NHL Trade Deadline: Is Your Team Going For The Cup Or Looking To The Future?
The NHL trade deadline has passed. Some teams are clearly adopting a “win now” strategy while other teams seem to be looking to the future. For teams looking to make a run at the Stanley Cup this year, no team made bigger changes then the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets had four big trades in the past few days. They acquired the defenseman Adam McQuaid from the New York Rangers for defenseman Julian Bergman, a 2019 4th round pick, and a 2019 7th round pick. McQuaid is 6’ 4”, 210 pounds, and 32 years old. The Jackets also acquired goalie Keith Kinkaid from the New Jersey Devils. He will serve as a good secondary goalie alongside Sergei Bobrovsky. This year, Kinkaid has a 3.66 goals against average and a save percentage of .891. In return, the Devils received a 2022 5th round pick. Columbus also acquired Ryan Dzingel and a 2019 7th round pick from the Ottawa Senators. In return, the Senators received Anthony Duclair, and a 2nd round pick in the 2020 and 2021 drafts. Left winger Dzingel has 44 points in 57 games this year. Duclair, who also plays left wing, has 19 points in 54 games. Finally, the Jackets also acquired Matt Duchene from the Ottawa Senators. The Senators received Vitaly Abramov (a prospect), Jonathan Davidson, and a 2019 or 2020 conditional 1st round pick. Duchene has 60 points in 52 games this year, including 28 goals. He was the mark of some controversy earlier this year when him and fellow Seantors teammates were caught on camera bad-mouthing their coach while getting a ride in a taxi.
The Blue Jackets push for the Stanley Cup is an interesting move considering the competition in the East this year. The Tampa Bay Lightning are well in the lead with 98 points, while the Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, and Boston Bruins all look strong. Columbus, on the other hand, is holding on to their playoff spot by only one point and could soon be passed by the Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Another team that looks to have a “win now” mentality is the Dallas Stars. They acquired Mats Zuccarello from the Rangers for a conditional 2019 2nd round pick and a conditional 2020 3rd round pick. Zuccarello, who has 39 points this year, will miss a month of action after getting hurt in his first game with the Stars. Dallas also acquired the veteran defenseman Ben Lovejoy. Lovejoy, who won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was traded from the Devils to the Stars for Connor Carrick and a 2019 3rd round pick. Dallas currently holds the top wild card position in the West with competition from the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche.
A few good teams also acquired a little extra talent as they look towards the playoffs. The Winnipeg Jets acquired Kevin Hayes from the Rangers for Brendan Lemieux and two draft picks. Right winger Hayes has 42 points in 51 games this year. The Nashville Predators acquired Mikael Granlund from the Minnesota Wild and Wayne Simmonds from the Philadelphia Flyers. Granlund has 49 points this year including 34 assists, while Simmonds has had a bit of a slump year only putting up 27 points in 62 games. For perspective, Simmonds had 46 points in 75 games last year and 54 points in 82 games the year before. The Wild received left winger Kevin Fiala, while the Flyers received Ryan Hartman and a 2020 conditional 4th round pick.
Teams that seem to be looking to the future are the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. The Rangers acquired a 2019 4th and 7th round pick from Columbus, a 2019 1st round and 2022 conditional 4th round pick from Winnipeg, a conditional 2019 2nd round and 2020 conditional 3rd round pick from Dallas, and a 2020 7th round pick from Vancouver. The Devils acquired a 2019 2nd round and 2020 4th round pick from the Bruins, a 2022 5th round pick from Columbus, a 2019 3rd round pick from Dallas, and a 2019 2nd round pick from Nashville.