The NHL trade deadline is one of the most exciting days of the hockey season.
Teams blow up their rosters to start the rebuilding stage, while others grab big names in hopes of making a run to the Stanley Cup.
Some years it has been really quiet, while others have been really active. It all depends on what the teams are like and how the talent pool is.
This year, teams were stagnant until it was crunch time. There were some big trades and others that were pretty irrelevant.
There were times when there was nothing, and other moments when there was an explosion of trades.
But when it comes down to it, it was an exciting day.
This was the first trade of the day, and it was one of the biggest.
Nashville got the scorer that they desperately needed, while Montreal got some more picks for the 2013 draft.
Nashville wanted Kostitsyn because of the offensive ability he has. While it might not have always been in the forefront this season, his talents will shine brightly by playing for a contender.
Another plus for the Predators is that his brother Sergei also plays for Nashville.
With the success of the Sedin twins, it is highly probable the Kostitysn brothers will be paired on the same line.
Montreal gets back a draft pick it sent Nashville, along with another 2013 second-round draft pick.
The Habs will have four out of the first 60 picks in the draft, which is nuts.
The talent pool is supposed to be even higher than the 2012 pool, so many teams are trading those picks.
The Canadiens look to be extremely smart with this trade, and they could come back with vengeance because of these picks.
It was a smart trade for both sides.
Nashville becomes even more powerful in the uber-competitive Central, while Montreal gets to build for the future.
This was a trade that many people didn't think would happen, and it doesn't really impact either team very much.
Tampa Bay has fallen out of the playoff race, currently sitting six points out of the final playoff spot, and it looks like there will be very few teams from the Southeast division in the top eight in the Eastern Conference.
By adding Commodore, the Lightning add a tough guy on the blue line. They have the league's worst defense and by adding Commodore, those numbers should go down.
Detroit receives a much-needed draft pick.
The Red Wings are notorious for having one of the oldest teams in the NHL, and this year is no different.
Year in and year out, the team is told that their age will get to them, but it never does. By adding the draft pick, Detroit can draft some younger players to take the place when these veterans decide to hang up the skates.
The Wings are thinking about the future, and are showing why they are always in the running for the Cup.
This is a trade that many will overlook. Not a big name for not a high pick. But the teams will both benefit from it down the line.
This is a trade that many people think is irrelevant, but this is actually a fantastic move for the Edmonton Oilers.
Nick Schultz is the heart and soul of the Minnesota Wild behind Cal Clutterbuck. He has been in a leadership position, and will do the same for the Edmonton Oilers.
In return, the Wild get Tom Gilbert.
Gilbert hasn't been as productive as he normally has been, putting up only 17 points through 47 games.
However, his style is much different to that of Schultz, who is a tough guy with a body-banging style of play.
The Wild are looking to make a playoff run, and Gilbert will help bolster the blue line's productivity.
The Edmonton Oilers are the winners as of right now. Schultz will be able to be an immediate leader with the team and will be able to give veteran stability along with Ales Hemsky.
The Oilers were not going to make the playoffs, and by adding Schultz, they get to build the chemistry.
That way, they can take the league by storm next season.
The Wild needed an offensive d-man. The Oilers needed veteran leadership. Both got exactly what they wanted.
Tampa had their second trade of the day, changing out their second defenseman in Ashton for Aulie, another defenseman.
They have been focused on the defensemen, and it seems to be the trend of the deadline.
Aulie is an extremely young defenseman who has split time between the Maple Leafs and their AHL affiliate this season.
But it's a good move for the Lightning.
They have veteran Eric Brewer to teach the youngsters what it takes to be an NHL defensemen before he hangs up the skates.
Toronto in return gets Carter Ashton.
He has yet to make it to the NHL level, but the kid has a huge amount of talent and up-value.
He has put up 44 points in 33 games with the WHL affiliate for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Those kind of numbers will see the kid fighting for a roster spot come September next season.
This trade is a trade for the future.
The players involved won't make an immediate impact. However, don't count these kids out, as they have the ability to make some noise in the NHL.
Both teams needed a little bit of an offensive spark to get back on the right track and get hot to be a contending team in the Western Conference.
This was a deal that moved the most amount of players the whole day.
The Sharks received wingers Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi. Both are offensive forwards that have the ability to score.
Galiardi is having the better season of the two, but still only has 14 points.
Winnik has the high 18 points, but is also -11 on the year.
The pair will be role players for the Sharks, but they may also be able to be the spark the team needs.
The Avalanche get some good pieces in return.
The Avs receive Jamie McGinn, who has been an offensive force for the Sharks. McGinn has 24 points, three of them being power play goals.
The Avs also receive prospects Mike Connolly and Michael Sgarbossa. Both have yet to appear in an NHL game, but the Avs were able to receive immediate help while also getting some pieces for the future.
A big trade with not a lot of big names. However, this deadline deal may turn out to help the teams down the road.
Tampa were involved in yet another deal for another defenseman. This was the trend throughout the day, and this was the final trade for the Bolts.
Ottawa sent Brian Lee to Tampa because he never really worked out in Ottawa.
He was a high-draft pick that the Senators continually waited on. He never reached the potential they believed he had.
By sending him to Tampa, Lee will be able to get more playing time than in Ottawa.
He will also be under the wing of Eric Brewer, so he will have veteran leadership teaching him what it means to be a good defender. Tampa definitely has some upside with this trade.
Ottawa, in return, receives Matt Gilroy.
The rookie has put up 17 points for the Bolts, but they believe Lee is capable of more.
Gilroy is relatively unproven, so there is a little more risk on the side of Ottawa.
However, by putting him in the sixth or seventh spot that Lee was occupying, Gilroy will get tested.
The Senators will see if they overpaid, or if he can handle the pressure come playoff time.
The Bolts have made some minor adjustments to better their defense: Ottawa have done the same.
Vancouver were feeling lonely and decided to get in on the trade action.
They went with depth, and it is going to pay off.
Vancouver received Samuel Pahlsson from the Columbus Blues Jackets.
Pahlsson has been having a decent year with the terrible Jackets, and hopefully going from the last-place team to the first-place team will help.
However, he was traded for the intangible playoff experience.
Pahlsson was instrumental to the Anaheim Ducks when they won the Cup in 2007. Vancouver hopes he still has one final spark and can help them also win it.
Columbus is continuing to rebuild for the future. The Blue Jackets received two fourth-round draft picks for the 2012 NHL draft.
The trend was to get 2013 picks, but Columbus doesn't want to wait another year to start rebuilding.
Columbus' main concern is to retain Rick Nash past this season, and the only way to do that is to prove he will have a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
Vancouver wanted depth and experience and they got it. Columbus needed picks to continue to rebuild and they got it. Win-win for both sides.
Chicago have not been playing well at all recently, and were looking for anything that could be the answer.
They believed the answer to be Johnny Oduya.
Oduya is a defenseman that is physical, but also can put up some numbers. He looks like he will be a five or six d-man for the Blackhawks, while also spending some time on the team's second power-play line.
Oduya was having a pretty good year in Winnipeg, and now looks to help Chicago get back in the middle of the Central Division race.
Winnipeg was the only team that was in playoff contention that got pieces for the future—and not the present.
The reasoning behind letting Oduya go was that no matter what happens in Winnipeg this year, the fans will support it.
They will forgive the team for not making the playoffs this year if it means they have a better shot at making them next season.
The owners can also start drafting their own players with the second- and third-round picks, rather than what was given to them by Atlanta.
The Jets are thinking future—Chicago is thinking present.
Someone has to try to keep up with Nashville, or else the dark horse could become the favorite.
People were wondering if the defending champs were going to make any moves to better the chances of a repeat.
The Bruins did make a trade, and it should turn out well for them.
The Bruins received winger Brian Rolston along with d-man Mike Mottau from the New York Islanders.
Rolston is a gritty winger that doesn't get a lot of points. However, he is the kind of player that will give your top six guys energy while also wearing down the opponent.
Rolston will come in handy late in games when the team needs that extra little push.
Mottau is a defenseman that adds some depth to the blue line while also giving the team some more veteran leadership.
In return for Mottau and Rolston, the Islanders received prospects Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin.
The Islanders are a team that are young and good. If they can retain goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, and develop these young players along with the ones they already have, they could become contenders quickly.
The Islanders are playing the same game as the majority of the teams in the draft that won't make the playoffs.
Send out the leadership and get some young pieces.
The Islanders do just that, and Boston will again be difficult to beat come playoff time.
The Nashville Predators want to get as much as they can to make the deepest run possible.
They may not get the players they want next year, so they're making the most of it this year.
The Predators' first blockbuster was landing Kostitsyn: The next one involved Paul Gaustad.
Gaustad will most likely only be a rental, but he has some great upsides. He is known for being a gritty player that will get into the corners and dig the puck out for a sniper to finish the deal.
The Predators are lacking in the scoring department, and Gaustad paired with Kostitsyn will definitely make an instant impact on the team.
Along with a fourth-round pick, Nashville scored big with this deal.
The Sabres also have reasons to celebrate too.
Nashville beat out teams like the Red Wings for Gaustad because they were willing to give up a first-round pick in the 2012 draft.
Any pick in the first round is going to be a fantastic player, and can most likely crack the NHL roster one year out of the draft.
The Sabres are getting someone that will make an impact nearly right after the draft. Gaustad was likely to leave in the offseason anyway, and the Sabres got the best deal they could have for him.
The Predators are huge winners coming out of the deadline, and the Sabres will be extremely happy with this trade a few years down the line.
Vancouver turn out another big trade—and get another player that can help with a run to the Stanley Cup.
They received Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani in the trade.
Kassian is the headliner, a young player who will most likely not be a factor in this season's quest for the Cup.
However, he has the ability to be a top-six forward in the organization. Kassian has a well-rounded offensive attack that will prove deadly in the coming years.
Gragnani will most likely not be in production this season, seeing as he is behind the stellar Vancouver blue line. If one of the regulars gets injured, though, he could see some playing time.
Buffalo reeled in some good prospects of their own, being compensated with Cody Hodgson and Alexander Selzer.
Hodgson has been an offensive powerhouse for the Canucks, scoring 33 points in 63 games. Much like Kassian, he has the ability to be a top-six, or even top-three, forward.
He paired with Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy could deal some serious damage in the Eastern Conference.
Vancouver are looking to be a top-seed team for years to come, while Buffalo is looking to see some postseason success.
Both teams took a step in the right direction with this trade.
Boston wanted to add another big man to compliment Zdeno Chara, and they get it in Greg Zanon.
Zanon is not particularly known for his scoring ability, with his career high in points only being 15.
However, he gives opponents bruises from the physicality of his play. He loves to bang bodies and will add more leadership into the Bruin locker room.
Zanon will prove to be another player that will use muscle as the main attack to pave the way to another Stanley Cup.
In return, the Wild get the young defenseman Steven Kampfer.
He has not spent much time in the NHL, but look for his numbers to increase with the Wild. They are a very young team, and now with Kampfer, should be able to learn from the veterans like Clutterbuck and Dany Heatley.
The Wild may not make the playoffs this year, but they are gearing up for a push in years to come.
The Bruins have added some subtle changes to the line-up, and are poised to make another push and become back-to-back champions.
The Wild are just looking to bring playoff hockey back to Minnesota.
The New York Rangers needed a big man to be down low for them: Their answer was John Scott.
The Rangers are serious contenders this year for the Stanley Cup, and most likely their path will cross with Boston's.
What better way to combat Zdeno Chara than with John Scott.
This probably isn't the only reason the Rangers acquired the 6'8" forward, but it had to be in their mind.
Scott is an enforcer that can stick himself in front of the goalie and unleash all chaos down low. He can drop the gloves with anyone, and loves to hit people.
The Rangers needed another big guy to go with Mike Rupp, and Scott will do the job perfectly.
Chicago in return gets a fifth-round draft pick. While it might not be the best payoff for the big man, Chicago still can be pleased.
They picked up Johnny Oduya from Winnipeg, and now essentially receive one of the draft picks they gave up for him.
Chicago can use the pick to draft another enforcer that can replace Scott and Dan Carcillo in years to come.
The Rangers weren't able to get the big name Rick Nash, but they were able to get the big man John Scott.