The 2013 NHL trade deadline actually happened, mostly, prior to deadline day.
This could be the year that we revisit when examining when, exactly, the deadline broke. After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, a lot of the big names ended up being shipped out for little more than middling prospects and second-round selections.
All I know is that the draft board for the second round of the 2013 draft is going to be an absolute mess thanks to the last week or two of trades.
It was established quickly that a second-round pick and a depth prospect was the price for rentals such as Derek Roy and Jaromir Jagr, and that price point stuck. Not a lot of "hockey" deals here. Just a few teams trying to turn fading assets into picks, while other teams try to turn those fading assets into a Stanley Cup run.
All told, almost every big name on the market was dealt before deadline day, leaving us pundits without much to do besides keep an eye on the Luongo/Kiprusoff-to-the-Toronto Maple Leafs rumors and hope for something mildly unforeseen and surprising.
And did we ever receive a surprise!
The New York Rangers dealing Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets gave everyone something to take about, and the Buffalo Sabres burned off almost every one of their tradeable assets as they prepare for a rebuild.
We saw several teams Cup-up in big ways, solidifying blue lines and bolstering offensive units. We also saw several teams tip their hands a bit on how they felt the rest of 2013 was going to go, as they made trades with the future in mind.
The Trade: The Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Brendan Morrow and a 2013 second-round pick from the Dallas Stars for Joe Morrow and a 2013 fifth-round pick.
Advantages for the Pittsburgh Penguins: Not much to dislike about this deal for the Penguins, who are clearly all in and have every reason to push all their chips to the center of the table. Not to mix gambling metaphors, but as the saying goes: When the dice are hot, let it ride.
That is a saying, right?
With Morrow, the Pens get a net presence that can raise havoc while the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin go to work in the slot. I've seen this team play once or twice since this deal, and the results of adding Morrow have been frightening.
Advantages for the Dallas Stars: Not much to dislike about this trade for the Dallas Stars, either, who are engaging in a roster overhaul. The future plans haven't had (Brendan) Morrow at the center of them for quite some time, so being able to turn him into a blue-chip prospect like (Joe) Morrow is all aces in my book.
The Stars now sport a few possible studs on the blue line. While the team has several defensive defenseman like Jamie Oleksiak coming up the pipeline, they were missing a possible power-play quarterback and an offensive-minded guy on the farm.
That isn't an issue after this trade.
Projected winner: There is a high likelihood that both teams could win this swap. If the Penguins go on to win the Stanley Cup, they probably won't care what they gave up to get to the top of the mountain once again.
On the other hand, if they don't win the Cup and J. Morrow turns into a stud on the back end, then the Stars could come out on top here. Looking back at this deadline a few years from now, this will undoubtedly be one of the more interesting deals to examine in hindsight.
The Trade: The Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Douglas Murray for a 2013 second-round pick and a conditional 2014 second-round pick.
Advantages for the Pittsburgh Penguins: The Pens might have overpaid a bit here, but they know what they are doing. The last time they won the Stanley Cup, it was with guys like Hal Gill patrolling the defensive zone.
Pittsburgh adds a shutdown guy that can play on any pairing and will lean on the opposing team's best players every night come playoff time. That's a pretty invaluable service.
Advantages for the San Jose Sharks: The Sharks managed to cash in ahead of the deadline and before asking-price precedents had been set by other deals.
They landed roughly the same haul for Murray (two second-rounders) that they did for Ryane Clowe (a second-round pick, a third-round pick and another conditional second-round selection). Not a bad deal for a defensive-minded defender.
Projected Winner: It'll be the mantra for any analysis of the Penguins and the deals they have made to round its roster into a machine focused on winning another Cup, but if there is another parade in Pittsburgh, no one there is going to be pining for a few second-round picks come the draft.
That said, I have a hard time not leaning in the direction of the Sharks here. If they can manage to find a serviceable player or two with these selections, then I can't see them looking back and wishing they had hung on to Murray.
Of course, there's always the odd chance that San Jose hits a home run with one of these selections. If they do, they win this trade outright.
The Trade: The show-stealing Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames for Kenneth Agostino, Ken Hanowski and a 2013 first-round selection.
Advantages for the Pittsburgh Penguins: Off the ice, Penguins GM Ray Shero cements himself as a trade deadline killer. On the ice, the Penguins acquire the most highly sought-after rental player on the market. A guy who happens to click pretty well with some guy named Crosby and who is fiercely hungry to win a Stanley Cup.
I'm not a Pens fan, but I won't be rooting against them and Iggy this postseason. This is a Ray Bourque-esque story in the making, and one shouldn't underestimate the value of the "win it for Iggy" fever that will spread through this locker room come playoff time.
Oh, and Iginla is a pretty darn good hockey player, too.
There isn't a team in the NHL that can roll four lines with the Penguins at this point. Except for maybe the Boston Bruins. All I want for Christmas and my birthday combined is to see these two teams clash in the Eastern Conference finals.
What a doozie that would be.
Advantages for the Calgary Flames: They finally get underway with a rebuild that should have happened two or three years ago. They acquire two guys that project as third- or fourth-line players at best and a first-round selection that will almost certainly be among the last of the round.
Projected winner: There may be a copy of the universe somewhere where the Flames end up winning this deal, but we don't live in that reality. How Jay Feaster still has a job is beyond my comprehension.
He managed to turn his top two trade assets (Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester) into four outside-shot NHL prospects and a pair of low first-round selections. This guy is really, really bad at his job.
The Trade: The St. Louis Blues acquire Jordan Leopold from the Buffalo Sabres for a 2013 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick.
Advantages for the St. Louis Blues: The Blues acquire a true minute-munching defender in this deal, adding to an already outstanding blue line. This deal, along with the Jay Bouwmeester trade, shows exactly how St. Louis intends to make the playoffs.
From the net out, defense first.
Leopold is a guy who can play on any pairing and should end up with either Alex Pietrangelo or Kevin Shattenkirk at regular strength. He can also play the point on the power play and can kill penalties.
Advantages for the Buffalo Sabres: They get the rebuild underway sooner rather than later, more or less admitting that the core that they had throughout the last two seasons wasn't good enough to get it done.
And good on them for taking an honest look in the mirror here.
Projected winner: If the Blues miss the playoffs—or make it and don't manage to make any noise—and then fail to re-sign Leopold, then the Sabres win by default. It'll be a something-for-nothing deal.
If the Blues make the playoffs and manage to do some damage and can keep their new defender, then this deal isn't quite so clear-cut.
The Trade: The L.A. Kings acquire Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres for a second-round pick in 2014 and a second-round pick in 2015.
Advantages for the L.A. Kings: The cost of defending the Stanley Cup can be high, and that was the case here, as the Kings moved two second-round selections for a stay-at-home defender. Still, there is plenty to like about Regehr.
He's a stay-at-home type that will fit in nicely with the puck-movers that already prowl the blue line in L.A. Count the Kings among the rich few who really don't need an offensive-minded defender. What they needed was a shot-blocking, heavy-hitting presence that can fill in some gaps while the team gets healthy.
Advantages for the Buffalo Sabres: The rebuild continues as Buffalo managed to get Regehr to waive his no-trade clause for this move. The Sabres seem intent on stock piling draft picks, with the mindset clearly being that the draft is where you build a winner.
Projected winner: It's always tough to project trade winners when draft picks are involved. Sometimes, you get Ryan Miller with selection No. 138, and sometimes, you get Patrik Stefan with the first overall selection.
The Kings get exactly what they needed in this deal, and while the price may have been a bit steep, the bruising presence of a guy like Regehr can not be undervalued come playoff time.
The Trade: The St. Louis Blues acquire Jay Bouwmeester from the Calgary Flames for Mark Cundari, Reto Berra and a conditional first-round selection.
Advantages for the St. Louis Blues: The appeal of adding Bouwmeester to a blue line that already boasts Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jordan Leopold is obvious. The Blues feel that if they are going to make a run at a title, it's going to be from the back-end out.
Bouwmeester, along with the newly acquired Leopold, gives St. Louis two defensive anchors to play along with Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo. There is no reason to believe that the Blues aren't going to try to let those two off the chain entirely while letting Leopold and Bouwmeester take care of business in the defensive end.
Advantages for the Calgary Flames: I already touched on these trades to some extent in the Iginla slide, but for those of you just tuning in, I'll recap.
Who is black and blue and has now turned his two most valuable trade assets into four fringe NHL prospects and (at best) two late first-round draft picks? I'll give you a hint: His last name rhymes with Easter, and he has officially become the Forest Gump of NHL GMs.
Draft selections are like a box of chocolates, after all.
Projected Winner: The winner of this deal will come down to the conditional first and who that turns into, but as it stands right now the Blues really solidified their blue line by adding Bouwmeester here. They now have one of the deepest groups of defenders in the NHL, and if all it takes is few prospects and a possible first, I don't think that's a bad deal at all.
The Trade: The Vancouver Canucks acquire Derek Roy for Kevin Connauton and a 2013 second-round pick.
Advantages for the Vancouver Canucks: An injury replacement for the suddenly fragile Ryan Kesler. I can't say for certain, but unless Roy is willing to re-sign at a discount, this is most certainly a true rent-a-center deal.
Vancouver needed to land some help down the middle while Kesler recovers from injury and managed to not sell off any roster assets or top prospects in the process. Now the 'Nucks can head into the playoffs without worrying about the second line and wondering if they can win with only one line intact.
Advantages for the Dallas Stars: Over the last few days, we've seen the price for a good rental player settle in the second-round-pick-and-random-prospect territory, and that's exactly what the Stars picked up for Roy.
His contract is up after the season, and after trying to win through experience by adding Roy, Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, the Stars seem to be heading in the opposite direction now.
Projected winner: Again, it's hard to be sure until the draft happens and the players selected via this deal develop. On paper, the Canucks filled a huge need without changing up anything within the organisation, and the Stars picked up a second-round pick for a guy they probably weren't going to be able to bring back this summer.
The Trade: The Boston Bruins acquire Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Lane MacDermid, Cody Payne and a conditional second-round selection in 2013.
Advantages for the Dallas Stars: The Stars had been trying to re-sign Jagr to some sort of extension, according to various sources, but once it was clear that the 41-year-old right winger was going to test the free-agent market over the summer, Dallas decided to pull the trigger.
The plus for the Stars here is that they ended up with some assets for a player that wasn't going to stick around anyway. Jagr wanted to play for a contender, and that just wasn't Dallas this season. Good on them for turning something into nothing.
Of course, MacDermid and Payne will never fill Jagr's skates, but that really isn't the point here. The point was moving a guy who didn't want to be in Dallas out of Dallas for assets. Mission accomplished.
Advantages for the Boston Bruins: The Bruins had already struck out on Jarome Iginla and Brendan Morrow. They weren't about to let their backup-backup option slip away. And let's be honest here: Jagr is a pretty lights-out consolation prize.
Adding Jags to a forward group that already includes Patrice Bergeron, Nathan Horton, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin is mildly unfair—and as I type that out I realize how hard of a top-six group that will be to match up against—and he'll slot in nicely on the power play as well.
The Bruins currently sport the 24th-worst power play in the NHL right now, and the team probably hopes that Jagr can ignite what should be a potent power play.
Projected winner: If Jagr can come on board and ignite this offense and kick-start the power play, then the Bruins are the clear winners of this deal. As I've stated several times throughout this slide show, we won't be certain who wins and loses here until the picks turn into players and those players evolve.
If this puts Boston into the Stanley Cup Final though, I'd say that this deal did exactly what it was supposed to for the Bruins.
The Trade: The New York Rangers acquire Ryane Clowe from the San Jose Sharks for (*gasp*) a 2013 second-round pick, a 2013 third-round pick and a conditional 2014 second-round pick.
Advantages for the New York Rangers: Offensive depth, I guess. I'll make the assumption that the Rangers are hoping that a change of scenery will fire up Clowe to the point where he'll actually score a goal—something the forward has yet to do this season.
At the very least, Clowe is the kind of forward that they like in New York. And by "they," I mean John "quit trying to use your talent" Tortorella.
Advantages for the San Jose Sharks: They shed a player that has been more or less a production-less distraction and end up with at least one second-round pick and one third-round pick in the upcoming draft.
Not a bad return for a guy who (again) has yet to light the lamp this season. Even Wade Redden has managed to score two goals this season, and he's a career AHL-er, right?
Projected winner: All goal-drought jokes aside, Clowe is a capable point producer at the NHL level. He's broken the 50-point barrier three times and was just having a nightmare season in San Jose. Odds are he will break out of his shell in New York and be a solid piece for the team during the playoffs.
Granted the Rangers actually make the playoffs.
The trade: The Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers for Derick Brassard, John Moore, Derek Dorsett and a third/sixth-round pick. (It's either a third or a sixth. At this juncture, it has been reported both ways.)
Advantages for the New York Rangers: The Rangers have been void of the depth that made them so dangerous last season throughout all of the 2013 campaign. One could argue that it was the Rick Nash deal with these same Columbus Blue Jackets that left them a bit short on the grit and hustle that they've become known for.
So what better way to reacquire that depth than make a deal with Columbus?
In Brassard—arguably the centerpiece and best player that New York receives in this deal—the Rangers acquire a guy with a boatload of talent that never quite put the pieces together for the Jackets. Moore gives them some more defensive depth, and Dorsett will bring the physical presence and tenacity that John Tortorella loves.
Advantages for the Columbus Blue Jackets: Gaborik is a massive upgrade over any offensive weapon Columbus is currently rostering. He also becomes the third leading scorer on the team (and only two points of leader Vinny Prospal) despite his down season.
A huge part of this is that Gabby waived his no-trade clause to head to Ohio instead of sticking around in New York. The last time Columbus traded for a player of this caliber, he locked himself in a dark room for three days before finally recovering from his denial and sulking around for half a season until he finally got his way.
Yeah, I'm looking at you, Jeff Carter. Ya' big baby.
Projected winner: Columbus. And no one is going to agree with me because the franchise has zero respect around the NHL, but they flat out received the best player in this deal. Even if Brassard finally finds his way, there just isn't enough upside for this to come out even numbers-wise.
It'll be interesting to see these two teams play each other next season when they're in the same division.
The Jackets also out-Ranger'd the Rangers here, dealing spare parts and a low pick for an All-Star-caliber player.
The Trade: The Minnesota Wild Acquire Jason Pominville from the Buffalo Sabres for Matt Hackett and Johan Larsson, a 2013 first-round pick and a 2014 second-round pick.
Advantages for the Minnesota Wild: The Wild finally started playing up to expectations about a month ago and have never looked back. Adding Pominville gives them a great one-two punch down the middle along with Mikko Koivu.
The Wild were hoping that Mikael Granlund would be able to step into that role, but he's taken a bit more time to adjust to the NHL than they hoped. Adding the former captain gives them an outstanding top-six group and two lines than can run and gun with the best in the West.
Advantages for the Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres were one of the few teams that were clear-cut sellers heading into the deadline, and boy, did they get cleaned out.
Dealing Pominville isn't quite the end of an era like it was when the Calgary Flames dealt Jarome Iginla, but it's never a good sign when a captain is traded. Perhaps the best deal for any forward so far at the deadline, the return wasn't half bad.
Hackett is a solid young netminder and is an interesting part of the deal considering the uncertain future for Ryan Miller in Buffalo.
Projected winner: The Wild win the trade initially, but the Sabres added two interesting young players here along with two solid draft picks. Hackett is, at worst, a great backup, and Larsson is a player with an outstanding track record. He's a good two-way player that has a great attitude on and off the ice.
Adding four young players (two yet to be drafted guys) for a player like Pominville is a very good haul. All told, this may be the best return for a forward that we saw at the deadline. This really goes to show how big of a difference moving an asset prior to impending free agency makes.
The Trade: The Ottawa Senators acquire Cory Conacher and a 2013 fourth-round pick for Ben Bishop.
Advantages for the Ottawa Senators: The Sens have solidified their net with the emergence of Craig Anderson, so keeping an asset like Bishop around might have been a bit of overkill. He was never going to get a shot in Ottawa with Anderson playing like superman, so now, after being traded from St. Louis to Ottawa, he'll finally get his shot in Tampa.
In Conacher, the Senators add a lot of speed and tenacity in a player who was in the Calder Trophy conversation through the first half of this shortened season. Sure, his play has trailed off a bit over the recent weeks, but young players tend to be streaky.
This is a good return for an asset that they weren't using too often in Bishop.
Advantages for the Tampa Bay Lightning: I guess that's the end of the Anders Lindback era in Tampa. That didn't take long. When they went out and acquired Lindback, he'd only played in 38 NHL games as a very serviceable backup for the Nashville Predators.
That's actually two more games than Bishop has to his record, but that's neither here nor there.
The Lightning will give Bishop every chance to be a starter, which is something every goaltender besides Rick DiPietro strives for. If this doesn't worth out, then GM Steve Yzerman is going to have to pull some serious strings to solve the ongoing goaltender crisis for his team.
Projected winner: I honestly like this deal for the Senators.
Conacher is a beast with the puck despite his small stature and will have a shot at securing a spot on the top-six group right out of the gate. Ottawa is young, fast and chippy up front right now, and he'll fit right in with that scheme.
The trade: The Nashville Predators acquire Filip Forsberg from the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat and Michael Latta.
Advantages for the Nashville Predators: In Filip Forsberg, the Preds gain a player that they should be ecstatic about receiving. Forsberg was an awesome up-and-coming Swedish center that has impressed overseas this year.
He was also an All-Star after the most recent WJC tourney.
Forsberg is a leader on and off the ice with his play, and he's the kind of guy that's willing to do whatever it takes to win. The International Scouting Services claims that he is remarkably hard to knock off the puck and lists him as both an outstanding passer and shooter.
Advantages for the Washington Capitals: In Erat, the Caps add a guy that is a proven 50-point player. He also put up those points playing for the Nashville Predators, who aren't known for their run-and-gun offense.
I assume that Washington is hoping that he is more like a 70-point player on a team that likes to play in the offensive zone. The 31-year-old is a point producer who has two more years left on his current deal, so he isn't a rental. Erat is clearly a guy that Washington wanted and wants in their lineup for the foreseeable future.
Projected winner: I would be shocked it Forsberg doesn't become at least a 50-point player during his upcoming NHL career. I'm not sure why the Caps went out and made this trade (maybe they think they are a threat to win the Stanley Cup this season or next?), but I don't think it's a good one.
At this juncture, I wouldn't venture to say that this is the worst deal of the deadline. The Flames are tough to beat out for that gold star. But when the Capitals look back on this deal, I have a feeling that they'll rue the day.