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From the Penalty Box: NHL Trade Deadline Breakdown
by Greg Ratliff,posted Mar 7 2015 12:40PM
You may be wondering, “A hockey blog on ESPN929.com?”
It’s true!!! So since this is my first blog post, on top of wondering about the question above, you may be asking, “Who’s writing this???”
If you’ve listened to Tigers Tonight on ESPN 790 you’ve heard me broadcasting that show (occasionally) with John Martin. I also am the Executive Producer for Outdoors with Larry Rea and Bear’s Best Bets. I’m from Illinois, grew up a HUGE Chicago Blackhawks fan, and now live here, in Memphis. Let’s get to this.
The 2015 NHL Trade Deadline could be summed up with one word: BUSY. The pace got to be so frenetic I could barely even keep up. I’m going to do my best to try and make sense of what happened Monday.
These are my picks for which teams were the BEST and WORST at the trade deadline Monday.
1. Detroit Red Wings – Anyone that wants to pretend that the Red Wings didn’t get better isn’t paying attention. And they did it without giving up much of anything. Both Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky are unrestricted free agents this summer but could be brought back to Detroit since they are perfect for Detroit. They’re both role players that play anywhere Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock may need them. The Wings were already a serious Stanley Cup contender, and this deal helps solidify their team.
2.Chicago Blackhawks – Win now. That’s definitely the mindset in Chicago this year with them dealing away Ben Smith and Klas Dahlbeck (and a variety of picks) in deals to San Jose and Arizona, respectively. In return, the Hawks bring in elite faceoff man Antoine Vermette, solid forward Andrew Desjardins and defenseman Kimmo Timmonen. Granted, none of this probably would have happened had Patrick Kane not gone on long-term injured reserve last week with an upper body injury. One of the Hawks’ biggest issues in the playoffs last year was faceoff deficiency and Vermette will help that immensely.
3.Toronto Maple Leafs – Wow. Now yes, they’re not a contender for much of anything this season. But they were BUSY the last few days, unloading players left and right and clearing up lots of cap space. So let’s break this all down: They got rid of Olli Jokinen (whom they acquired only two weeks ago), Daniel Winnik, Korbinian Holzer, amd the giant contract of David Clarkson. And they were trying to unload Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, and Tyler Bozak. The Leafs showed they aren’t messing around. It doesn’t do much for this year, but the cap space cleared hopefully is leading to a better future for one of the Original Six teams.
HONORABLE MENTION: New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks
1.Edmonton Oilers – This wasn’t a hard pick for number 1. They got Rob Klinkhammer and a 1st round pick from Pittsburgh in January. And uh…… a 2nd round pick for Jeff Petry on Monday. That’s it. So the Oilers have decided that as part of the rebuild they do nothing. The massive rebuild that’s going to bring them back to the Gretzky years and open up their new downtown arena with a Stanley Cup……..yeah. GM Craig MacTavish better hope this plan works or it could be him leaving Edmonton next.
2.Pittsburgh Penguins – Monday saw the Pens bring back blue liner Ben Lovejoy from Anaheim in exchange for Simon Desperes who was at one point a very highly touted defenseman but Pittsburgh has a ton of depth at that position. Lovejoy was with the Pens from 2008-2013 and apparently management was a big fan. He adds some valuable experience over Desperes but it’s not necessarily a ‘wow’ move that a ‘contending’ team usually makes. The Pens also added another defenseman in Ian Cole, but again, it’s a rather uninspired move. If the Pens were looking to bolster the team heading towards the playoffs they definitely swung and missed here.
3.Boston Bruins – Yet another perennial playoff team that didn’t really seem to get all they wanted by the deadline Monday. The Bruins did get Maxime Talbot and Paul Carey from Colorado in exchange for a 6th round pick and the disappointing former 1st round pick, Jordan Caron. Caron just never quite fit with the team, so his departure shouldn’t be a huge surprise to most Boston fans. But that was it. Will it put them over the hump?? Maybe??? I don’t think it will though.
DISHONORABLE MENTION: Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks
In the next edition of The Penalty Box Blog, I’m going to break down the current race to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Pick Detroit.
Sometime next week I’ll also have up a brand new Penalty Box podcast up where I’ll be breaking down the deadline with a couple (yet to be determined) guests. Follow me on Twitter @GregRatliff where I’ll announce that when I have it confirmed.
From the Penalty Box: NHL Trade Deadline Breakdown
Please Enter Your Comments Below
Why do you hate the Flyers?
I don't understand why the Flyers get no love here. I think your Blackhawk fandom has blinded you to the truth.
No hate for the Flyers.
No hate for the Flyers, I actually almost put them down for an honorable mention for best moves. I just felt they could have done more. As far as the Hawks, I felt they did a lot to address their deficiencies at the faceoff dot. --Greg