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Grades for every NHL team at the 2017 trade deadline

A lot of high marks to go around!

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Well, the NHL trade deadline is gone. Behind us, like dust kicked up by tires driving madly towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But before we completely turn our attention to the NHL’s stretch run, let’s take a look back and hand out some grades for the 2017 trade dudline. I mean deadline. It was enthralling.


2015 NHL Awards - Press Room Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning: A+

Added: F Stefan Fournier, D Erik Cernak, G Peter Budaj, F Greg McKegg, F Byron Froese, G Mike McKenna, D Mark Streit, 2017 6th round pick, 2017 7th round pick, 2018 4th round pick

Lost: D Mark Streit (lol), F Valtteri Filppula, G Ben Bishop, F Brian Boyle, F Jeremy Morin, G Adam Wilcox, 2017 4th round pick, 2017 5th round pick, 2017 7th round pick

Steve Yzerman is a wizard.

In the span of a week, the Lightning GM turned a disappointing situation (out of the hunt) into $15 million of free cap room to sign his top players this offseason and add another big piece (hello, Shattenkirk). He basically laundered the Flyers’ Mark Streit for the Penguins, playing the two rivals off each other for his own gain.

He might be planning to take over the world next, but we can’t wait to see how he does it!

Chicago Blackhawks: A

Added: F Tomas Jurco, D Johnny Oduya, F Kenton Helgesen, 2019 7th round pick

Lost: F Mark McNeill, F Spencer Abbott, F Sam Carrick, 2018 4th round pick

I loved what Stan Bowman did here. Tomas Jurco is an excellent buy-low, high-payoff candidate. He’ll get to play alongside his boyhood hero, Marian Hossa, and learn how to become a truly effective two-way winger. Talk about motivation. I like this move a lot more than recent deadline swings for Andrew Ladd.

And Johnny Oduya isn’t bad, either. Not the top-four guy he was before he left, but decent. Well done, Chicago.

Detroit Red Wings: A

Added: D Dylan McIlrath, two 2017 3rd round picks, conditional 2017 3rd round pick, 2018 2nd round pick, 2018 6th round pick

Lost: F Tomas Jurco, D Brendan Smith, F Steve Ott, F Thomas Vanek

So you’re telling me the Wings are new to this whole “selling” thing? Could’ve fooled me. GM Ken Holland turned a failing prospect, a fringe grinder, and a decent defenseman and winger on expiring contracts into four picks in the first three rounds.

Bravo, Mr. Holland. This is how you start a rebuild.

Washington Capitals: A

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Added: D Kevin Shattenkirk, G Pheonix Copley, D Cody Corbett

Lost: F Zach Sanford, F Brad Malone, G Joe Cannata, 2017 1st round pick

What else can we say? They got the big fish. Shattenkirk turns their power play into an event, separating the Capitals from everyone else in the Eastern Conference. It was a high price, but they needed to do something like this to finally win that Stanley Cup. Their roster has never been better.

Vancouver Canucks: A-

Added: F Jonathan Dahlen, F Nikolay Goldobin, 2017 4th round pick (conditional)

Lost: F Alexandre Burrows, F Jannik Hansen

Our opinion of Jim Benning as a GM couldn’t get much lower after he appeared to bungle his UFAs last season, but he totally redeemed himself this week. I don’t know how he convinced the Senators that Dahlen for Burrows was fair value. Dahlen is lighting up the Swedish league at 19 years old and could be a stud for years to come. Goldobin is also a quality prospect from within the Canucks’ own division.

I’m sorry for doubting you, Benning. This was great.

Minnesota Wild: A-

Los Angeles Kings v Minnesota Wild Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Added: F Martin Hanzal, F Ryan White, 2017 4th round pick

Lost: F Grayson Downing, F Teemu Pulkkinen, 2017 2nd round pick

Only one big splash for the Western Conference’s best team, and it was a good one. They got a center to round out their lineup who can kill penalties and make them tougher to play against, and they didn’t even give Arizona any of their top prospects for him.

This is good, and I’m thrilled to see what they do in the playoffs now. Find me a more well-rounded team in the Western Conference. I’ll wait.

Arizona Coyotes: A-

Added: F Grayson Downing, F Teemu Pulkkinen, F Joe Whitney, F Jeremy Morin, F Mitch Moroz, F Branden Troock, 2017 1st round pick, 2017 2nd round pick, 2018 2nd round pick, 2019 3rd round pick

Lost: F Martin Hanzal, F Brendan Ranford, F Ryan White, F Stefan Fournier, D Michael Stone, F Henrik Samuelsson, D Justin Hache, G Justin Peters

I think John Chayka is good at his job. He squeezed max value out of Hanzal, a third-line center at best. He got something good for Michael Stone. The Coyotes are already flushed with talented forward prospects. Now Chayka and his scouts have an arsenal of quality draft picks to upgrade their blueline.


2016 NHL Awards - Press Room Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins: B+

Added: D Ron Hainsey, D Mark Streit, D Frank Corrado

Lost: F Eric Fehr, D Steve Oleksy, F Danny Kristo, 2017 2nd round pick, 2017 4th round pick, 2018 4th round pick

GM Jim Rutherford stuck to the script that won his team a Stanley Cup last year: aggression on the market. With injuries depleting his blueline at the worst time, he swung big for two veterans who can make a difference, and a promising young defenseman in need of playing time.

Like most moves he’s made in the last 14 months, expect these to pay off.

Calgary Flames: B+

Added: D Michael Stone, F Curtis Lazar, D Mike Kostka

Lost: D Jyrki Jokipakka, 2017 2nd round pick, 2017 3rd round pick, 2018 5th round pick (conditional)

They needed to do something on deadline day after the Kings made a handful of moves to chase them out of a Wild Card spot. I liked their Stone move, simply because I think he’s worth a chance to prove injuries are the only thing holding him back. Low-risk.

I also like pouncing on an opportunity with Curtis Lazar, a former first round pick (2013) who wanted out of Ottawa. His leadership skills aren’t in question, but his ability to contribute at an NHL level is. He’ll get that chance on a young team in Calgary, where Glen Gulutzan shows more trust in his younger players.

Toronto Maple Leafs: B+

Added: F Sergey Kalinin, F Brian Boyle, F Eric Fehr, D Steve Oleksy, two 2017 2nd round picks (conditional), 2017 4th round pick, 2017 7th round pick

Lost: G Jhonas Enroth, D Viktor Loov, F Byron Froese, D Frank Corrado, 2017 2nd round pick (conditional)

Hey, how do you A) show your young team you’re going for it and B) stick to the long-term development plan? You do what the Leafs did. By adding Boyle and Fehr, they infuse their inexperienced roster with two veterans with winning playoff experience without sacrificing many future assets.

In fact, they added two second round picks. Not bad at all.

St. Louis Blues: B

Added: F Zach Sanford, F Brad Malone, F Ty Rattie, 2017 1st round pick

Lost: D Kevin Shattenkirk, G Pheonix Copley

They traded an elite defenseman for less than his true value ... but that was due to pretty odd circumstances (free agency, the expansion draft) and they still got a prospect they really like (Sanford) and a first round pick out of it. GM Doug Armstrong could’ve done a lot worse here.

Anaheim Ducks: B

Added: F Patrick Eaves

Lost: 2017 4th round pick (conditional)

Eaves is fine, as good of a power play pickup on the market these days. Depending on which scouts you hear from, he’s either over-achieving with his career highs, or finally hitting his potential after injuries. But he’s a solid pickup.

But I wish the Ducks had found a way to move one of their defensemen for ... something.

San Jose Sharks: B-

Added: F Jannik Hansen, F Buddy Robinson, F Zack Stortini, 2017 7th round pick

Lost: F Nikolay Goldobin, 2017 4th round pick (conditional)

Hansen is a serviceable mid-six forward. But Goldobin seems like a lot to give up for him, especially to a division rival. I’m not sure about this one, but GM Doug Wilson has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Philadelphia Flyers: B-

Added: F Valtteri Filppula, 2017 4th round pick, 2017 7th round pick

Lost: D Mark Streit

This was a pretty meh grade for the Flyers until the final half-hour of the deadline. Flipping Streit for Filppula was smart, freeing cap room on their end while getting a controllable, decent center in return. And a few draft picks. It’s not going for it, but it’s smart.

New Jersey Devils: B-

Added: F Viktor Loov, D Dalton Prout, F Shane Harper, 2017 4th round pick, 2017 6th round pick

Lost: F Vernon Fiddler, F Sergey Kalinin, D Kyle Quincey, F P.A. Parenteau, D Reece Scarlett

Uninspiring, yet economical! And they did right by their veterans (Parenteau, Fiddler, Quincey), sending them into the thick of the playoff race. This is the kind of deadline that pays off in free agency discussions down the road. This is a bit too quiet of a deadline for a team still in rebuilding mode, however.

Montreal Canadiens: B-

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Montreal Canadiens Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Added: D Jordie Benn, D Brandon Davidson, F Steve Ott, F Dwight King, F Andreas Martinsen, D Keegan Lowe

Lost: D Philip Samuelsson, D Greg Pateryn, F David Desharnais, F Sven Andrighetto, 2017 4th round pick, 2017 6th round pick, 2018 4th round pick (conditional), 2018 6th round pick

At some point, GM Marc Bergevin must’ve realized he wasn’t getting a top scorer, because every move he made this week is going to offset that problem in a way. They got BIG. And tough. The Habs may not score goals with the Caps or Pens, but they’ll make it tougher to get scored on. There’s something to be said for that, I guess.

Also, Jordie Benn and Brandon Davidson? That blueline is much deeper than it was a week ago. I’ll say this, though: nothing the Habs did at the deadline makes them significantly better. They’re just a different flavor of Habs now. It’s up to Claude Julien to mold them into a delicious meal.

Be right back, I need to eat.

Florida Panthers: B-

Added: F Thomas Vanek, G Adam Wilcox, D Reece Scarlett

Lost: D Dylan McIlrath, G Mike McKenna, F Shane Harper, 2017 3rd round pick (conditional)

They didn’t expect to be buyers at the deadline two weeks ago, but they got what they could. And that was Thomas Vanek. Sure. He’s fine. Vanek played well in Detroit this year, and he’s exactly the kind of pickup you get if you’re not sure you can be a player in the stretch run or not. But they’re going to try!

Dallas Stars: B-

Added: G Justin Peters, D Justin Hache, D Greg Pateryn, F Mark McNeill, D Dillon Heatherington, 2017 2nd round pick, 4th round pick, 2018 4th round pick

Lost: D Johnny Oduya, D Jordie Benn, F Patrick Eaves, F Lauri Korpikoski, F Brendan Ranford, F Branden Troock

On one hand, good for GM Jim Nill to trade most of his expiring assets for picks AND prospects — including guys who could contribute sooner than anyone he drafts this summer, and guys who need second chances to meet expectations.

On the other, it hurt that he couldn’t move Patrick Sharp. And the odds that McNeill, Pateryn, or Heatherington actually make a difference are pretty low.

The truth is that Oduya, Eaves, and Sharp were brought in to win a Stanley Cup. Now they’re all (likely) gone two years later with nothing to show for it. A real downer of a week for Dallas.

Columbus Blue Jackets: B-

Added: D Kyle Quincey, F Lauri Korpikoski

Lost: D Dalton Prout, D Dillon Heatherington

Comparisons hurt here. While their Metropolitan bunkmates swung hard for the fences, the Blue Jackets waited until the last minute to add complementary depth pieces. Which is fine, but leaves them out of the arms race.

Carolina Hurricanes: B-

Added: D Philip Samuelsson, 2017 2nd round pick, 2017 3rd round pick

Lost: D Keegan Lowe, D Ron Hainsey, F Viktor Stalberg

Kudos to Carolina for giving Ron Hainsey a shot at his first playoff series. Other than that, not much here ... for now. They have 11 picks in the 2017 draft after this week, including seven in the first three rounds.

I think they’re stockpiling for Matt Duchene.


NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings: C+

Added: G Ben Bishop, F Jarome Iginla, 2017 5th round pick, 2018 4th round pick (conditional)

Lost: D Tom Gilbert, D Erik Cernak, G Peter Budaj, F Dwight King, 2017 7th round pick, 2018 4th round pick (conditional)

I get what they’re doing with Ben Bishop, and it makes a lot of sense to me. Not sure how much of an edge it gives them over the teams they’re fighting with in the Wild Card race. Same with Iginla. Two moves that are just ... they’re fine.

Buffalo Sabres: C+

Added: D Mat Bodie

Lost: F Daniel Catenacci

Their only real asset was Dmitry Kulikov, and his back issues killed whatever interest there was in him. Evander Kane played himself off the market too, even as the team’s season collapsed last month. Brian Gionta, Kulikov, and others come off the books in July, so expect them to be more active in free agency.

New York Rangers: C+

Added: D Brendan Smith, F Dan Catenacci, F Taylor Beck

Lost: D Mat Bodie, F Justin Fontaine, 2017 3rd round pick

At first I gave them a B- for only getting Brendan Smith. Then I gave them a B for at least trying to get Kevin Shattenkirk. Then I gave them a B- again for missing out on him. Then I gave them a B for probably signing him this summer anyway.

Then I gave them a C+ for making my head hurt. Jerks.

Nashville Predators: C

Added: F Cody McLeod, F Vernon Fiddler, F P.A. Parenteau

Lost: F Felix Girard, 2017 4th round pick, 2017 6th round pick

They gave up a fourth-rounder for Vernon Fiddler. I have nothing to say.

Edmonton Oilers: C

Added: F David Desharnais, F Justin Fontaine, F Henrik Samuelsson

Lost: D Brandon Davidson, F Taylor Beck, F Mitch Moroz

This is all very uninteresting. I have very little opinion on these moves, other than I like Justin Fontaine. Connor McDavid receives no help at the deadline this year. But to be fair, there wasn’t much out there anyway.

Boston Bruins: C

Added: F Drew Stafford

Lost: 2018 6th round pick (conditional)

Talk about a quiet deadline. If any pseudo-contender could get away with one, though, it’s the Bruins. Stafford is a nice pickup for that price and can slot in on the third line admirably and help their penalty kill. An inoffensive day for a team not near contending anyway.

Winnipeg Jets: C

Added: 2018 6th round pick (conditional)

Lost: F Drew Stafford

They were so uninvolved nobody noticed when they traded Stafford right at the deadline. We forgot they existed.

Colorado Avalanche: C-

2016 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Added: D Mark Barberio, F Brendan Ranford, G Joe Cannata, F Sven Andrighetto, 2018 4th round pick (conditional)

Lost: F Cody McLeod, F Joe Whitney, D Cody Corbett, F Jarome Iginla, F Andreas Martinsen

Almost tempted to give this a failing grade. Also tempted to mark it incomplete.

Joe Sakic had plenty of UFA guys to ship off his terrible, listless team for something and didn’t. With any of them. Andrighetto is nice, I guess. The rest are fringe NHL players at best. Iginla’s conditional pick could even disappear altogether.

The good news is this all but guarantees a Duchene or Landeskog trade in the summer. Something has to give to change this core. Sakic has to learn that at some point.


Detroit Red Wings v Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators: D+

Added: F Alexandre Burrows, F Viktor Stalberg, D Jyrki Jokipakka, 2017 2nd round pick

Lost: F Jonathan Dahlen, F Curtis Lazar, D Mike Kostka, 2017 3rd round pick, 2017 7th round pick

Their owner told them to go out and make moves to make the playoffs. They failed on that count in two ways:

  • Burrows, Stalberg, and Jokipakka are not difference-makers. C’mon.
  • Dahlen and Lazar could be one day.

A poor deadline debut for GM Pierre Dorion.


Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Four Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York Islanders: N/A

Added: None

Lost: None