What The NHL Trade Deadline Moves Really Mean

The NHL trade deadline came and went on Monday as a number of teams added pieces for that final playoff push. Rick Nash not being traded was the day’s biggest story, but there were a number of important deals on Monday and the days leading up to the deadline. I thought it would be a great idea to have a trade recap, but also know that every sports website will have the inevitable “Winners and Losers at the Deadline” article. It’s always an amazingly insightful read for any sports fan who wants to see how their team did…

I’ll let you in on the secret of how those recaps are written: Any team that needed to make a trade and did is a winner. Any team that needed to make a trade and didn’t is a loser. That’s about it.

So rather than insult your intellect I wanted to bring the NHL deadline to you the way I saw it.

The “Brothers Reunite” Trade: Nashville acquires F Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal for a 2nd-round pick and a 3rd-round pick

I was pretty bored by deadline day as a whole but this was one of the day’s biggest trades. This trade reunites Andrei Kostitsyn with his younger brother Sergei. The two played together in Montreal and are back together again (how cute). Sergei is actually having a better year. Stay tuned for a sibling rivalry fight story. That would make this deadline day a much bigger success.

Side Notes: Kostitsyn goes from the NHL’s oldest and most storied franchise to Nashville, a team that came into existence in 1998. More importantly he goes from wearing the NHL’s most recognizable jersey to wearing a urine-colored jersey for home games.

The “Most Generic Names” Trade: Los Angeles acquires F Jeff Carter from Columbus for D Jack Johnson and a 1st-round draft pick

If you have to pick two of the most generic, normal sounding names then Jeff Carter and Jack Johnson are probably high on the list right after Mark Johnson and John Smith. It’s a good trade for both teams though. Carter is the scoring forward the Kings badly need and Johnson is a great young offensive-minded defenseman.

Side Note: Johnson is under contract until 2017-18 and Carter until 2021-22 so this trade can also be labeled the “Longest Contracts Combined” trade. For the less knowledgeable fan it’s also the “I Thought Jack Johnson Was a Singer” deal.

The “Get Me the Hell Out of Minnesota” Trade: New Jersey acquires D Marek Zidlicky from Minnesota for D Kurtis Foster, F Nick Palmieri, F Stephane Veilleux, a 2nd-round pick and a 3rd-round pick

Complain and you well get your way. Marek Zidlicky was not happy in Minnesota and has made no secret of it. Basically it was the classic story of not getting enough ice time and wanting to get the hell out of town. It goes to show you that if you complain enough, then you’ll go from a team out of a playoff spot to a team basically guaranteed to make it. Hooray for whining!

Here’s what Zidlicky said last month about head coach Mike Yeo: “He wants to play easy hockey. I tried everything what he wants, but apparently it doesn’t work.” I have no idea what easy hockey is, but I know it’s not a compliment. What took them so long to trade this guy?

Side Note: Kurtis Foster has now been on three teams this season. I think it’s safe to say no one is happier about the trade deadline passing than this man. Unpack your bags Kurtis, you can’t be traded again…this season.

The “We Got a Minor Leaguer!” Trade: Ottawa acquires G Ben Bishop from St. Louis for a 2nd-round draft pick

Ottawa’s starter Craig Anderson is out because he sliced his hand with a kitchen knife. While I personally am not sure if this is a cover for getting drunk with Joe Beimel and cutting his hand on a piece of glass, Anderson’s out and they needed some depth. They stole away one of the only available goalies at the deadline so I guess that’s a plus.

Side Note: Bishop is now the tallest goalie in the NHL at 6-7. He goes to a good hockey town in Ottawa but I was hoping he would go to Toronto, not because they needed a goalie so badly, but because the Raptors could use some front court help.

The “Random Defenseman” Trade: Too many to list

OK so I guess this is kind of cheating since it’s not one trade, but I thought this was an interesting trend to look at. On Monday alone there were eight trades that were “one-way defenseman” meaning at least one team got just one player back, and it was a defenseman.  There were even a couple “one defenseman for one defenseman” deals. I’m not really sure what compelled half the league’s GMs to say “I think our team could really use a marginal defenseman” but it seemed to be an epidemic. I can point to these kind of deals right here as the exact reason the trade deadline was kind of a letdown for me.

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