Winners and Losers of the 2015 Trade Deadline
The trade deadline has come and gone, with a flurry of deals, some great, and others leaving us shaking our heads. Many of the highly sought out players like Antoine Vermette, Zbynek Michalek, Jeff Petry, and Erik Cole were traded, but some other wild cards were also thrown into the mix.
Many teams shored up their rosters for the playoffs, while some did the exact opposite and sat on their hands the entire day. Here are some of our picks for the winners and losers of the trade deadline.
Winner: Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks had a pretty successful day and week, getting not only the defenseman they wanted in James Wisniewski, but also another top-9 forward with Tomas Fleischmann, and even added Korbinian Holzer and Simon Depres on top of that. Wisniewski joins the likes of Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Clayton Stoner, and Sami Vatanen on the blueline in Anaheim, a defensive core that will now be able to keep up with the rest of the West.
Winner: New York Rangers
The Rangers no doubt pulled off one of the biggest, if not the biggest deal of the trade deadline period this year. They acquired Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, and a 4th round pick from Arizona in exchange for John Moore, Anthony Duclair, a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick. Yandle provides a big offensive presence on the blueline for the Rangers, although they give up a hefty part of their future in return. They also acquired 4th line center James Sheppard, who will replace Tanner Glass in the lineup. Another acquisition by them was Carl Klignberg from the Jets, a 24 year-old left wing in exchange for the much older Lee Stempniak.
Winner: New York Islanders
The Islanders had a very quiet deadline, but a very good one. They made two small deals and two bigger ones, with the small deals shipping out AHL players Cory Conacher and David Leggio to Vancouver and Arizona respectively. General manager Garth Snow acquired Tyler Kennedy from the Sharks, who will provide to their ever lacking penalty kill and also brings playoff experience to the locker room. The biggest deal of the day was sending Chad Johnson and a third round pick to the Sabres in exchange for Michael Neurvirth. Neuvirth, 26, has a .918 SV% on the Sabres this year, compared to Johnson’s .889 SV% on the Isles. Johnson has been a huge disappointment for the Isles, and Neuvirth is a huge upgrade from him. Neuvirth is a UFA in July and will for sure look to be locked up by the team beforehand.
Loser: New Jersey Devils
The Devils only made one move on Monday and that is completely unacceptable, especially in the position they are in. They dealt Marek Zidlicky to Detroit for a third round pick, not a terrible return but nothing special. They held onto Martin Havlat, Jordan Tootoo, Scott Gomez, Bryce Salvador, and Michael Ryder, all who could have been dealt for at least some late round picks. The Devils failed to accelerate their rebuild or gain draft picks for this strong draft year, a complete and utter failure.
Loser: San Jose Sharks
For a team on the bubble and barely floating above water, the Sharks remained very quiet this year at the deadline. They acquired a conditional third round pick for Tyler Kennedy, Ben Smith (a fourth liner) for Andrew Desjardins, and a 4th round pick for James Sheppard, but made no other moves beside that (outside of a small AHL one). The Sharks currently sit five points out of the playoffs, and now have to worry about UFA goalie Niemi walking this offseason. Although they didn’t have many assets they were willing to trade, still a terrible day for them.
Loser: Toronto Maple Leafs
Yes, they did trade Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli, as well as David Clarkson by some miracle, but with the pieces they had on the table, the Leafs could have done much more. They traded Olli Jokinen and Korbinian Holzer, but didn’t get anything significant in return. The “scorched earth” policy never came to life, and they held onto Joffrey Lupul, Phil Kessel, and Dion Phaneuf for another 3 months at least. Weird way to end the deadline for the Leafs.
Thanks for an enjoyable trade deadline and let me know your thoughts on who was a winner and who was a loser today.