Remember the beginning of “The Avengers”? When Loki used his pokey-stick to hypnotize a bunch of military men and Hawkeye, and there were explosions and … some stuff happened?
Of course you don’t. You remember all the cool [expletive] that happened later in the movie, with Thor and Iron Man and the gigantic battle in New York City.
So, in essence, the 2013 NHL trade deadline day was “The Avengers”: Started tedious, then became sort of a classic later on, with blockbuster trades both made and not made (thanks, Luongo). Think of the Marian Gaborik deal as Hulk smashing Loki ...
Coming up, we grade all 30 teams on their trade deadlines, both on April 3 and in the days leading up to it.
Enjoy. Or cry. You know who you are.
Anaheim Ducks: B-
The Ducks added Matthew Lombardi for Brandon McMillan, getting a speedy center that could fit well in Bruce Boudreau’s system, as well as an expiring contract. They traded Jeff Deslauriers to the Minnesota Wild for future considerations and flipped Jay Rosehill for Harry Zolnierczyk in a swap of spare parts. The way the Ducks are going, they didn’t need to add much. So they didn’t.
Boston Bruins: B+
The Jaromir Jagr trade is an amazing bit of trolling by Peter Chiarelli after the Pittsburgh Penguins stole Jarome Iginla from him. But it’ll also help a perennially lousy power play that’s currently 24th in the NHL. Wade Redden for a seventh-round pick (or a sixth if he plays a playoff game) is a nice little depth move; if only we could travel back through time and tell a Bruins fan in 2005 that Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden would both be wearing Boston jerseys.
Buffalo Sabres: A-
If these are Darcy Regier’s final trades as Buffalo Sabres general manager, he went out guns blazin’. The Sabres pulled three second-round picks (and a conditional fifth) in trading Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold. Then came the big splash: Captain Jason Pominville and a fourth-rounder in 2014 to the Wild for Matt Hackett, Johan Larsson, a first-rounder in 2013 and a second-rounder in 2014. It’s a sea-change move for Buffalo, but a better than expected return.
Calgary Flames: C-
The silver lining in Jay Feaster’s dealing of Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester: Two first-round picks for a team in a full rebuild. But that’s about it when it comes to the Flames trading away a franchise icon and a defenseman that should have generated a bidding war. Granted, in Iginla’s case, the Flames couldn’t do anything but swallow what Ray Shero was serving them. But the return was underwhelming, and the cuts into the roster didn’t go deep enough.
Carolina Hurricanes: D+
The acquisition of Marc-Andre Bergeron looks rather essential with Joni Pitkanen done for the season. Having Ray Shero pass on claiming Jussi Jokinen and then have Jim Rutherford share the cost of a castoff … yikes. That was it for a Hurricanes team that’s scratching and clawing to remain in contention, and needed to do more to reverse course.
Chicago Blackhawks: B
Michal Handzus is fine for a fourth-liner who can win a faceoff. Sometimes the best deadline trades are the ones you don’t make. Hopefully that’s the case for the Blackhawks, who stood pat.
Colorado Avalanche: D+
Getting anything for Ryan O’Byrne – a pending free agent who hasn’t been good this season – was nice for GM Greg Sherman. Avs fans aren’t all that happy with Cameron Gaunce going to Dallas for Tomas Vincour. The bottom line is that one expected a bit more roster reshaping from the worst team in the West at the moment; maybe that comes in the summer, maybe with another general manager.
Columbus Blue Jackets: A
You want a fan wants? To know their team is in good hands. To know that management is going to be aggressively pursuing success while steadfastly protecting the future.
President John Davidson and GM Jarmo Kekalainen added Marian Gaborik, a star offensive talent, without surrendering any of their first-round picks – including the one owned by the Rangers. They added Blake Comeau for a fifth and found a taker for former Calder winner Steve Mason in the Philadelphia Flyers, which might be the single most psychologically damaging place to send Steve Mason not named Vancouver.
Gaborik may never find his form again. And the Blue Jackets may not win enough to make the playoffs this season. But their new leadership won something perhaps even more vital: The confidence and excitement of the fans.
Dallas Stars: B-
The Stars got a decent return for Jagr from the Bruins in Cody Payne and Lane MacDermid (along with a conditional second). Kevin Connauton, acquired for Derek Roy, can move the puck but can’t really get the “defense” side of defenseman down. Cameron Gaunce was an interesting addition. If you want to stretch this all the way back to Joe Morrow for Brenden Morrow, it wasn’t a disastrous deadline for the selling Stars, but that may be due to having Calgary as a basis for comparison.
Detroit Red Wings: F
Kent Huskins for a conditional seventh-rounder was all GM Ken Holland did at the deadline. They whiffed on Jay Bouwmeester and couldn’t entice Dallas to deal Jagr to them. As Holland said: "We made offers. At the end of the day, maybe somebody likes somebody else's players better." In the end, the Wings are still a win-now team, given their roster, but couldn’t add anything to the mix. But hey, at least it wasn't a first-rounder for Kyle Quincey again.
Edmonton Oilers: C+
The Oilers snagged Jerred Smithson from the Florida Panthers for a fifth, and that was that. No Ryan Whitney trade or Ales Hemsky trade or Nikolai Khabibulin trade or anything to help the blue line. Edmonton’s recent surge probably played into its hesitance to deal, and Steve Tambellini said as such in his postgame comments: “We trust this group.”
Florida Panthers: D+
Kudos for getting something for Jerred Smithson. Sorry everyone you wanted to trade was injured. Moving on…
Los Angeles Kings: A-
“Experience. Good guy in back. Fills our left side. Work him in.”
That was Darryl Sutter on Robin Regehr, and boy does he sound excited! But seriously: It’s a great addition for the defending champs, especially with his familiarity with Sutter. The Kings cleared out Davis Drewiske to Montreal for a fifth.
Minnesota Wild: A
The price for Jason Pominville was steep: goalie Matt Hackett, forward Johan Larsson, a 2013 first-round pick and a 2014 second-round pick. But the Buffalo Sabres captain is another hard-working forward that can play in any situation, and a near-perfect fit for the Wild outside of his $5.3 million cap hit next season. GM Chuck Fletcher was dealing from a position of strength, as the Wild are stacked with prospects. For example: Deal a Matt Hackett, and you still have a Darcy Kuemper on the roster.
Montreal Canadiens: A
An ‘A’? For doing nothing outside of adding Davis Drewiske? Yes. If there’s any team in the NHL that should have stood pat, it’s the Habs, who have thrived this season based on team chemistry. Let it ride, Marc Bergevin.
Nashville Predators: B+
Martin Erat wanted out and GM David Poile accommodated him: Shipping Erat and Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals for top prospect Filip Forsberg, who could be a star in waiting if his body develops. On paper, it’s an ‘B-plus’, but let’s see how this one develops. The Preds also acquired a bag of pucks for Scott Hannan.
New Jersey Devils: C-
Wait stop the presses Lou Lamoriello traded for a player that used to wear a Devils sweater …
Lamoriello put his faith in his team, only adding a fading Steve Sullivan for a seventh rounder from the Phoenix Coyotes. The Devils needed offensive help, but he didn’t have many assets to move and the cost was too high, according to the GM.
New York Islanders: B
Nothing from the Islanders, outside of a game of contract chicken with Mark Streit. The ‘B’ is for standing pat with a team that’s really come together this season and earned the chance to make the dance.
New York Rangers: B-
The New York Rangers had a whiff of desperation, with an undercurrent of frustration. Dealing a second, potentially another second and a third for Ryane Clowe was overpayment no matter if the Rangers sign him or not. It's on Clowe to prove otherwise. The Marian Gaborik trade was a salary dump for a player that had lost his way with the Rangers; the return has a player that the Rangers need (Derek Dorsett), a perennial enigma (Derick Brassard) and an underachiever (John Moore). (The Rangers also traded Blake Parlett and Steven Delisle to the Jackets.) Addition by subtraction? Perhaps. Enough of a kick in the behind to make the playoffs? John Tortorella better hope so
Ottawa Senators: B
Cory Conacher is 23 and works his behind off. He may never be the offensive player he’s been with the Lightning someplace else, but he’s got upside. GM Bryan Murray wanted a player and a pick for Ben Bishop, dealing from a position of goaltending strength. That’s what he got.
Philadelphia Flyers: D+
The Flyers waived the white flag on their season, failing to add a significant piece to rally for a playoff spot. (No, Adam Hall on waivers doesn’t count.) They couldn’t snag Keith Yandle, despite a hot pursuit. They couldn’t snag Ben Bishop from the Senators, instead opting for Steve Mason of the Blue Jackets. Who became available because the Blue Jackets traded for a goalie last year that ended up becoming their starter. Sergei something. Think he played with Philly at one point.
Phoenix Coyotes: B-
Raffi Torres earned a third-round pick from the San Jose Sharks (owned by Florida), which is about the right value for a rental of his nature. They got a seventh rounder from the Devils for Steve Sullivan and turned Matt Lombardi into Brandon McMillan, which isn’t bad at all. And they hung onto Keith Yandle, despite a push from teams like the Flyers to snag him.
Pittsburgh Penguins: A+
If you stretch he Penguins’ deadline back to the Brenden Morrow trade, then GM Ray Shero had one of the most successful deadlines on paper in recent memory. Joe Morrow for Brenden Morrow. The second-rounders for Douglas Murray. Two guys no one’s heard of and a first for Jarome Flippin’ Iginla. And then on deadline day, the Penguins deal for Jussi Jokinen and have the Carolina Hurricanes picking up some of the cost.
I want Ray Shero to general manage my life.
San Jose Sharks: A-
Sneaky good deadline for GM Doug Wilson. The return for Ryane Clowe – the Rangers’ second-round pick and a third-round pick in the 2013 draft, and a conditional second-round pick in the 2014 draft – was solid. So were the two second-rounders for Douglas Murray, who was replaced with a returning Scott Hannan (acquired from the Predators for a seventh rounder). Raffi Torres adds some veteran grit to the Sharks as well, as San Jose continues a playoff push while rebuilding on the fly.
St. Louis Blues: A-
The Jay Bouwmeester trade – for prospects Mark Cundari and Reto Berra, and a first-rounder – gives the Blues a formidable addition to their blueline, a partner for budding star Alex Pietrangelo and keeps the ex-Flame away from other Western Conference rivals. Jordan Leopold can help the blue line too. Up front, GM Doug Armstrong is rolling with what the Blues have (and what they have is a group that’s helped St. Louis to 10th in the NHL in goals).
Tampa Bay Lightning: B+
As I said here, the Ben Bishop trade is better than most give GM Steve Yzerman credit for making. It’s selling high on Cory Conacher, and it’s once again trying to do the goaltending on the cheap. But it’s way closer to a win-win, or an outright Lightning win, than many believe.
Toronto Maple Leafs: A-
Miikka Kiprusoff didn’t want to be a Leaf. Roberto Luongo might have wanted to be one, but the teams couldn’t settle on price. So Toronto ended up standing pat outside of a trade for Ryan O’Byrne, which is … fine. It’s great, in fact. This team has settled into a nice groove, it’s a playoff team, and GM Dave Nonis let them roll with the group that got them there. No need to be hasty for a budding – ugh, pun intended – contender.
Vancouver Canucks: B-
The Canucks continued to see the Roberto Luongo as a hockey trade rather than a salary dump, and hence he’s still a Canuck. The Derek Roy trade was a decent rental move and fills a vital need. Should GM Mike Gillis have done more? He probably would have were it not for a no-trade clause and a “sucky” contract.
Washington Capitals: B- (for now)
Acquiring Martin Erat (and Michael Latta) for Filip Forsberg is a move for now, made by a general manager that’s managing for now. He’s a top six forward on a team that desperately needed one. Yes, he’s signed through 2015 at a $4.5 million, but he’s the type of offensive player that’s in short order on the Caps’ roster. Giving up Filip Forsberg could be a titanic blunder in the long run, because he kid has that kind of talent. But he’s not an NHL player yet, and Erat is, and the Capitals are still in a win-now mindset. Or at least their GM is.
Winnipeg Jets: C
Signing Jacob Trouba might have been the only deadline move that matters for the Jets, who did nothing else on Wednesday outside of claiming Mike Santorelli off of waivers. Did Alexander Burmistrov for Drew Stafford almost happen?