Last Word On Hockey will do an examination on every division at the trade deadline. Whether the teams were buyers, sellers, or stood pat we examine how each team did. No matter how big or small, we take a look at how these moves impact the clubs going forward. Today, we examine the Metropolitan Division Trade Deadline Moves.
Examining The Metropolitan Division Trade Deadline
Compared to some of the other beasts in the east, the moves were minimal. In the attempt to add extra scoring, the team grabbed Jesse Puljujarvi. He has prior chemistry with Finnish centre Sebastian Aho. This was the perfect low-risk high reward move. If there is any team that can rejuvenate the young player, it’s Carolina. This team also loves it’s defencemen. An already stout blueline got better as they grabbed Shayne Gostisbehere. He has been spectacular with the Arizona Coyotes. His ability to transition the puck and perform on the power play fits the system. The moves were not major, but make an already deep team deeper.
Columbus Blue Jackets
One of the favourites for Connor Bedard became instant sellers. Veteran winger Jacob Voracek had his contract dumped to Arizona. In addition, they made a big splash by trading defensemen Vladislav Gavrikov and Joonas Korpisalo to Los Angeles. After acquiring Jonathan Quick in that deal, they moved him to Vegas. The big goal was to sell and build towards next season. In a lost season, recouping assets is the best decision that management could make.
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils landed the biggest fish on the open market. In a big splash trade with the San Jose Sharks, they brought in Timo Meier. Meier is the perfect fit for the Devils. He is a pure scorer and is your prototypical power forward. A deep top-six unit got even deeper. In addition, the Devils made a final-day trade to grab Curtis Lazar. Lazar is a defensive bottom-six forward bringing necessary depth. The bottom six needed work and with an extra year on his deal, he is in the fold for next year. New Jersey is a playoff team and depth will matter to this inexperienced club.
New York Islanders
Lou Lamoriello got the party started weeks ago. He got the big fish in Bo Horvat and also handed him an eight-year extension. The trade worked out for both parties as Anthony Beauvillier has thrived in Vancouver. With little cap space to work with, a minor move was made it acquiring Pierre Engvall. Engvall has had a nice season so far, and fills the same type of role that Beauvillier had on the depth chart. With the Islanders fighting for a playoff spot, Lou tried his best to reinforce the club.
New York Rangers
The biggest splash in the Metropolitan Division trade deadline came here. There is a case to be made where Chris Drury is General Manager of the year. Drury has gone all in on this club giving them the best chance to win the Stanley Cup. A few weeks back, Drury landed Vladimir Tarasenko from the St Louis Blues. That appeared to be the prized acquisition. However, a displeased Patrick Kane voiced his opinion on the matter. Speaking up sure got the attention of Drury. After jumping through hoops to be cap-compliant, Patrick Kane is a Ranger. Despite a down year and being poor defensively, this is a huge move. Like Tarasenko, Kane makes the team deeper and creates a nightmare for teams. Their top six is fully loaded and should be fun to watch. A familiar face also got brought back. Tyler Motte makes his return to the big apple. He was essential in their playoff run last season and brings a necessary element to the fourth line. Overall, the Rangers will be a force to be reckoned with in a daunting division.
Like their off-season, their trade deadline was underwhelming. The Philadelphia Flyers did not trade James van Riemsdyk. He is an unrestricted free agent so he will likely walk away this summer. In fact, they did not trade anyone to net a serious return and coup assets. The only move they made was trading for Brendan Lemieux. His style and the way he plays the game fits the mould perfectly. Otherwise, this was an underwhelming deadline with many questions facing their future.
One general manager that was busy was Ron Hextall. The Pittsburgh Penguins made splashes all over the place. Dmitry Kulikov was a great depth grab. He brings a great physical presence on the bottom pair and depth is great. In addition to the depth, they brought back Nick Bonino. Bonino has the ability to slot on as a depth centre for the Penguins in a familiar role he had with the club. For a team needed depth at centre, this wasn’t a bad move to make. In addition, Mikael Granlund joins the club as well. The moves were never about the big splash, but getting value where they could. JT Miller never came through as well as Brock Boeser. The biggest concern is an already old team got older.
This trade deadline was recognizing the reality of a situation. The Washington Capitals have fallen out of the playoff race. Instead of chasing a lost season, management built towards next year. Out the door is Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway. Both had expiring contacts and the team got a haul for them both. The biggest move was trading defensemen Erik Gustafsson for Rasmus Sandin. Sandin has term on his deal and is young. With Toronto swinging for the fences, the young blueliner will get more of an opportunity. Prior to this trade, Washington only had one defenceman under contract for next year. The club also dealt depth centre Lars Eller to Colorado. With Alexander Ovechkin in the fold, this team will not rebuild. However, they are building towards next year with the core group locked up.
Main Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports