The Top Five Best, Worst and Teams Better Off After This Year's Trade Deadline

Shane House@sghcantcopyAnalyst IMarch 7, 2009

This season, trading among teams has been stagnant. Very few moves are made at all throughout the season and it is starting to seem like teams are willing to wait till the Trade Deadline because they feel like they can get a better deal.

Well, I know we can all agree that this year’s Trade Deadline had a lot of us cheering, jeering and scratching our heads.  But most importantly, after sifting through all the rubble, it’s time to assess how well teams really did in this year’s Trade Deadline.

This part assesses the best trades that benefit both teams equally.

Top Five Best Trades

1. CAL Olli Jokinen, Third Round Pick for PHO Matthew Lombardi, Brandon Prust, and a First Round Pick

The Calgary Flames gave up a lot to get Jokinen but they got a lot in return. He is the type of center that fits in perfectly with Mike Keenan's system and finally gives Calgary a No. 1 center. Not to mention they got a third round pick back.

On the other hand, the Phoenix Coyotes not only dumped salary, but got a great player in Matthew Lombardi. He is fast, a great two-way threat, and is the type of player that Wayne Gretzky loves. Brandon Prust is a good grinder that will help toughen up the team and a first round pick is always nice, no matter where it is overall.

2. OTT Pascal Leclaire, Second Round Pick for CMB Antoine Vermette

This is a great trade for both sides. Ottawa finally gets a legitimate No. 1 goaltender that has the ability to steal a game. I would have considered this an even trade without the second round pick, but Bryan Murray worked magic to get a pick in this trade.

Not to sell Columbus short, Antoine Vermette is a player that has the skill to become a 30 goal scorer on the NHL. All it seemed like was that he needed a change of scenery in order to get his game back. At worst the Blue Jackets got a great second to third line player.   

3. CAL Jordan Leopold for COL Lawrence Nycholat, Prospect Ryan Wilson, and a Second Round Pick (from MTL)

Calgary made a move to shore up there defense by getting Jordan Leopold. He is a solid offensive defenseman who knows the system, being on the Calgary team that went all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004. He will be a great addition and will need no time to adjust to Calgary’s system.

The Colorado Avalanche didn’t do too shabby either. They got rid of salary and got a second round draft pick, a player in Lawrence Nycholat and a potential top four prospect in Ryan Wilson, who has great offensive ability and can run any power play.

4. PIT Bill Guerin for NYI Conditional Draft Pick

Pittsburgh fills a need here by getting a gritty forward that brings a load of leadership and experience to a team that really needs it. Not to mention he will help an offense that could really use some secondary scoring, he should fit in very nicely on the second or third line.

The New York Islanders are in the middle of a rebuilding process and are looking to get as many draft picks as possible. The fact that this is a conditional pick will have GM Garth Snow waiting in anticipation because if the Penguins make it past the first round, the Islanders will get a third round pick instead of a fifth round pick. A great trade for both teams.

5. BOS Mark Recchi, Second Round Pick for TB Matt Lashoff, Martin Karsums

The Boston Bruins not only get a second round pick, but a great veteran in Mark Recchi who looks revived as of late. Even at 41, he can still light the lamp and make great plays.

The Tampa Bay Lightning gave up a second round pick, but got two great players who should both be good contributors in the NHL. Matt Lashoff, a former first round pick, has the potential to become a great two-way player who can play both ends.

Martin Karsums on the other hand, is a big, fast winger who has a great shot and the potential to become a top six forward. All he needs is a little bit more consistency in order to make his mark in the NHL

The next trades I am going to talk about are the trades that are only good for one team or have no relevance whatsoever.

Top Five Worst Trades

1. PHI Daniel Carcillo for PHO Scottie Upshall, and a Second Round Pick

Daniel Carcillo is a good player, don’t get me wrong. But he is by no means worth a second round pick and a player with the skill of Scottie Upshall. I could see a straight up trade, but Phoenix definitely got the better deal of the both.

Upshall still has the potential to become a top six player while Carcillo will only become a bottom six grinder. Philly definitely lost on this trade.

2. NYR Derek Morris for PHO Petr Prucha, Dmitri Kalinin, and Nigel Dawes

Once again, I like Derek Morris. He is a very good defenseman who is effective in whatever role you give him. But by no means is he worth three players, two of which still have potential to be good.

Nigel Dawes and Petr Prucha both have wheels and Dmitri Kalinin is still a good defenseman. Phoenix once again ran away with this trade and New York will look back and regret this decision.

3. NYR Nik Antropov for TOR Second Round pick and a Conditional Pick

Once again, this is just a case where a team paid too much for a good player. Nik Antropov is a good player that you can stick in front of the net and get you those garbage goals. But by no means is he a player that is worth a second round pick along with another conditional pick.

Plus, he doesn’t fit in anywhere on a Rangers team run by John Tortorella. I just don’t see it.

4. PIT Andy Wozniewski for STL Danny Richmond

The reason that this trade made the list is basically because it has no relevance towards anything. It was basically a swap of two AHL calibre defenseman that won’t stick with either team after this season.

5. TOR Olaf Kolzig, Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers, fourth round draft pick for TB Richard Petiot

Was just a trade for Tampa Bay to dump some salary. Olaf Kolzig, Jamie Heward and Andy Rogers all have contracts that finish at the end of this season. This, along with the fact that they all have season ending injuries means that the Toronto Maple Leafs got a $400,000 dollar fourth round draft pick (how much is left in all three players contracts.)

Finally, I am going to talk about the teams that are in the best shape after the trade deadline. These are the teams that made the best trades and got the best deals to help their team.

Five Teams That Are Better Overall

1. Calgary

This team got the biggest name available on Trade Deadline, and for a price. But Olli Jokinen will fit in perfectly on the first line and might finally take this team from a good team to an elite team.

Also Jordan Leopold was a great pick up for a second round pick and knows how to play in Calgary. Will do great things on the power play and will surprise some people.

2. Phoenix

This Trade deadline went brilliantly for the Phoenix Coyotes. They traded away Olli Jokinen who didn’t fit well with Phoenix’s system and got not only a first round pick, but a great player in Matthew Lombardi and a gritty forward in Brandon Prust.

They also traded away Daniel Carcillo for a great player in Scottie Upshall, and a second round pick. Later on down the road that trade will look like robbery for Phoenix. Even though they did trade away a great player in Jokinen, they got great players back and solidified the future of the team, player wise.

3. Boston

The players they got back may not have been the biggest names available, but they will be great contributors to an already great team. Mark Recchi brings a lot of playoff experience to a team that is still young, while still contributing offensively.

Not only that, but they also got a second round pick from Tampa Bay, while giving up some decent prospects. Not to leave him out of the spotlight, Steve Montador has turned into a good defenseman and should add some grit to an already great defense.

4. Edmonton

Even though they didn’t address their defensive needs, they made two good trades. Patrick O’Sullivan is a great forward that will fit in perfectly with this team. He is young, and has great potential to become a top line forward.

Even though they did give up experience in Erik Cole, it was still a solid trade. Ales Kotalik is a player that is very under-rated. He has a great shot and can boost any team’s power play, something that Edmonton really needs to happen in order to catch fire before the playoffs.

5. Toronto

Though most trades they made were simple, they helped clear up space to give some young players a chance to show what they got in there system. Not to mention restock a bare cupboard of draft picks and help this team better build through the draft. As I said before they were simple but effective.


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