NHL trade deadline winners, losers: Blue Jackets, Golden Knights go big; Flames go home empty-handed

first_imgThe trade deadline has now come and gone and there was quite a bit of wheelin’ and dealin’. Some general managers went all in while others subliminally told their fans, whelp, this year isn’t the year.By the time the clock struck 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 25, 20 transactions were completed with 32 players shifting teams on Monday alone.  “There were conversations on a few things that would help us. If they didn’t happen today, it’s maybe down the road in the summertime they can help us in that situation,” said Gretzky. “We laid some groundwork I think on that with the salary cap, and hopefully we can revisit it after the summer.”We shall see. Loser: Henrik LundqvistNot only is it become more evident that the future Hall of Famer may never kiss Lord Stanley’s Cup … just watch the video.Henrik Lundqvist gets choked up talking about the Mats Zuccarello trade.We’re with ya Hank. #NYR pic.twitter.com/HyyfIS1NWS— MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) February 24, 2019 MORE TRADE DEADLINE: SN grades every major trade from 2019 NHL deadline dayThe biggest movers and shakers were Columbus and Vegas. Their veteran GMs, Jarmo Kekalainen and George McPhee, put the rest of the NHL on notice by adding key pieces that could help their squads compete in the postseason with the likes of expected finalists, Tampa Bay and San Jose. Whether either team will be playing in June is really anyone’s guess, but it definitely won’t be for lack of trying.Here’s the biggest winners, losers and a few that are still to be decided after the deadline.NHL trade deadline winners, losersWinner: Jarmo KekalainenPinned to Kekalainen’s trade board had to have been the mantra, “Go big or go home.” That, or he had team president John Davidson, who witnessed what then-Rangers GM Neil Smith did prior to the 1994 deadline, whispering in his ear.The Blue Jackets’ general manager picked up not one, but two offensive producers from Ottawa (reminder: in separate trades) in Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel, a backup netminder in Keith Kinkaid and a solid defenseman in Adam McQuaid.Matt Duchene reacts live to #CBJ acquiring Adam McQuaid, and the overall mood within the room. #NHLTrade pic.twitter.com/27rHxaQQ1r— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 25, 2019Sure, Columbus may have given up a couple of top picks in the next two drafts and two solid prospects, but this was the year for the club to take the next step. Situated third in the Metropolitan Division, they’ll most likely only have Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky until July 1 so these were the steps this small-market team needed to show the rest of the NHL they mean business. GRADES: Senators enter next phase of rebuild without Mark StoneWinner: Ottawa SenatorsI know there’s a lot of conjecture that the Senators did not get enough for Duchene, Dzingel and Stone. However, they had to make the moves. Ottawa has a solid group of youngsters, including Drake Batherson, Thomas Chabot and Alex Formenton, and now the NHL’s top defensive prospect in Erik Brannstrom. They’ll be able to add to that group over the next three drafts considering they can have as many as 17 picks at their disposal — or use those picks to make a few trades for more established players.I’m telling you — it KILLED Vegas parting with Erik Brannstrom. I call him an on-ice General. Outstanding hockey sense, aggressive and plays with a ton of energy. Future top-2 in the NHL IMO.— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) February 25, 2019Ottawa also picked up forward Anthony Duclair, who has bounced around the league and was recently ripped by Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella. But remember: he is only 24 years old and did score 20 goals in 2015-16 with Arizona.NHL DRAFT 2019: SN’s mock draft 1.0 | Top 31 big boardWinner: Vegas, George McPhee and Mark StoneMcPhee may walk around like he has nothing up his sleeves, but then the Knights GM pulls out the biggest wild card of them all. Not only did he land the biggest fish on the market in Mark Stone, he then signed him to an eight-year contract extension. For Stone, the veteran went from a team that is rebuilding and a few seasons away from the post-season to a team looking to make a deep run this year. Stone will now be teamed up with Paul Statsny, Max Pacioretty and Marc-Andre Fleury — quite a difference from the team he left behind in Ottawa.Mark Stone on @Sportsnet: “I look at (Vegas’) desire to win and it gets me fired up.”— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) February 25, 2019Winner: Predators’ power playNashville’s power play ranks dead last in the NHL at 12.6 percent efficiency. So after acquiring Brian Boyle (six power-play goals, eight power-play points) earlier in the month, they went out and acquired Wayne Simmonds (five power-play goals, eight power-play points) and Mikael Granlund (two goals, 18 power-play points).Winner: Kevin Hayes’ childhoodNot long after Kevin Hayes was acquired by the Winnipeg Jets, a picture surfaced of the Dorchester, Mass., native sporting a Jets jersey from when he was a youngster. When the picture was originally tweeted back in 2014 it included the caption “#TBT to the best jersey in the League.” Unfortunately for Hayes, the Jets logo is a bit different now.It’s not the same as Tavares sleeping on Leafs sheets as a kid but this should sit well with #NHLJets fans. pic.twitter.com/Ic7LVLPAU4— Sara Orlesky (@saraorlesky) February 25, 2019MORE: Kevin Hayes ‘happy and proud’ to join Jets: ‘It’ll be a good fit’TBD: Johnny GaudreauThe Flames’ top scorer probably would have preferred that GM Brad Treliving went out and acquired a scorer to help bolster the lineup. Instead, Gaudreau will have to settle for a defenseman (Oscar Fantenberg) and maybe a burrito.Asked Johnny Gaudreau earlier how he’d spend his #NHLTradeDeadline day. His response: “Honestly I just wanna eat some Chipotle.” 🤗😂— Jackie Redmond (@Jackie_Redmond) February 25, 2019TBD: New York RangersThe Rangers HAD to make moves with multiple players set to be unrestricted free agents July 1 and the team in rebuilding mode. Unfortunately, that meant trading mainstays and fan favorites Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes and defenseman Adam McQuaid.In return, the team now has 10 draft picks for June, a 23-year-old defenseman who has been passed around a few times already and an agitator (like his dad Claude) in Brendan Lemieux. Whether the Rangers can turn those picks into gold is anyone’s guess, but GM Jeff Gorton does have a strong draft history in Filip Chytil, Vitali Kravstov and K’Andre Miller.TBD: Toronto Maple LeafsToronto needed a right-shot defenseman. Toronto did not get a right-shot defenseman. While the addition would have certainly helped the Maple Leafs’ roster, head coach Mike Babcock still has a high-powered offensive lineup that will make a deep run in the playoffs.Loser: Montreal CanadiensUh oh. The pressure is now on for the Habs. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeard on TSN Monday and let Marc Bergevin know that now is the time to end the Cup drought north of the border.”I am very much focused on making sure that the drought ends with the same team that started it all,” Trudeau said. “The last team to win was the Habs. … I’d love to be able to celebrate another Stanley Cup victory by the Habs today as Prime Minister.”Loser: Dallas StarsWhelp, the trade for Mats Zuccarello looked like a solid pick-up for Dallas … until the closing seconds of the second period in his Stars debut. Vying for a playoff spot, the Stars needed an offensive punch and had gotten a boost in the diminutive forward who had 23 points in his last 18 games with the Rangers (37 in 46 games this season).Then Zuccarello broke his arm blocking a shot and will miss the next four weeks — which could be the last weeks of Dallas’ season if they don’t clinch a playoff spot. With that prospect on the horizon, GM Jim Nill did nothing to bolster his lineup and now the Stars season may be on the brink.Loser: Connor McDavidOilers interim GM Keith Gretzky did nothing to bolster the lineup around his young superstar. Sure, they added Sam Gagner and Anthony Stolarz prior to Monday’s deadline but this team needs a rebuild and nothing was done. last_img

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