2010 NHL Trade Deadline: The Winners and Losers
Not the most exciting deadline day ever. In fact, I may have dosed off for about an hour around 10 a.m.; however, trades were made and there are definitely some teams that will benefit from them.
There were a couple of teams that many critics—myself included—felt were going to make some moves and did not. Ahem, Philadelphia.
So let’s sort through all of the winners and losers of the NHL’s trade deadline day.
Winner: Phoenix Coyotes
Adding Wojtek Wolski was a fantastic move for the Coyotes who are sitting in the fifth seed in the West and are looking to make a playoff run.
While Wolski has been known for being consistently inconsistent—or maybe inconsistently consistent, you choose—he is currently on pace for a career-high 62 points.
“It’s a tough thing to go through, but I’m excited about it,” Wolski told TSN after the trade.
More importantly, Phoenix got rid of Peter Mueller. Mueller, despite a brilliant rookie season, has been even more inconsistent than Wolski and his point totals have suffered drastically as a result.
Lee Stempniak will be joining Wolski in Phoenix. Stempniak did not produce as expected this season in Toronto, but the potential is still there for the fairly young right winger.
The Coyotes also added veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider, who will be useful during a possible playoff run.
In what was a rather lifeless deadline day, the Coyotes made one of the biggest and smartest moves by picking up Wolski, making them one of the winners on the day.
Loser: Philadelphia Flyers
How the Flyers managed to not trade for a goalie is beyond me.
While their salary cap is a problem, the current team will not be able to get the job done in the playoffs without a goalie.
I’m not trying to knock Michael Leighton or Brian Boucher, but they do not have the playoff experience that can win a Stanley Cup.
Tomas Vokoun and his hefty contract may have been a bit of a stretch, but Dwayne Roloson may have been a nice fit on this team.
Let’s not forget that Martin Biron, who played for the Flyers for the last two seasons, was also available and knows this team very well.
There is no doubt that the Flyers have tons of fire power on offense and even more talent on defense, but every team needs a goalie who can get the job done in the playoffs.
Winner: Washington Capitals
The NHL-leading Caps had a very nice day, trading for veterans Scott Walker from the Carolina Hurricanes and Eric Belanger from the Minnesota Wild.
Walker’s best days are certainly behind him. He has just five points this season.
But the 36-year-old will provide the fourth line presence and the locker room leadership that will help the Capitals come playoff time.
I seem to be sticking with this concept, but Belanger is a model of consistency.
In the last six seasons, Belanger has been in between 33 and 37 points in every season. He is currently having his best season to date, and has 35 points thus far.
The two veterans will fit right into their roles in the nation’s capital.
Milan Jurcina, traded by the Caps in December, is headed back to Washington as well. It’s no secret that he will be right back at home on the blue line.
Another big piece coming to Washington is defenseman Joe Corvo.
While Corvo’s turnovers are a cause for concern, the puck-moving d-man will be another weapon on the Capitals’ already dangerous power play.
The Caps had a huge deadline day and strengthened a team that was already one of the strongest in the league.
Loser: Vancouver Canucks
It’s been said that some of the best deals a team can make are the ones they don’t make: do not apply this to the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks currently sit in the third spot in the Western Conference behind the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks.
While Chicago and San Jose did not make any deals, it was because they did not have to. Don’t fix what’s not broken. Again, do not apply this to the Washington Capitals.
But Vancouver does not have the depth that both Chicago and San Jose have.
Another goal-scorer like Nathan Horton would have been a nice fit in Vancouver, but no such trade was made.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, and Roberto Luongo are certainly all big pieces to the puzzle in Vancouver, but they cannot compete with the talent on the other two Western Conference powerhouses.
Winner: Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pens did what they had to before the deadline and are primed for another deep playoff run.
It is assumed that newcomer Alexei Ponikarovsky will be playing on the first line along with Sidney Crosby—what a perfect fit that will be.
Ponikarovsky’s goal-scoring ability has only gotten better with each season, and now that he is playing with Sid “The Kid,” the sky is the limit for the 29-year-old Ukrainian.
Also joining the defending Stanley Cup champs is defenseman Jordan Leopold.
Leopold is a mobile d-man who will fit in nicely with several of the defensemen already in Pittsburgh’s lineup.
Not to mention the Penguins managed to get something in return for Martin Skoula, whose contract expires at the end of this season.
Another Stanley Cup may be ahead of the Pens.