Who are the best trade deadline acquisitions? Advanced stats has the answers

Dominik Luszczyszyn
Loui Eriksson (Getty Images)

It’s three days before the trade deadline and things are about to get wild. Depending on who you cheer for, there’s going to be some fresh faces to welcome, ones that you may not be too familiar with. It’s a long NHL season and it’s understandable if you only have time to watch your favourite team, and that’s where advanced stats can be especially useful. They don’t replace watching the game, but they are a good companion to it and can illuminate a player’s strengths and weaknesses to complement what you see. In this case, you probably haven’t seen much of the new guy so it helps to know what to expect based on his past results and just how useful he’ll be to your team.

With that in mind, we at THN have you covered with a numbers primer for the biggest names on the trade block, according to TSN’s list of potential trade bait. The big focus will be on who can score efficiently and who can drive possession at both ends of the ice, two things that have shown to be vital toward winning hockey games.

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Trade deadline target Eric Staal: “I’ve got to play better than I have”

Eric Staal (left) and Frank Corrado (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

Eric Staal emerged from the Carolina Hurricanes changing area into the dressing room with a scowl on his face. That had a lot to do with the fact that his team had just lost a crucial game to the second-worst team in the league, but also because he knew the questions about his future were coming.

With the trade of Andrew Ladd earlier in the evening, Staal became the marquee player available leading up to Monday’s trade deadline, that is if indeed he’s available. This much we know: Staal has not been asked by Hurricanes GM Ron Francis to waive his no-trade clause of yet and he’s not sure what he would do if he were asked. He’s in the last year of his contract and there has not been a single offer for a contract extension made to him this season, nor has there been a proposal put to the Hurricanes by Staal’s agent Rick Curran.

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Andrew Ladd returns to Blackhawks in deal with Jets

Ian Denomme
Andrew Ladd (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Six years after helping the Chicago Blackhawks end their long Stanley Cup drought, Andrew Ladd is heading back to the Windy City.

The Winnipeg Jets dealt their captain to Chicago for prospect Marko Dano, a first-round pick in 2016, and a conditional pick in 2018. The Jets also added defenseman Jay Harrison and right winger Matt Fraser to the deal, but they will head to Chicago’s AHL affiliate in Rockford.

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The Hockey News Podcast: Episode 5 — The Top 10 players available at the trade deadline

The Hockey News
Loui Eriksson. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Welcome to Episode 5 of The Hockey News Podcast.

This is an all trade deadline edition of the podcast in which THN writers Ken Campbell, Ryan Kennedy, and Matt Larkin countdown the Top 10 players available at the deadline.  Here’s what that Top 10 looks like:

10. P-A Parenteau, Maple Leafs
9. Dale Weise, Canadiens
8. Kris Russell, Flames
7. Jiri Hudler, Flames
6. Dan Hamhuis, Canucks
5. Jonathan Drouin, Lightning
4. Mikkel Boedker, Coyotes
3. Eric Staal, Hurricanes
2. Loui Eriksson, Bruins
1. Andrew Ladd, Jets

Give a listen to find out where they might be headed.

Download and subscribe on iTunes, and on Soundcloud.

[Music: Metz-Headache; Quicksand-Omission]


Boston has a bizarre relationship with talented centers

Ryan Kennedy
Boston's Ryan Spooner (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Elite centers are the hardest thing to find in the NHL – ask any GM. Actually, you don’t have to, because I already did. It’s the reason Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Dylan Strome were the top picks this past summer and it’s the reason we’re all going to be super-mad if Edmonton somehow gets Auston Matthews this time around.

But in Boston, a strange dichotomy has arisen. In the past decade, the Bruins have traded two of the top centers in the game – first Joe Thornton, then a not-yet-in-his-prime Tyler Seguin – and barely suffered for it. In fact, the team won a Stanley Cup post-Thornton and is threatening for first place in the Atlantic Division right now with Seguin off doing wonders in Dallas.

So what gives? Well, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are two pretty good answers. And check out this play by third-line finess pivot Ryan Spooner from last night’s walloping of Pittsburgh:

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Power Rankings: Caps are great, but how much better would they be with Andrew Ladd?

Ken Campbell
Mike Richards Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Considering the fact that the Washington Capitals have to clear cap space to get Jay Beagle back in the lineup, they’d have a lot of work to do to get their hands on Andrew Ladd before the trade deadline.

The Capitals, among a lot of other contenders, have been mentioned as a possible destination for Ladd. And even though the Capitals are humming along nicely, how would they look going into the playoffs with a battle-proven Stanley Cup winner who has a penchant for scoring big goals?

Ladd would tick off all the boxes the Capitals have when it comes to their playoff needs. He’d look great in that lineup, if only GM Brian MacLellan could find a way to do it. The Capitals, meanwhile, are back at the top of thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)

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Down Goes Brown: Five best deadline trades by Stanley Cup winners

Sean McIndoe
Ron Francis (B Bennett/Getty Images)

Only one team ever truly “wins” trade deadline day, and it’s the team that goes on to capture the Stanley Cup.

That’s what they say, anyway. It seems like a pretty simplistic way of looking at things, if we’re being honest, since all a GM can ever be realistically asked to do is to put his team in the best possible position to win. Nothing is ever guaranteed in life, and the idea that you’re retroactively wrong to have even tried unless everything works out perfectly seems a little fatalistic.

But either way, there is something special to be said for the GM who swings for the fences at the deadline and then sees it all pay off in a Stanley Cup parade a few months later. So today, let’s give the spotlight over to the few who’ve managed to pull it off. Here are the five best trade deadline week hauls by teams that went on to win the Stanley Cup that same season.

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