Grading the Top Teams in the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline

Buffalo Sabres: Clearly the most active team at the Deadline, they participated in four deals. Other than the Miller & Ott deal that shook up the NHL last Friday, the Sabres also parted ways with Brayden McNabb, Matt Moulson, Cody McCormick and Jaroslav Halak, whom they acquired in the Miller trade. In return, Buffalo picked up quite a haul in draft picks, several prospects, and even a few guys that can help them right now such as Micheal Neuvirth and Chris Stewart. As much as it may pain Sabre fans to part ways with so many of the team’s top players, these deals will help the team substantially in the long run. New GM Tim Murray is off to a strong start in Buffalo as the rebuilding effort is in full swing now. Grade: A

Minnesota Wild: Minnesota knew that they would have to make several changes if they wanted to seriously contend in this year’s NHL playoffs and they did just that. On Tuesday, they received a new starting goalie in Ilya Bryzgalov for a only a 4th round draft pick. While Bryz has struggled dearly in the playoffs recently he is still a major upgrade over who the Wild have been starting recently, it wasn’t much of a gamble by only giving up a late round draft pick. Just as the deadline was about to end, the Wild made a major splash by acquiring Moulson and McCormick from the Sabres. While McCormick won’t do much, Moulson is easily a first or second line winger and gives Minnesota a much needed pure goal scorer. His numbers with Buffalo were incredible for how badly the Sabres have been this year, it should only get better with the Wild. Minnesota lost two draft picks in the deal and a fourth line winger, but in the long run those don’t mean much. These trades put the Wild as a serious contender to Chicago and St. Louis in the West. Grade: A

Pittsburgh Penguins: How quickly did Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero forget about last year’s playoffs? Very quickly apparently, as the Penguins did very little to help their cause this year. Pittsburgh couldn’t score, or goaltend on their way to getting swept in the second round of last year’s playoffs, and many people thought they would be very active at this year’s deadline. With many goalies being shopped around, Pittsburgh stood pat with their combination of Fleury and Vokoun– even though it failed them last year. Instead, the added Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak, who will add depth to their third and fourth lines but not much scoring. The Penguins failed to ignore their major needs at the deadline and are now poised for another early exit from the NHL playoffs. Grade: D

Los Angeles Kings: The Kings needed to put up more goals, so they traded for Marion Gaborik. Very simple, right? Not exactly, as Gaborik has proven very inconsistent in the last few years and his effort has been questioned at times. However, nothing can hurt the Kings at this point as they constantly score 1 or 2 goals a game. If it weren’t for Johnathan Quick and Martin Jones the Kings would be at the bottom of the West. In return, they shipped Matt Frattin to the Blue Jackets, a gritty player who didn’t contribute much. In another deal, the Kings made quite a deal with the Sabres. They received Brayden McNabb, John Parker and two second round draft picks in exchange for two prospects. While McNabb won’t be able to help the team this year, the Kings still won this trade and those two draft picks will help the Kings in the coming years as they have recently traded away many of their picks. Overall, the Kings could have done more to help with their scoring. Their goal tending will keep them a serious contender in the West, but scoring will hamper them. Grade: B-

New York Rangers: The Rangers only took part in two trades, but did they ever make a splash. The best scorer on the market, Martin St. Louis, who desperately wanted out of Tampa Bay, landed in N.Y. The Rangers had to give up quite a bit in return, including their captain Ryan Callahan and a first round pick in next year’s draft. However, for a team that is still very much in the playoff race in the East, this trade makes the Rangers considerably better. St. Louis just knows how to score, and as he has been doing his whole career he will make any team he is on much better. The Rangers now look like an offensive powerhouse with St. Louis, Richards and Nash and this scoring threesome will give teams much trouble the remainder of the season. In a separate deal, the Rangers acquired Raphael Diaz from Vancouver. Diaz isn’t much of a shooter, but he should be a nice depth D-man for the Rangers going forth. While St. Louis is getting up their in age, he is a major scoring upgrade over Callahan and he is also still under contract for another year. Grade: B+

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One Thought to “Grading the Top Teams in the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline”

  1. Josh

    Washington Capitals- The best Goalies in the world Do Not become the Best without a pretty Darn good D in front of them, that being said the Caps Gm George McPhee Pursued to Fill Holes in the line up before the deadline, acquiring Goalie Halak(Buf), Winger Dustin Penner(Anaheim), Chris Brown(Anaheim) and the Caps lost Goalie Neuvirth and and forward Martin Erat. Both former caps wanted out, so while accommodating Players Wants and Filling in Team Needs, Caps GM did pretty good. The capitals have Rotated 3 Goalies this season and Played 14 Different Defense men this season. A gritty, Tough guy who can score like Penner and a Experienced Goal tender at the deadline are good to see


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