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Winners and losers of the 2014 trade deadline

Mar 5, 2014, 4:48 PM EDT

It’s been a crazy 48 hours in the National Hockey League, with a flurry of transactions and player movement. So, let’s make snap judgements about who did well and who didn’t!



source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

The Habs grabbed the deadline’s big fish, Thomas Vanek, for prospect Sebastien Collberg and a conditional second-round pick, a remarkably low price compared to what the Isles spent earlier this season on the pending free agent.

Montreal made other moves, too, including grabbing cheap goaltending insurance in Devan Dubnyk (Nashville is retaining part of his salary). But the real star was Vanek, who has 21 tallies this year and has been one of the league’s most consistent goalscorers over the last few seasons. He’s set to join a team boasting nine 10-goal scorers (led by Max Pacioretty, with 29).

From a short-term perspective, you could argue the Canadiens are the big winners, while the long-term winner is:


One could joke the 2014 and 2015 NHL Drafts should take place in Buffalo since the Sabres hold all the picks. While that’s hyperbole, it’s only slight — GM Tim Murray (and former GM Darcy Regier) have netted a ton of selections by flipping their various assets.

On Wednesday, the Sabres moved Matt Moulson and Jaroslav Halak juuust under the deadline after it looked like they might take the last day off. Murray also decided to keep Chris Stewart — one of the pieces acquired in the Ryan MillerSteve Ott deal to St. Louis — which has its advantages, as he has a year remaining on his contract.

While technically not a trade, the Sabres also grabbed Cory Conacher for nothing off of waivers. That was a low-risk moved by Murray, who knows Conacher from their time together in Ottawa.

Rangers (short-term)

Maybe it would be most appropriate to say that Blueshirts head coach Alain Vigneault “won” on Wednesday as his team traded Ryan Callahan for Martin St. Louis. Vigneault pleaded for a more offensively explosive team earlier this season and now he has it, inheriting Tampa Bay’s leading scorer and the NHL’s reigning scoring champ.

Make no mistake about it, though, the Rangers probably could have kept Callahan if they truly wanted to. Maybe that comes down to GM Glen Sather playing hardball … or maybe Vigneault wanted a better fit for his system?

Worth noting the Rangers added some defensive depth by getting Swiss blueliner Raphael Diaz out of Vancouver for a fifth-round pick. All in all, a good day in the Big Apple.

Lightning (long-term)

Right now, the St. Louis deal stings — both in terms of how it transpired and what it leaves the Bolts with for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. There are positives, though. Even with Callahan’s fearless, shot-block style in mind, the Bolts got a decade younger today as Callahan is 28 while St. Louis is 38.

The Bolts also received a first and conditional second-round pick in the deal, which is a positive “look towards the future” move for a team that dealt away its disgruntled captain, and was hamstrung by his desire to only join one team. The first-rounder is also in the highly coveted ’15 Draft, which is set to include wunderkinds Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Dylan Strome.

And hey, Callahan always could stick around Tampa Bay beyond this year…

Los Angeles

Back in 2011-12, the Kings made a big trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets in nabbing Jeff Carter, who helped them win a Stanley Cup.

Could history repeat itself with Marian Gaborik?

The Kings largely used pieces from previous goalie trades (a third-rounder in the Ben Scrivens deal; Matt Frattin from the Jonathan Bernier swap) to grab Gaborik for a low-risk price. the 32-year-old carries health risks as always, yet the thought of a guy with two 40+ goal seasons on his resume added to a squad that includes Anze Kopitar and Carter must leave Western Conference teams somewhat concerned.


The Capitals came into the deadline with two question marks: goaltending and scoring depth. They traded for Halak to push Braden Holtby in net and grabbed Dustin Penner to help boost their secondary scoring. GM George McPhee needed to make moves this week, and he delivered — without altering the current roster very much.

Bargain hunters

Ales Hemsky only cost Ottawa a third and fifth-round pick, the same cost as Marcel Goc  (Pittsburgh) and Brandon Pirri (Florida)… One-time All-Star Stephane Robidas (injury and all) went to the Ducks for the low price of a fourth-rounder… Penner netted the same charge leaving Anaheim for the Capitals.

In short, there were deals to be had. Kudos to the clubs that found ’em.



Specifically, Islanders GM Garth Snow. Parts I and II of the Thomas Vanek trade represent disappointing results for the Isles, although some may take solace in Snow at least getting something for the coveted sniper.

Do note we said “some.” Not “many.”


Canucks GM Mike Gillis didn’t move Ryan Kesler and was skewered for how he handled the Roberto Luongo situation. He’s losing in the court of public opinion and, while that might not sound like much, it is the kind of failing that can get you fired.

If there’s a bright side, the goalie controversy (well, the latest goalie controversy) is over and there’s still the option of dealing Kesler at the draft, when his stock should still be high. You know, assuming he doesn’t get injured again.

Alberta teams

The Sabres raking in picks makes Calgary and Edmonton look bad. The Oilers made a lot of moves and added some goaltending depth, but didn’t get much in return for Hemsky/Nick Schultz and were unable to recoup their second-round pick at the ’14 Draft, something GM Craig MacTavish wanted to do.

The Flames, meanwhile, did nothing. It’s true that pieces such as Michael Cammalleri weren’t carrying heavy hype coming into the deadline, but now one wonders what he provides as a pending free agent… for a rebuilding Calgary team.

  1. lordfletcher - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    So minnesota didn’t win or lose.

    What does that mean PHT?


    maybe i missed it to, not sure. All i know. Moulson baby! Let’s go!!!

    Happy trade day everybody

    • ignath - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      my thoughts also fletch!

      I think Minny had an above-average couple days:

      1. Picked up a new scoring forward for an overpaid 3rd/4th liner in Mitchell
      2. Backup goalie for next to nothing so we could shut down the glass albatross Backstrom for the year

      • 950003cups - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        I was kinda hoping you would get Brodeur. This way I could buy a #30 BRODEUR Wild 3rd jersey. Brodeur vs Bryzgalov? Its a no-brainer. Unless Lou was asking unrealistic terms on it. Which wouldn’t surprise me.

      • ignath - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        I would guess Lou was being a bit unrealistic (or perhaps Fletcher was). I read a Mike Russo tweet that stated Fletcher was unwilling to part with any young assets or high draft picks.

    • 950003cups - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      Wild made it an even wash.

      Minnesota + Moulson = Win.
      Any team + Bryzgalov = Loss

      Fletcher totally screwed up your goalie situation. If this Keumper (sp) kid starts flailing, your season will collapse under Dizzy Bryzzy.

      So, its a wash.

      I know, I know… DEVILS LOST. Lou is getting too old to see talent.

      • bethgoesglobal - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:52 PM

        We’ll see how the whole Bryzgalov thing goes. He could just as easily be a hit as he could be a miss. His career was shaping up well before he was sent to Philly and given ridiculously large contract. Keep in mind he will also be playing for another contract which can be very motivating (whether that’s with the Wild or elsewhere).

        I also think Philly may be cursed in the net these days.

    • blomfeld - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      “must leave Western Conference teams somewhat concerned” ? …

      Though this could be the ‘understatement’ of the year, a terrific article by O’Brien nonetheless …


      GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  2. ikedavisnose - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Garth Snow Royally Screwed up here, he waited to long and had to take the best of the worst. #SnowMustGo

    • goalieguy32 - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      i seriously don’t understand what Snow was thinking from day one, all joking aside.

      from the initial Moulson trade, here is where we netted out:

      Moulson + a 2014 or 2015 First Round Pick + 2015 Second Round Pick


      Sebastian Collberg and a 2014 Second Round Pick….

      The math on this trade isn’t adding up?

      • ikedavisnose - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:11 PM

        Well that’s just the issue, he wasn’t thinking, he rarely thinks. But he could trade JT for a 3rd and a 5th and Wang still wouldn’t show his A** the door. The lack of accountability surrounding this team is unreal and needs to change if they want to win. Wang needs to do something, and fast if he wants to keep the Isles very loyal fans when they move to Brooklyn

    • leninthebuff - Mar 6, 2014 at 7:04 AM

      This isn’t over with for Snow because he is in a lose/lose situation come draft time. If he keeps the number 1 this year and the Islanders are bottom feeders next year then he loses a chance at McDavid/Eichel, if he gives up this years top 5 pick he still is gonna be crucified by the fans. There is no way for Snow to win unless he gambles and gets McDavid or Eichel next year. Does he take the sure thing this year or gamble on next year as I don’t see the Islanders being much better next year. After saying all this I hope he gives the Sabres next years number 1 and we get lucky and have the first and second picks in next years draft.

  3. bucrightoff - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    If the Canadiens miss the playoffs, the Islanders traded Matt Moulson, Thomas Vanek, a first round pick and a second round pick for…Sebastien Collberg. Just a mind bogglingly stupid trade from the outset. Snow should get fired but since Wang is an absentee owner, who knows?

    • rbbbaron - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      I think every Isles wishes Wang were an absentee, but judging by the fact that they’re consistently a cap floor team, seems not to be the case.

    • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      That kid better score 80 goals and rack-up 160 pts. to break even for this Snow screw-up.

  4. joey4id - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    During his presser in TB Stevie Y. said “I’m not sure that we are better team. We are a different team. Time will tell if we are better.” Wow!

    • flyerspsu - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      why is that wow?

      • joey4id - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        You typically make a trade to improve your team, and his brutal honesty surprised me. Tough question to answer positively after trading a player with 29 goals for one with 11 goals. I hope Stamkos will be able to come back strong in a short amount of time. They will need his offensive contribution very quickly to secure their playoff spot.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Shouldn’t you comment under your blomfeld name too pumping your own tires?

  5. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    I propose one more trade.

    Snow for Gillis.

    The other NY team already swapped coaches last year…why not GM’s tomorrow.

    Both need a new home, and it seems fitting that both can bury a team with the inability to rebuild.

    • imleftcoast - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      I loved the Niners trying to trade Harbaugh to the Browns. Snow for Gillis is within the realm of possibility given the two clubs involved.

  6. joey4id - Mar 5, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    During his presser in TB Stevie Y. said “I’m not sure that we are better team. We are a different team. Time will tell if we are better.” Wow!

    Y could have thrown St. Louis under the bus, but not surprisingly resisted.

  7. sabatimus - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Montreal would be the first listed. They got away like bandits. Bergevin I’m sure is still laughing his behind off.

  8. rsl22 - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    I think the Caps are better just for getting rid of Erat. He was a $4.5MM cancer and I almost feel bad for Phoenix. Enjoy the turnovers, lack of production, and inflated cap hit.

  9. imgoingtowichita - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Yesterday I thanked Gilles for not letting Snow look too bad. Can I take it back?

  10. joey4id - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Only if Vanek (2014 UFA) signs with the Canadiens next season will this trade be considered a steal. Islanders won’t make the playoffs either way, and they was a strong possibility Vanek would not re-sign with the Islanders.

    • rsl22 - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      The Isles traded Moulson and a 1st round pick for Vanek. That pick will be around the top 3 regardless of whether it is 2014 or 2015. They lost big time on Vanek regardless of whether Canadiens sign him.

      • joey4id - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:29 PM

        Gotcha! I was just looking at the latest trade. The Isles at least got something in return from Montreal. If the Isles don’t trade him and he walks, they get nothing for him. Isles knew he was risk when they got him. They gambled and lost.

    • imgoingtowichita - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      “Strong possibility of not resigning”

      Joey, Joey, Joey. For someone who ‘knows hockey’ and comments as frequently as you do, I must ask, do you read any of the articles written by the bloggers?

      Peyton Manning new that Vanek was not resigning with the Isles. Montreal still wins the deal just for the fact that they gave up nothing for a goal scorer (albeit a lazy, heartless, prone to selfish penalties) goal scorer.

      If indeed Minnesota signs Vanek in the offseason, you will regret it. Think manslaughter man’s contract is an albatross?

      Enough venting – Snow must go

      • joey4id - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        What’s your point? Of course Montreal wins…. now. And the Isles get some assets in return as opposed to nothing as a UFA. NYR won big time as well…. now. We don’t know who the future picks will be.

        BTW, repeating my name doesn’t make your point any clearer. Chill!

  11. mshantz22 - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Please add Detroit Red Wings to losers. Giving up a prospect a 3rd rounder and Eaves for a 33 year old 3rd line center seems like a poor deal for the wings.

    • blinkyhowe - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      I don’t think so. Patty..who alot of us loved..was an AHL player for most of the year. Totally expendable. He was done here. The prospect was well regarded but undersized and rumored to be looking to return to Sweden. They might have been forced to throw in the 3rd as insurance if he did. The Wings are decimated right now at center. They get a quality two way 40 pt guy who can help for the rest of the season. If he signs next year its a plus.

  12. deezenucks - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Great work Gillis!

  13. pdmjr - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Habs won’t want Vanek for next year. lazy and slow

  14. greej1938l - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Fletcher….Minny won…we don’t need to be told that lol big pick up with moulson

  15. tdrusher225 - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Bruins are big time losers today

    • govtminion - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      They brought in a solid blue-liner for a modest draft pick. They were happy with their forwards and weren’t really in need of a goalie. Why does that make them ‘big losers’?

      • tdrusher225 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        They needed a depth forward because literally if even one good forward gets injured they have no solid replacements. And most of all they needed a top 4 defenseman, but instead they got 2 guys who probably won’t be in the lineup come playoff time. Now Bartkowski and Hamilton are going to be relied on heavily to play top 4 minutes. Does that sound good to you?

  16. rockthered1286 - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Getting rid of Erats contract was big but adding Penner? Less points than Erat this season. And I think Neuvirth is better than Holtby. I think it’s a wash, possibly a downgrade.

    • xbrightxredxbloodx - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      I have to disagree. I think DP will flourish alongside Backstrom and Ovi. Less points than Erat, sure, but at least he can finish. I also think it’s a stretch to say Neuvi is better than Holtby, but Halak has proven he can be better than both. Caps net situation just got interesting. I just REALLY wish GMGM made a push for some D. Was actually excited when we got Klesla, but then we just flipped him.

      Overall, I’d say the Caps came out on top. Not by a whole lot, but hopefully enough make a push for the playoffs plus 1 or 2 series wins.

  17. mnwildfan15 - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Minny wins all around we get moulson for nothing, the human sound bite in net, and Vanek goes to the last place he would re sign. LETS GO!! IALTO!!

  18. thegonz13 - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    The losers remain losers

    As for the winners, we’ll really find out at the end of the season and in the playoffs

  19. riggorules - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    Wow, it’s news to Caps fans that the team’s question marks were scoring and goaltending. I guess their AHL-level defense is just fine, no issues there.

    • xbrightxredxbloodx - Mar 5, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      Fact. Hell, some of the defensemen in Hershey are better than what the Caps are using.

  20. crazemastercraze - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Washington did nothing to shake the team up. McVee really thinks they are a playoff caliber team?

    Philly, same thing. They traded for a ufa and unloaded a contract.

    Both teams are a joke

  21. atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    The Flames got a 2nd and 3rd round pick for two players they had no interest in signing, that’s not bad. Sure it would have been nice to trade Cammelleri but I guess Burke decided it would be better to keep him and attempt to resign him rather than giving him away for a lower round pick and paying half his salary. They also opened up spots for younger players…and as I was saying that Marcus Granlund scored with an assists to Max Reinhart and Corbin Knight…so that’s pretty good. I know the PHT writers love to take cheap shots at the Flames whenever possible, but labelling them as “losers” of the trade deadline is ridiculous.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      I’s also funny how this site loves it some Alice Hemsky…obviously you don’t watch him play very often, he’s got a massive reputation out east that he really has no business having, he’s an okay player but would rather pass than shoot and is nowhere near the “sniper” a lot of people in the east think he is. The Oilers did fairly well in that trade.

      I would also say getting anything of value for Bryzgalov and giving up fairly little for a goalie they believe might turn out to be their number 1 takes the Oilers out of “losers” territory.

      Yes Buffalo got more than Calgary and Edmonton, but they also had more valuable pieces than either Calgary or Edmonton did.

      Quality list though when trading for Halak (on his 4th team since taking the Habs to the conference finals in 2010) and Dustin Penner qualifies anyone as a winner, pretty low bar PHT set there.

  22. jake1199 - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Love this piece of garbage this article is made up to be! First flames got good draft picks! Berra for a second round pick! That is huge! A player who didn’t have a good chance in cracking the lineup! Plus getting stempniak to penguins for 3rd rd pick is pretty good! Camalerri didn’t get traded as both Vanek and moulson were last but none to the deadline so it would be hard to trade!

    As for another winner what about St.Louis Blues? They upgraded their goal with Miller and with Steve Orr that will help out in the leadership for the younger players going far into the playoffs!

    For losers> Chicago didn’t upgrade their blue line or getting a scorer! Plus, San Jose is another one as the same as Chicago!

    It won’t matter anyways, the cup is coming to either St.louis or Anaheim as both those teams upgraded and they will be tough to beat!

  23. joeyashwi - Mar 6, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    I was at the top of the “sign Vanek in Minny” crowd. That was before the trade deadline. I actually would love to see this team flourish with a player like Moulson and re-sign him this offseason a la Pominville rather than overpay for Vanek. The Wild aren’t one superstar away from being dangerous, they are two or three solid players away. I personally think they already have those players in the system and a solid player like Moulson will help more than a Vanek type player would.

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