Blog Entry

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:53 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 6:07 pm
The Nashville Predators were the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline's biggest winners. (Getty)

By: Adam Gretz

It shouldn't be a surprise that Monday turned out to be, for the most part, a quiet day as the 3 ET trade deadline passed.

Increased parity around the league and the fact nearly every team in the NHL still thinks it has a chance to make the playoffs this season reduced the number of true sellers to no more than four or five (If that). That, of course, made it nearly impossible to strike many impact deals, not to mention the sky-high prices teams were apparently putting on their players.

In the end, Rick Nash is still a Columbus Blue Jacket. Steve Ott is still a Dallas Star.  Roman Hamrlik and Mike Knuble are still Washington Capitals. Ryan Suter is still a Nashville Predator.

And speaking of the Predators, if they wanted to send a message to Suter and his partner in crime on the blue line, Shea Weber, not to mention the rest of the organization, the fan base and the NHL as a whole that they're ready to start going for it, they certainly did so on Monday.

Or attempted to, anyway.

The Predators were one of the busiest teams in the NHL over the past week, and after acquiring Hal Gill from the Montreal Canadiens last week for a couple of draft picks, they made two of the biggest moves on Monday by acquiring Andrei Kostitsyn from the Canadiens for two more draft picks, and then grabbed Paul Gaustad and a draft pick from the Buffalo Sabres for a first-round pick.

The Gaustad trade is a bold one. Perhaps even a little crazy given the price they paid for a role player that also happens to be an unrestricted free agent after the season. But he's a valuable player that is going to help, and now that everything has settled the Predators are a deeper, better team than they were at this time last week.

As general manager David Poile said "These trades have certainly given us a chance to play with the big boys this year."
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Los Angeles Kings: The Kings big trade came earlier in the week when they landed  Jeff Carter from the Columbus Jackets, giving the team the goal-scoring help it desperately needed, and reuniting him with his long-time teammate, Mike Richards. As I pointed out the night of the deal, the Kings were able to acquire Richards and Carter over the past year in two separate trades that did not require them to give up any of their own franchise, core players, which is pretty big score.

Buffalo Sabres: When word surfaced early on Monday that the asking price for Gaustad would be a first-round draft pick, there was some disbelief, as well as the assumption that as the day progressed that price would drop. The Sabres didn't back down from their demands and ended up getting the first-round pick they wanted for a player that had chance to lose for nothing over the summer.

They also addressed their need for young talent down the middle by striking what was perhaps the biggest deal of the day, sending Zach Kassian to the Vancouver Canucks for Cody Hodgson.

Minnesota Wild: In what was simply a hockey trade that saw two teams swap different types of defensemen the Oilers shipped Tom Gilbert to Minnesota in exchange for Nick Schultz. The Oilers traded an offensive-minded player for a defensive one, the Wild did the exact opposite, but ended up picking up the better player. Gilbert is going to help Minnesota a lot more than Schultz will help Edmonton.

Ottawa Senators: Saturday's addition of goaltender Ben Bishop is one of those deals that could sneak under the radar but provide a big return. Bishop is a highly regarded prospect and with Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak filling the position for the foreseeable future in St. Louis, Bishop wasn't going to get much of an opportunity. He might get it in Ottawa, especially in the short-term now that Craig Anderson is sidelined, and the Senators were able to get him without giving up much in return. Solid addition at a fair price at the right time.


Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets: The most shocking development to come out of the Rick Nash drama on Monday wasn't that he didn't get traded. For all of the rumors and speculation that followed his name over the past week, it's not a huge surprise that he's still a member of the Blue Jackets on Monday evening. The insanity really started to kick in when.general manager Scott Howson admitted in his Monday afternoon press conference that Nash initially approached the team and asked for a trade, putting the entire process in motion.

Why Howson would admit this is a mystery, but it's becoming pretty obvious that even though Nash will finish this season in Columbus, he's probably not going to be there at the start of next season. Especially now that his (current) general manager pretty much tossed him in front of the bus.

The only question that remains is whether or not Howson will be the man to make the inevitable trade over the summer. And given the return Columbus received on its two trades this past week, selling off Antoine Vermette and Jeff Carter for what amounts to Jack Johnson and some magic beans, not to mention the way he fumbled the Nash situation helping to put a nice bow on a season that only seems to get worse, it's worth asking who will be making that call from the general manager's office.

Of course, Nash isn't completely without blame in this mess either. His agent commented over the weekend that it would be best for a trade to be done sooner rather than later, and if Nash himself were really that desperate to get out of Columbus he wouldn't have limited the Jackets' potential trade partners by only offering to waive his no-trade clause for a short-list of teams, and one that his agent claims will not grow over the summer.

This appears to be a no-win situation for Columbus and its fans.

Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks goaltending and defense has been a sore spot this season, and their only major move was to add Johnny Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets. Not sure if that's going to be enough.

Carolina Hurricanes: After re-signing Tuomo Ruutu and Tim Gleason, two popular names in trade speculation over the past month, the Hurricanes did not deal Bryan Allen or Jaroslav Spacek, two players that are eligible for unrestricted free agency after the season, which means they could possibly walk out the door for no return. It's still possible that one (or both) can be re-signed, which could be exciting ... if you're interested in keeping together a team that's currently 14th in the Eastern Conference. 

Teams that stayed quiet

Pittsburgh Penguins: For the first time under general manager Ray Shero the Penguins did not make a move on, or near, the NHL's trade deadline. With the way the team is playing right now and the makeup of its roster, with Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal leading the way, a move wasn't really needed. This team is playing well enough as it is, doesn't appear to have many holes and looks like a team that can be a favorite and top contender for the Stanley Cup.

But the mindset around Pittsburgh seems to be that the lack of a move is a positive sign that Sidney Crosby could be on the verge of a return, or that he will eventually be "the big addition" for the roster. That's all well and good, and if it works out that way, fantastic. But assuming anything right now regarding Crosby is a major stretch. Nobody knows for sure when he'll be back, and it's worth pointing out that his last return lasted all of 10 games. Still a lot of uncertainty around that entire situation.

Washington Capitals: The Capitals were expected to be one of the busiest teams on Monday, especially after their decision to move center Nicklas Backstrom to the long-term injured list, opening up a pretty significant amount of salary cap space ahead of the deadline.

In the end the Capitals did nothing, which seems to be a pretty big shock around the NHL. But is it?

The Capitals could have certainly used a center, but with the way this team has looked for much of the season it's hard to imagine there being a move out there that was going to help this team get over the hump this year. Why give up significant long-term assets to chase after the No. 7 or 8 playoff spot when a deep postseason run doesn't look like it's a legitimate possibility?

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Since: Dec 24, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:33 pm

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

Hard not to feel sorry for Columbus fans, who have been shockingly loyal to this team. But as long as Howson remains the GM, nothing good with happen to this franchise or its fans. And Howson's tenure can't be long now. How he can think anything positive will happen by throwing Nash under the bus is staggeringly inept. Fans won't turn again their star, their captain, their best player. They and the media will turn against Howson. So Nash splits after his contract is up and the fury goes triple against Howson. Nice move, boss. Enjoy your new job as a greeter at Walmart.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:51 pm

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

Clarification of my last post, for those not aware:

Couturier is a rookie whom the Flyers drafted with the high pick they got from Columbus in the Carter deal.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:47 pm

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

Why Howson would admit this [that Nash came to him about a possible trade] is a mystery . . .
Not really.  No doubt he was trying to take the heat off himself for even considering trading a popular player.

By the way, I don't think the Flyers are complaining about the result either their Carter or Richards trades so far.  I haven't checked the stats, but I gather Wayne Simmonds is having a better year than Richards, whom he was only part of the trade for; Jake Voracek has been contributing and Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn have begun to as well.  And good as Richards and Carter sometimes were, the Flyers will probably enjoy spending all that money that they won't be paying to those two guys for the next ten years.

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:32 am

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

In all honesty and I'll admitt I'm a ranager fan but how can howson turn down that deal down.
If the deal was dubi, tim erixson, jt miller, christian thomas and a 1 for nash plus that burden of a contract  ,,, jeez  what is howson thinking
there is NO WAY he gets a better deal from any team like the one we offered him nor will he in the future
Howson would of had 3# ones, plus JJ, dubi, miller ,erixson, thomas and all that free cap space,, man how is that not a good start to rebuild
CLB fans should be pretty PO'ed if you ask me

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:33 pm

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

Columbus GM Scott Howson rejected what is believed a Rangers' final offer of Dubinsky, 21-year-old defenseman , 2011 first-rounder J.T. Miller, 2010 second-rounder Christian Thomas and a first-round selection in this June's Entry Draft. 

That was MORE than enough to get Nash,,, Dubi is a solid hockey player even though he is having a tough year finding the net,,  I know they are prospects but Miller and Erixson are STUDS , Thomas is a 30 goal scorer and has the bloodline,, plus the picks ,, CLB fans I am sorry but Howson CHOKED on this one and as a ranger fan ,, that was alot to pay for nash

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:31 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:29 pm

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

I love ripping Howson, but I'll defend his decision to call out Nash.   I like blaming Howson for so much of the mess in CLB, but it's also possible that the captain (who is scared of interviews) is a major part of the problem too.  

I'm thinking there were teams out there that wanted Nash and had players available that Howson wanted, but those teams weren't on Nash's highly selective list.

What kind of player says "trade me" and then limits his organization to 5 picks for a destination which are all playoff contenders reluctant to mess up their rosters to land him?    Good job by Howson in this case, I don't believe I typed that.

As far as winners and losers go, I love the speculation.    LA was a big winner last year with the Penner trade.  

Too many gms thinking their players are better than they are.   

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:26 pm

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

Agree 100 percent that he put himself in this situation.  I still think Scott Howson saying that was absolutely classless though.  Hey bud.  Nash has been with Columbus for 8 years now.  Do you think it is a coincidence that he wants out after 3 years of you being GM?  Howson has been a complete failure as a GM.  I guess you can throw players under the bus when you know you won't have a job with team much longer.  For the life of me I can't understand why he didn't stick with one of his rebuild plans he started.  Every single year since he took over he abandons his rebuild, and starts a different one.

Guess what?  Even with Nash requesting a trade we still want him to stay.  We still want you gone.  For the teams sake.  I hope your gone by next season.  If not Blue Jackets attendence is going to be hurting even more then it is now.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:02 pm

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

Rick Nash deserves to stew in Columbus.  Clearly, the asking price was too high for the Capitals, Rangers and Kings to accept, and the Blue Jackets will now have to move him in the next offseason for substantially reduced value.  That's another year not playing for a legitimate club, and another Stanley Cup he won't win.  Understandably, he doesn't want to play for small market teams, but I agree that the short list of teams that he would acceptably play for (in lieu of his no-trade clause)

The asking price from NYR was allegedly a #1 pick, highly touted prospect Chris Kreider and both Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto.  There aren't any other offers publicized.  Glen Sather made the right choice, but this is the sort of deal that demonstrates what a horrible GM Scott Howson is.

Since: Sep 25, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 7:24 pm

NHL Trade deadline winners and losers

Nash can thank himself for not moving. First, he signed a big money long term contract, which is always a hard thing to move in the cap era. Then, he got himself a no trade clause. Now, this stuff is coming back to bite him. Sure, he waived the NTC - for a short list of teams. The Blue Jackets did the right thing here - it's not like they're going to lose him to free agency this summer. They can take their time and move him for what they need. It's not like Columbus is a model front office - but it would have been easy here to panic and unload him for a weak package in return. Good for them for not doing that. You made your bed, Rick, and for the time being, you get to keep sleeping in it. If you really want out, then consider just waiving the NTC completelyand giving yourself the best chance of getting out.

You're regretting your decision to sign long term in Columbus, but declaring a short list of teams you'll play for is not guaranteed to help you here. If I'm a GM, these kind of ongoing choices don't make his value go up any in my eyes.

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