The countdown is on.
Welcome to Lach’s 2018 Trade Deadline Extravaganza! I’ll be updating this page with my analysis of all of today’s trades and transactions, as well as discussing the latest rumours and ideas of the day, so make sure to keep refreshing this tab.
I’ll also be taking questions all day in the comment section below and on Twitter, so feel free to join the conversation!
Have fun, and may the trades be ever in your favour.
4:30 pm: I’m out!
It took a long time, but my Trade Deadline blog is finally finished! Thanks to everyone who followed along throughout the day, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Now if you’ll excuse me, I really need a nap before the Canucks face the Avalanche tonight.
Thanks again, and I’ll see you next time! – Lach
2:30 pm: The Wave
Alright, let’s get down to business.
First of all, I don’t envy a single playoff team in the Eastern Conference that draws Tampa Bay.
The Lightning’s additions of Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller further confirmed the Lightning’s place as the titan of the East, while the Rangers get a young NHL ready forward in Namestnikov and two solid prospects Brett Howden and Libor Hajek, both of which will accelerate New York’s rebuild. Those picks will come in handy too. Winning trade for both sides.
This trade was a serious letdown.
Sure, Tyler Motte is a young forward with the potential of being a decent second or third liner. But on a day where picks were being given out to just about everyone, it’s baffling that the Canucks were the only team didn’t get a single one for Thomas Vanek, instead settling for a Jussi Jokinen who’s struggled to find a permanent role on three different clubs this season.
The Jackets will love Vanek’s offensive prowess, and while he’s a bit of a flight risk come playoff time he impressed me a lot during his short Canucks tenure. I wish him all the best in Columbus.
The bottom line; this trade simply wasn’t good enough for a team in the bottom five of the NHL.
Here’s the deal that made the Vanek trade look even worse.
Tomas Tatar brings some added depth to the Golden Knights as well as a guaranteed contract until 2020-21. But the Red Wings are arguably the bigger winners here by adding three draft picks for the rebuild they began this season.
Another trade that benefits both teams. Why couldn’t the Canucks get a single draft pick for Vanek again?
The Devils have been playing with house money since November, and adding Patrick Maroon is just another smart depth add by Ray Shero. The Oilers have backed themselves into a wall, and dealing Maroon while he still had value was the best plan possible. J.D. Dudek is a college draft pick currently playing for Boston College, but he’s more of a wild card than the 3rd rounder they got.
Josh Jooris has been an NHL regular for the last five seasons, but this year was demoted by the Hurricanes to the AHL Charlotte Checkers. Greg McKegg (great name, by the way) has bounced between the NHL and AHL over the course of his career, but hopes to find a permanent place on Carolina’s roster.
Joe Morrow’s addition to the Jets comes at a time where Jacob Trouba is sitting on the sidelines with an injury, so the blueline depth is more than welcome for Paul Maurice’s squad. The Canadiens seem to be slowly easing into the idea of a rebuild, something that should be a welcome change of pace for Habs fans.
Shore was a pickup from the Kings in the Dion Phaneuf trade, and now he joins his third team this season in the Flames. Senators get another pick, and despite having started their rebuild just a few weeks ago, they’ve already passed the Canucks in their progress.
Out of all the decisions Ottawa made today, the best one was not trading Erik Karlsson. As somebody who watched his team’s superstar goalie get dealt in 2014, I know it’s not a fun experience by any stretch. Don’t do it, Dorion.
The Wild are seemingly at a crossroads, and this pick should help them next year when it’ll likely be time to retool the club. As for the Canadiens they get a nice upgrade to their prospect cupboard with Mike Reilly, who could likely slot into the lineup for Montreal already.
Wingels will be a serviceable depth piece that’ll come in handy for the Bruins during a long playoff run, while the Blackhawks continue to prep themselves for the important summer in front of them. Draft picks sound like a nice idea, I wish the Canucks had some.
I’m sorry, I’m only a little bitter.
And finally, the last trade of the day. Not much to see here, just a low key swap of AHL prospects.
12:45 pm: Cool down time
Since so many major deals haven’t been made official yet, I’m going to give it a while before tackling everything still on the trade calls. I also need some lunch, so stay tuned!
12:04 pm: Some Notes
The Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars are done for the day. Neither team made a trade.
The Blue Jackets have not traded Jack Johnson before the deadline, so he’ll remain in Columbus until the spring.
12:00 pm: *Buzzer sounds*
And that’s the horn! The Trade Deadline is over, but the lineup to make phone calls to the NHL will keep some trades from getting announced for the next hour or so.
One thing we know for sure is that the Canucks have traded Thomas Vanek to the Blue Jackets. Who’s coming back? We have to wait and see.
11:30 am – 12:00 pm: Sharks nab Kane, Ducks and Isles swap depth pieces
We’ve got a big one!
The Sharks are picking up a big question mark, albeit a talented one, in Evander Kane. Kane’s off-ice antics have made other teams very cautious of picking him up, but the Sharks think that’ll go away once the games get serious. Time is running out on San Jose’s core, and this deal shows some of that desperation to win the Cup now.
The Sabres get some solid conditional picks and AHLer Danny O’Regan, continuing the seemingly constant rebuild in Buffalo. If Kane chooses not to resign with the Sharks the conditional 1st turns into a 2nd rounder, but that would still be a nice haul. I doubt the Sabres are finished for the day, but the Sharks are likely done making any major changes to their lineup.
Interesting move by the Ducks here. Chimera is 38 years-old and nearing the end of his NHL career, but does bring some toughness and experience to an Anaheim team that can never get enough of those types.
For the Islanders, Wagner is a much younger player but has struggled to stay in the lineup because of Anaheim’s depth this season. The Isles lack the same depth, and for them Wagner is a solid improvement.
11:10 am: Calm before the storm
We have a small trade before everything else goes haywire.
This is a small swap of AHL centres. Both Maletta and Kujawinski have struggled to put up points this year, but maybe a change of scenery will fix that.
11:00 am: One hour warning!
One hour to go until the NHL Trade Deadline! Can my hands keep up with the flurry of trades on the way? Let’s find out!
10:50 am: We now go live to the Rumour Mill…
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 26, 2018
The Blues were a dominant force in the Western Conference for a long time, but they’ve decided it’s time for a change. St. Louis has some solid young talent like Colton Parayko and Robby Fabbri, and building around them is the major step the Blues are taking today.
Per @RealKyper, PIT has inquired on Ryan McDonagh
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 26, 2018
NO. Get out of here, Jim Rutherford. Let the other teams at least feel like they have a chance in the playoffs.
10:25 am: I wrote another thing
Live blogging is a new medium for me, but yesterday I wrote my weekly column, the Sunday Crease, where I previewed today’s plan for the Canucks as well as other stories from around the league. If you gave it a look, I’d greatly appreciate it.
10:14 am: Reading break!
As we wait for some more deals to show up, I highly recommend this article written by Sportsnet’s Sean McIndoe (a.k.a. DownGoesBrown) about the worst cliches you’ll hear from NHL GM’s during today’s events. Go check it out!
10:00 am: Stastny Flies North
It’s amazing how much difference a few weeks can make.
Not that long ago the Blues were fighting for the Central Division title. Now they’re on a massive slide that finds them on the outside of the playoff picture. Dealing away Stastny for college prospect Erik Foley and a package of picks seems to signal a white flag in St. Louis as the team looks to start over.
I’ve been a big fan of the Jets work since their return to Winnipeg, and the pickup of Stastny signals that they believe they’re ready to compete for a Stanley Cup. At the very least they should win a playoff game this time around.
I don’t think the Jets are done either. Look for them to make another deal or two before the clock strikes twelve.
9:50 am: Canucks Bet Big on Leipsic
Ladies and gentlemen, Jim Benning has entered the trade floor.
Brendan Leipsic was the Knights’ expansion draft pickup from Toronto, where the young talent pool was simply too big for him to crack the protection list. The 23 year-old Winnipeg native has youth and plenty of skill going for him, and even while playing on the Vegas fourth line for most of the season he’s still notched 13 points in 44 games.
For the Golden Knights, Holm is a bit of an NHL question mark, but has a lot of potential. He’s been one of the Utica Comets leading goal scorers this season as a defensemen with 28 points, and recently earned the chance to play his first NHL game on Friday.
Who did the Canucks happen to play that night? The Vegas Golden Knights. Some ulterior motives there, Jim?
9:30 am: Left my Hart(Man) in Nashville
Deal number two of the day is where things start to get interesting.
Ryan Hartman is a budding young player who the Blackhawks have done an excellent job developing, and now they’ll reap the rewards of selling high on him. First round picks don’t come easy, and the Blackhawks add one (along with a fourth rounder and a prospect in Victor Ejdsell) as they start a big retool.
The Predators continue to add depth to their lineup, something they know they need all too well. Nashville made it to Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final last year, and they might’ve won it all had injuries not taken their toll. Hartman has scored 20+ points in both of his full NHL seasons and will be a big boost to the Preds’ offensive charge in the postseason.
It’s also worth noting that the Predators officially brought Mike Fisher out of retirement today, signing him to a one-year, $1 million deal. Depth is everything, kids.
9:10 am: Waive goodbye
The last set of waivers have gone through, and three players have been picked up. The Flyers are adding defensemen Johnny Oduya (OTT), the Flames claim winger Chris Stewart (MIN) and the Avalanche have landed defender Mark Alt.
Among the players not claimed was Canuck legend Alex Burrows (OTT). I have to wonder if this is the end of the line for him.
8:45 am: Open for business!
The race to the deadline has officially begun, and like most races every general manager is taking a slow pace in the early going. We do have one trade to talk about though!
The Blue Jackets defense get a much needed depth piece by adding Ian Cole, and along with the waiver pickup of Taylor Chorney should further ease Columbus’ fears in finding a trade partner for Jack Johnson. The Senators continue their massive teardown by flipping Cole, who they just picked up on Friday in the Derick Brassard trade. Nick Moutrey is currently having a tough season in the AHL with only six points in 22 games played, but it’s that extra third rounder that likely sealed the deal for the Sens.
Join the conversation! Leave a comment below or ask me a question on Twitter!