Rick Nash remained with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Alexander Semin will lace up with the Washington Capitals for the rest of the season and Zach Parise will continue with the New Jersey Devils as well. After all was said and done and the smoke cleared shortly after 3 pm EST this afternoon, this year’s trade deadline produced 15 transactions with 31 players on the move along with 11 draft picks.
But none of the big names that were speculated to be in play at this year’s trade deadline ended up getting moved. Nash stayed with the Blue Jackets despite some serious solicitation from the New York Rangers. Ales Hemsky and Tuomo Ruutu were both nullified as trade candidates after signing extensions with their respective clubs before the deadline hit. And players like Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro, who were thought to maybe be on the way out, ended up staying with the Dallas Stars.
Welcome to league-wide parity.
A quick look at the standings shows us why so few big names were moved – teams think they still have a shot at the playoffs. In the West, the 13th place Anaheim Ducks are only six points out of the 8th seed playoff spot. It’s the same in the East where the 12th place Buffalo Sabres find themselves six points out of a playoff spot as well. And teams like Edmonton, who are well out of the playoff picture, aren’t willing to part with their future superstars. Simply put, in a league where every team is so close in the standings, there are very few teams willing to throw in the towel.
The Nashville Predators were an active party at the deadline, kicking off trade deadline day by acquiring Andrei Kostitsyn from the Montreal Canadiens. This move will reunite the Kostitsyn brothers, who last played together in 2010 in Montreal before Sergei was traded to Nashville that same season. The Predators also acquired defenseman Hal Gill from the Canadiens earlier this month. The Predators finished their deadline spree with the addition of Paul Gaustad from the Buffalo Sabres, one of the best faceoff specialists in the NHL with a winning percentage of 56.8 percent.
Also busy at the deadline were the Vancouver Canucks, who added depth and grit on both offense and defense. The team picked up Zach Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani from Buffalo for Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer, and also acquired Sami Pahlsson from Columbus for Taylor Ellington and two fourth round draft picks in 2012. The Canucks also nabbed Andrew Gordon from Anaheim for Sebastien Erixon.
The San Jose Sharks also added depth to their roster by acquiring TJ Galiardi and Daniel Winnik from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Jamie McGinn and two prospects. Both players give San Jose more depth and Winnik should help on the penalty kill where he averages three minutes of ice time her page.
The Bruins made some moves as well by acquiring Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau from the Islanders and defenseman Greg Zanon from the Minnestota Wild in exchange for defenseman Steven Kampfer.
The Chicago Blackhawks made a good defensive move by adding Johnny Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a second round draft pick and a third round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Oduya has two goals and 11 assists on the season along with 98 blocked shots.
Other top clubs were also silent on trade deadline day. The Rangers made a small move for defenseman John Scott from Chicago in exchange for a fifth round draft pick while Detroit sent defenseman Mike Commodore to Tampa Bay in exchange for a conditional seventh round draft pick. After picking up defenseman Kyle Quincey late last week from Tampa Bay, Detroit had a log jam on defense, allowing them to trade Commodore to Tampa.
Some teams also opted to make their moves before the deadline, with Los Angeles likely making the biggest splash in the days leading up to the deadline by acquiring forward Jeff Carter from Columbus. The Philadelphia Flyers also added defensive depth by acquiring Nicklas Grossman from Dallas and Pavel Kubina from Tampa Bay.
Reports came out after the deadline had passed that Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash did ask management for a trade, but the price was steep, however, and nobody was willing to pull the trigger. For the time being, Nash will remain with the Jackets and this scenario will likely be revisited once again at the draft this summer.
Overall, the Predators probably made the biggest splash to show how serious they are to contend for the Stanley Cup this season. Vancouver also addressed their need to get grittier by adding several pieces like Kassian and Pahlsson, while the Bruins did solid work to add depth to their lineup as they look to repeat as the Stanley Cup Champions this year.
Who do you think faired the best and worst at this year’s trade deadline? Or was the best trade the decision not to make any at all? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment or keep the discussion going with Chris on Twitter @HWBChris!