Into the Boards: Deadline Recap


What’s up, ITB readers and fellow hockey nerds? This past week has been crazy with many teams scrambling to make moves to improve their chances at a postseason run. For the teams that are too far gone came the decision to sell off some of their players, acquire some picks for future success, and alleviate some financial issues with the salary cap. Many role players and a few decent names were moved around. We’ll take you through a quick look at the state of the conferences and then break down a few of the more significant trades, so let’s get you guys all caught up!

Eastern Conference

Since the Metropolitan Division has absolutely dominated the East (and really the entire NHL) this season, the conference basically only has one wild card spot up for grabs as the first one has been monopolized by either the Rangers or Blue Jackets depending on the day. It’s basically like the Metro gets four playoff spots, the Atlantic gets three, and the last spot is the only one in play.

This has created a fierce battle between the recently resurgent Islanders, the Maple Leafs, the Panthers, and the Bruins down the stretch here. New York is in the middle of a monster road trip, but they’ve continued their hot streak to stay right in the thick of it. The Isles currently occupy the last spot by the skin of their teeth with Toronto sitting just one point behind them, but also having played one more game. Florida sits just two points back of the Islanders, so each team is within one win of each other to allow for plenty of position shifting.

Look for Florida to make a late push. With their team finally becoming healthy and the trade deadline acquisition of Thomas Vanek, the Panthers will be pushing hard to avoid missing the playoffs after having made it last year. Toronto has lost a good handful of close games recently and seem to be slowing down a bit down the stretch. Each game starts to feel like a playoff game this time of year and the rest of the league has began to catch onto the tendencies of Toronto’s youth. The Leafs have as good a chance as anyone to make it this year, but it certainly is not a colossal failure if they don’t, seeing as how they’re ahead of schedule with how good they are already. If not this year, you’ll certainly see the Leafs in the postseason a lot in years to come.

Western Conference

Since the all star break things have been heating up in the wild wild West. Over in the Central Division, the Minnesota Wild are holding onto first place with only a one point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks are currently on fire with a six game win streak and record of 9-1-0 in their last 10 games, and are coming for first place.

The race for the second wild card position out West is what everyone’s eyes are currently on. With the separation of just one point, the St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings are at each others’ throats with the Winnipeg Jets just three points behind St. Louis. The Blues have fallen from grace recently and have struggled, losing their last four contests while the Kings are looking to add to their one point lead by defeating the hot Calgary Flames who are looking to extend their current win streak to six games. The Kings are looking pretty solid and finally have their Hall of Fame goaltender in Jonathan Quick back. The Kings also made a major statement this week at the trade deadline by making moves to acquire superstar goaltender Ben Bishop from the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning and veteran future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla from the Colorado Avalanche. It’s obvious that the Kings made these moves because they believe they have a chance at going deep in the postseason.

I (Vin) personally had high hopes for the Blues this season, as they were favorites to win the cup by ESPN just two years ago. But even after bringing on a new coach, St.Louis has continued to play poorly and with their decision to send defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to the Capitals, I doubt even the organization believes this is their year.

And that leaves us with the Winnipeg Jets, who have a tremendous amount of young talent and can get hot at any moment. Their only downfall is their lack of depth in the third and fourth lines. I would like to have seen them bring on some new faces at the deadline but all they were able to accomplish was to send Drew Stafford to Boston. All in all I believe the Kings are the team to beat for the second wild card spot. Quick is healthy, they made the right additions at the deadline, and the post season experience is there in many of their players.

Trade Center

The NHL trade deadline came and went this past week and while it wasn’t a particularly exciting year, a good handful of interesting names were moved. We don’t have the space here to get into every single trade, but we’ve compiled a little recap of some of the more notable ones!

Kevin Shattenkirk & Phoenix Copley → Washington Capitals for Zach Sanford, Brad Malone, 2017 1st Round Pick, and 2019 Conditional Second Round Pick

With Matt Duchene not being moved out of Colorado, Kevin Shattenkirk ended up being the biggest fish to find a new home this year. This is a fantastic trade for Washington as it makes their right side John Carlson, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Matt Niskanen. All right handed shots, all excellent puck movers. Washington is all in, and hey, maybe they can even convince Shatty to stay.

Thomas Vanek → Florida Panthers for Dylan McIlrath and 2017 3rd Round Pick

Veteran forward Thomas Vanek was traded to the Florida Panthers by the struggling Detroit Red Wings. He will add depth to the Panthers and play on the third line with Bjugstad and Marchessault. Vanek will also contribute veteran leadership to a young team as well as his great expertise on the power play unit.

Brendan Smith → New York Rangers for 2017 3rd Round Pick & 2018 2nd Round Pick

The Rangers are banking on Kevin Shattenkirk signing with them in the offseason, so they went with Brendan Smith as plan B to help plug the holes in their tire fire of a blue line right now. Rumors suggest they are already discussing a contract extension. Another selling move for Detroit to prove they are committing to a rebuild.

Martin Hanzal, Ryan White, 2017 4th Round Pick → 2017 1st Round Pick, 2018 2nd Round Pick, 2019 Conditional 4th Round Pick, Grayson Downing

Hanzal gets sent over to Minnesota from the Arizona Coyotes. Hanzal will be centering the second line and provides depth to the roster and veteran leadership for the younger guys. Shane Doan made it clear that he misses him dearly.

Alex Burrows → Ottawa Senators for Jonathan Dahlen

No one has really mentioned Ottawa as a contender (because they really aren’t), but they certainly made a few trades to suggest that they aren’t content with sitting around. With Burrows having an alright season, I like it as a depth move for the Senators, but I’m not so sure about that two year contract extension.

Mark Streit → Tampa Bay Lighting for Valtteri Filppula, 2017 4th Round Pick, 2017 Conditional 7th Round Pick

The key to this trade is that Stevie Yzerman cleared a $5 million cap hit off his books, which is a tremendous move for him. Filppula’s departure means he is able to protect someone else in the expansion draft, probably Alex Killorn. The fun part about this one was that Mark Streit was a member of the Lightning for like five minutes, which leads us to…

Mark Streit → Pittsburgh Penguins for 2018 4th Round Pick

Sure hope Mark Streit didn’t have his heart set on sunny Florida, because in a matter of minutes, he found out he’d be playing for his cross-state rivals: the Pittsburgh Penguins. I would pay good money to have seen Ron Hextall’s face when this trade went down.

Jarome Iginla → Los Angeles Kings for 2018 Conditional 4th Round Pick

Let me start by saying I’m very happy for Iggy that he got dealt out of Colorado. That being said, Joe Sakic fucked a lot of things up at the deadline, but I was relieved to see that he moved Iginla’s expiring contract. I laughed my ass off upon finding out that if the conditions of this 4th round pick are not met, then the pick literally disappears and LA never has to give it up. Joe Sakic may have given Jarome Iginla away for free depending on whether or not the Kings make the playoffs. Christ, Colorado.

Steve Ott → Montreal Canadiens 2018 6th Round Pick

Steve Ott is bad. This is a bad trade.

Ben Bishop & 2017 5th Round Pick → Los Angeles for Peter Budaj, Erik Cernak, 2017 7th Round Pick, Conditional 2017 Pick

This one was a bit of a head scratcher at first. Budaj (surprisingly) carried the LA Kings this entire season. They got Jonathan Quick back and immediately acquired Bishop, who almost certainly won’t re-sign in LA to play second fiddle to Quick. Either the Kings don’t trust Quick’s health, or they really think they are making a serious run at the Cup despite teetering on the edge of the playoff picture.

Plays of the Week

Scott: This work of art from Richard Panik. Watch as he receives the puck just inside the blue line off the chip play from Duncan Keith, flawlessly pulls it between his legs to evade the poke check of Evgeni Malkin, and finishes with a perfect snapshot high blocker on Marc-Andre Fleury. Wow.

Vin: Backup netminder Carter Hutton has been pretty stellar this season behind starter Jake Allen and the struggling Blues. Check out this crazy stick save Hutton makes while laying on his back, robbing Paul Postma and the Winnipeg Jets of a goal.

Players of the Week

Scott: Filip Forsberg. After coming off hat tricks in back-to-back games, Forsberg has seven goals and three assists for 10 points in his last five games. Forsberg will need to be huge down the stretch for Nashville.

Vin: My favorite Russian, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Evgeni played in his 700th career game against the Tampa Bay, and in typical Malkin fashion scored two goals and recorded an assist. Check out the highlights below.

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