Trade Deadline Already Happened, Go Home — Looking Ahead At The Eastern Conference
By Ben Phillips
We may have seen the two of the three biggest deals of the NHL trade deadline go down Sunday afternoon, two days before the deadline itself. The Tampa Bay Lightning traded star goaltender Ben Bishop to the Kings for Peter Budji and a prospect, along with a few late round picks involved. The other trade saw — to the apparent dislike of Shane Doan — Arizona traded Martin Hanzel to Minnesota for a 1st a 2nd and a conditional pick, one that only get better the further the Wild go in the Playoffs. Now, Monday afternoon, several more trades continue to trickle in: first, Brian Boyle being traded to the Leafs from fire-selling Tampa Bay, and Alex Burrows is going to Ottawa. Whats left for the trade deadline panels to cover? Lets take a look at the playoff teams in each conference!
Washington Capitals: 1st in the Metro; 89pts
Washington are hoping they are set for a long a fruitful playoff run after acquiring Kevin Shattenkirk last night. The trade really makes betting against the Capitals a hard thing to do come playoff time.
Pittsburgh Penguins: 2nd in the Metro; 84pts
At the moment they have $4 million in free cap space because of several players on IR. That does give them some room for a possible deadline deal. Then there is the issue surrounding Marc-André Fleury. The latest rumours suggest that the star goaltender has submitted a list of three teams he would waive his no-trade-clause for. Pens GM Jim Ruthorford is always active so don’t be surprised if he makes a splash on or before the Wednesday deadline. Also with the injuries the Pens’ back line has suffered, they could use that elusive top four defenseman now that Shattenkirk is off the table
Columbus Blue Jackets: 3rd in the Metro; 83pts
Columbus has had a good year so far but are looking to add someone to ensure they make the playoffs, and maybe go farther than that. They have considered giving a pick up to get some help. But given their youth and success this season, should be mostly quiet from the Blue Jackets camp.
New York Rangers: 1st wild card spot; 82pts
The Rangers have been linked to a couple of forwards, one in particular being Canucks forward Jannik Hansen. With $9.6 million in cap space they have plenty of space to add a player, it’s just whether or not they are willing to pay the market price. They have reportedly pulled out of a Shattenkirk trade because the price was too high. Keep an eye on the Rangers.
Montreal Canadiens: 1st in the Atlantic; 76pts
They need a top six forward and have been looking for another top four defenseman. With not a lot of cap space, they have been looking to trade centre David Desharnais and clear $3.5 million. Canadiens have been linked to a number of players including both Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche . The did add Jordie Benn in a Monday trade, sending Greg Pateryn and a fourth round pick to the Stars. This should help take some defensive zone time away from Andrei Markov.
Ottawa Senators: 2nd in the Atlantic: 72pts
Ottawa made a splash on Monday and acquired Canucks forward Alex Burrows for a Swedish prospect Jonathan Dahlén. The Sens still need to add more scoring help and have also been linked to Duchene. However, the asking price may be too high for the Senators who may be unwilling to part with any more prospects.
Boston Bruins: 3rd in the Atlantic; 70pts
Trade rumours circulated involving Bruins forwards Matt Beleskey, Riley Nash, Jimmy Hayes and back up goalie Anton Khudobin. A tone of uncertainty surrounds the Bruins after their head coach was fired a few weeks ago, on the edge of a playoff position. They will be an interesting team to watch.
Toronto Maple Leafs: 2nd wild card spot; 69pts
The Leafs have added defencemen Brian Boyle out of Tampa Bay so far. But other than that, don’t expect much more on the deadline day from the Buds, at least according to coach Mike Babcock.