NHL Trade Deadline: 5 Teams That Will Regret Not Making a Move
Another NHL trade deadline has come and gone. While some teams, such as the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning, were able to make solid moves to improve their rosters, others chose to not do anything.
Whether this was because general managers didn't like the high asking prices or because they are crossing their fingers things will work out, it's possible that some of the teams who weren't active today could end up regretting it come April.
Here are five teams that did not make a move that really should have tried to upgrade their rosters.
The Flames did sign forward Tim Jackman to a two-year contract extension. Although Jackman brings a physical presence to the ice, this will not benefit the team long-term.
Calgary has not made the playoffs since 2009 and has a mostly average roster with key players such as Olli Jokinen, Jarome Iginla and Mikka Kiprusoff not getting any younger. This summer, six forwards will come off the books, as well as two defensemen, so the Flames did have pieces to sell.
There are also five players currently on injured reserve, and although they will hopefully be back soon, they still need time to get back into game mode, which will not benefit the team immediately.
However, Jay Feaster explained that the team was not prepared to make the right deal and was not willing to mortgage the future.
Calgary currently sits in 11th place in the Western Conference with a record of 28-23-11 for 67 points. Although they are only one point away from the last playoff spot, three teams fighting for the playoff picture with them did make moves. Feaster could regret standing pat down the home stretch in a tight conference.
The Canes had two players who were constantly mentioned in trade rumors in Jaroslav Spacek and Bryan Allen. However, when it came down to it, GM Jim Rutherford opted to not move either of them.
Allen is a veteran with over 500 career games played, and Rutherford stated after the deadline that Allen is well-liked in the organization and is a true team player.
Rutherford also considered upgrading the offense, which is 15th in the NHL with 2.61 goals scored per game. But, he never entertained offers, explaining the prices were too high (a sentiment shared throughout the league) and that he wasn't willing to part with players such as Jeff Skinner and Brandon Sutter.
Spacek has proven to be injury-prone in recent seasons. His production has dropped off as well, and he has just 12 points in 37 games this year with the Montreal Canadiens and Hurricanes.
Carolina is currently having a strong February with a record of 5-1-4. They sit at 23-26-13 for 59 points and 14th in the Eastern Conference, so although they likely won't make the playoffs, not making moves could prevent them from finishing the season in a better position.
The Flyers certainly didn't need offense at this year's trade deadline. Stars like James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux have given Philly the best offense in the league, with 3.30 goals scored per game.
Paul Holmgren had already upgraded the defense to make up for the absence of Chris Pronger. Pavel Kubina is a veteran with a Stanley Cup under his belt, while Nicklas Grossman is a young defenseman with offensive potential.
With that said, the Flyers could have made improvements at the goaltending position, which has held them back from significant playoff success.
Sergei Bobrovsky has struggled this season after earning starting duties in 2010-11. After posting 23 wins last year, he is 12-8-1 this year with a 2.99 GAA and a .900 save percentage. He will be a restricted free agent in 2013.
Meanwhile, Ilya Bryzgalov has been a disappointment after signing a nine-year deal. Although he has a 27-12-6 rrecord, he has a .898 save percentage and a 2.82 GAA. He has also never won a playoff series, which doesn't bode well as the Flyers look towards April. In addition, it has appeared at times that he cannot handle the pressure of playing in Philly.
If Bryzgalov does not step up for the playoffs, Holmgren will once again end up wondering what could have been after an early postseason exit.
The Penguins could have used a backup goalie at the deadline, as Brent Johnson is struggling after two solid seasons. He currently has a record of 3-7-2 with a .882 save percentage and a 3.17 GAA, and he is currently out of the lineup with an injury.
Pittsburgh brought up Brad Thiessen from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, and he won his NHL debut over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. However, he still needs more experience and should not be considered a viable alternative if Marc-Andre Fleury gets injured and Johnson cannot pull out of his slump.
Shero said on Monday that he is hoping that Sidney Crosby will be back for a playoff run. However, there is no guarantee of this, and there is also a possibility that one or both of Evgeni Malkin or James Neal will cool off. Although the Pens have the fourth-best offense in the NHL with 3.08 goals scored a game, scorers still go through cold streaks.
Pittsburgh is better off than other teams who chose not to make moves, but some insurance in case Crosby is not ready to go would have been beneficial.
The Capitals are in danger of missing the playoffs, as they currently sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 31-26-5 with 67 points. Although they fired Bruce Boudreau back in November, they have not made significant progress with Dale Hunter in charge, either.
The Caps have under-performing players such as Alexander Semin, who will be a UFA this year. After playing only 65 games last year and finishing with 54 points, he has 41 points this year. He could finish with 55 points, but that is not enough for a $6.7 million salary.
Alexander Ovechkin will probably never be traded, but that doesn't excuse the downward trend in his performance. He is on pace for 65 points, the lowest total of his career, and has yet to put up another season like his 109-point campaign in 2009-10.
On defense, Mike Green has missed significant time due to injuries in three of the last four seasons. He has played in just 15 games this year and has six points.
Furthermore, players such as Mike Knuble, John Erskine and Jeff Schultz were rumored to be unhappy in Washington. A move could have been made solely to work towards culture changes in the organization if not to help out a team mired in a poor February. The Capitals are just 5-7-1 this month and have lost to several playoff contending teams such as the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers.
If the Caps indeed miss the postseason, it will be a low point of George McPhee's tenure as general manager, and it will show his unwillingness to make changes when the team needed them most.