NHL Trade Deadline: The Trades, Thoughts and Takes as the Day Happened

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the NHL shield logo before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone after months of speculation for a few big names, and weeks of worry for fans in certain markets. Feel like you missed out anything the last few days? Here is how the weekend and Monday’s big deadline day went down as it all unraveled (all listed times are in Eastern Time Zone).


Weekend Trades

Friday, February 22nd

— TRADE —  Ottawa Senators trade C Matt Duchene and D Julius Bergman to Columbus Blue Jackets for prospect forwards Vitaly Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson, a 2019 1st-round pick and a conditional 2020 1st-round pick

Columbus is taking a massive gamble here. All the talk previously surrounded not whether or not Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky would be traded, but WHERE and WHEN. Columbus coach John Tortorella was so tired of the line of questioning (not that he isn’t always tired of speaking to reporters), when Panarin missed a game last week due to an illness, Tortorella responded to a line of speculative “Has Panarin been traded?” questions by responding, “He s*** his pants, he was puking, he did everything, so enough.”

Now, with the acquisition of Duchene, the Blue Jackets have three pending unrestricted free agents to worry about, but general manager Jarmo Kekkalainen has stated his team will “go for it” and try to win the Stanley Cup. Now that is some good old-time 90’s style general management if you ask me. Now all Columbus have to do to not look bad in this whole ordeal is actually make the playoffs and win their first playoff series in franchise history.


— TRADE —  Washington Capitals acquire D Nick Jensen from Detroit Red Wings in exchange for D Madison Bowey and a 202 2nd-round pick. Jensen then signs 4-year, $10 million contract extension with Washington.

Excellent move by the Capitals, similar to the Michal Kempny acquisition last season, which ultimately helped Washington win the Stanley Cup. Jensen is one of the more underrated defensemen in the league who is a hockey analytics nerd’s dream. Under the radar player on a bad Detroit Red Wings team. Signing him to a 4-year extension at $2.5 million per year is a shrewd bit of business by GM Brian MacLellan.

*Edit* I mean no offense to hockey analytics people… or nerds… I also do not subscribe to the hockey analytics thing and rely mostly on official statistics, but I really should just get with the times…


Saturday, February 23rd

— TRADE —  Columbus Blue Jackets acquire F Ryan Dzingel and Calgary’s 7th-round pick from Ottawa Senators in exchange for 2020 2nd-round pick, 2021 2nd-round pick, and F Anthony Duclair

Columbus is going for it all. Still risky for them considering pending UFA status on now four players who could be key to any success the remainder of the year… Should none or a majority of those players choose not to re-sign in Columbus, head coach John Tortorella will have a lot of work to do on re-building team chemistry this fall with a new-look lineup.


Sunday, February 24th

— TRADE —  Dallas Stars acquire F Mats Zuccarello from New York Rangers in exchange for a 2019 2nd-round pick and a 2020 3rd-round pick (both conditional)

Smart trade on both sides. Dallas gains a talented point-producing winger as they hope to solidify a playoff spot in a highly competitive Western Conference wild-card race, while the Rangers move a pending unrestricted free agent and gain draft picks to build for the future as the rebuild continues after a promising first year in the David Quinn coaching era.
The conditions on the trade were also smart moves by Rangers GM Jeff Gorton. If Dallas wins two playoff rounds, the 2019 second-round pick becomes a first, and if Zuccarello re-signs with Dallas before hitting free agency on July 1st, the 2020 third-round pick also becomes a first-rounder in the 2020 draft. If Dallas does win two rounds and owes New York one first-rounder, I have my doubts Dallas will re-sign the 31-year old Zuccarello long-term and lose another first-rounder, unless of course, Zuccarello has an absolutely stunning playoff campaign.
Are Kevin Hayes and Adam McQuaid next to leave the Big Apple?
Sunday Evening Buildup
6:02 pm — Now that Zuccarello has suffered a serious injury in his debut game for Dallas, meaning he will be out FOUR weeks, he would have to have something short of a sent-from-heaven-miracle of a playoff campaign for Dallas to re-sign him and lose that second first-round pick.
6:17 pm — Seeing on social media Ottawa have sat out Mikkel Boedker and Cody Ceci for precautionary reasons, and apparently there is interest in Ceci. I understand the rebuilding, but seriously, Ceci is an RFA and Boedker has one year left. They still belong to Ottawa and re-signing Ceci should be a priority this summer as a younger vet who could be part of a leadership core to the bevy of talented prospects in the Ottawa system. If Ceci signs an offer sheet, the Sens get compensation in the form of draft picks if they don’t match the offer, so why even entertain trading him right now when Mark Stone is the more pressing issue?


7:02 pm TRADE — Buffalo Sabres acquire D Brandon Montour from Anaheim Ducks for prospect D Brendan Guhle and a conditional 1st-round pick (San Jose’s 1st or St. Louis’ 1st if between picks #20-31)

Great deal for Buffalo, who needed to add a top-4 caliber d-man to their defense group as they hope to make the playoffs. Montour is another good young defenseman who can chip in on offense as well. Anaheim trading Montour has been a topic of discussion for more than a year now, but I never liked the idea of it considering Anaheim’s rebuild should mean keeping younger players who are NOT part of the problem. The first-round pick is NOT Buffalo’s, which is again good for Buffalo, protecting themselves if they miss the playoffs. Guhle is a good two-way defenseman heading to Anaheim who can fill the void left by Montour and help Anaheim shed some salary (which really should be shed by the contracts of Getzlaf, Kesler, Perry, if possible)


TRADE DEADLINE DAY – Monday, February 25


After Midnight — TRADE — San Jose Sharks acquire F Gustav Nyquist from Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2019 2nd-round pick and a conditional 2020 3rd-round pick

An already high-powered San Jose offense adds a terrific right winger who can slot into the middle six of their lineup. The value is good on both sides, as Nyquist is six points (48 points in 61 games played) shy of matching his career-high points total (54 points in 82 games in 2014-15). A pending UFA, the 29-year old Swede should have no problem hitting that mark with the Sharks, and waving his no-trade clause to go to sunny California is a clear indicator Nyquist sees a chance to make an impact there.

If Nyquist re-signs before July 1st, or if San Jose reaches the Stanley Cup Finals, the conditional 2020 third-round pick becomes a second-rounder. With San Jose looking to re-sign Erik Karlsson long-term, as well as rejuvenated captain Joe Pavelski, Nyquist may be a rental for a Sharks team with a short-term goal of winning the Stanley Cup right now.


12:29 am — Everyone around the NHL must have been tuned into the Oscars, considering one trade was made before the start of the show, and then the Nyquist deal was completed after the Oscars ended… Probably not the case, but I mean, I watched it, and wow, what a boring year for the awards show. Bring back, Billy Crystal!








8:23 am — NHL team and beat writers on social media have already forewarned followers to “be aware of the blue checkmark” while checking up on the trade rumors and deals today. Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?

8:32 am — Seeing Vegas may be in on Ottawa’s Mark Stone. In our Pros and Cons Part III feature this past weekend, we mentioned one of Vegas’ needs being a top-6 forward, as their offense is nowhere near where it was last season.

8:55 am — TRADE — Columbus Blue Jackets acquire G Keith Kinkaid from New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 2022 5th-round pick

After a season of struggles for Kinkaid, it seems the Devils were looking for any reason to move him along, and the fact that the draft pick is a 2022 draft pick makes it seem likely Devils GM Ray Shero had trouble finding takers for the 29-year old backup goalie, who will be a free agent come July 1st. Top prospect goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood should be getting the call to return to New Jersey soon and battle Cory Schneider for the number one job next season. As for Columbus, the acquisition of Kinkaid means three NHL goalies on the roster. Is Bobrovsky actually on the move? How could Columbus make moves to acquire Duchene and Dzingel in a “going-for-it-all” kind of mindset, then turn around and trade one of the league’s best goaltenders? We’ll see what happens…


9:38 am — TSN with a hilarious “mascot” for the day, “Tradey” a hideous goat-looking being with a TSN t-shirt, who just took money from a father in the studio hallways in exchange for autographs.

9:55 amINJURY REPORT — the First injury of trade deadline day:  Nuts and Bolts Sportswriter Ed Palumbo listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The rookie writer looked to be in pain after opening a jar of peanut butter. Will continue on wearing a back brace. As performances go on days like today, credit to all media members who work tirelessly to report the rumors and trades as they come.

10:20 am — RUMOR — Rangers and Jets talking about a trade for Kevin Hayes. First-round pick and Jets winger Brendan Lemieux could be heading to the Rangers in exchange. Would be interesting to see the reaction of Lemieux’s father, Claude, who spent many years of his career as a member of the Rangers’ hated rivals, the Devils.


10:31 am — TRADE — Now official. Winnipeg Jets acquire F Kevin Hayes from New York Rangers in exchange for a 2019 1st-round pick, F Brendan Lemieux and a conditional draft pick (2022 4th-round pick if the Jets win the Stanley Cup)

Another good trade to move a pending UFA by Rangers GM Jeff Gorton. Lemieux is a good prospect in return who should slot into the Rangers’ lineup easily as a bottom-six player battling for a roster spot next season, and obviously, a first-round pick is huge for a rebuilding team. As for Winnipeg, they get the big center they wanted to add depth to their lineup, and should slot into the middle-six as likely the #2 center behind Mark Scheifele. Similar deal for Winnipeg as the one they made last season to acquire Paul Stastny. Winnipeg is looking set for a deep playoff run.


10:49 am — Devils’ winger Marcus Johansson took a stick in the, uh… nether-regions by teammate Blake Coleman during morning practice in New Jersey… so a minor injury scare in New Jersey, but Johansson still available to be traded as he returned to the ice a few minutes later.


11:18 am — Looks like Jordan Weal may be on his way to Montreal. After the Canadiens made a trade earlier this month with Philadelphia to acquire Dale Weise, I now again will continue to confuse the two if they are again, on the same team.

11:25 am — TRADE —  Now Official. Montreal Canadiens acquire F Jordan Weal from Arizona Coyotes in exchange for F Michael Chaput

Second time this year Weal is traded. Traded initially to Arizona by Philadelphia. Weal does join former Flyers teammate Weise, in Montreal, so… it’s never going to end for me.

11:39 am — Real slow trade morning thus far… one of the networks have their analysts playing a quick game of putt-putt on set for product placement purposes.

11:44 am — Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore is stirring the pot with some funny tweets about potential trades/players moving, tweeting to players to “Pack Your S***, you’re headed to…”


12:32 pm — TRADE — Carolina Hurricanes acquire F Tomas Jurco from Florida Panthers in exchange for future considerations 

12:32 pm — TRADE — Florida Panthers acquire prospect F Cliff Pu from Carolina in exchange for future considerations

Small trades here. Jurco has bounced around and hasn’t played in the NHL this year. Cliff Pu is a low-level prospect. No further comment.


12:37 pm — Carolina beat writer Sara Civian with the tweet of the day:  “Bunch of Jurcos,” referencing the Hurricanes’ newly adopted team nickname after Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Don Cherry called the ‘Canes a “Bunch of Jerks” for their unique, home post-game celebrations after a win.

1:23 pm — At what point do NHL’s sellers start calling up buyers to say, “Listen, Mark Stone’s price isn’t getting lower. Let’s do a deal right now”? Have to think that started a couple of hours ago after Kevin Hayes was moved. Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia), Marcus Johansson (New Jersey), Adam McQuaid (New York Rangers), Derrick Brassard (Florida), Micheal Ferland (Carolina), Jimmy Howard (Detroit) look like the best available rentals behind Stone. Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky both likely staying in Columbus at this point unless a massive deal takes place.


1:37 pm — TRADE — Colorado Avalanche acquire F Derick Brassard and a conditional 2020 6th-round pick from Florida Panthers in exchange for a 2020 3rd-round draft pick – Avalanche do not receive the 6th-round pick if Brassard re-signs with Colorado this summer

Good pickup at a good price for Colorado, hoping to the right the ship and jump back into the Western Conference playoff race. Centers Alexander Kerfoot and Tyson Jost have not been performing lately, and the acquisition of Brassard should take pressure off the two. Surrounded by the talent in the Avalanche forward group, Brassard might be able to find his game after being traded from Pittsburgh to Florida less than one month ago. The 31-year old former sixth overall pick has only 19 points in 50 games played this season, following up 46 points in 72 games last season with Ottawa and Pittsburgh. Brassard may never reach the heights of his career during a four-year stint with the Rangers again, but his experience should be valuable to a young Avalanche squad.

As for Florida, a massive loss in this deal. Panthers couldn’t find a taker for the pending unrestricted free agent at a better price after acquiring him in a deal that sent Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann to Pittsburgh.

1:53 pm — TRADE — Columbus Blue Jackets acquire D Adam McQuaid from New York Rangers in exchange for a 2019 4th-round pick and a 2019 7th-round pick

Simple salary/contract dump for the Rangers, getting decent value for McQuaid in two draft picks. Columbus adds depth to their blue-line. Columbus, a city that last broke a sweat with worry when they thought they were losing their Major League Soccer franchise, now have the following pending unrestricted free agents:  Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Keith Kinkaid and Adam McQuaid. Again, the Blue Jackets have never won a playoff series.


2:21 pm — Latest on the big trade piece, Mark Stone:  Vegas, Nashville and possibly Calgary having talks with Ottawa. Here’s a possible domino effect:  Stone to Vegas (most draft picks/assets available to move), then results in Nashville reuniting Wayne Simmonds with ex-Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, which then leads in Calgary acquiring Marcus Johansson from New Jersey for a high draft pick and a prospect and all of a sudden this becomes the most exciting last half-hour of trade deadline days in the history of trade deadline days.Mark Stone

2:30 pm — 30 minutes remain… the minute I walk away to use the bathroom, something will happen.


2:35 pm — TRADE — Calgary Flames acquire D Oscar Fantenberg from Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 2020 4th-round pick

Small depth move for Calgary to add to their defense. Fantenberg is a 27-year old two-way defenseman who won’t put up many points and has played 46 games this season with the Kings. Kings still have another defenseman in Alec Martinez on the trade boards, but likely won’t see him move.


2:41 pm — TRADE — Nashville acquire F Mikael Granlund from Minnesota Wild for F Kevin Fiala

Interesting one. Struggling Wild make a trade within their division, getting an impending restricted free agent in Fiala who has fought for consistency, but has shown some great flashes of brilliance in his short career thus far. Granlund’s 49 points are going to add to a Nashville offense that has been sporadic this season. He would be second among Predators’ forwards in points and third overall on the team behind Ryan Johansen and defenseman Roman Josi. The 26-year old Granlund has one year remaining on his contract at a salary cap hit of $5.75 million.


2:46 pm — TRADE — Vegas Golden Knights acquire F Mark Stone from Ottawa Senators in exchange for prospect D Erik Brannstrom, F Oscar Lindberg and a 2020 2nd-round pick (Dallas) — Stone agrees to an 8-year contract extension (verbal) at $9.5 million average annual value

Stone moved, finally, which completes the blow-up by the Ottawa organization. Vegas is now a serious contender to return to the Stanley Cup Finals, picking up a major top-line right wing to help their stingy offense, as Stone’s 62 points immediately makes him Vegas’ total points leader on the season. Stone should easily slot into the top line, alongside top scorers William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault.

For Ottawa to get back, Erik Brunnstrom is an excellent return for Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion. Brannstrom is a strong offensive-minded defenseman who has been compared to another Swedish d-man senator fans are familiar with, Erik Karlsson. Fans aren’t happy about Stone leaving, but those opinions may change in a few short years once the full potential of Erik Brannstrom is realized.


2:57 pm — TRADE — Nashville Predators acquire F Wayne Simmonds from Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for F Ryan Hartman and a conditional 2020 4th-round pick (becomes 3rd-round pick if Nashville win one playoff round)

Wayne Simmonds
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 09: Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the San Jose Sharks at the Wells Fargo Center on October 9, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

It looks like Nashville are shaking up their roster by subtracting lineup regulars Hartman and Fiala while adding Granlund and Simmonds. Simmonds is undoubtedly an upgrade over Hartman, with stronger career numbers, a more physical style of play, and significant playoff experience. Hartman joins the Flyers as a 25-year old pending RFA looking to earn a new contract next season.


3:10 pm — TRADE — St. Louis Blues acquire D Michael Del Zotto from Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 6th-round pick

Very little to this one. Blues with a small depth move to add a veteran defenseman, while the Ducks move an expiring contract.


3:16 pm — TRADE — Boston Bruins acquire F Marcus Johansson from New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 fourth-round pick

Given the tumultuous career, Johansson has had the last two seasons in New Jersey, the price paid by Boston sounds about right. Johansson was not really able to find his form from his days with the Washington Capitals while with New Jersey until the last month or so, and Boston is getting Johansson in tip-top condition. Interestingly, Johansson will be joining a Bruins team with Brad Marchand, who’s flying elbow gave Johansson the second of his two concussions last season. Meanwhile, New Jersey now has ten draft picks in the 2019 draft, including their first-round pick, three second-round picks, and two third-round picks.


3:21 pm — TRADE — Winnipeg Jets acquire F Matt Hendricks from Minnesota Wild in exchange for a 2019 7th-round pick

Bleh. A pure, lame salary dump for Minnesota. Hendricks returns to a familiar organization he has played in before, as the Jets look to add grit ahead of the playoffs.


3:27 pm — TRADE — Pittsburgh acquire D Erik Gudbranson from Vancouver Canucks in exchange for F Tanner Pearson

Gudbranson signed a big contract when he joined Vancouver and is still under contract until 2021 at $4 million per. Interesting move for Pittsburgh, who did want to add to their defense to help protect Matt Murray this post-season. Pearson in the meantime joins a list of players who will play for their third team this season, after being acquired by the Pens from Los Angeles in exchange for Carl Hagelin a few months ago.


3:40 pm — TRADE — Winnipeg Jets acquire D Nathan Beaulieu from Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a 6th-round pick

Simple depth move for Winnipeg, who needed to make a move after defenseman Josh Morrissey went down with an injury over the weekend. Beaulieu was not getting his preferred playing time in Buffalo and had asked for a trade previously.


3:45 pm — TRADE — Winnipeg Jets acquire D Bogdan Kiselevich from Florida Panthers in exchange for a 7th-round pick

See above. The same type of defensive depth acquisition. Makes the Josh Morrissey injury look serious.


3:52 pm — TRADE — Vancouver Canucks acquire F Linus Karlsson from San Jose Sharks in exchange for F Jonathan Dahlen

Minor league deal. Both players are mid-level prospects.


3:52 pm — TRADE — Winnipeg Jets acquire F Par Lindholm from Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for F Nic Petan

Both players have similar styles. Petan is a bit grittier of a player who wasn’t fitting into the Jets lineup and certainly wouldn’t now with the re-acquisition of Matt Hendricks, where Petan could be included in the Toronto lineup as a bottom-six player. Lindholm is a pending UFA.


4:10 pm — TRADE — Pittsburgh Penguins acquire D Chris Wideman from Florida Panthers in exchange for F Jean-Sebastien Dea

Another small move to end the day. Penguins are adding to their blueline depth as Wideman is a 29-year old NHL vet who will report to the AHL for now. Panthers receive a speedy young forward who could find a place in Florida as he attempts to earn a new contract next season. Both players are pending UFA’s.


This concludes our NHL Trade Deadline feature, where we saw some moves made in the weeks and even the weekend leading up to the deadline, which caused deadline day itself to start slow, but the big moves pulled off in the last few hours certainly made for an exciting end to the trade season.

Ed Palumbo
About Ed Palumbo 14 Articles
Ed is a 2010 graduate of Temple University with a degree in Sport and Recreation Management. A New Yorker at heart, he now resides in Philadelphia and supports the NY Giants, NY Mets, NJ Devils, West Ham United, and the Philadelphia Union. A former hockey coach and amateur scout, Ed is also the founder of the Prospective Hockey Central mobile app, connecting scouts and players in the recruiting process.

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