Prior to the NHL’s trade deadline – Monday, Feb. 25 – there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of action taking place. Just hours before the 3 p.m. deadline, there was a flurry of activity leaving some teams much better off as they head into the 2018-19 season’s final stretch. There are a few teams, however, that got left behind. Here’s a look at the winners and losers at the 2019 NHL trade deadline.
WINNER: COLUMBUS The Blue Jackets primed themselves for a late-season playoff push by adding former Ottawa pending free agents Ryan Dzingel and Matt Duchene. They also decided to hang on to leading point scorer Artemi Panarin (69 PTS) and Sergei Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets gave up several draft picks, but GM Jarmo Kekalainen went all in on playoff run this season. If Columbus can get into the postseason and past the first round, Kekalainen’s actions will be a huge success.
LOSER: DALLAS The Stars actually won when they worked out a deal for former Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello (39 PTS). He was one of the more coveted wings on the trading block and Dallas got him and got him at a great price. Then, in his first game with the Stars Zuccarello blocked a shot and broke an arm. He’ll miss at least four weeks and now Dallas has no second- or third-round draft pick in each of the next two drafts.
WINNER: OTTAWA Well, the Senators are the worst team in hockey. They had lost five straight prior to a Thursday game against Edmonton and have an NHL-low 49 points. Still, there is reason for celebration. General manager Pierre Dorion had three high-profile skaters that he wanted to unload. He did and now the Senators are the proud owners of five new draft picks and three very good prospects.
Ottawa dumped Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel and in return got three second-round draft picks and two first-rounders (assuming Duchene re-signs with Columbus after this season. Forwards Anthony Duclair and Oscar Lindberg are solid prospects and defenseman Erik Brannstrom could be an elite level player.
LOSER: PITTSBURGH The Penguins have an injury-depleted roster and GM Jim Rutherford attempted to get the team some help at the trade deadline. After casting out his line, Rutherford reeled in … wait for it … Erik Gudbranson? The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Gudbranson is definitely big, but he had a suspect track record in Vancouver. The Penguins brass like Gudbranson’s physicality, but Pittsburgh is still left with large gaps in its roster as it heads down the season’s stretch.
WINNERS: TEAMS THAT MADE NO MOVES Tampa Bay leads the NHL in wins (49), points (102) and just about everything else. They are the best team in hockey and, as such, didn’t need to make any moves. The Islanders, Flames, and Hurricanes – all of which appear to be headed to the postseason – also made no moves. Instead, each team decided to stick with its current roster.
One interesting side note is this. Every single Stanley Cup champion since 2010 has made at least one move during the week of the trade deadline. Last year, the Capitals added Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek the week prior to the trade deadline. Kempny, a defenseman, played in all 24 games and had two goals and five points as Washington won its first-ever Stanley Cup.