In some instances goaltenders will tell you it’s not about how the save looks, just that the job gets done. That’s the theory Jimmy Howard subscribed to on Wednesday night.
Late in the third period of Detroit’s contest against the New York Rangers and with a Blueshirts power play about to expire, Ryan McDonagh unleashed a rocket of a slapshot towards the Detroit goal. The puck bounced high off the glass and back towards Howard and his net. In a split second reaction, Howard read the bounce of the puck off the glass and used his blocker like he was swinging a tennis backhander to swat the puck away: Read more
Another NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and whenever it passes, there’s the urge to judge which teams were winners and which ones were at the other end of the competitive spectrum. Of course, any hockey fan paying close attention from year-to-year understands that 99 percent of all trades have to be judged over the long-term to be judged fairly. So bear that in mind as we do our best to break down the teams that came away from this season’s deadline – including the days leading up to it, when many of the biggest deals took place – looking great, and which ones came away looking questionable or worse.
Arizona Coyotes: There were two types of winners on Deadline Day 2015 – the winners who are loading up for a long playoff run, and the winners who stripped down their roster as part of a long-term rebuild. The Coyotes are clearly part of the latter group, and GM Don Maloney did a ton of work that will quicken the franchise’s turnaround: he shook down Rangers counterpart Glen Sather for (among other things) a top prospect (Anthony Duclair) and first-round draft pick; he also landed Chicago’s first-rounder and a prospect for Antoine Vermette. Read more
Since the calendar turned to 2015, the Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired four players – David Perron, Daniel Winnik, Ben Lovejoy and Ian Cole. And they’ve shipped out Simon Despres, Robert Bortozzo and Rob Klinkhammer and four draft picks – first- and fourth-rounders in 2015 and second- and seventh-rounders in 2016.
And they might lose in the first round of the playoffs.
The team they would play in the first round of the playoffs if the regular season were to end today would be the New York Rangers. They’ve added Keith Yandle, Karl Klingberg, James Sheppard, Chris Summers and a fourth-round pick in 2015. And they’ve surrendered Lee Stempniak, Anthony Duclair, John Moore, a first-round pick in 2016 and a second-rounder in 2015. Read more
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings continue to negotiate a deal which would see captain Dion Phaneuf going to Detroit today, but the sticking point now appears to be Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.
The possible deal would see the Leafs get Smith and forward Stephen Weiss in a deal for Phaneuf with the Red Wings assuming the remaining six years on Phaneuf’s deal at $7 million per season. Read more
The Red Wings are en route to their 24th consecutive playoff appearance, but may be without concussed key winger Johan Franzen for its entirety. With that in mind, GM Ken Holland moved Sunday and made a deal with his former assistant GM and current Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill for veteran Erik Cole.
The trade also sends a third-round draft pick in 2015 from Dallas to Detroit, while the Stars receive a second-round pick in 2015 as well as two 22-year-old prospects: centre Mattias Janmark, and defenseman Mattias Backman. But the Wings get the most recognizable asset in the Cole, who at 36 is nearing the end of his 13-season NHL career, yet still is contributing a better-than average amount of offense (he’s got 18 goals and 33 points in 57 games this year after posting 16 goals and 29 points in 75 games last season) and plays a physical game coach Mike Babcock will appreciate. Read more
The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs traded a maligned defenseman to the Detroit Red Wings it was Larry Murphy, who went on to win two more Stanley Cups in Detroit and cement his credentials as a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. After all, four Stanley Cups looks a lot better than two on the career resume.
That was 1996-97 and Murphy was being booed every time he stepped on the ice in Toronto. The Leafs were so desperate to part with Murphy, they gave up the ubiquitous “future considerations” which turned out to be Detroit picking up part of his salary and allegedly sending then-GM a bottle of wine to then-GM Cliff Fletcher that summer.
A year later, the Maple Leafs made out a little better when they gifted another defenseman to the Red Wings in the form of Jamie Macoun. They at least got a fourth-round pick that turned out to be the useful Alexei Ponikarovsky in that deal. Macoun, meanwhile, went on to be a top-four defenseman for the Red Wings and helped them to their second consecutive Stanley Cup in 1998. Read more
With the trade deadline days away, everyone has taken the time to reflect on the deadline deals that were blockbusters, those that changed a team’s fate or gave them a boost on their road to the Stanley Cup and even looked back at who won long-term.
But what about those deals that looked big at the time but ended up being colossal flops? Not every deal can be a gem and, for one GM in particular, there have been quite a few that looked like they could have made an impact at the time but turned into absolutely nothing.
What constitutes a deadline day flop? The trade has to involve a number of moving parts because, let’s be honest, while a player-for-player deal with two stars is fun, a five- or six-player deal can be much more interesting. In addition, a flop means the trade didn’t work out for either squad, or the team that was supposed to be the buyer, getting the player they believe will put them over the top, has to have the deal backfire badly. Read more
What are the chances your team will land a player on trade deadline day to help it win the Stanley Cup this year? It’s a long shot, but perhaps not as remote as you think.
Over the past 10 years, five teams have made swaps on D-day for a piece of the puzzle, guys who’ve helped, on various levels, to capture glory. Here they are, in order of significance: