The trade deadline has come and gone and while it wasn’t as busy as some had hoped for, some notable players changed teams. Unsurprisingly, those moves dominate the top stories of the week but the full deadline recaps can also be found below:
Mantha To Washington: With Anthony Mantha having a tough season and three years left on his contract, he wasn’t viewed as a likely candidate to be dealt. Instead, just before the deadline hit, Detroit struck a deal to send the winger to Washington in exchange for Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, plus first and second-round picks. One of those selections likely was included to get the Red Wings to take the remaining two years of Panik’s deal after he cleared waivers. Mantha and Vrana have had similar production over the past few years but Mantha’s size and upside are definitely intriguing and he has made quite the first impression, scoring in each of his first four games. Meanwhile, our readers certainly like the trade for Detroit with over 79% giving them an A grade in our poll.
Extensions: A pair of potential trade candidates were taken off the market on Monday. First, the Kings reached a four-year, $16MM extension with Alex Iafallo. The undrafted college free agent has worked his way onto the top line in Los Angeles and a top-liner for a $4MM AAV is decent value. Less than an hour later, the Flyers agreed to a five-year, $15MM deal with Scott Laughton. The 26-year-old has spent his entire NHL career – spanning parts of eight seasons – with the Flyers and while he isn’t a significant offensive producer, he plays a strong all-around game, becoming a useful part of their core in the process. Later in the week, likely using Laughton’s pact as a template, the Jets then inked Adam Lowry to a five-year, $16.25MM contract. The gritty center was going to be one of the more intriguing pivots on the open market this summer but instead will stick it out in Winnipeg where he has become an integral part of their third line.
Hall To Boston: Taylor Hall had been viewed as a prominent rental that was going to be on the move at the deadline basically from the moment he signed with Buffalo. While he has had a rough season and had just two goals with the Sabres and an $8MM price tag, there were several teams interested in his services. However, Hall was able to leverage his no-move clause to go to his preferred destination in Boston, being traded there along with Curtis Lazar for Anders Bjork and a second-round pick with Buffalo retaining half of Hall’s salary. Hall should give the Bruins an upgraded second line down the stretch if he does well and he’s off to a good start with two goals and an assist in four games. Meanwhile, the rebuild in Buffalo continues with the Sabres hoping that a change of scenery can unlock some of Bjork’s potential.
More COVID Issues: The ongoing pandemic claimed some more games on the schedule as Colorado had three of their games postponed after Philipp Grubauer, Joonas Donskoi, and Bowen Byram landed on the CPRA list. For the time being, the plan is for them to resume skating on Wednesday and their missed contests have yet to be rescheduled. Meanwhile, Vancouver’s return was also briefly delayed following some concerns being voiced by J.T. Miller; instead of starting on Friday, they resumed play on Sunday. That resulted in more than a dozen changes to the North Division schedule including the regular season for that division being extended to May 19th.
Carter To Pittsburgh: Another player that wasn’t expected to be on the move was Jeff Carter. He had spent parts of ten years in Los Angeles and with another year left on his deal at more than $5.2MM, there wasn’t expected to be much trade interest. However, the Penguins were able to get a deal done and get him to waive his no-trade protection, acquiring the 36-year-old for a pair of conditional draft picks, a 2022 third-rounder and a 2023 fourth-rounder. The first pick can upgrade a round if Pittsburgh makes the Stanley Cup Final this season with Carter playing in half of their playoff games while the second will upgrade by a round if he plays 50 games next season. Carter gives Pittsburgh some needed depth down the middle and was a big part of two Cup-winning teams with the Kings.
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