Monday was trade deadline day in the National Hockey League with many Canadian teams looking to make last minute deals leading up to the 3 p.m. ET cut-off. Our live blog provided up to the minute coverage of Monday’s deadline.
Canadian teams were the driving force behind one of the quietest trade deadlines in recent memory.
Only a handful of significant transactions were made ahead of Monday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline, the most notable of which saw 26-year-old Mikkel Boedker sent to Colorado and Calgary defenceman Kris Russell dealt to Dallas.
Most of the major dealing was done in the days before the deadline, highlighted by a class of Canadian teams likely to miss the post-season collectively for the first time since 1970.
Canadian clubs all sent various expiring contracts and aging players out for future assets.
A predictable seller coming into the season, the rebuilding Maple Leafs started that process in the first week of February, dealing captain Dion Phaneuf to Ottawa in a nine-player blockbuster. They continued to jettison veteran roster pieces, moving Shawn Matthias, Nick Spaling, Roman Polak, James Reimer and Daniel Winnik in various deals that netted the club six draft picks and a prospect or two.
“I think the picks are the most important thing that we’ve gotten in these transactions,” Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello said after the first of two transactions with San Jose, which sent Spaling and Polak to the Sharks.
While Toronto planned to sell after signing a number of free agents to short-term contracts last summer, it’s fair to suggest that none of the remaining Canadian sellers expected to be in such a position. Three of the five clubs made the playoffs last season (Calgary, Winnipeg and Montreal) and were expected to get back again this year.
Buoyed by an ever-promising group of emerging talent, which included 2015 first overall pick Connor McDavid, the Oilers were hopeful to contend for their first playoff spot since 2006. They proven a disappointment, though, stuck as the worst team in the Western Conference on deadline day.
Edmonton dealt Teddy Purcell and his expiring contract as well as young goaltender Anders Nilsson and 25-year-old defenceman Justin Schultz, who struggled to find his fit over three-plus seasons in Edmonton.
“At this point of the year we’re not a contending team,” Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said after moving Purcell, “and part of management’s job is managing assets so we felt we should trade (Purcell) for an asset and that’s what we did.”
A surprise playoff team last season, Calgary fell out of the playoff mix this year and also sold ahead of the deadline. Jiri Hudler was dealt to Florida over the weekend in a deal that netted the Flames future picks in the second and fourth rounds. On Monday, Calgary sent Russell to Dallas for a relatively rich return of 24-year-old defenceman Jyrki Jokipakka, a prospect and a conditional second round pick in 2016.
The pick moves to the first round if the Stars reach the Western Conference final and Russell plays in 50 per cent of playoff games in the first two rounds.
“Kris is ultra-competitive and a solid two-way defencemen,” Dallas general manager Jim Nill said. “He will bring a steadying presence to our blue-line and we feel he will help us improve in several areas.”
Unable to sign Andrew Ladd to a long-term deal, Winnipeg joined the Leafs in trading their captain. In perhaps the most noticeable transaction outside of perhaps New York’s acquisition of long-time Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, the Jets dealt Ladd to Chicago last week for a package that netted the Jets a future first-round pick as well as prospect Marko Dano.
Montreal’s season unwound after an early-season injury to reigning Hart Trophy winner Carey Price and they also opted to sell, sending depth forwards Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann to Chicago. In return the Canadiens got back promising young centre and former first round pick Phillip Danault.
The Blackhawks proved the most active team before the deadline. In addition to Ladd, Weise, and Fleischmann, the defending Stanley Cup champions also added defenceman Christian Ehrhoff in a swap with the Kings as well as minor-league goaltender Drew MacIntyre.
In the days before the deadline Flames GM Brad Treliving described the trade market as “tight”, a prelude to the quiet activity on deadline day.
“The question is why,” said Treliving. “I think it’s a financial reality. Those picks and prospects have got greater value now with the financial reality of our league.”
Lamoriello thought increasing separation in the standings left fewer teams in search of assets like Leafs impending unrestricted free agent P.A. Parenteau, who was not traded despite the Leafs best attempts.
“Where I think if you would’ve seen the standings a little tighter than they really are – there has been a separation over the last week to 10 days – I think you would’ve seen more teams look at players like P.A. and so forth to add to them,” Lamoriello said. “And a lot of teams were in cap trouble also.”
What other moves were made at the deadline? Relive our live coverage below.
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