The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, and despite the fact that it was the slowest deadline day in recent memory with only 17 trades, it was still an exciting time.
Big names were moved; others were not. Nevertheless, people are talking about the events that took place on April 3rd, 2013. But which teams made out the best, and which left people scratching their heads? Below is a breakdown of the top trades of deadline day.
The Buffalo Sabres sent their 10-year veteran and captain to the Minnesota Wild in both team’s only trade of the day. Buffalo was in sell mode to start their rebuild for the future where as the Wild wanted to add secondary scoring to a team poised to try and make a run at the Stanley Cup.
Before getting to what Buffalo will receive as compensation for its captain, let’s talk about what exactly the Wild are getting.
A former 30 goal scorer, Jason Pominville will provide the Wild with a disciplined, two-way player that will help immediately with scoring in all situations on the ice. He has 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points in 37 games this season. Minnesota is also receiving a 2014 4th round draft pick.
Heading back to Buffalo are prospects Johan Larsson, a Swedish winger who was captain of Sweden’s gold medal-winning World Junior team in 2012; Matt Hackett, an up-and-coming goaltender prospect; a 2013 1st round draft pick; a 2014 2nd round draft pick. For the Sabres to get the return they did for a player who will be a free agent after next season, it makes this trade the best of the day in terms of return for a single player.
This trade will be classified as the biggest deal of the day in terms of impact and surprise. New Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated heading into the trade deadline that he was going to be a buyer this year in order to give his team an extra piece or two necessary to make a serious playoff push.
Not only did Kekalainen add, he did so in a major way by acquiring three time 40 goal scorer Marian Gaborik to a team in need of scoring help. Gaborik, when motivated, can be as dynamic a goal scorer as there is in the NHL. The fact, as he put it, a team wanted him enough to give up assets for him makes him motivated to come in and play at the top of his game. Despite being a down year by his standards — just 9 goals and 10 assists in 35 games — Gaborik comes in as the Blue Jackets’ third leading scorer being Vinny Prospal and Mark Letestu.
In return for Gaborik the Rangers received Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard, John Moore, and a 2014 6th round draft pick. The deal paid immediate dividends for the Rangers as Brassard recorded a goal and three assists in his Rangers debut Wednesday night against Pittsburgh. Moore also scored for New York.
In a separate deals, the Blue Jackets acquired Blake Comeau from the Calgary Flames for a 2013 5th round pick as well as sent goaltender Steve Mason to Philadelphia for goaltender Michael Leighton and a third round pick in 2015.
This trade was the last deal to be called in to the NHL offices on deadline day, and boy was it a doozy. The Washington Capitals acquired scoring winger Martin Erat and AHL forward Michael Latta from the Nashville Predators in exchange for top prospect Filip Forsberg.
The deal came about after Erat requested a trade from Nashville, and gave management a list of 10 teams that he would approve a trade to. The Predators moved fast and got a deal done for a player who was the number one European forward entering the 2012 draft.
By acquiring Forsberg, the Predators got Washington’s top rated prospect, and a player with star potential. The fact that they only had to give up an 11-year veteran in Erat and a middle of the pack AHL forward to get him makes this deal an excellent future trade for the Predators.
It also is a significant deal for a Capitals team that has managed to fight its way back into the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, sitting just two points back of Southeast division leader Winnipeg. If Erat can come in and perform at the level that he has been known to during his tenure in Nashville, the Washington may have acquired the piece to give them the final jolt to make the postseason.
Tampa Bay, in need of goaltender help, acquired Ben Bishop from the Ottawa Senators for rookie of the year candidate Cory Conacher and a 4th round pick. It’s a steep price to pay, especially for a pending restricted free agent. Sure Bishop is 8-5-0 on the season and has a .922 save percentage, but there are still serious doubt as to whether or not he can become a number one goaltender in this league. For Tampa to give up what they did for him has many wondering what GM Steve Yzerman was thinking.
A day after acquiring Jaromir Jagr, the Boston Bruins made a minor move to improve their defensive depth. The team sent a 2014 7th round draft pick to St. Louis for defenseman Wade Redden. Redden became expendable after the Blues acquired blue liners Jordan Leopold and Jay Bouwmeester over the weekend in separate deals with Buffalo and Calgary, respectively.
Toronto, which was expected to acquire veteran goaltending help at the deadline this year, made just one move on the day. The Maple Leafs sent a 2014 4th round draft pick to Colorado in exchange for defenseman Ryan O’Byrne. O’Byrne is expected to join the team and be inserted into the Leafs’ third defensive pairing.