So if you had to go 3 up and 3 down….what would you come up with from yesterday’s trade deadline. Well this wasn’t easy but I tried my best here to sift deep into that pile of 25 trades and come up with the winners and losers. So here goes.
1. Washington Capitals — Why you may ask? Well they took advantage of a situation yesterday and unlike previous years, they went for it!!! Getting Cristobal Huet for a 2009 2nd rounder was a brilliant steal. Most of Quebec province woke up this morning with a god awful headache because of this move. The Caps were not done by any means…they also got Sergei Fedorov and Matt Cooke and didn’t give up much in return. McPhee should get some high marks for a change because he rarely ever does.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins — I have been on the fence for awhile with this….but I am going winner here. This may not be enough to win the division because of the Sidney Crosby ankle sprain…but this gives the Pens a better shot of getting past the first round in the playoffs no question. They pulled off the Hossa deal that they laughably denied emphatically about 12 minutes earlier in the day. They did give up a good bit…but you have to give to get in the trade market sometimes. Shero took a huge risk but if he can resign Hossa or get a Cup out of him, it will be all worth it…now won’t it? They also got a bit of a crease clearer in Hal Gill so that will help Fleury and Conklin out come the spring.
3. Buffalo Sabres — They knew they were going to lose out on signing Brian Campbell and they had to get something for him. Everyone knew this so you would have thought his value would have gone down some. Well it didn’t really. The Sabres did get Steve Bernier (who will be damn good) and a 1st round pick. Not too shabby at all. Buffalo could try and resign Campbell in July…so all is not lost Buffalo fans.
Honorable Mention: Dallas Stars — Richards trade.
1. Montreal Canadiens — No you didn’t see this coming…not at all! Heh! Bob Gainey had to feel like the sickest man in Montreal at 3pm ET when the world found out Hossa went to the Pens and not the Habs like a foregone conclusion. What made it worse was Gainey sent Cristobal Huet to the Caps for what amounted to be a whole hell of not a lot. Gainey does have Price and Halak in the mix but now lacks vet experience in the nets for the playoffs. Maybe he thinks it is 1986 all over again but the Habs are taking a gamble and really they might have been able to get more for Huet before the draft. Huet’s stock was at its lowest and Gainey did not realize that. Combine that with the lack of doing anything else and Gainey is #1 here for a reason.
2. New York Rangers — The Rangers had quite a few needs and really didn’t address them…they did make that marginally big trade with Phoenix to get rid of Marcel Hossa and Al Montoya but really didn’t get anything in return that they can use. Sather was looking to get McCabe and Stuart but lost out on both and they couldn’t get rid of Malik like they had been trying to for weeks and weeks. So the headaches still linger for Sather and they will now get bigger come July or sooner.
3. Boston Bruins — This was tough….I had five losers…and only three spots but Boston takes the cake by just a nose here. They had Hossa on their fingertips but no contingency plan for if a deal fell off the table. Hossa was all but traded to Boston late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The snag that killed the deal was the contract extension Hossa would have to agree to. All because of 1 extra year that Boston would not agree to, Hossa became a Penguin instead on Tuesday afternoon and the people in Boston are left wondering what could have been because Chiarelli did nothing after he was jilted at the alter.
Dishonorable Mention — Los Angeles Kings (could have sold more)
Tomorrow we will take a look at the turkeys of a GM persuasion…..enjoy the hockey tonight folks!