Some Teams Winners, Others Losers After NHL Trade Deadline

By Dan Marcus

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Always an exciting time in the National Hockey League, the trade deadline recently passed, and as always, big names were moved, mistakes were made and teams put themselves in the run for the Stanley Cup.
This trade deadline was slightly different this season, with the blockbuster deals occurring weeks before and deadline day itself involving lesser-known players.
Now that the dust has settled, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh emerged as the winners while the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars failed to make the moves they needed on deadline day.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins added Thomas Kaberle and Chris Kelly to a team that already boasted arguably the best goaltending and defense in the NHL.  In Kaberle and Kelly the Bruins have a puck-moving defensemen and a solid center that will help their offensive attack.
They gave up a solid forward in Blake Wheeler, and a good defenseman in Mark Stewart. These losses haven’t shown in their record, with the Bruins 5-0 since the deadline.

Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia is the best team in the Eastern Conference to date, and they added more offensive punch in acquiring Kris Versteeg.  The promising young right winger with 37 points in 60 games and has the potential to do more. They avoided trading their talented forward by trading draft picks. Versteeg will add an offensive boost that will only make the Flyers’ offense more potent.

The Flyers’ goaltending situation is still relatively unstable. Even with Tomas Vokun, an experienced goaltender, was rumored to be on the market but the Flyers made no move to snatch him.

Los Angeles Kings

While there was a lot of buzz about what the Kings would do at the deadline, they waited to the last possible minute to get anything done and they did it in a big way, literally. The Kings added Dustin Penner, who stands at 6’4 and weighs 245 pounds. He will be a major presence in front of the net, which should help the Kings come playoff time. The Kings surrendered only prospects and picks, allowing them to upgrade.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins have struggled to score ever since they lost both Malkin and Crosby to injury and as a result they acquired young forward James Neal and reunited with Alexei Kovalev.
To acquire Neal, the Penguins gave up promising young defenseman Alex Goligoski, but they got the scoring they needed.
Kovalev scored a goal in regulation and also the game-winning goal in the shootout to give the Pens a much-needed two points Saturday night against Toronto.
They only gave up a 7th round pick to acquire Kovalev and if Sidney Crosby can return healthy, the Penguins will be a tough out in the playoffs with Kovy in the lineup.

New York Rangers

Many believed the Rangers would acquire Brad Richards from the Stars, but the Rangers failed to acquire him making them anything but “stars” at this season’s trade deadline.
The Rangers are in a precarious position in the playoff race (they are currently seventh in the East), and could have used some extra help. Richards would have brought leadership and talent, but they have to settle for defenseman Brian McCabe from the Panthers.

Dallas Stars

Dallas filled an offensive need by acquiring Alex Goligoski from the Penguins, but gave up James Neal and Matt Niskanen. By giving up young talent in exchange for an older Goligoski, the Stars gave the Pens the better deal.
They also refused to trade Brad Richards, whose contract will expire at the end of the season. Dallas could easily miss the playoffs, and even if they make it are likely to be knocked out early. Instead of trading Richards for solid, young talent, they will likely get nothing when he departs this summer.