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NHL Trade Deadline: Grading Each Team's Moves Before the Trade Deadline

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IFebruary 27, 2012

NHL Trade Deadline: Grading Each Team's Moves Before the Trade Deadline

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    So, how do you feel about your NHL team now that the deadline has passed?

    Rick Nash wasn't moved, but apparently he was the one asking for a trade, according to ESPN. The Nashville Predators went for broke, and the Vancouver Canucks raised a few eyebrows. In all, what was (on the surface) a lackluster deadline day was actually fairly intriguing.

    How did each team do? Let's grade them.

Anaheim Ducks: C

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    Only one minor trade by the Ducks, moving Andrew Gordon to Vancouver, left what was once the rumor hotbed looking the same as they did before. They're hot, but did they dig a hole too deep to get out of before the postseason begins?

    Not enough was done by Bob Murray.

Boston Bruins: B-

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    The Bruins added defensemen Greg Zanon, Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau in exchange for Steve Kampfer and a couple kids. Boston clearly looked to beef up their blue line and did it with a couple of deals on Monday.

    But was it enough? Probably not. Boston GM Pete Chiarelli admitted he was looking for a forward, but didn't get it done because of the prices around the league.

Buffalo Sabres: B+

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    They got what they wanted—a first-round pick—for Paul Gaustad and then made the bold move to add Cody Hodgson in the late-day shocker. Zack Kassian is a big winger, but they added a top-six forward and a high pick on the day.

    Buffalo also added Marc-Andre Gragnani in the deal with Vancouver.

Calgary Flames: D

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    They did nothing.

    And the Mike Cammalleri deal hasn't worked out as well as they had hoped.

    Now, Jay Feaster's team will have to fight hard to back up his postseason prediction without getting any help from outside.

Carolina Hurricanes: F

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    The 'Canes had assets everyone wanted and they didn't move anyone. In a market where Johnny Oduya got a second- and third-round pick, one has to think Bryan Allen could have picked up a first. But, Carolina stood still with the team that isn't anywhere close to the postseason.

    In a desperate buyer's market that could have greatly benefited the future of the 'Canes, they didn't do anything.

Chicago Blackhawks: C-

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    Stan Bowman was another GM that chose to make cosmetic changes to his roster rather than go for broke. He traded a couple of 2013 picks for Johnny Oduya and then (somehow) got a fifth-round pick for John Scott.

    Did he do enough to make them a Cup contender? Probably not. But, he also didn't mortgage any prospects for a rental.

Colorado Avalanche: B-

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    The Avs didn't trade Paul Stastny, but they did move T.J. Galiardi and Daniel Winnik to the San Jose Sharks for Jamie McGinn.

    Does that help push the Avs over the top and make them a playoff team? Probably not. But, McGinn brings a few things to their lineup that they didn't have.

Columbus Blue Jackets B

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    How does a GM begin building a competitive team? He can either spend a lot of money in free agency or load up in the draft.

    After trying the money-spending approach this summer (and failing with Jeff Carter and Steve Wisniewski), Scott Howson clearly backpedaled into building a big-time draft-pick pipeline moving forward.

    In deals that moved Sami Pahlsson, Antoine Vermette and Carter out of town, Howson added five future draft picks (a first-, second-, two fourth- and fifth-round pick) and Jack Johnson.

    It was also telling that Rick Nash asked out of Columbus. While Howson might not have done enough to save his job on Monday, he did help the future of the organization.

Dallas Stars: C-

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    The Stars made a nice move to get value for Nicklas Grossman, but that move indicated that they might be selling. However, Steve Ott and Sheldon Souray didn't leave town, and Dallas is left to chase a playoff spot with a roster that is one key defenseman less than the team that got them as close as they are now.

Detroit Red Wings: B

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    They did move a first-round pick for Kyle Quincey, which might feel like a lot, but relative to what other defensemen were getting on the market, that isn't crazy. They also picked up a late-round pick for Mike Commodore.

Edmonton Oilers: C

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    The Oilers' grade on trades is actually pretty good. They made a smart hockey move when they traded Tom Gilbert for Nick Schultz, which is a solid trade moving forward.

    But, handing Ales Hemsky $10 million over two years puts the Oilers at a "C."

Florida Panthers: B

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    The Panthers made their move earlier in the season when they traded David Booth to Vancouver. Right now, they're winning their division, and GM Dale Tallon decided not to mess with a good thing. The Panthers were silent at the deadline.

Los Angeles Kings: B-

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    They made the bold move to add Jeff Carter, but there still needs to be a payoff in the standings. We'll see if Carter is enough to get LA into the postseason by himself.

Minnesota Wild: B

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    The Wild got surprisingly good value from the New Jersey Devils for Marek Zidlicky, and then added defensemen Tom Gilbert and Steve Kampfer in deals that saw Greg Zanon and Nick Schultz leave. They mixed up the room a little and added a couple of mid-round picks in the process.

Montreal Canadiens: C

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    Apparently, Mr. Gauthier only recognizes phone calls from Nashville, as his two big deals were both with the Predators. He sent Hal Gill and Andrei Kostitsyn to Nashville in two deals that ultimately landed Blake Geoffrion and a couple of second-round picks. Not bad.

    But, they didn't sell enough to begin an immediate rebuild, and they didn't do anything to improve the team this season.

Nashville Predators: A+

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    They added a big defenseman (Hal Gill), a depth forward (Andrei Kostitsyn) and a big checking-line center (Paul Gaustad), while only moving two significant players in Jerred Smithson and Blake Geoffrion.

    Nashville is going for broke and made three solid moves to give them the best odds to go for broke in April, May and June.

New Jersey Devils: B-

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    The Devils added Marek Zidlicky, but paid a premium for him. Is he enough to get the Devils to the promised land? It's hard to say.

New York Islanders: A+

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    They traded Brian Rolston.

    That should be enough for Isles fans.

New York Rangers: B+

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    They might have overpaid by dealing a fifth-round pick for John Scott, but getting Wojtek Wolski off their payroll (and getting a third-round pick for him) is outstanding work. The Rangers didn't land Rick Nash, but they aren't in a desperate position.

Ottawa Senators: A-

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    The Sens traded Brian Lee for Matt Gilroy before the deadline, but they may have ultimately won by trading a prospect and a second-round pick for Kyle Turris months ago. Turris has been pretty good for Ottawa, and his value would have been significantly higher in the market today.

    Ottawa also acquired a goalie for the future in Ben Bishop.

Philadelphia Flyers: C+

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    The Flyers made a couple of moves well before the deadline, but at the end of the day, they appear to be redundant.

    Philly traded a 2012 second- and 2013 third-round pick to Dallas for defenseman Nicklas Grossman.

    Philly traded a conditional second (2012 or 2013) and a 2013 fourth-round pick for defenseman Pavel Kubina.

    They didn't address the goalie position and gave away valuable mid-round picks for a couple of defensemen that might end up being rentals.

Phoenix Coyotes: B+

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    Phoenix didn't do anything on Monday, but did add Antoine Vermette. It's hard to evaluate the job of a GM that doesn't have an owner to OK anything, though.

Pittsburgh Penguins: A

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    The last time Ray Shero made a trade, he acquired a draft pick for Mark Letestu in early November. They're in the playoff hunt without Sidney Crosby and clearly didn't feel the need to overpay for a Band-Aid. We'll see if/how that works out for them in the next five weeks.

    I'm sure there are GMs all over the NHL that would love to have the patience of Ray Shero without Twitter burning down their name/reputation because they did/didn't overpay at the deadline.

San Jose Sharks: B

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    They added T.J. Galiardi and Daniel Winnik, but didn't get Rick Nash. They've been in a funk lately, so we'll see if a couple of players removed from Denver will give them some energy. Doug Wilson's trying anything he can do to get this team over the hump, and right now, "the hump" is sixth place in the conference.

St. Louis Blues: A

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    The Blues get an "A" just for what they did to Colorado at the deadline last year. Yes, still.

    St. Louis is the only team in the Central Division that didn't make a move to add someone (they traded away goalie prospect Ben Bishop). Are they good/deep enough to make a run into May? We'll see. But, they certainly get a high grade for not overpaying in a crazy market.

Tampa Bay Lightning: A

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    Quietly, Steve Yzerman was pretty busy.

    Since Feb. 16, he has added a 2012 second-round pick (for Dominic Moore), another second-round pick (in either 2012 or 2013) and a fourth-round pick in 2012 (for Pavel Kubina), a first-round pick in 2012 for Kyle Quincey (Steve Downie), a talented young defenseman in Keith Aulie (for Carter Ashton) and veteran blueliners Mike Commodore and Brian Lee.

    That's a healthy stockpile of picks for an aggressive general manager with a lot of holes to fill. Of all the sellers this season, Yzerman may have ultimately done the best.

Toronto Maple Leafs: C+

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    Brian Burke was clearly frustrated, judging from all of his comments before, during and after the deadline regarding the ridiculous cost to get anything done at the deadline this year. He did acquire a top forward prospect, Carter Ashton, from Tampa for Keith Aulie, but he decided to keep his team together for a playoff push.

    TSN's Darren Dreger reported late Monday that Burke had as many as four first-round-pick offers for different players on the table, but turned each down. We'll see if that works out.

Vancouver Canucks: C

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    One of the last trades reported was maybe the biggest shock. Vancouver traded Cody Hodgson to Buffalo for a big, physical, young forward in Zack Kassian in a four-player deal. They also traded away two picks for Sami Pahlson on Monday.

    How Pahlsson replaces Hodgson's offense and how Kassian works into the rotation on the blue line will be interesting to watch down the road. Very interesting moves by the Canucks.

    We're giving the Canucks a "C" here because if Kassian is indeed what they needed and they don't miss Hodgson's offense, the trade is an "A." But, if they start to struggle to find secondary scoring and Kassian doesn't fit, this could also be an "F."

Washington Capitals: F

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    Washington did nothing before the deadline, despite having a number of veterans that may not be back and might have better served the long-term plans of the organization had they been dealt. Certainly, if second-round picks are being dealt for a guy like Pavel Kubina, putting Dennis Wideman out there could have netted what? Two firsts?

    But GMGM (General Manager George McPhee) opted to follow Burke's lead and fight for the playoffs with the team he's got. Good luck.

Winnipeg Jets: A

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    Winnipeg got a second- and third-round pick in 2013 from Chicago for Johnny Oduya, who was probably leaving after this year anyway. As a team in the hunt for a postseason spot, they really couldn't sell, but at the same time, they did take advantage of a crazy market by getting good value for a veteran.

    All in all, a pretty good first deadline for Mr. Cheveldayoff.

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