2016 NHL Trade Deadline: Winners And Losers


The biggest loser of the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline was the fans, as Monday was arguably the dullest deadline in the history of professional hockey. However, there were still several teams to come out as big winners of the deadline while another select handful either failed to make a move or didn’t make the right ones. Here’s a breakdown of who won and who lost the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline. 


Chicago Blackhawks

Another year, another group of blockbuster deadline deals again have made the Chicago Blackhawks ready for a long playoff run. GM Stan Bowman is making deals that allow the ‘Hawks to excel in the present and stay intact in the future. To recap: the Blackhawks acquired former Winnipeg Jets forward and captain Andrew Ladd, who played for Chicago from 2008-2010 and helped the ‘Hawks to their first of three Stanley Cups in the last six seasons in 2010. Along with Ladd, the Blackhawks also acquired forwards Dale Weise and Thomas Fleischman from the Montreal Canadiens. The Blackhawks also made a classic “good hockey trade” with the LA Kings, as the two franchises swapped defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Rob Scuderi. Chicago now has a solid mix of youth (Panarin, Kane, Teravainen), leadership (Keith, Toews, Ladd), grit (Weise, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Shaw, Ehrhoff) and goaltending (Crawford, Darling). Chicago was already a Stanley Cup frontrunner before the deadline and now they are the easy odds on favorite to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup in June for the second straight season. 

New York Rangers

The Blue Shirts acquired former Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal on Sunday, and not only that, but New York was also able to negotiate for Carolina to pay 50% of his salary. Staal is the perfect rental for a team looking to add size, skill, and playoff experience to a franchise that has imploded in the later rounds of the postseason in the last several years. This was the perfect addition to this team and one that will likely pay off both in the near future and the long run if the Rangers were to re-sign Staal this offseason. It also helps to have Eric play with younger brother Marc from a chemistry aspect. 

Florida Panthers

Those who thought the Panthers would fade out of the postseason race were significantly mistaken, as the Cats are still the frontrunner in the Atlantic Division with 78 points and the moves they made at the deadline may help keep them there heading into the postseason. On Saturday, the Panthers traded a third-round pick to Calgary for forward, Jiri Hudler, a fourth-round pick to Edmonton for forward, Teddy Purcell, and a sixth-round pick to Detroit for defenseman, Jakub Kindl. All three of these additions will allow Florida to stay deep in all three areas of the ice, and make them a legitimate contender in the 2016 postseason. 

Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche are still hanging around in the Western Conference playoff picture. The addition of the speedy Mikkel Boedker should only help get them over the hump and into the postseason. Yes, the Avs are a very young team with Nate MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, and Gabe Landeskog being their core, but adding a solid forward such as Boedker will help them score goals and add depth to their forward core. Boedker should be a good addition to the second/third lines of Colorado and could see some big minutes on the power play. The addition of defenseman Eric Gelinas from the New Jersey Devils will also give Colorado depth at the blue line, something no team will object to when trying to battle its way into the postseason.

Dallas Stars

The one area where Dallas needed to improve was on defense, and they certainly did that with the addition of Kris Russell whom the Stars acquired from Calgary for two prospects and a conditional 2016 second-round pick. The Stars now have a lethal offense led by Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn as well as a deep defensive core with Klingberg, Goligoski, Oduya, Demers, and Jordie Benn. Dallas will likely be drawing the high-powered St. Louis Blues in the first round unless they can surpass the Blackhawks for the Central Division crown. Either way, this team needs all the help they can get on defense and the addition of Kris Russell may just prove to be exactly what the Stars need in order to make a long playoff run. 


Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are currently in third place in the Atlantic Division with 74 points and look like they are going to get into the postseason. With that said, Boston has been a very up and down team all season long and could be in trouble defensively in the postseason. Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg are aged and in order to be successful in the postseason, you need to have a solid and deep defensive core, which is something the Bruins do not have. Most Bruins fans expected GM Don Sweeney to move due-to-be unrestricted free agent forward Loui Eriksson, who had built up a solid trade value with 23 goals and 25 assists so far in 2015-2016. Instead, Boston held onto Eriksson which will cause some issues this summer when it comes time to decide on whether or not to sign him back. While keeping Eriksson, the Bruins also added 33-year-old forward Lee Stempniak from the New Jersey Devils, whom the Bruins once had on their roster during training camp but let go before the season began. Boston also acquired 35-year-old defenseman, John-Michael-Liles from the Carolina Hurricanes. These two will certainly be able to add some depth to the Bruins roster, but adding age is not what this team needs right now. Boston was in desperate need of a young top-four defenseman and they had the drafts picks and a valuable pending free agent in Eriksson to get a deal done for a Matthew Dumba, Kevin Shattenkirk, or Kris Russell, but failed to do so. 

New Jersey Devils

The Devils are certainly not acting like a team that is just three points out of a playoff spot, as Jersey was a major seller at the deadline. The Devils shipped away forward, Lee Stempniak to Boston and defenseman Eric Gelinas to Colorado. The Devils will still be a bubble playoff team for the rest of the regular season and the loss of these two players will not make or break their chances at sneaking into a WildCard spot. However, what the Devils had was working and it got them to the doorstep of the postseason so why break that up? This team has a solid goaltender in Corey Schneider and a pretty young core of forwards led by Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique. Why the Devils decided to break things up right before they make a run at the postseason is strange to say the least. 

Carolina Hurricanes

Another team that is currently on the playoff bubble is the Carolina Hurricanes. The ‘Canes surprised a lot of people in 2015-2016 as they are still playing meaningful hockey with just less than two months remaining in the regular season. However, Carolina is still clearly a bit behind fellow WildCard contenders Pittsburgh and Detroit in terms of being able to make a run in the postseason, which is likely why they decided to sell at the deadline. Along with the shipments of Eric Staal to New York and John-Michael Liles to Boston, the Hurricanes also sent one of their top-six forwards, Kris Versteeg, to the LA Kings. These moves will likely doom the Hurricanes in the present and make it very difficult for them to bust into the postseason as a WildCard team, but in the future, it should help them as they will be able to get younger. Still, it’s never fun to see your team pretty much give up on the season when they are so close to being a playoff team. 

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Bolts are currently sitting in second in the Atlantic Division with 76 points and the defending Eastern Conference champs are in prime shape to make another long run in 2016. The issue? They failed to part ways with troubled young forward, Jonathan Drouin. GM Steve Yzerman tried getting a deal done to get Drouin, who was reportedly skipping games when sent down to the minors, out of town. However, nothing fell into place for Tampa Bay and now they are stuck with a guy who doesn’t want to be there and likely will not be playing for them in 2015-2016. The Bolts will likely try to move Drouin next summer before the draft, but they missed a great opportunity here to get a solid return for a player that several teams such as Philadelphia and Anaheim expressed a lot of interest in. 

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