10 Most Frustrated NHL Fanbases After the 2013 Trading Deadline
Nor should anybody have expected precisely every asset a given team had to be placed on the 2013 trade block.
None of that matters much in the aftermath of the deadline coming and going. For the fans of teams who came up short of adding what they need or exported excessively without much coming back in return, it is going to sting to its natural extent.
It not much different than seeing one's team formally zapped from playoff contention or dislodged from the bracket in a given round. In fact, it may be taken as foreshadowing a premature end to the season.
The more rational notion that the more loaded and fulfilled teams are guaranteed nothing until they gel and earn it may or may not sink in over the coming days.
But for now, the NHL fanbases most entitled to a bout of trade-related frustration are as follows.
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Although it occurred a week before the deadline, the Jarome Iginla deal was massive enough to still have its residual aftermath lingering.
Add another big-name departure in Jay Bouwmeester, and the fans of the floundering Flames are left to assess two return packages and ponder what that will mean for 2013-14 and beyond.
Neither departure should have come as a shock. The combined quantitative, but not necessarily qualitative, imports of two 2013 first-round draft picks (one of them conditional), Kenny Agostino, Ben Hanowski, Reto Berra and Mark Cundari is another issue.
It's bad enough that Calgary is four years removed from its last postseason venture and among the teams least likely to make the dance in 2013. Landing two college players, an AHL fixture and a Switzerland-based stopper who was drafted by St. Louis seven years ago is not the best springboard for next year.
Granted, they now have more cap room for next season ($41.3 million per Capgeek), but the Flames will need to pull off a phenomenal summer spree to propitiate the fans after these deals.
It's either that, or stand back and passively hope that fans can wait long enough for the new acquisitions to maybe, just maybe, prove those deals are not as lopsided as they initially appear.
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Another one of the few teams to make multiple deals involving an established NHL player, the Hurricanes imported defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron. Unfortunately, Bergeron is not known for defensive prowess, which Carolina needed most if it was going to make any moves to salvage its postseason viability.
The fact that the Canes subsequently dealt Jussi Jokinen to the Penguins for nothing but a conditional seventh-round draft choice suggests surrender for 2013.
Having gone 1-8-1 in its last 10 games, fallen behind both Washington and Winnipeg in its division and then doing nothing to beef up the blue-line brigade, Carolina appears to have given Calgary company on multiple fronts.
They have made a deal with Pittsburgh involving the loss of a roster player and a gain to be determined, and are now on a downward slope to four straight playoff no-shows.
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On the eve of the deadline, the Stars were 12th in the Western Conference, but only three points out of the playoff picture.
Whichever angle you take on Dallas' postseason hopes, the input of Jaromir Jagr (26 points in 34 games) and Derek Roy (22 in 30) had an integral role in keeping those hopes afloat.
Say what you will about retooling and replenishing for the future. That cannot possibly cut it for the Dallas faithful, who have been waiting five years for another playoff run as it is.
By exporting Jagr and Roy, who were both acquired last summer for the sheer purpose of ending that drought, the Stars have arguably put their turnaround tactic to a premature end.
Or, at the very least, they put the exclamation point on a failed experiment that will likely extend the wait for more postseason action to no fewer than six years.
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Per a report from M-Live beat writer Ansar Kahn, the Wings sought the services of Jay Bouwmeester and Jaromir Jagr, but variously missed out voluntarily or involuntarily.
It does not help to know that Bouwmeester went to St. Louis, a divisional cohabitant that is giving Detroit company on the playoff/non-playoff borderline.
Ditto the fact that the Columbus Blue Jackets have shored themselves up with the import of Marian Gaborik and Blake Comeau.
In addition, having Todd Bertuzzi on injured reserve with a back ailment, along with a few similar injuries, Detroit could have used a capable, sizable body up front.
As it happens, the entire list remains unchecked.
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The Predators' only acquisition since the start of the season has been career minor-league defenseman Scott Ford.
That will not do much to lift them out of the bottom 10 on the league's offensive leaderboard (2.43 goals per game).
Even if the current roster leaves nothing unturned in the homestretch, it still might not be enough to pole-vault the Preds into the playoff picture and keep them there through April 27.
The franchises and followers of Nashville and the aforementioned Detroit cannot agree on much, but they do have one common thread. They have walked in and out of the deadline practically unchanged, while Central Division cohabitants Columbus and St. Louis have actively improved, and Chicago remains virtually impossible to catch at the top.
The odds of the Central sending more than three teams to the postseason in 2013, like it did in 2012, are hardly favorable. If the league-wide landscape in the aftermath of the deadline is any indication, the Predators and Red Wings may be the odd teams out.
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The likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Dainius Zubrus have missed substantive time. All should be in action for the final weeks of the regular season and the playoffs, assuming the Devils make it, but might not be at the top of their respective games so soon after healing their injuries.
On top of that, the Devils are currently jockeying for a spot with the local rival Rangers and Islanders. All the Blueshirts did on the cusp of the deadline is pick up Ryane Clowe, from whom they can benefit if the change of scenery perks him up, and add more depth in Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett.
New Jersey would have served its best interests by adding some offensive insurance of its own. It did land Steve Sullivan, who may help the power play (No. 21 in the league at 79.8 percent), but that's still not much of a splash compared to those of other middleweights.
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In defiance of all of their key injuries, the Senators are in a relatively comfortable position to reach the playoffs. They entered Wednesday night's action tied with Toronto for fifth in the Eastern Conference and five points ahead of the seventh-place Devils.
With that said, once they are there, the objective should be to build on last season's pleasantly surprising push to Game 7 of the first round.
As good as the rookie tandem of Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad has been, each with 15 points and tied for a team-best plus-seven rating, their ability to immediately tame a different animal in the postseason could be another story.
Accordingly, the Sens could have used a little more seasoning to keep on standby. The addition of another rookie in Cory Conacher, nabbed from Tampa Bay on Wednesday in exchange for Ben Bishop, does not exactly answer that immediate need.
The likes of Conacher, Silfverberg and Zibanejad may amount to many blessed years in Ottawa down the road. But based on their position in the current standings, the Sens could be in a realistic position to win the first playoff round in 2013 if they are paired with the Southeast Division winner.
The chances would have been better with a little more seasoning up front.
This is one of those situations that could be worse, but could still be better. Ottawa fans might be only mildly frustrated by their deadline allotment, but mild frustration is still frustration.
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Philadelphia's only deadline day deal involved swapping out one member of a crowded goalie guild in Michael Leighton and tacking on another in Steve Mason.
Mason may soon emerge as a worthwhile acquisition, but in the meantime, the Flyers are still stuck below the playoff poverty line and stuck with an overflowing collective cap hit.
Their latest CapGeek reading is more than $2 million above this year's limit, and the current projection for next season is a little more than half a million above the limit.
All of that congestion amounts to cloudiness and a murky future.
A lot of work remains to be done in the effort to ensure a competitive yet cap-compliant team in 2013-14, and the ongoing uncertainty as to who is staying, who is going and who is a realistic offseason addition can be nothing short of agonizing.
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Wednesday's export of the aforementioned Sullivan, along with Matt Lombardi and Raffi Torres, put a seller's stamp on the Coyotes.
If nothing else, that also comes with a stamp on the tumble this team has taken in the 10-plus months since taking its fanbase on a thrill ride to the Western Conference Finals.
The playoff were anything but certain on Wednesday morning, with Phoenix sitting four spots (though only two points) out of the bracket.
The release of the three forwards, who had combined for 14 goals and 32 points in 82 games played on the year, instilled even more doubt in Arizona well before Wednesday evening.
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As of Wednesday's deadline, the Jets were still first in the Southeast Division, but had a .500 record (18-18-2) along with the second-place Washington Capitals (17-17-2), who are gaining traction and have two games in hand.
With the strong possibility that the division "champion" will be the only Southeast ambassador to the playoffs, Winnipeg needs to stack up on quantity and quality.
Because of the extra mileage they will accrue over the homestretch, the Jets need more than Feb. 13th acquisition Eric Tangradi to sustain their surprise foundation.
Is forward Mike Santorelli, obtained via waivers from Florida, enough? Not likely, especially since there are still no additions to the blue line.
Granted, it would have been hard to take anyone seriously if they foretold the displaced Jets being in serious playoff contention at this stage in 2013.
But if you are a Jets fan, expectations have been elevated on the fly, and a lack of ability to ensure those expectations on deadline day is a letdown after the buildup.