As the trade deadline is a few days old, and the traded players get accustomed to their new homes for the foreseeable future, let’s look back at the good and bad that happened Wednesday afternoon.
Steve Yzerman, you did an outstanding job in shredding much needed salary to re-sign your three stud RFA’s this summer in Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin. It was just impossible to keep all your toys in the salary cap era. Tampa now has over $17 million in cap space when taking away the long-term Injured Reserve players. So, let's say all three of the previously mentioned players get bridge deals like Nikita Kucherov, signed this past fall. Tampa may still have a little extra left to add some defensive depth.
It wasn’t just the dealing of Ben Bishop to the L.A. Kings, but there was also the three-team trade that sent Valtteri Filppula to Philadelphia along with his five million dollar contract that he wasn’t earning. Also, Yzerman dealt heart and soul and extraordinarily hard defensive forward Brian Boyle north to Toronto on Wednesday. Filppula scored a goal last night in his debut for the struggling Flyers.
My second applause goes out to another great #19, Joe Sakic, for not trading any of his stud players just for the sake of trading them. I mentioned last week that the hauls for Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog would have to be huge. Those two are still so young and just need a better defensive corps and net minder to tighten up the defensive ranks. Sakic did send Jarome Iginla to Los Angeles for one last hurrah and hopefully a Stanley Cup for the great future Hall of Famer.
Washington, you got the trophy catch of this year’s trade deadline deals, and hopefully you didn’t give up another Filip Forsberg in the process. Kevin Shattenkirk and his Caps teammates are all chips in and hopefully this move pays off for Washington this spring in a very tough Eastern Conference. The Caps will not have enough money in cap space to keep Shattenkirk beyond this season unless there is some creative financing this summer in the nation’s capital.
Another move I liked was Pittsburgh being the third man in on the Filppula trade and getting veteran offensive defenseman Mark Streit from bitter rival Philadelphia. The Pens are already thin on the back end, with Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley both dinged up, and Kris Letang a cough away from pulling his groin. I'm still a little curious as to why goalie Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t dealt away. I know a team in Winnipeg that could sure use a former stud goalie for their playoff push.
Chicago brought back Johnny Oduya to help make the push for Stanley Cup number four in the Windy City. They’re getting the band back together. Along with Oduya, the Blackhawks added depth with the addition of Tomas Jurco from Detroit.
The Ottawa Senators added a couple depth players in Alexandre Burrows and Viktor Stalberg at the deadline, with Burrows potting both goals last night in his Ottawa debut. Will Ottawa win the Cup? Probably not, but these additions just made them that much tougher to face in the playoffs.
The Detroit Red Wings' 25-year playoff streak will end this spring, so for the first time in a quarter-century, my team were sellers at the deadline. Along with Jurco going to Chicago, Detroit sent defenseman Brendan Smith to the New York Rangers and the vastly improved Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers, all for draft picks and conditional draft picks. Way to deal Ken Holland and way to pile up the picks for the future. Vanek stated that he would like to stay in Detroit, so maybe we can reward him this summer by bringing him back. In the meantime though, he will add more scoring depth to a Panthers team sorely in need of some secondary scoring, and with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau back healthy and scoring, Florida can make that final push into the playoffs in what has been a huge letdown season after last year’s 103-point awakening.
You can always talk pucks with me @PolkaPat.