The 2015 NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone. Trades were a plenty, but some of the big fish expected to be dealt were not. General managers took a bit more conservative approach and did not fly off the handle with too many deals. Although the deals were somewhat minor there were some deadline day winners.
Ducks general manager Bob Murray went after the key aspect that wins championships, DEFENSE. The Ducks bolstered their blueline by adding defenseman James Wisniewski, Simon Despres, and Korbinian Holzer. This will give the Ducks the strong top six they are looking for. The Ducks sent William Karlsson, Rene Bourque, Ben Lovejoy, Eric Brewer, and two draft picks packing. The Ducks have a strong offensive core and now with an improved defensive core they are poised for a long playoff run.
The first big move of the day involved the Canadiens. General Manager Marc Bergevin landed the defenseman he was looking for. Jeff Petry was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers for a low cost. The Canadiens sent a second round draft pick, and a fifth round draft pick in 2015 in return. What a steal for the Canadiens. They also acquired some depth on offense by adding Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn. The most important acquisition was obviously Petry. The Canadiens now have a strong defensive core. It is always hard to improve your teams d-core, and the Canadiens succeeded at just that. The best part of all these moves was that the Canadiens did not have to give up any current roster players.
The Coyotes are in complete rebuild mode, and after today, the process may not be as grueling as expected. The Coyotes are obviously in full sell mode, and the moves started when they sent defenseman Keith Yandle to the New York Rangers. In return they acquired defenseman John Moore, super prospect Anthony Duclair, and a first round 2015 draft pick. They also dealt forward Antoine Vermette to the Chicago Blackhawks, and Zbynek Michalek to the St. Louis Blues. In return they received quality draft picks. The Coyotes will be loaded when it comes to draft picks. Its up to the scouts to land the correct draft picks, and speed up this rebuild. Trade deadline day was definitely a good start.
On a day that many did not think much of the Minnesota Wild, I believe they were the secret winner of Deadline Day. The acquisition of forward Chris Stewart from the Buffalo Sabres will be huge. Stewart will add another big body to the Wild’s lineup. This will help provide more grit, and power for the stretch drive and into the playoffs. The price tag was relatively low in having to only give up a second round pick in 2017. Another key acquisition was picking up forward Sean Bergenheim from the Florida Panthers for a third round pick in 2016. The Wild added depth up front, and also added depth on defense by adding former Minnesota Golden Gopher Jordan Leopold from the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Wild have been on a roll and this Deadline Day will help continue that roll.
A total of 24 deals took place on trade deadline day. Although there was not the glitz and glamour trades the general managers kept their composure and some (the winners) made the necessary moves to improve their team.
* Photo by Getty Images
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