NHL Trade Deadline 2021: Post-Deadline Roundup and Twitter Reaction

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIApril 12, 2021

FILE - In this Saturday, March 27, 2021 file photo, Buffalo Sabres' Taylor Hall plays against the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game, in Boston. The Buffalo Sabres could trade 2018 MVP Hall, who signed for just this season and is a pending free agent. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The NHL trade deadline seemed especially drawn out this season, given that it was moved forward from its usual spot on the calendar in the last week of February. But the window for transactions finally closed at 3 p.m. ET on Monday. 

While there wasn't exactly a flurry of action in a season that had an $81.5 million salary cap and precedes an expansion draft this summer, there were still some headline players that changed teams before it was too late.

Here are some of the most notable deals that led up to the deadline, via NHL.com:

  • Washington Capitals acquired forward Anthony Mantha from Detroit Red Wings; Red Wings acquired forwards Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, first-round pick in 2021 and a second-round pick in 2022. 
  • Colorado Avalanche acquired forward Carl Soderberg from Chicago Blackhawks; Blackhawks acquired Josh Dickinson, rights to Ryder Rolston. 
  • Chicago Blackhawks acquired forward Adam Gaudette from Vancouver Canucks; Canucks acquired forward Matthew Highmore.
  • Boston Bruins acquired forward Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar from Buffalo Sabres; Sabres acquired forward Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in the 2021 draft.
  • Toronto Maples Leafs acquired forward Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets and forward Stefan Noesen from the San Jose Sharks; Columbus acquired a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft; San Jose acquires a fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning acquired defenseman David Savard from the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of deal with Detroit Red Wings; Columbus acquired a first-round pick in the 2021 draft and a third-round pick in the 2022 draft. 
  • New York Islanders acquire forward Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils; Devils acquired forwards A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst, a first-round pick in the 2021 draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft. 

Just after the deadline, it was reported that the Detroit Red Wings were willing to part with their leading goal-scorer. The team, which is trudging along in last place in the Central Division standings, dealt Mantha to Washington.

Vrana, who has posted 25 points through 39 games this season, is a good return for a Detroit team looking to rebuild, while TSN's Pierre LeBrun imagined that the Capitals viewed the Panik addition as a separate issue: 

Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun

My guess is the Caps view this as two trades in one: 1) Panik plus a pick to relieve them of $2.75M in flap cap environment going forward with 2 more years on that contract; 2) Then Vrana plus a pick for Mantha.

Mantha had signed a four-year, $22.8 million deal with Detroit in November. 

Reports began coming out overnight on Sunday that Hall—considered to be one of the major candidates for a trade—was headed to Boston. The Bruins made the official announcement on Monday morning. 

Boston Bruins @NHLBruins

It's a Hall of a morning. Welcome to Boston, @hallsy09! #NHLBruins https://t.co/yTubboTEm4

Hall won the Hart Trophy in 2018 but hasn't lived up to that since signing a one-year, $8 million deal with the Sabres last offseason—when the Bruins were among teams to target him. Speaking to reporters after the deal, he seemed content with his landing spot after a tumultuous season in Buffalo. 

MurphysLaw74 @MurphysLaw74

#NHLBruins W Taylor Hall says he was close to signing with the B's last offseason. "I was ready to be a Bruin and some other things didn't work out. Once I knew I was ready to be traded, Boston was No. 1 on the teams I wanted to go to." Thanked #LetsGoBuffalo GM Kevyn Adams

Joe McDonald @JoeyMacHockey

Hall: “I’d love to be a Bruin for a few years.”

Through 37 games with Buffalo, Hall scored two goals and had 17 assists. Amid an 18-game stretch without a win, the 29-year-old told reporters he was ready to move on and would waive the no-movement clause in his contract.

Matt Porter @mattyports

"You do some soul-searching" after a year like this.

The Bruins were in desperate need of depth behind their top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, which is one of the most productive in the league. Their second line of Nick Ritchie, David Krejci and Karson Kuhlman, however, left much to be desired, ranking 21st among second lines in the NHL. 

Hall is an incredibly valuable piece as the Bruins look to hang on to their playoff position in a tough East Division. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who are atop the All-Canada North Division with 59 points (28-10-3) had a strong trade deadline. 

Michael Traikos @Michael_Traikos

The checklist is complete. The Leafs added top-six grit (Nick Foligno), forward depth (Riley Nash), defensive depth (Ben Hutton) and goalie depth (David Rittich) before the deadline. And they did it without having to give away a prospect or a roster player. Give Dubas credit.

Foligno had spent the past nine seasons with Columbus, where he certainly left his mark. He appeared in 599 games, posting 142 goals and 192 assists to total 324 points. While he later tweeted that he was "pumped to be a Leaf," he said the deal was "too emotional" to discuss when he was moved on Sunday. 

Nick Foligno @NickFoligno

My love for the city of Columbus and you, the fans, could never be measured. Thank you for allowing me to lead your team. To my teammates... It was an honor to battle with you! Til the cannon fires again!...💥💥💥 “I Salute You!” https://t.co/Iwn2htWxED

Columbus, on the other hand, seemed to be looking toward the future. By the deadline, the Blue Jackets—who are barely pulling in ahead of the Detroit Red Wings in the Central Division standings—had a total of nine picks in this year's draft, including three first-rounders, per Cap Friendly

The Blackhawks seemed to end up on the higher end of the deal, gaining a player who tallied 33 points last season, while the Canucks will have to make their playoff push—whenever they return to play—with a fourth-liner who was on a two-way deal in Chicago. 

Later on deadline day, Chicago moved forward Carl Soderberg to the Blackhawks and acquired forward Josh Dickinson and the rights for Notre Dame forward Ryder Rolston. 

The Vancouver Canucks haven't played a game since March 24 as a COVID outbreak spread throughout the organization. Gaudette was the first player on the team to test positive and be placed on the league's COVID list, via the Canadian Press

His diagnosis had nothing to do with the team's decision to deal him, and the Canucks had reportedly involved him in trade talks dating back to last season. 

Iain MacIntyre @imacSportsnet

Told an emphatic “no” when asked if COVID and Gaudette’s status as Patient 0 had any part of exit from an unyielding market. Canucks had trade discussions on him as far back as last season. Finally closed a deal. Like millions, Gaudette was a victim of the virus.

The 24-year-old appeared in 33 games for the Canucks in his third season in the league, picking up seven points by way of three goals and four assists. 

Sportsnet @Sportsnet

"There is a lot of talent there, but it just hasn't worked the way that Vancouver wanted, so now they're going to give him a chance somewhere else." @imacSportsnet joined @sportsnetmurph to discuss the Canucks trading Adam Gaudette to Chicago. @pcfinancial | #PCMoneyAccount https://t.co/KGwIEuvv3K

With the Canucks just ahead of the Calgary Flames in the North Division, there's little stopping them from piling assets for the future.