With only a few hours left until the NHL Trade Deadline, clubs have begun to address their needs by giving up draft picks and prospects to upgrade their rosters, fill holes caused by injuries or to clear cap space to make other deals possible in advance of 3pm Monday.
Here is a look at the deals made so far and how the two sides made out:
Columbus Blue Jackets acquires a 2021 1st round pick, a 2022 3rd round from the Tampa Bay Lightning through the Detroit Red Wings (who get a 2021 fourth-round pick to retain salary) for defensemen David Savard and Brian Lashoff
Blue Jackets Grade – A
Wings Grade – A
Lightning Grade – A+
High marks all around on this deal in terms of maximizing assets and addressing needs. Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen used up a large amount of draft capital to make a playoff run two years ago and recouped a lot of it in this deal, getting two draft picks for a rental in Savard. Wings GM Steve Yzerman used his available cap space to be the middle man and retain 25% of Savard’s $4.25 million salary and got a fourth-round pick for his trouble.
Tampa adds a top-four defenseman to the group that includes Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev, and Ryan McDonagh and the Lightning have loaded up again for another Cup run.
New Jersey Devils acquire defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler from the Washington Capitals for a conditional 2021 third-round pick.
Devils Grade – B+
Capitals Grade – B
Siegenthaler has been the Caps’ seventh defenseman this season and played only seven games after playing 64 on the bottom pairing last year. The fellow countryman of Devils captain Nico Hischier will get a chance to play more in New Jersey, while the Caps get a third-round pick and open up $800,000 in deadline cap space.
Detroit Red Wings acquire Hayden Verbeek and 2021 5th round pick from the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Jon Merrill
Red Wings Grade – B-
Habs Grade – A-
Detroit did not get a great return for a veteran depth defenseman with a salary under $1 million, while the Habs gets help on the blueline with Ben Chiarot out until early May.
Columbus Blue Jackets acquire a 2021 1st round pick a 2022 4th round pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs through the San Jose Sharks (who get a 2021 fourth round for minor leaguer Stefan Noesen to retain salary) for forward Nick Foligno
Blue Jackets Grade – A
Sharks Grade – A
Leafs Grade – A
Very similar in structure to the Savard deal, the Leafs add an experienced veteran forward capable of playing in the top six and adept at the type of heavy hockey that you see at playoff time. Kekalainen once again played the rental market perfectly and the Sharks get a fourth-rounder to act as the middleman, retain 25% of Foligno’s $5.5 million cap hit and dispose of a one-way deal in the minors (Noesen) in the process.
Toronto Maple Leafs acquire goaltender David Rittich from the Calgary Flames for a 2022 third-round pick.
Flames Grade – A-
Leafs Grade – B+
Leafs GM Kyle Dubas had to add some insurance between the pipes with Frederik Andersen’s health in question and Jack Campbell playing through a leg injury. The Flames got much more in return than the Sharks did for Devan Dubnyk and Dubnyk may be the better of the two goalies, but Toronto needed to upgrade their depth in goal.
New York Islanders acquire defenseman Braydon Coburn from the Ottawa Senators for a 2022 seventh-round pick.
Islanders Grade – B
Senators Grade – C
Coburn could not play for one of the worst teams in the NHL, but the Islanders played virtually nothing for a 36-year-old blueliner who won a Cup last year in Tampa.
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Boston Bruins acquire defenseman Mike Reilly from the Ottawa Senators for a 2022 third-round pick.
Bruins Grade – B+
Senators Grade – B
The Sens attempted to get Reilly signed to an extension after posting 19 assists in 40 games, but could not get it done and got a decent return. The Bruins have had a number of injuries to their defensive corps and Reilly will at least play on the bottom pairing when everyone is healthy but can step up into the top four if necessary.
Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Jeff Carter from the Los Angeles Kings for a 2022 conditional third-round pick and 2023 conditional fourth-round pick
Kings Grade – A-
Penguins Grade – B
The uncertain injury status of Evgeni Malkin made it necessary for GM Ron Hextall to add help up the middle. Carter played 10 seasons in LA and was part of two Cup winners and can help the Pens even though he has dropped off significantly. The conditional picks are tied to usage in the ’21 playoffs and next season, but it is possible that Carter may retire after this year.
Boston Bruins acquire forwards Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres for a 2021 second-round pick and forward Anders Bjork
Bruins Grade – A
Sabres Grade – B-
Sabres GM Kevyn Adams failed in his pursuit of a first-round pick after both Kyle Palmieri and Nick Foligno were traded. Hall’s poor season, $8 million salary and no-movement clause limited Buffalo’s ability to generate a market for the former Hart Trophy winner, but they did get a young forward in Bjork who is signed for another two years.
Boston obtained a scorer that could take some heat off the Bergeron-Marchand-Pastrnak line if Hall can regain his scoring touch and added a feisty fourth-liner in Lazar who fits perfectly into the Bruins workmanlike dynamic.