Another NHL trade deadline has come and gone. Trades were made and some teams made deals that will no doubt help their teams for the future. It's time to break down the winners and losers from the trade deadline.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets are battling for a playoff spot in the Western Conference- who would have thought that when the season started? At
[caption id="attachment_2839" align="alignright" width="300"] Marian Gaborik[/caption]
trade deadline time they proved that they're serious about making the playoffs and went out to acquire some big guns.
The biggest deal for the Blue Jackets was acquiring Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers who waived his no-movement clause to join the Jackets. The fact Gaborik waived his no-movement clause to join the Blue Jackets is huge and turns Columbus into a possible destination for other big players.
In addition to bringing in Gaborik, they also brought in veteran forward Blake Comeau which gives them added depth up front. Sergei Bobrovsky has been lights out for the Jackets this season, he's proven he's ready to be their full time goalie and as a result Steve Mason was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Columbus Blue Jackets made a major splash at the deadline, giving them all the tools they need to make the playoffs. Rick Nash who?
While the Bruins missed out on the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes they made up for it by landing Jaromir Jagr at the deadline. Now of course this opens up the debate on which player is a better fit for the Bruins; Jagr or Iginla?
Jagr will be a huge help for the Bruins and their 24th ranked power play, he'll bring creativity and will help mentor some of the younger players like Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand. In addition to bringing in Jagr to help the offence, the Bruins also brought in Wade Redden to add depth to their blue line.
The Bruins brought in key pieces to help counter what the Pittsburgh Penguins have done. The Eastern Conference is extremely close with the Penguins and Bruins both stocking up, wouldn't be a surprise to see them in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Penguins did a lot of their wheeling and dealing ahead of the trade deadline. By getting their shopping list done early the Penguins were able to get the pieces they needed for a playoff run without having to sell the farm. Penguins brought in Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray before the deadline, putting them in contention for a deep playoff run.
Ray Shero deserves the GM of the year award, he brought in three key players that will add depth to the Penguins without even giving up a player on the roster. Right before the trade deadline the Penguins were dealt a major blow when Sidney Crosby took a puck to the face and broke his jaw. No one knows how long he'll be out and with playoffs right around the corner the Penguins needed more depth. Shero made another brilliant move bringing veteran Jussi Jokinen to add more depth, the kicker is the Carolina Hurricanes will be eating some of Jokinen's salary.
When you trade your captain away it means you're waiving the white flag, and for the Buffalo Sabres trading Jason Pominville is the beginning of their rebuild. This trade deadline may be Darcy Regier's last as GM of the Sabres, but he went out on fire.
Ahead of the deadline the Sabres traded Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold for three 2nd-round draft picks and a conditional fifth. The most important thing when entering a rebuild is the draft, the Sabres have a plethora of second round draft picks which will be key for the future.
The biggest move by the Sabres was the aforementioned Pominville trade. While getting picks for Regehr and Leopold was good settling for picks in return for Pominville wasn't acceptable. The Sabres managed to rob the Minnesota Wild in the return for their captain. Johan Larsson a top prospect who's being compared to both Pominville and Cody Hodgson, top goalie prospect Matt Hackett, a first round pick in 2013 and second round pick in 2014 are all now Sabres property.
This was the perfect move for the Sabres and sets them up for a big off-season that will see the likes of Ryan Miller and Drew Stafford heading out of town. Times are changing in Buffalo and this was the move that needed to kick it all off, the monster return is just the cherry on top.
San Jose Sharks
It was a quiet but good deadline for the Sharks. They picked up 5 draft picks in return for Ryan Clowe and Douglas Murray and they replaced their two roster players with Scott Hannan and Raffi Torres. The Sharks are in tough spot; They're battling for a playoff spot but also starting to rebuild on the fly.
With both the Penguins and Bruins making considerable moves to help them make a playoff run the Flyers did nothing to help themselves get closer to the playoffs. In fact by doing virtually nothing- other than claiming Adam Hall off waivers and bringing Steve Mason to add to their goalie circus, the Flyers may have gotten worse.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings needed to add some offence at the deadline to help solidify their win-now motto, they were unable to land anyone that would help. The Red Wings made offers for multiple players leading up to the deadline but nothing materialized forcing them to stay put and make their playoff run with their current roster.
With Joni Pitkanen lost for the year due to injury the Hurricanes needed to bring in another defenceman to fill his spot. They went out and found Marc-Andre Bergeron who will help fill the gap for the rest of the season. In the sense that they got their defenceman they did alright, but where they really lost out was losing Josi Jokinen and having to eat some of his contract as part of the deal with Pittsburgh. Hurricanes are just on the edge of the playoffs fighting every game to gain ground, they needed to do more at the deadline to get them closer to the playoffs.
It's hard to fault the Flames for their lack of movement at the deadline and getting less than market value back for many of their key pieces as they're heading into a "rebuild." But the Flames could have at least tried to get some solid young prospects in return for Iginla and Bouwmeester. The good news is the Flames now have three- first round picks for the upcoming draft which will help them either make some trades or draft some solid prospects in this years deep draft.