NHL Trade Deadline Recap: Order up! Goalies to Go…
with a Captain swap on the side.
NHL GM’s placed the orders for net minders at a blazing rate during the trade season. An impressive ten goalies found themselves on the move.
It all began with the trade that saw the Sabres send Ryan Miller to the Blues in a trade that put the league on notice that the Blues see this move as a Stanley Cup or bust blockbuster.
The Sabres sent Jaroslav Halak, who was part of the deal for Miller, on to the Capitals as they continue the long rebuilding process in Buffalo. The Capitals sent their backup, Neuvirth, to the Sabres to complete that backstop swap.
Roberto Luongo FINALLY found himself leaving the Canucks for sunny Miami and the Panthers seemingly never ending the drama for him in Vancouver. To make room for him the Panthers sent Tim Thomas to the Stars and picked up Dan Ellis to back up Luongo in Miami.
This round of swaps leaves the Canucks with inexperienced Eddie Lack and Markstrom, acquired from the Panthers, between the pipes and a rabid city full of fans wondering where the franchise is heading.
The Oilers grabbed a potential steal from the Ducks when they acquired Viktor Fasth. he will get the chance to become the man in net in Edmonton because Ilya Bryzgolov was sent to the Wild. as they attempt to shore up their net minding.
Backup Reto Berra was sent to the Avalanche from the Flames to end the goalies on the go trade season.
The big ticket side dish was the trade of Captains between the Rangers and the Lightning. Ryan Callahan and his contract conflict docks in Tampa Bay as disgruntled Martin St. Louis bolts up to meet his new teammates on Broadway in a deal that will benefit both teams if Steve Yzerman can lock Callahan up with a new deal in the off-season.
The other deals with potential positive playoff push implications include Marian Gaborik going to the Kings from Columbus, Thomas Vanek landing in Montreal in a steal from the Islanders, Andrej Meszaros heading to the Bruins from the Flyers, shoring up their defense for another Cup run, Andrew MacDonald moving to the Flyers from the Islanders to replace Meszaros, Matt Moulson to the Wild from the Sabres and David Legwand going home to the Red Wings from the Predators.
In all, 28 of the leagues 30 teams made move to rebuild, add depth or make a push toward the playoffs. Only the Maple Leafs and Jets stood pat.
My top grades for the best moves go to the Blues, Lightning, Rangers, Bruins, Flyers, Panthers and the Kings.
My failing grades go to the Islanders and the Canucks.
Now we get to sit back and watch an exciting playoff push and see who truly ordered up a five star meal and who winds up with heartburn.
Photo courtesy: NHL.com