NHL Playoff Teams That Have Benefited Most from Midseason Trades
With the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs now underway, fans, players and team management are now finding out which midseason trades are still paying dividends.
Some teams made trades in hopes of qualifying for or advancing in the playoffs this season.
This slideshow will define who has benefited most from midseason trades by the current production of players who were involved with those trades.
Here are the four teams that are benefiting the most from their respective midseason trades.
4. New York Rangers
The New York Rangers picked up Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Marian Gaborik.
The Rangers then turned around and got Ryane Clowe from the San Jose Sharks for a few draft picks.
Brassard led all Rangers in first-round scoring with two goals and nine points overall. The two goals may not seem like very many goals for a leader in points, but no Ranger had more than two goals in the seven-game series victory over the Washington Capitals.
The Rangers would have merited a higher grade on this list, but only one of their four trade acquisitions, Derick Brassard, registered more than one point in the series.
Clowe played just two games in the series before being injured. Neither game in which he played in resulted in a Rangers' victory.
3. San Jose Sharks
The Sharks clinched the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference going into the playoffs but swept the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.
But how can a team be on this list when they only shipped players out, getting only draft picks in return?
Well, simply put, the San Jose Sharks looked better after dealing Michal Handzus to the Blackhawks, trading Douglas Murray to the Penguins and shipping Ryane Clowe to the Rangers.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson didn't seem to care that his team could be labeled as a "seller" heading into the home stretch of the season, because he knew what he had in regards to player personnel.
Wilson also knew that his team needed to get younger in the offseason. The Sharks GM did this effectively by picking up a bounty of draft picks in return for Handzus, Clowe and Murray.
The Sharks picked up a 2013 second-round pick, a 2013 third-round pick and a conditional 2014 second-round pick in exchange for Clowe, a 2013 fourth-round pick for Handzus and a 2013 second-round pick and third-round pick for Murray.
Even if the Sharks fail to advance against the Los Angeles Kings in the second round (they currently trail the Kings 1-0 in the series), Doug Wilson should still be heralded as a genius for this season's trade activity.
2. Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins made a play to tempt Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames, but he decided to be traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins instead (via NHL.com).
When Boston whiffed on Iginla, they turned their attention elsewhere, managing to acquire Jaromir Jagr from Dallas.
Just like everywhere else that he has played in his career, Jagr provided offense for the Bruins in the regular season (nine points in 11 games), continuing that production into the playoffs (four assists in seven games).
The 41-year-old Czech forward has now played in 17 NHL postseasons in his career, winning the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992. The Bruins did well to pick up Jagr, who still has exceptional offensive skills.
Jagr has the reach, vision and poise with the puck to still be an elite player for Boston. He will continue to help the Bruins in their second-round series against the Rangers.
Boston ranks higher on this list than the Rangers because Jagr has more proven playoff experience than the players the Rangers acquired. The Bruins also picked up more for this playoff season than the Sharks did because the Sharks failed to pick up any players who can help them right now.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
Some fans would argue that anybody could score while playing on the same line as Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
The fact remains that Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray played plenty of time in the lineup without Crosby and Malkin.
Penguins GM Ray Shero simply had an unbelievable haul in the trade department this season, selling out for a Stanley Cup in 2013, as Murray, Iginla and Morrow are all unrestricted free agents after this season.
Iginla had 10 points in the first round of the playoffs, Murray had three points and Jokinen and Morrow each had two points.
Simply put, Iginla and Co. made up a substantial portion of the Penguins' offense in the first round. Douglas Murray had more points in the first round than James Neal!
The Penguins can almost be on cruise control in the playoffs because of the grit and offense that their trade acquisitions have added to their already powerful team.
All statistics and trade recaps courtesy of NHL.com.
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