline, shipped from Columbus to the LA Kings. That date also saw the Tampa Bay Lightning ship Martin St. Louis to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan, while Thomas Vanek moved from the Islanders to Montreal.

But since 2015,  the deadline-day market was again limited to past-their-prime pending free agents and second-tier players. The notables moved at the 2015 and 2016 deadlines included Kris Russell, Mikkel Boedker, Alex Tanguay, Patrick Maroon, Niklas Backstrom, Jeff Petry, Braydon Coburn, Marek Zidlicky and Chris Stewart.

One reason is the marginal increases in the salary cap since the summer of 2014 left teams with little wiggle room to made deadline swaps involving stars carrying significant salary. General managers now look toward the offseason, when they have more salary-cap space, to make big trades involving star talent.

It’s been suggested general managers are also getting smarter, that they’re becoming increasingly wary of giving up assets on playoff rental players. That may be, but if they had more cap space to work with at the deadline, or no payroll limits as in the pre-cap days, it’s doubtful many would show the restraint they’re being lauded for now.

General managers could also be growing leery of making bad deals that fail to pan out. During TSN’s coverage of this year’s trade deadline, host James Duthie posited the decline in the movement of star on deadline day could be traced back to the Ryan Smyth trade at the 2007 deadline.

At that time Smyth was eligible later that year for unrestricted free agency. Leading up to the 2007 deadline, he was involved in intense contract negotiations with the Oilers. Neither side budged, resulting in his trade to the Islanders. It was a move all sides regretted. 

While subsequent deadline day moves involving Hossa, Gaborik, Callahan and Vanek were also the result of breakdowns in contract negotiations, they’re occurring less frequently. In recent years, notables such as Kevin Shattenkirk this season, as well as Eric Staal and Andrew Ladd last year, were moved before deadline day.

The GMs involved in those moves evidently felt they wouldn’t get better offers by waiting an extra day or two. Perhaps they also wanted to avoid the brinkmanship that can lead to a regrettable move.

Failing to find better offers for a player in the final hours leading up to the deadline can sometimes blow up in a GM’s face. The Vanek trade in 2014 is a prime example.

New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow thought he could squeeze a few teams seeking a scoring forward into ponying up a significant return for Vanek. But when those clubs turned elsewhere, Snow was forced to ship the winger to Montreal for a marginal return.

Because of these factors, general managers no longer look at the NHL trade deadline with the same urgency as they once did. With fewer stars on the move, that means less excitement for hockey fans and pundits on trade deadline day.

It’s a trend that appears unlikely to change over the remainder of this collective bargaining agreement.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 27, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scores against the St. Louis Blues.

Game recaps, a statistical oddity for Alex Ovechkin, waiver update and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and an assist and Artem Anisimov tallied the game winner as the Chicago Blackhawks doubled up the St. Louis Blues 4-2. The Blues had overcome a 2-0 deficit to tie the game until Anisimov’s winning goal in the third period. 

Both Alex Wennberg and Cam Atkinson netted two goals to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers. It was the Jackets’ fourth win in their last five games. 

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each had three-point performances to lead the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Jiri Hudler, Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg both collected two points for the Stars. 

Craig Anderson made 37 saves while Zack Smith and Kyle Turris scored to give the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers. 

Johnny Gaudreau scored twice and set up another as the Calgary Flames beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. The Flames completed their road trip with a 4-0-1 record. 

Filip Forsberg tallied his eighth goal in the last four games, James Neal collected three assists and Viktor Arvidson potted the game winner as the Nashville Predators edged the Edmonton Oilers 5-4. Connor McDavid scored a goal and added an assist for the Oilers. 

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was held shotless in three games this month. He had gone 315 consecutive games with at least one shot on goal per game. He’s only been held shotless nine times in his career. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Erik Karlsson had an amusing encounter with a gator during a recent golf game in Florida. 

CSNPHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning faces a disciplinary hearing for his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel.

NBC SPORTS: The Minnesota Wild placed three players (Teemu Pulkkinen, Ryan Carter and Zac Dalpe) on waivers. The Florida Panthers also placed Greg McKegg on waivers. 

ESPN.COM: Former Buffalo Sabres enforcer Andrew Peters has been suspended as a youth hockey coach pending a Buffalo police investigation into his role in a recent on-ice brawl. 

SPORTSNET: Gare Joyce looks behind the scenes at the NHL trade deadline.


NHL Rumor Mill – October 8, 2016

NHL Rumor Mill – October 8, 2016

Is Jacob Trouba trying to "push around" Winnipeg Jets management with his trade request?

Is Jacob Trouba trying to “push around” Winnipeg Jets management with his trade request?

Latest on Jacob Trouba, Vladimir Sobotka, the Boston Bruins and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

SPORTSNET:  Mark Spector believes the Winnipeg Jets can’t afford to let restricted free agent defenseman Jacob Trouba push them around, feeling it would set a bad precedent that could allow other players to follow his example. Trouba recently made a trade request on the basis of his preference to play top-four minutes on the right side of the Jets blueline.

Spector suggest Trouba’s preference could make it difficult for the Jets to find a club willing to take on a player “who is going to quit as soon there is an imbalance of right- to left-shot defencemen.” He also doubts the Jets will get a fair return for Trouba before the Dec. 1 deadline to re-sign him and the blueliner’s agent knows this.

Spector goes on to suggest that moving Trouba could further hurt Winnipeg as a preferred destination for NHL players.  Spector predicts the Jets “will not trade Trouba before Dec. 1, and the player will sign a one-year deal under the provision that (Jets GM Kevin) Cheveldayoff seeks a trade. It’s a lose-lose, because now neither side is invested in each other.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the other hand, is it really worthwhile to a player on the roster who really doesn’t want to be there? Why re-sign a potential dressing-room cancer? Why keep a player who could set a bad example for the other young players on the roster? Signing Trouba to a one-year contract only ensures this issue becomes an unnecessary distraction for him, management and the other Jets players.  

Even if Cheveldayoff can’t find a suitable return by Dec.1, he could force Trouba to sit out the season and wait until next summer for a better deal. As for the opinion that some players don’t want to be in Winnipeg, the recent re-signings of Dustin Byfuglien, Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault punches holes in that theory.

CSNNE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty was asked if the Boston Bruins giving defenseman Christian Ehrhoff a professional tryout means they’re not in on Jacob Trouba. He believes it’s a sign the Bruins will use every available outlet to improve their blueline. When asked if the Bruins might pursue a right-handed shot such as David Savard of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Haggerty believes they could pursue a bigger name than Savard, though he doesn’t fully rule out that possibility. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Ehrhoff plays well for the Bruins on his PTO, I believe they’ll sign him to an affordable one-year deal. Even then, I think they’ll monitor the Trouba situation. Given the lack of experienced depth on the Blue Jackets blueline, I don’t see them moving Savard. 

ESPN.COM’S Pierre LeBrun reports the following on Twitter regarding Vladimir Sobotka: “Yakupov deal doesn’t necessarily close the door on Sobotka returning to Blues from KHL but reality is, Blues not counting on that return.”

NBC SPORTS: Jame’s O’Brien cites TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reporting the NHL’s 2016-17 trade deadline will be held on March 1, 2017. That conflicts with earlier wording claiming the deadline would be Feb. 28. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lavoie is a reliable source. If he says the deadline is March 1, I take him at his word. 

Do Trade Deadline Deals Aid Stanley Cup Contenders?

It’s widely-accepted around the NHL that a playoff contender can improve its chances of advancing the Stanley Cup Final by acquiring talent at the trade deadline. There’s several notable examples where such moves have achieved this goal.

Butch Goring become the first notable trade-deadline acquisition to help a team win the Stanley Cup.

Butch Goring become the first notable trade-deadline acquisition to help a team win the Stanley Cup.

The first is the New York Islanders acquiring underrated two-way forward Butch Goring in 1980 from the Los Angeles Kings. Goring helped the Isles achieve a dynasty of four straight Cup championships, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1981. That trade didn’t actually occur on deadline day, which was March 11 that year, but the day prior. Still it’s considered a notable trade deadline acquisition.

Another is the Pittsburgh Penguins picking up Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelsson at the 1991 deadline. The duo helped the Penguins win the Cup that year and again in 1992. Like the Goring trade, this deal actually took place one day ahead of the deadline, which that year was March 5.

The Colorado Avalanche’s acquisition of Ray Bourque from the Boston Bruins in 2000 is often cited among these examples. However, Bourque wasn’t acquired at the deadline, but over a week earlier (March 6) than the March 14 deadline. The Avalanche didn’t reach the Cup Final that year, but he did play a key role in their championship  run the following season.

Three recent examples of deadline deals helping teams reach the Final include the Pittsburgh Penguins dealing for Marian Hossa in 2008, plus the Los Angeles Kings trading for Marian Gaborik in 2014 and the New York Rangers’ acquisition of Martin St. Louis in the same year.

Sometimes acquisitions can have more far-reaching effects, like the Tampa Bay Lightning acquiring first- and third-round picks in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Those picks became Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards, who helped carry the Lightning to the Stanley Cup title in 2004.

Yet when one thinks of trade deadline deals, it’s the immediate impact upon a team’s chances to win the Cup that year.

Using NHLTradeTracker.com, I examined the notable deals made since the introduction of the trade deadline in 1979-80 to see how many deals made on – or immediately prior to – deadline day actually played a significant role in helping a team at least reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Despite the Goring deal in 1980, it took some time before playoff contenders made serious moves at the trade deadline to bolster their rosters.

It was six years following the Goring trade before another team made a deadline move which helped them reach the Cup Final. That was the 1986 Calgary Flames, acquiring John Tonelli from the New York Islanders. Tonnelli tallied 16 points in 22 games during the ’86 playoffs.

In 1988, the Boston Bruins shipped Geoff Courtnall and Bill Ranford to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Andy Moog. Backstopped by Moog, the Bruins reached the ’88 Stanley Cup Final, where they fell in four straight games to the Oilers. Two years later, the two clubs would meet again, with Moog and Ranford the starting goalies as the Oilers defeated the Bruins in five games.

Three years passed before another notable deadline trade took place. That was the Penguins acquisitions of Francis and Samuelsson in 1991 noted earlier in this piece.

In 1994 the Vancouver Canucks dealt Craig Janney to the St. Louis Blues for depth players Jeff Brown, Bret Hedican and Nathan Lafayette. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers shipped Tony Amonte to the Chicago Blackhawks for depth players Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan. They also traded Mike Gartner to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Glenn Anderson, and dealt Todd Marchant to Edmonton for Craig MacTavish. These deals played significant roles in the Canucks and Rangers reaching the Stanley Cup Final, in which the Rangers emerged triumphant in seven games.

By this point, there was a significant increase in trade activity near the trade deadline as playoff contenders began making last-minute tweaks to their lineups.

In 1996 the Detroit Red Wings dealt defenseman Dan McGillis to the Edmonton Oilers for checking forward Kirk Maltby. Though he didn’t help the Wings to a championship that year, he would go on to become part of four championship teams in Detroit.

Deadline acquisition Larry Murphy helped the Red Wings win two Stanley Cups.

Deadline acquisition Larry Murphy helped the Red Wings win two Stanley Cups.

The following year saw the Red Wings make one of the biggest steals in trade deadline history, acquiring supposedly washed-up veteran defenseman Larry Murphy from the Toronto Maple Leafs for future considerations. Murphy helped the Wings win back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998.

The Red Wings acquired another all-star defenseman in 1999, prying Chris Chelios out of Chicago. While it didn’t pay immediate dividends, Chelios would eventually go on to win two championships with the Wings in 2002 and 2008.

It was around this time that a growing number of deadline trades involved non-playoff clubs shipping potential free agents to playoff contenders for draft picks while fewer actual hockey trades (player-for-player) took place. It’s a trend which continues to this day.

In 2000, the New Jersey Devils shipped Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson to the Vancouver Canucks for winger Alexander Mogilny. Thanks in part to Mogilny’s 16 points in 25 playoff games, the Devils skated to their second Stanley Cup title.

Two years later, the New Jersey Devils shipped Jason Arnott, Randy McKay and a draft pick to the Dallas Stars for forwards Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner. While the deal didn’t help the Devils win the Cup that year, it played a significant role in their championship run the following season.

The Anaheim then-Mighty Ducks made a couple of depth acquisitions at the 2003 deadline in forwards Rob Niedermayer and Steve Thomas. They helped the Ducks reach the ’03 Cup Final.

In 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Mark Recchi from the Pittsburgh Penguins, while the Edmonton Oilers made a deal with the Boston Bruins for Sergei Samsonov. Both players helped their respective new clubs reach the Cup Final that year, with the Hurricanes emerging victorious.

The Pittsburgh Penguins made the biggest splash of the 2008 deadline by acquiring Marian Hossa from the Atlanta Thrashers, who as noted earlier in this piece helped them reach the Stanley Cup Final. They also acquired Pascal Dupuis in that trade, who not only helped the Penguins reach the Final that year but also win the Cup in 2009. He remains with the Pens to this day.

During the ’08 deadline, the Detroit Red Wings shipped a draft pick to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Brad Stuart. He helped the Wings win the Cup in 2008 and return to the Final in 2009.

The Penguins were at it again in 2009, acquiring Bill Guerin and Craig Adams. This duo helped the Penguins win the Cup in their Final rematch later that spring with the Red Wings.

Jeff Carter helped the Kings win two championships in three years.

Jeff Carter helped the Los Angeles Kings win two championships in three years.

Four days before the 2012 deadline, the Los Angeles Kings shipped defenseman Jack Johnson to Columbus for forward Jeff Carter, who not only played a key role in their Cup championship that year, but also in their second title run in 2014. He remains one of the Kings top players. Three days before that same deadline, the New Jersey Devils acquire defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the Minnesota Wild, who played a part in their run to the 2012 Cup Final.

At the 2013 deadline, the Bruins acquired Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars. The day prior, the Blackhawks made a minor pickup in center Michael Handzus. Both players helped their new clubs reach the Cup Final, with Handzus’ Blackhawks lifting the big mug in triumph.

Looking at these notable deals throughout the history of the trade deadline, it’s no wonder so many playoff contenders attempt to bolster their rosters in hopes of achieving playoff success. These successful trades, however, make up just a small part of the hundreds of trades over the past 35 years.

The overwhelming majority of deals made during the NHL trade deadline by playoff contenders simply don’t work out. There’s no guarantee that a deadline acquisition will have an immediate positive effect upon a playoff roster. Given how most deals since the late-1990s involve pending free agents, few had significant long-term impact.

That won’t stop the general managers of playoff contenders from swinging deadline deals, be it gambling big on a star player or making small moves to shore up depth. More often than not, however, many of them are panning for treasure but ending up with fool’s gold.