It was business as usual at the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline. Some teams loaded up on candidates for a cup run while teams on the opposite side of the spectrum were looking to offload players for future assets. A total of 24 trades were made on the day — most of them depth moves — while many of the biggest moves were made in the days leading up to the deadline. Here’s my take on the winners and losers of this year’s trade deadline.
Winners: Arizona Coyotes
The tank is officially on in Arizona. The Coyotes traded their best defenceman, Keith Yandle, to the Rangers for a first-round pick in 2016 and a second-round pick in 2016, as well as John Moore and Anthony Duclair. The real prize for the Coyotes in the trade is Duclair, who showed great chemistry with top prospect Max Domi at the World Juniors. If they manage to get either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the upcoming draft, they will be a force to be reckoned with in future seasons. They also traded their best forward in Antoine Vermette to Chicago for 2015 first-round pick and prospect Klas Dahlbeck in a year with a particularly deep first round.
Losers: Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings simply paid too much for Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky. Detroit gave up a second-rounder in 2015 along with prospects Mattias Janmark and Mattias Backman and a conditional third rounder in 2016. Zidlicky is 38 and Cole is 36, so their best days are definitely behind them. As well, Cole has not scored a playoff goal in his last 23 playoffs games. The Red Wings were better off staying put then giving up assets for two players who aren’t likely to make much of a difference.
Winners: Montreal Canadiens
The Habs didn’t need to bring in a big name like they did with Thomas Vanek last year, they needed to bring in depth players — and that’s exactly what they did. Jeff Petry is a solid defenceman in terms of possession, and it only cost them a second-round pick and a conditional fifth. They were also able to bring in a Devante Smith Pelly, Torrey Mitchell, and Brian Flynn, all players who will help contribute to the bottom six.
Losers: Washington Capitals
Curtis Glencross is not much of an upgrade on any of the Capitals’ forwards, and considering they had to give up a 2015 second- and third-round pick, this deal is questionable at best. Tim Gleason is also not much of an upgrade, having only one goal and seven points after 55 games with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Washington Capitals will likely be one and done in the playoffs, and if that happens, giving up those picks will have been a tremendous waste.
Winners: Anaheim Ducks
By acquiring James Wisniewski and Simon Despres, the Ducks added to a young blueline that was already pretty solid. Wisniewski is highly underrated, and to not have to give up a first round pick like Nashville did for Franson is a steal. Despres is also an upgrade on Ben Lovejoy. Tomas Fleischmann and Jiri Sekac are also solid depth moves for a team looking to make a serious run at the cup.
Losers: St. Louis Blues
The trade for Zbynek Michalek puzzles me, as he has a concussion and there is no guarantee that he will play in the future — he’s been out since Valentine’s Day. Olli Jokinen is done, and Robert Bortuzzo will be spending more time in the pressbox than on the ice. Although the Blues are aiming for a Stanley Cup this season, you couldn’t tell that from their Trade Deadline moves.