Feb 28, 2011, 10:01 PM EDT
While Joe took a look at the five biggest winners of the 2011 Trade Deadline, it’s my assignment to rain on parades and be a downer. Fortunately, soiling the happiness of others is one of my accidental skills, so this should feel pretty natural. Click here for the full rundown of today’s trades, if you need a memory refresher.
Here are the five biggest losers from Monday’s anti-frenzy*, in order of increasing badness. (Keep in mind this is taking February 28th into consideration rather than a surprisingly stout month of pre-deadline deals.)
5. Detroit Red Wings just extend Jimmy Howard‘s contract
While some of these other teams would get a grade ranging from a C- to a big red F, the Red Wings probably would get a flat C or just an “Incomplete.” It’s not like they needed to do anything; after all, they remain a very dangerous team and re-signing Howard still stands as one of the day’s best moves.
That being said, Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski aren’t getting any younger and even some of the guys in their “prime” years have a lot of mileage for players in their early 30s. Why not swing for the fences while you’re still at full power rather than settling for a walk?
4. Chicago Blackhawks fork over a conditional second round pick for … Chris Campoli?
Look, it’s obvious that GM Stan Bowman was in a tough spot being that the ink wasn’t even dry on Jordan Hendry’s injury report from Sunday, but he paid a hefty toll for a mediocre blueliner.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Campoli cannot help the Blackhawks more than an AHLer – he can skate well and has some offensive upside – but he’s an adventure at best in his own zone. One scouting report described him as a “riverboat gambler” on defense. That’s not exactly the kind of guy you want on your side in the zero-margin-of-error West race, especially at the cost of a (conditional) second round draft pick.
3. Montreal Canadiens remain old, small and just good enough to lose early in the playoffs.
One of the biggest gags of another Twitter-dominated deadline involved a fake reporter account spitting out a rumor that involved Dustin Penner going to the Habs. As fraudulent as that report ended up being, you cannot blame some Montreal fans for getting excited. After all, Penner might be the antithesis of most Canadiens forwards. He’s huge and young; they’re old and small. The only common thread Penner and many of the Habs forwards share is inconsistency.
Instead of adding size or at least finding another quality forward for their playoff run, Montreal opted to cross their fingers and hope that they can repeat last year’s “go into turtle mode and pray that our goalie bails us out” trick. Carey Price has done a great job of making Montreal fans forget about Jaroslav Halak, but asking this team to luck out again is like gambling your mortgage on lightning striking twice.
Then again, perhaps Montreal’s management team has a secret “Reset Button” plan. Of their current roster players, only six forwards, two defensemen and one goalie remain under contract after this season. We’ll see if that ends up being a good thing or a disaster waiting to happen.
(If this deadline was any indication … well, let’s hope it’s not an indication.)
2. The Minnesota Wild sit in neutral.
It’s tough not to admire the Wild’s guile as they fight valiantly for a playoff spot without their backbone, center Mikko Koivu. But considering how passionate (and patient) Minnesota fans have been, why couldn’t the Wild’s front office throw them a trade deadline bone?
You can make excuses all day, but the long-term outlook of this team isn’t particularly peachy. Their two top players (Koivu and goalie Niklas Backstrom) are making market value money, but most of their remaining players are either on overpriced deals or bargains set to expire in the next season or two.
It’s hard to imagine the Wild progressing beyond their current bubble team/seventh or eighth seed ceiling … and they’re even getting a remarkably healthy season from talented but fragile winger Martin Havlat. How much longer will Minnesota fans tolerate a front office that seems quite satisfied with mediocrity?
1. And the biggest loser: anyone who took off work for the deadline.
Hey, with all those medium-sized to flat-out big deals in the weeks leading up to the deadline, there had to be at least some hint that today might not be a buffet of outlandish trades. Right?
On some level, the hockey media and all fans fall loosely into this category, but the people with the reddest cheeks took a precious vacation day from soul-draining cubicle jobs for this? Hopefully those cheeks were red because of a blissful mid-day buzz, because if you took off work to see a trade afternoon headlined by Penner, it’s tough to rationalize that as anything but a big loss.
* There were only 16 trades during today’s deadline, the lowest total since there were only 12 in 2000.
Mar 15, 2014, 12:22 AM EDT
Everyone else more or less lost or was inactive.
Mar 14, 2014, 11:54 PM EDT
The two teams combined for nine goals in the second period.
Mar 14, 2014, 10:56 PM EDT
Rangers buy some breathing room via Carl Hagelin’s hat trick.
Mar 14, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT
A showdown between former Canucks goalies goes badly for NJ.
Mar 14, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT
Not that they’re without problems.
Mar 14, 2014, 9:36 PM EDT
Good news for a team giving up a lot of shots.
Mar 14, 2014, 9:23 PM EDT
He’s questionable to return with an undisclosed injury.
Mar 14, 2014, 9:07 PM EDT
Beauty of a pass to Tom Wilson.
Mar 14, 2014, 8:56 PM EDT
On the left side, though.
Mar 14, 2014, 8:22 PM EDT
The player also responds.
Mar 14, 2014, 8:04 PM EDT
He hasn’t been taken out of an induced coma.
Mar 14, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT
Both are inked with the team for three more years.
Mar 14, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
He was their third first-rounder (27th overall) from 2013.
Mar 14, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT
Anton Lander slides into his center spot vs. Detroit.
Mar 14, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
“Obviously I would have loved to save 10 grand, but it was part of it.”
Mar 14, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT
Specifically, playing right wing instead of left.
Mar 14, 2014, 3:39 PM EDT
Yep, another Penguins-Flyers series is a possibility.
Mar 14, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT
All the latest from the blue paint…
Mar 14, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT
Lots going on here.
Mar 14, 2014, 2:12 PM EDT
The 30-year-old suffered an ankle injury during the Olympics
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