The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, and while it wasn’t the most exciting deadline day in recent memory, there were quite a few notable moves. Here are the winners and losers of the upstart Pacific Division:
The Ducks had one real need at the deadline and that was another top six winger. By getting ahead of the market and making the deal for Eaves earlier this week, Anaheim was already a winner at the deadline. The conditional second-rounder, which can become a first, is a steep price. However, given that Eaves is having a career year, the market value had yet to be set, and the Ducks desperation had grown due to the Antoine Vermette suspension, they were right to swing a deal when they had the chance. It was a quiet deadline day in Anaheim, but this is still a team that could make a lot of noise down the stretch.
- Acquired 2017 third-round pick and conditional 2018 fifth-round pick from Calgary Flames for Michael Stone
- Acquired 2017 first-round pick, 2018 second-round pick, conditional 2019 fourth-round pick, and Grayson Downing from Minnesota Wild for Martin Hanzal, Ryan White, and 2017 fourth-round pick
- Acquired Teemu Pulkkinen from Minnesota Wild for “future considerations”
- Acquired Joe Whitney from Colorado Avalanche for Brandon Ranford
The Coyotes messed up by not trading Radim Vrbata (and might have been able to get more for Stone), but put that aside and what they were able to get from the Minnesota Wild is pretty extraordinary. The team wanted to re-sign Hanzal, but when talks fell apart, it became a foregone conclusion that he would be moved. Yet, that inevitability never drove the prices down and the Wild ended up offering an amazing deal for the career Coyote. The Avalanche should take note because this is how you work the trade deadline as one the league’s worst teams. In exchange for impending free agents who were not coming back in Hanzal and Stone, Arizona ends up with five picks and two prospects (assuming, as it often does, that “future considerations” means nothing) and the team has suffered almost no loss. If GM John Chayka has decided to deal Vrbata, he likely would have added another pair of good picks to that mix, but as it stands, the Coyotes still did pretty well.
- Acquired Michael Stone from Arizona Coyotes for 2017 third-round pick and conditional 2018 fifth-round pick
- Acquired Curtis Lazar and Mike Kostka from Ottawa Senators for 2017 second-round pick and Jyrki Jokipakka
Yes, the Flames are a fringe playoff team that gave away their second and third-rounders this June. Normally, that would make them losers and if Stone leaves in free agency and Lazar never pans out, they will be. For now, they’re winners because both players could have long, successful careers in Calgary. Lazar is a former first-rounder who needed a change of scenery and a better environment to develop in. The young, speedy Flames squad is the perfect fit and the “big picture” thinking of Brad Treliving strikes again. On the same note, Stone has never played anywhere but Arizona, but will need a new home in 2017-18 and beyond. By bringing him in at the deadline, Calgary gets a head start on convincing the young puck-mover to sign with them and it would be no surprise at all if he does. The Flames will need another top four defenseman next year, after Dennis Wideman and Deryk Engelland leave, and Stone fits the bill. The Flames could have done more to improve their playoff chances this year, but they are a young team whose true contender future is still down the road. No use spending when you don’t stand much of a chance in the powerhouse Western Conference at this point in time.
- Acquired Jonathan Dahlen from Ottawa Senators for Alexandre Burrows
- Acquired Nikolay Goldobin and conditional 2017 fourth-round pick from San Jose Sharks for Jannik Hansen
Vancouver GM Jim Benning is the MVP of the trade deadline and, despite being sellers, the Canucks are the ultimate winners with deadline day having come and gone. Other than goalie Ryan Miller, Vancouver’s only other real trade bait players were long-time Canucks Burrows and Hansen. Burrows was an impending unrestricted free agent who was unlikely to be re-signed and Hansen had one year left on his contract but was a prime candidate to be exposed in the Expansion Draft. Benning took these two players, essentially throwaways to the franchise, and turned them into former first-round and second-round prospects and a pick that can go as high as a first rounder. Dahlen was just named the best player in Sweden’s junior league and Goldobin is already tearing up the AHL. Both players project to be top-six wingers, and soon. It’s an incredible and almost unthinkable return for two aging bottom-six skaters. Benning deserves all the credit in the world, and you can bet that the Canucks are now the Sharks biggest fans, as a Stanley Cup title in San Jose adds a first-rounder to the deadline haul.
- Acquired David Desharnais from Montreal Canadiens for Brandon Davidson
- Acquired Justin Fontaine from New York Rangers for Taylor Beck
Like the Calgary Flames, the Oilers are a team whose best days lie ahead and no one was expecting them to go all-out at the deadline. Unlike Calgary though, the Oilers could have actually been a factor in the 2017 postseason if they had made the right moves. Trading a young defenseman for a washed-up center is not the right move. Davidson needed to be moved for Expansion Draft reasons, but GM Peter Chiarelli could have gotten a lot more than Desharnais. They needed a backup goalie, a top-nine forward, a penalty kill specialist, and honestly could have used a veteran depth defenseman as well. They ended up with none of that. If Edmonton decided they were going to stand pat at the deadline, that’s fine. However, if you’re going to trade a promising asset like Davidson, at least get something you need in return.
Los Angeles Kings:
- Acquired Ben Bishop, a 2017 fifth-round pick, and a conditional 2017 pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Peter Budaj, Erik Cernak, and a 2017 seventh-round pick
- Acquired a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick from Montreal Canadiens for Dwight King
- Acquired Jarome Iginla from Colorado Avalanche for conditional 2018 fourth-round pick
Unlike most of the major losers at the deadline, L.A. was an active participant. The only thing is their moves made no sense. All season long, the Kings got unexpectedly excellent goaltending from Budaj and just last week got star keeper Jonathan Quick back from injury. The defense has also been great and the team has been near the top of the league in goals against all season. Where they’ve struggled in 2016-17 is scoring. The team needed some speed and some play-makers on the power play. So what does GM Dean Lombardi do? He trades Budaj and promising prospect Cernak to Tampa for the best goalie on the market in Bishop. He then trades away Dwight King, who has been a staple of the Kings’ recent playoff success, and instead of using the cap space to acquire a quick, dynamic scorer, he adds 39-year-old Iginla, who is noticeably slower and has failed to produce points all season long. You can certainly make an argument that that the Kings got better, personnel-wise, but they didn’t improve in the areas of need. L.A. is currently outside of a playoff spot and, now even more unfortunately with fan-favorite Iginla in the fold, it’s difficult to see that changing unless the team’s existing play-makers step up their game.
San Jose Sharks:
- Acquired Jannik Hansen from Vancouver Canucks for Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional 2017 fourth-round pick
It’s difficult to call the Sharks losers because they have such a complete team and didn’t have many needs at the deadline to start with. San Jose needed a top-nine forward or two and maybe a backup goalie. It’s even more difficult to call them a loser because Hansen is a solid top-nine player who had a great 2015-16 campaign and will help the team this year and next. However, Hansen doesn’t really fill the need for a scoring forward. He’s more of a two-way forward good for about 15 goals and 15 assists in a good year. You know who is more of the goal-scoring forward they need? Nikolay Goldobin. Goldobin is a 2014 first-round pick and nearly a point-per-game player in the AHL. Give him another year or two and he’s surely a top-nine player for the Sharks. San Jose just really didn’t need to make a big move and would have been fine just to stand pat or add a guy like P.A. Parenteau or Drew Stafford for cheap. Instead, they drastically overpaid for Hansen with Goldobin. Add in that the conditional fourth becomes a first if the Sharks win the Stanley Cup, and this deal goes from bad to worse.