Grading the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline

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The 2018 NHL Trade Deadline was full of star power, possibly the most in history if you’ve read my last article. However, only a fraction of that power was traded due to the a combination of NHL contenders being cash strapped and the bizarre frugality of some of the typically active teams.

First, here are all 35 trades that happened during this deadline, which officially started with the Dion Phaneuf trade in my opinion:

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning acquire Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2018 1st Round pick, Vladislav Namestnikov, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, and a conditional 2nd Round pick that becomes a First Round pick if the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2018 or 2019
  2. Winnipeg Jets acquire Paul Stastny (50% retained) from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2018 First Round pick, a 2020 conditional 4th Round pick, and prospect Erik Foley
  3. San Jose Sharks acquire Evander Kane from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a 2019 conditional 1st Round pick, a 2019 conditional 4th Round pick, and prospect Danny O’Regan
  4. Nashville Predators acquire Ryan Hartman and a 2018 5th Round pick from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a 2018 1st Round pick, a 2018 4th Round pick, and prospect Victor Ejdsell
  5. Vegas Golden Knights acquire Tomas Tartar from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2018 1st Round pick, a 2019 2nd Round pick, and a 2021 3rd Round pick
  6. Anaheim Ducks acquire Jason Chimera from the New York Islanders in exchange for Chris Wagner
  7. Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Thomas Vanek from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen
  8. New Jersey Devils acquire Patrick Maroon from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a 2019 3rd Round pick and prospect Joey Dudek
  9. Boston Bruins acquire Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional 5th Round pick in 2019
  10. Montreal Canadiens acquire Mike Reilly from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a 2019 5th Round pick
  11. Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Ian Cole from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2020 3rd Round pick and prospect Nick Moutrey
  12. Calgary Flames acquire Nick Shore in exchange for a 2019 7th Round pick
  13. Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Josh Jooris from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Greg McKegg
  14. Vancouver Canucks acquire Brendan Leipsic from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Phillip Holm
  15. Toronto Maple Leafs acquire Tomas Plekanec (50% retained) and prospect Kyle Baun from the Montreal Canadiens exchange for prospects Kerby Rychel and Rinat Valiev, and a 2018 2nd Round pick
  16. Boston Bruins acquire Rick Nash (50% retained) from the New York Rangers exchange for Ryan Spooner, prospect Ryan Lindgren, Matt Beleskey (50% retained), a 2018 1st Round pick, and a 2019 7th Round pick
  17. Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Mark Letestu from the Edmonton Oilers by sending a 2018 4th Round pick to the Nashville Predators who send Pontus Aberg to the Oilers
  18. Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Derick Brassard (40% retained by Vegas), a 2018 3rd Round pick, and prospects Tobias Lindberg and Vincent Dunn by sending Ryan Reaves and a 2018 4th Round pick to the Vegas Golden Knights; and Ian Cole, prospect Fillip Gustavsson, and a 2018 1st Round pick to the Ottawa Senators, who trade a 2019 3rd Round pick to Vegas
  19. Nashville Predators acquire Tyler Gaudet and John Ramage from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Trevor Murphy and Pierre-Cedric Labrie
  20. Colorado Avalanche acquire Ryan Graves from the New York Rangers in exchange for Chris Bigras
  21. Winnipeg Jets acquire Joe Morrow from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2018 4th Round pick
  22. Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Ryan Kujawinski from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Jordan Maletta
  23. New Jersey Devils acquire Michael Grabner from the New York Rangers exchange for Yegor Rykov and a 2018 2nd Round pick
  24. Edmonton Oilers acquire a 2019 3rd Round pick from the New York Islanders exchange for Brandon Davidson
  25. Nashville Predators acquire Brandon Bollig and Troy Grosenick from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2018 6th Round pick
  26. Chicago Blackhawks acquire Chris Didomenico from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Ville Pokka
  27. Boston Bruins acquire a 2018 3rd Round pick from the Florida Panthers exchange for Frank Vatrano
  28. St. Louis Blues acquire Nikita Soshnikov from the Toronto Maple Leafs exchange for a 2019 4th Round pick
  29. San Jose Sharks acquire Eric Fehr from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 2020 7th Round pick
  30. LA Kings acquire Tobias Rieder (15% retained) and Scott Wedgewood from the Arizona Coyotes exchange for Darcy Kuemper
  31. Washington Capitals acquire Jakub Jerabek from the Montreal Canadiens exchange for a 2019 5th Round pick
  32. Boston Bruins acquire Nick Holden from the New York Rangers in exchange for Rob O’Gara and a 2018 3rd Round pick
  33. Philadelphia Flyers acquire Petr Mrazek (50% retained) from the Detroit Red Wings exchange for a 2018 conditional 4th Round pick and a 2019 conditional 3rd Round pick
  34. LA Kings acquire Dion Phaneuf (25% retained) and Nate Thompson from the Ottawa Senators exchange for Nick Shore and Marian Gaborik
  35. Washington Capitals acquire Michal Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks exchange for a 2018 conditional 3rd Round pick

Second, here is my analysis:


Tampa Bay Lightning

One of the best teams in the league just became even scarier. J.T. Miller is a Restricted Free Agent and McDonagh is signed through next season, which gives the Lightning a 2 year contention window. They paid a heavy cost giving up picks, prospect Brett Howden (who should be really good) and Namestnikov, but Tampa is a team with virtually no holes.

Their blue-line now boasts Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, Mikhail Sergachev, Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi, and Braydon Coburn. Unreal!

Pittsburgh Penguins

All year long the back-to-back champions have been searching for a 3rd line center and they finally got him. While Brassard has had down years with the Senators, at least during the regular season, he should slot in nicely behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He’s also an upgrade over Riley Sheahan. 2 years of Brassard at a reduced salary will help them a lot, especially since they just re-signed Patric Hornqvist (who I’d argue is the most underrated Penguin). However, the Pens just gave up a lot for him. Although they keep prospects Ashton-Reese and Sprong, they lose Gustavsson who I think will make a great NHL goalie. They also lose a 1st Round pick and Ryan Reaves (who they acquired for a 1st Round pick: Klim Kostin [he’s really good]). Ultimately, none of that will matter if Pittsburgh can win yet another Cup in 2018 or 2019.

New York Rangers

The rebuilding Rangers got a massive haul from their 2018 trades. Already controlling prospects Chyptil and Andersson, the Broadway Blue Shirts just got much deeper in the coming seasons. Howden, Hajek (35 points in 52 WHL games as a defenseman), Spooner, and Lindgren are fantastic players to add to the upcoming Rangers teams and New York has 3 1st Round picks in a great draft (I’ll do an analysis on that later, but you should be excited, NYR fans). While losing Nash shouldn’t affect them, McDonagh and Miller hurt in the interim. But Rangers fans should be excited for a whole new team full of speed and skill in the coming years.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks flat out stole Evander Kane. While Kane is a polarizing player with his off-ice attitude, few fans can argue that he is not a worthy goal scorer. Sharks fans should be happy to know that Pavelski will definitely approve of the acquisition

“I’m excited for what Evander can bring to this team,” said Sharks Captain Joe                      Pavelski, who played with Kane in Russia during the 2012-13 season. “He plays an              extremely hard game, and I love the edge he plays with.”

and San Jose acquired Kane for pennies on the dollar, especially when you compare the haul for Rick Nash, Ryan Hartman, and Tomas Tartar. The Shark Tank will also welcome Eric Fehr who should be a good depth forward.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are 2nd in the division, Laine is on the 3rd line, and they look playoff bound. Their only weakness is that they are young and inexperienced past 82 games. Enter Paul Stastny who can be a shutdown center, goal scorer, faceoff champion, playmaker, and leader. And he wants to be in Winnipeg. Sounds like they got their man.


Los Angeles Kings

LA gets someone to take Marian Gaborik off their hands and they acquire a top-4 defenseman for free, essentially. Then they turn around and move Kuemper for the goal scorer they need in Rieder? LA has proven that pretty much anyone can play goal for them (except Bishop bizarrely) and will look like a legitimate starter in the league (see also Ben Scrivens, Jonathan Bernier, and Peter Budaj). Therefore, acquiring Rieder is the trade win that the Kings desperately needed. I don’t know if it’ll be enough to save their season, but the Kings definitely improved and have something to build upon.

Nashville Predators

Nashville lost Pontus Aberg in a bizarrely bad move…And they still are winners at the Trade Deadline. The Predators are by far the deepest and best team in the league and it’ll be a crime if the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals is not Nashville vs. Tampa Bay. Although they already have the 2nd best defensive group in the league, a plethora of scorers, and Pekka Rinne, they added some great depth options from the San Jose Barracuda in the AHL. I just saw the ‘Cuda play the Ontario Reign last week and I can tell you the Grosenick was the team. He made two fantastic glove saves that reminded me of Bobrovsky and Bollig showed that he can still forecheck. Nashville also acquired Hartman, who should be a good middle or bottom 6 forward. AND Nashville is probably bringing over goal scoring prodigy Eeli Tolvanen for the playoffs. Dangerous team.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins overpaid for Rick Nash, but overall I liked their moves. They add Nick Holden to a deep defensive group, Nash for help upfront, and Wingels and Gionta for depth. They also found a way to do all of that while keeping their best young players: Grzelcyk, Forsbacka-Karlsson, Zboril, DeBrusk, Heinen, Bjork, Carlo, McAvoy, Studnicka, Blidh, Lauzon, and Senyshyn. Pretty good asset management if you ask me.


Chicago Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman has 8 goals and 25 points in 57 games this year. Comparatively, Evander Kane has 40 points in 61 games, Grabner has 25 goals in 59 games in 2018. Yet, the Hawks got a better return for Hartman that the Sabres got for Kane or the Rangers got for Grabner. Granted, the latter two players are Unrestricted Free Agents at the end of the season whereas Hartman is a Restricted Free Agent, but Hartman brought back a proportionally massive return. Chicago gets a late 1st Rounder AND Victor Edjsell. If you don’t know who he is, he is a 6’5 214 lbs. Swedish forward who is 22 years old and has 30 points in 44 games played in the highest Swedish league. Hawks fans should be excited.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers are looking to return to the playoffs and they certainly got better. With Elliott and Neuvirth both sidelined, Mrazek should help propel them forward during this crazy streak that Philly has been on since the Eagles won the Superbowl. It would be something if this seemingly small acquisition took them all the way to a deep post-season run.


New Jersey Devils

The Devils are definitely exceeding expectations in the toughest division. Currently in the first wild card spot, the speedy Devils add Grabner and Maroon for a playoff push. Not only are they fast and skilled, but now the Devils have Boyle, Maroon, and Wood for toughness.

Detroit Red Wings

Let me start by saying that Green should have been traded, even if it was for just a 5th Round pick (see Drew Stafford for severe underpayments at the deadline). However, GM Holland redeems himself by moving on from Mrazek (who they didn’t want anyway) for a couple of late picks and by stealing 3 picks from the Knights. While McPhee is perhaps the best team builder of the 21st century (see Capitals and Knights), his weakness is trading. Every GM typically has a weakness, but when you move Filip Forsberg for Erat and Latta, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you give up a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for Tartar. Red Wings definitely had an offer they couldn’t refuse.


Washington Capitals

They didn’t move Orpik, lost Chorney to waivers, acquired Jerabek for depth and Kempny to play on the bottom pairing, and no forward was added. Meanwhile the Devils, Jackets, Penguins, Lightning, and Bruins all improved.

Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim loses the deadline for 3 reasons. 1. The Kings, Sharks, and Knights all improved in the last two weeks with big acquisitions while the Ducks stood by. 2. Anaheim, who is maybe a top 6 forward away from being one of the deepest teams in the league could possibly waste another precious year of Getzlaf and Kesler by failing to make a big push and miss the playoffs entirely. And 3…For years, Bob Murray has said he wanted a left shooting left wing and this deadline was full of them. But..nothing. Instead, they moved Chris Wagner (a great hitter and forechecker) for Chimera. At 38, Chimera has 11 points in 58 games and is no longer the 20 goal scorer he once was. Obviously Anaheim is hoping for a resurgence, but when Pacioretty, Tartar, Kane, Nash, Hoffman, and Grabner were right there, it’s hard to justify only one small acquisition.



Wait and Se-ers:

New York Islanders

Heavily dependent on keeping Tavares, but the Islanders did not mess with the chemistry they’ve developed. They moved on from Chimera who was being scratched and performing poorly this season, while also getting a tough forward in Wagner who should fit like a glove on their 4th line. While JT hasn’t signed an extension, he has for his consideration: a new stadium, new amazing 2nd line, new 4th line, and probably a massive offer on the table. It might have helped the Islanders during their pitch to show, through a couple of moves, that they are committed to making the post-season though.

Florida Panthers

They acquired Vatrano, despite being in on several non-rental marquee names. Panthers are re-tooling, but also have the easiest schedule of any team left and barely any wild card competition within their own division. With the last wild card spot wide open for them, it’s surprising they didn’t go for it at least to some degree. However, the Panthers were conservative with their asset management and still have some great prospects in their pipeline. Maybe their wait-and-see approach will be rewarded in the long term.

Ottawa Senators

Karlsson, Hoffman, Smith, Ryan, and Pageau remain with the team and the speculative trade cloud will probably be a distraction for the rest of the year. Hindsight is 20/20, though, and not completely tearing down might be the smartest thing they never did (see Colorado Avalanche and New York Islanders). Senators will likely have 2 1st Rounders in 2018, but if they do, their 1st Rounder next year will go to the Avalanche. Definitely a tough place to be. They also traded Phaneuf (and retained salary cap on him) and moved Thompson (without acquiring any picks) in exchange for Gaborik and a 7th Round pick (that they got for flipping Nick Shore). Yikes!

Columbus Blue Jackets

They got Vanek for spare parts, but failed to do anything impactful. They badly needed a center and missed on Brassard. They also kept Johnson, but haven’t extended him, then acquired Cole and Chorney for depth. Dubois, Anderson, Bjorkstrand, Nutivaara, Carlsson, and Milano should be good players though. Maybe their patience is rewarded through the development of their young stars.

Cap information from

Stat information from and

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