by Lauren Willand
2 hours ago
The NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and while Friday was pretty quiet without any real blockbusters, teams like the Bruins and Rangers were busy leading up to it.
Both Boston and New York made significant moves to bolster rosters as the Stanley Cup playoffs approach.
Now that the dust has settled, let’s take a look at the deadline’s biggest winners and losers.
Boston Bruins: The Bruins landed Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals before acquiring Tyler Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings. After all was said and done, Boston gave up Craig Smith as their only outfielder. The B’s didn’t give up prospects and only took draft picks to complete the trades. Orlov has already been a seamless fit with his new team, producing seven points in three games, including back-to-back three-point nights, while Hathaway has also made a strong impression.
Boston is the favorite to win the Stanley Cup, and despite injuries to Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno, the Bruins are now deep enough to still have a strong team even when they are not 100% healthy. They’re deep, they’re strong and they’re built for a long Stanley Cup playoff run.
New York Rangers: The Rangers added two of the biggest names to their roster in Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane. They were able to acquire Kane for draft picks, and they didn’t have to give up a full tailback for the three-time Stanley Cup champion because of Kane’s no-movement clause that he had to waive. New York and Kane had all the advantages over Chicago.
Even the Tarasenko trade with the St. Louis Blues left the Rangers wanting their top draft pick for the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Getting two top players and still having a first round pick deserves applause.
If the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Finals, they will lose a 2024 or 2025 first-round pick to the Blackhawks. But if all goes according to New York’s plan, it will be an even bigger winner.
However, they may need to get through the Bruins, which could prove to be a tall order, but certainly an entertaining series.
Toronto Maple Leafs: The Maple Leafs’ acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly undoubtedly helps on offense, but it seemed to be the same old song and dance with Toronto when it came to defense – an area that has needed help for a long time. But the Maple Leafs ended up getting some help on the blue line in Luke Schenn, Erik Gustafsso and Jake McCabe. Will it be enough to overcome the playoffs and win a series this year? It is still to be decided. They are having a great season and are in second place in the Atlantic Division. The Atlantic’s downfall is that the Bruins are in first place and have a 17-point lead over their Maple Leafs rival.
Ottawa Senators: The Senators won the Jakob Chychrun competition after the defenseman was linked to many different teams over the years. Ottawa is getting a young, solid D-man for the next few seasons as the defense looks a little crowded right now, but it could be a good problem to have this offseason or next year’s trade deadline.
New Jersey Devils: Timo Meier was brought in as a goalscoring winger and to help strengthen the power play. A physical top-six forward, Meier will help the Devils in the playoffs and provide the postseason experience this team doesn’t exactly have. He may turn out to be just a rental and will be a restricted free agent this summer, but sometimes rentals pay off in the long run.
Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers certainly don’t need help on offense thanks to Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, it’s the defense – much like the Maple Leafs – that seems to be their downfall. But Edmonton got help in that department with Mattias Ekholm joining the Oilers. He figures to help the 5-on-5 issues as Edmonton makes a playoff push.
Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago is rebuilding, but it was necessary to make more aggressive moves. Trading Patrick Kane and Max Domi helped, but the returns should have been better for Domi. There wasn’t much the Blackhawks could do with Kane given that he was in control of the no-movement clause in his contract, but this year’s deadline didn’t do much for the rebuilding ‘Hawks.
Arizona Coyotes: They certainly should have gotten more for Chychrun. Maybe trying to draft Connor Bedard is head over heels for the Coyotes, but he’s not going to fix your franchise if that’s the big plan.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins were already an old team before Friday’s deadline, and they got older with the additions of Nick Bonino, Mikael Granlund and Dmitry Kulikov. A bold move to get older and not younger, and with how the other Eastern Conference teams around the Pens bolstered their lineups, these moves don’t exactly add up.
Pittsburgh could have really benefited from momentum, but general manager Ron Hextall decided against it.
Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers had lost four straight and were 2-6-2 in their last 10 entering Friday’s deadline, and this was a perfect opportunity for Chuck Fletcher to do something — anything — to make a bad Philadelphia team least better.
But he didn’t.
The Flyers acquired Brendan Lemieux and a 2024 fifth-round pick from the Los Angeles Kings for Zack MacEwen, and then there was the whole James van Riemsdyk debacle when he was allegedly traded to the Detroit Red Wings, but something happened very quickly and the deal fell through.
They could and should have done more. Philly has very little draft capital and it would take a miracle for the Flyers to reach the playoffs at this point.
Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks added some youth at the deadline and could trade for Filip Hronek, but Vancouver has been in cap hell for what seems like forever, and it didn’t get any relief with the moves they made. CapFriendly projects that the Canucks will have less than $1 million in cap space going into the 2023-23 season, which raises the question of whether getting Hronek was the right move for the team. Yes, he’s a top-four defenseman and helps bolster the blue line, but being so close to the cap, was it the smartest move for their future?
Jonathan Quick: After 16 seasons with the Kings, Los Angeles traded their goaltender to the Columbus Blue Jackets before Quick was traded again to Bruce Cassidy’s Vegas Golden Knights. It was a wild 24 hours for Quick, who won two Stanley Cups with the Kings in 2012 and 2014 and was dazzled by the trade from Los Angeles. It’s tough to call him a deadline loser because he ended up with a top team in the Western Conference, and Vegas needed a goaltender.
Tampa Bay Lightning: They overpaid for Tanner Jeannot. Enough said.