The National Hockey League trade market was rather brisk and eventful leading up to the NHL trade deadline on March 3, in spite of a lower-than-normal number of deals on deadline day. A number of contenders performed contortions to stay under the $82.5 million salary, including the involvement of third teams to retain salary. In contrast, other teams on the bubble such as Nashville and Washington chose to sell off players at the eleventh hour for draft picks and future assets.
With the NHL trade deadline now past, we can look at the 32 clubs and evaluate whether they addressed their issues to make or advance deeper in the playoffs, or got enough for the players they were shopping as sellers.
Here is a look at the teams in the Atlantic:
GM Don Sweeney did not leave room for second-guessing with the Bruins having a season for the ages and possibly one last chance at a Stanley Cup with an aging core group. Boston will win the President’s Trophy going away and has all but secured top seed in the East, but sent five draft picks to Washington and Detroit to bolster their blueline by adding Dmitry Orlov and add more physicality up front in Garnet Hathaway and Tyler Bertuzzi.
Grade – A
The Sabres had an opportunity to compete for a playoff spot down the stretch and snap a 12-year postseason drought but failed to upgrade their goaltending from the three-headed monster that has failed them most of the year. GM Kevyn Adams made a tweak to their blueline by adding Riley Stillman and sent two draft picks to Minnesota for big forward Jordan Greenway, but the failure to even marginally improve between the pipes has proved to be fatal.
Grade – D
Detroit Red Wings
GM Steve Yzerman was decisive in the days leading up to the deadline, recognizing that the Wings were not ready for primetime and accumulated draft capital over the next two drafts by dealing rental Bertuzzi to Boston for a first and fourth-round pick, defenseman Filip Hronek to Vancouver for a 2023 first and second-round pick, and rental Oskar Sundqvist to Minnesota.
Grade – A-
Florida has a chance to make the postseason in spite of a sluggish first half and depth issues on defence. Panthers GM Bill Zito was one of the few managers that did nothing leading up to the deadline because he exhausted most of his draft picks to add players at last year’s deadline and sacrificed cap flexibility in the off-season by acquiring Matthew Tkachuk from Calgary and extending him for eight years.
Grade – Incomplete
Around Full Press Hockey
NHL: Four Crucial Areas For Maple Leafs The Rest Of This Regular Season
NHL Rumors: NHL Rumors: New Jersey Devils Trade Targets
NHL: NHL Power Rankings: Anyone Overtaking Boston For The Top Spot?
Ep 119: Patrick Mahomes' Top 5 List
by Full Press Coverage on May 27, 2023 at 7:49 pm
NFL: What Eddie Robinson Told Doug Williams After He Made History 35 Years Ago
Full Press Bets: Early 2022 NFL MVP Odds: Bills’ Josh Allen Favored
PODCAST: Full Press Hockey Weekly Ep 45: Canucks, Islanders, and The Boston Bruins
Habs GM Kent Hughes was rumoured to be shopping blueline veteran Joel Edmundson and the expiring contracts of Sean Monahan and Jonathan Drouin at the deadline, but injury questions and their big salaries made moving them impossible. Montreal served as the middle man in the deal that sent Nick Bonino to Pittsburgh and traded in on a younger Russian model, shipping Evgeni Dadonov to Dallas for Denis Gurianov.
Grade – B
The Sens were in the wild card race until losing goalie Cam Talbot to injury, and were a mixed bag approaching the deadline, swapping rental Tyler Motte back to the NY Rangers for Julien Gauthier, and sending two draft picks to Chicago to clear the final year of Nikita Zaitsev’s contract, but GM Pierre Dorion hit the jackpot in the deal for Jakub Chychrun, trading a first and two conditional picks for the sought-after defenseman.
Grade – A-
Tampa Bay Lightning
GM Julien Brisebois once again played high-stakes poker in the hopes of getting the Lightning to a fourth-straight Cup Final, trading defenseman Cal Foote and five draft picks (1st through 5th) to Nashville for crash-and-bang forward Tanner Jeannot, but Tampa was looking to add defensive depth and did not have the assets or the cap space to pull it off.
Grade – B-
Toronto Maple Leafs
GM Kyle Dubas’ future in Toronto may be hanging in the balance if the Leafs cannot advance in the playoffs, and his moves reflected an air of do-or-die desperation at the NHL trade deadline. The Leafs bolstered their forward complement by acquiring 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ryan O’Reilly, center Noel Acciari and Sam Lafferty in deals with St. Louis and Chicago, and added experience and physicality on defence in Jake McCabe and Luke Schenn, but in the end, it will come down to their core players stepping up when it counts to advance in the playoffs for the first time in 19 years.
Leave a Reply