1) Now that was a trade deadline.The NHL reshaped itself in the days, hours and minutes before 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday despite the tight salary cap and standings with a flurry of transactions and player movement. So, let’s make snap judgements about who did well and who didn’t!
- St. Louis:Bringing Ryan Miller on board gives the Blues elite goaltending and a legitimate chance to change their playoff luck.
- Tampa Bay: Under the circumstances, Steve Yzerman did well to land pending-UFA Ryan Callahan, a first-rounder in 2015 and a second-rounder in 2014 (who becomes a first if New York makes the East final) Even with Callahan’s fearless, shot-block style in mind, the Bolts got a decade younger today as Callahan is 28 while St. Louis is 38
- Montreal:Thomas Vanek was viewed as the best available rental player and Montreal nabbed him without coughing up a first-round pick or a prized prospect. In doing so, the Habs addressed their obvious need for offence. Vanek was just what the Habs needed. They have struggled to score at even strength, ranking 22nd in the NHL, and Vanek has scored 15 of his 21 goals this season at even This was a home run
- NY Rangers(Short term) They paid a heavy price for a 38-year-old player, but Martin St-Louis remains an elite talent who is signed for next year and figures to be a significant contributor for a year or two beyond that. The Blueshirts made a hard call giving up Callahan and whether you agree or disagree, you have to respect their resolve. By trading for St-Louis, the Rangers are officially in win-now mode.
- LA Kings: The Kings largely used pieces from previous goalie trades (a third-rounder in the Ben Scrivens deal; Matt Frattin from the Jonathan Bernier swap) to grab Gaborik for a low-risk price. the 32-year-old carries health risks as always, yet the thought of a guy with two 40+ goal seasons on his resume added to a squad that includes Anze Kopitar and Carter must leave Western Conference teams somewhat concerned
- Buffalo: New GM Tim Murray conducted a successful fire sale. Murray made a shrewd move when he picked a couple second-rounders from his stockpile of draft picks and flipped them to the Kings for prospects Hudson Fasching and Nicolas Deslauriers. In landing Michal Neuvirth from Washington, Murray also gets a relatively young goalie who may yet have some untapped potential. One could joke the 2014 and 2015 NHL Drafts should take place in Buffalo since the Sabres hold all the picks. Murray netted a ton of selections by flipping various assets.
- NY Islanders: they traded Matt Moulson and first- and second-round picks to Buffalo to get Vanek the Islanders finally traded him to Montreal with a conditional fifth-round pick for Collberg (the 33rd overall pick in 2012) and a conditional second-round draft pick.So the net gain was first-and-second round picks for 47 games of Vanek, a conditional second-round pick (tied to the Canadiens making the playoffs) and Collberg. Wonder why they are 20 years removed from their last playoff win?
- Florida: This franchise is losing staggering sums of money. It needs to follow the blueprint Sabres GM Tim Murray has drawn in Buffalo. It needs to acquire draft picks and prospects. Instead, Panthers GM Dale Tallon completed his years-long bid to bring Luongo back to South Florida
- Vancouver: after everything that went on with Luongo over the years, we have to give Vancouver a loser label.GM Mike Gillis may soon be looking for work if the team fails to make the post season!
- Calgary: Acting GM Brian Burke obviously couldn’t get what he felt was market value for Mike Cammalleri, but he’s almost surely going to leave for nothing in the summer. With goaltenders flying off the shelves, this franchise somehow avoided filling that glaring need
- Capitals: Adding Halak only further complicates their goaltending situation. Penner in our opinion is a stiff who won't add very much to the team so a playoff bubble team is still just that