Yesterday, at 3:00pm EST, was the NHL Trade Deadline. The rosters are set and the teams are hunkered down for the stretch drive. If you are unaware, the Philadelphia Flyers only made two minor moves at the deadline. On Tuesday, they traded a 2014 3rd round draft pick and a 2015 2nd round draft pick to the Islanders for defenseman Andrew MacDonald. Then, on Wednesday, the Flyers traded defenseman Andrej Meszaros to Boston for a conditional 2014 3rd round draft pick (for more information on the trade and its conditions, click here).
Whether the Philadelphia Flyers defense improved or not is still under heavy debate. If there was any change due to these trades, the difference is minimal.
Some of the other teams in the Metropolitan Division were active while some were complacent at the trade deadline. With the playoff race so close, here is what each team did:
Acquired - Lee Stempniak (F), Marcel Goc (C)
Lost - 2014 3rd round pick, 2014 5th round pick, 2015 3rd round pick
Amid intense rumors of a Ryan Kesler blockbuster to Pittsburgh, the Penguins were relatively quiet. They undeniably wanted to add Kelser, but it seems as though Vancouver was unwilling to lower their other-worldly demands. While his team is running away with the Division and leading the Conference it is to see why Ray Shero would not push the envelope for any one player.
New York Rangers
Acquired – Martin St. Louis (F), Raphael Diaz (D)
Lost – Ryan Callahan (F), 2014 coniditional 2nd round pick, 2015 1st round pick, 2015 5th round pick
The Rangers pulled off the first big trade of the day on Wednesday morning by swapping captains with the Tampa Bay Lightning. These moves will be helpful to the Rangers down the stretch and in the playoffs. Martin St. Louis is still an offensive force who provides plenty of the “heart” and “intangibles” that the Rangers lost with Callahan. Raphael Diaz is also a decent blueliner. Where this deal hurts the Rangers is in the future. If the Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals the 2014 2nd round pick becomes a 1st round pick. Therefore the Rangers could lose their next two first round picks for a 38 year old winger. St. Louis will have to re-sign at the end of next year and continue to play at high level if he is to be worth that return.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Acquired – Matt Frattin (F), Nick Shultz (D), 2014/2015 2nd round pick, 2014 conditional 3rd round pick,
Lost – Marian Gaborik (F), 2014 5th round pick
The Blue Jackets moves will surely be analyzed during the playoffs. Marian Gaborik has not panned out in Columbus the way that they were hoping when they acquierd him at the trade deadline last year. He has suffered from injuries and has not found his touch. With the addition of Nathan Horton to the lineup, Gaborik became expndable. If, however, he regains his form for Los Angeles in the playoffs, this move will surely be scrutinized. Nick Shultz is a depth defenseman and Matt Frattin will have little impact.
Acquired – Jaroslav Halak (G), Dustin Penner (F), Chris Brown (F), 2015 3rd round pick, 2015 4th round pick
Lost – Michal Neuvirth (G), Marin Erat (F), John Mitchell (F), 2014 4th round pick
*Rostislav Klesla (D) came to the Capitals in a trade on Tuesday and was traded away on Wednesday, therefore he is not on either list*
The Capitals look to have improved their roster heading into the stretch drive and playoffs. Both Jaroslav Halak and Dustin Penner should give the Capitals stability. Penner is a winger who has never been a superstar, but he is always reliable and gritty. Halak is a quality goaltender who should be better than any current option in Washington.
Carolina Hurricanes AND New Jersey Devils
The only trade that either team made was a deal with each other. The Devils received Tuomo Ruutu (F) and the Hurricanes received Andrei Loktionov (F) and a 2017 conditional 3rd round draft pick. This move does little to hurt or improve either team. Although they are both near the bottom of the division, they are both within striking distance of a playoff spot. New Jersey is only two points out of playoff position while the Hurricanes are only six points out.
Nwe York Islanders
Acquired – Matt Mangene (F, prospect), Sebastien Collberg (F, prospect), 2014 conditional 2nd round pick, 2014 3rd round pick, 2015 2nd round pick
Lost – Thomas Vanek (F), Andrew MacDonald (D)
The Islanders were one of the few bonafide sellers in this years trade market. However, Garth Snow has fallen under heavy criticism for allowing superstar winger Thomas Vanek go for a 2nd round pick and a prospect. The Islanders will have quite a few picks and prospects to deal with in the future. But with the rise of John Tavares and Kyle Okpposo, the time for the Islanders to win is now. Unfrtunately, right now thigns are a mess on Long Island.
Overall the Metropolitan Division stayed pretty even. Both the Capitals and Rangers made impressive moves to improve their chances this season, while the other teams stood pat. Ultimately, it will be up to the Philadelphia Flyers players who have been in the locker room all year to take them to the playoffs.